Advanced Placement (AP) Gifted & Talented (GT) Programs
FISD advanced academics include programs, assessments, courses, and services that provide students with opportunities to demonstrate college and career readiness as well as earning college credit. The advanced opportunities available for students begin with Gifted and Talented programs in elementary school, and progress to Dual Credit and Advanced Placement (AP) until they graduate from high school.
Program titles are sometimes confusing because they can be similar to one another. A college preparatory course is a core requirement that is needed to graduate from high school. These prep classes are designed for students who will attend college because they provide the necessary academic background to be successful at the university level. Students in college prep classes are not placed in remedial versions of the course, nor are they enrolled in the more challenging AP level of a particular class. In some schools, high school students can sometimes move up from college preparatory classes to Advanced Placement classes if they obtain a high-grade point average in the subject.
Advanced Placement (or AP) is a program that allows high school students to take college-level curriculum and examinations. Some colleges and universities in America grant college course credit to those students who attain high test scores, which may provide the opportunity to skip first-year introductory courses in college. College admissions tend to favor AP work on high school transcripts, as AP classes give students experience with college-level work while developing skills needed for academic success in college. Students interested in Advanced Placement programs have many options, including AP Science classes, AP English, AP Writing, AP Social Studies, and AP Math classes.
FISD also offers dual credit courses, in addition to their AP options. Dual credit means eligible students enroll in college classes while in high school, and they can receive credit for the classes from both the high school and college simultaneously. Dual credit courses can be offered on the college campus or the high school campus, and they may include technical and academic classes. Dual credit programs benefit students because they transfer credits to public colleges and universities in Texas, they provide experience with a college workload, and they save money on college tuition. In addition, students that transfer high school credits are still considered first-year students when entering college, so they can apply for scholarships and grants that are available to freshmen.
FISD offers its students with advanced learning abilities the opportunity to enroll in their Gifted & Talented programs. TEA guidelines state that school districts must provide proper services to students in Kindergarten through 12th grade who have been assessed and identified as GT. Children identified as gifted students usually perform at high levels in a creative or intellectual area when compared to other students of the same age, environment, or experience. GT students tend to possess exceptional leadership capabilities, and they display a love of learning in one or multiple subjects. Gifted and Talented children do not always become Advanced Placement students in middle and high school, as they do not consistently flourish in environments with more difficult and time-consuming work. Instead, they sometimes prefer time to pursue their talents while thinking and exploring.
FISD provides an array of individualized advanced academic programs that most adequately suits each student’s personal needs. These plans offer opportunities for each child, from elementary to high school, and they establish significantly high goals for their college-bound students. Students and parents are encouraged and welcome to explore any advanced academic programs that their school district offers.
- College Board studies show that Advanced Placement students score higher on standardized tests than non-AP students. They attend college at higher rates, earn higher grades in college, and are less likely to drop out. AP students display more positive attitudes toward the academic material that their courses covered, and they are much more likely to major in an area that is related to their AP courses.
- Dual credit options offer significant cost savings over a conventional college education. Students in high school may explore their academic interests before entering college, and they can begin their college education early. Dual credit students tend to make smoother transitions from high school to college.
- Gifted and Talented Education programs prevent boredom and challenge students. GT students have more opportunities to earn advanced degrees in college, and they usually enjoy greater success in their chosen careers.