For Highly Gifted Learners


The ASPIRE Academy is committed to serving the unique needs of highly gifted students by providing a culture where learners engage in rigorous and meaningful learning experiences that empower them to take risks, pursue passions and make a positive impact on the world. 


The GCISD ASPIRE Academy is a self-contained highly gifted academy, where a supportive environment designed for the highly gifted, allows for time with intellectual peers and opportunities for increased academic challenge commensurate with student ability.

ASPIRE Academy Grades 1-5 at Glenhope Elementary Principal, Dr. Wynette Griffin

ASPIRE Academy Grade 6-8 at Cross Timbers Middle School Principal, Alex Fingers

ASPIRE Academy Grade 9 at Grapevine High School Principal, David Denning


  • ASPIRE Academy students attend co-curricular classes, electives, lunch, and recess with all grade level peers in elementary and middle school.  High school ASPIRE courses are offered in the Humanities; GT courses are available in Math and Science.

  • Core coursework is delivered within the ASPIRE Academy classrooms through specialized curriculum facilitated by teachers trained to be responsive to the highly gifted.
  • Teachers utilize a research based framework for GT differentiation, the Parallel Curriculum Model, to design units of study. 


  • To develop advanced skills and concepts in an individualized learning environment consistent with each child’s capacity and readiness

  • To develop critical thinking, creative thinking, and problem solving within specialized learning environments that are designed with the whole gifted child in mind

  • To engage in learning experiences that allow for new, real-world applications and creative solutions to problems

  • To develop growth-minded self-understanding and confidence in one’s abilities

  • To develop moral, ethical, and effective leadership and communication skills


ASPIRE Highly Gifted Learners will demonstrate…

  • Growth commensurate with their aptitude during the school year

  • Critical and creative thinking in solving problems within our specialized learning environment

  • Advanced knowledge and skills across disciplines that lead to creative, sophisticated products and performances

  • Self-efficacy in their ability to complete tasks and reach goals

  • Leadership and communication skills through sophisticated products and performances


  • Highly gifted students are those whose advancement is significantly beyond the norm of the gifted. Any child who scores three standard deviations above the mean should be termed as highly gifted. (Silverman)

  • The depth and intensity of our highly gifted children’s responses to thoughts and situations distinguish their social, emotional, and intellectual experiences. The degree of difference from the norm often creates vulnerability; as intelligence increases, so does the potential for misunderstanding. (Kay)

  • With flexibility, an understanding of this population based on research rather than myths, and a willingness to extend our concept of inclusion beyond artificial age, grade, and physical boundaries, we can do better. With practice, we may even begin to do well. (Kearney).


Julie Leslie
Director of Advanced Academics

Gypsy Mishoe
Advanced Academics Coach


Tours Available at the ASPIRE Academy at Glenhope Elementary:
Dec. 7, Feb. 15, March 22, and April 12. Open House: May 17
Please contact for reservations.


The Grapevine-Colleyville ASPIRE Academy serves highly gifted students and is designed to meet the academic and affective needs of highly gifted students within the GCISD gifted population as well as residents of Grapevine and Colleyville otherwise attending a neighboring school district.

In order to be eligible for the Academy, students must be identified as a GT student and have a qualifying aptitude score of 140 or above in any one area. Additional qualitative and/or quantitative measures may be administered as necessary. Parents are invited to refer their child by completing the ASPIRE Academy application during an identification window.