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 Grades 6-8 at Cross Timbers Middle School Principal, Alex Fingers

ASPIRE Academy Grades 9-10 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, M.Ed.
Director of Advanced Academics

Dr. Cheryl Taliaferro
ASPIRE District Liaison

Sara Hartsfield
Advanced Academics Administrative Assistant


Tours Available at the ASPIRE Academy at Glenhope Elementary:

  •    8:30 am to 10:00 am on the following dates: 

                       November 21st,  December 5th,  January 23rd, February 20th,  March 26th, and April 16th.

  •     Open House for newly selected students:  May 14, 2020.


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.

From an academic perspective, GCISD's ASPIRE Academy is designed to meet the needs of highly gifted students who require significant curricular modifications in the classroom environment.  These students typically score a 140 or above in one or more domains on a nationally normed aptitude test and also demonstrate remarkable, consistent ability in qualitative and/or quantitative domains.