Aspire FAQ


What is the ASPIRE Academy?
The ASPIRE Academy is designed to meet the needs of highly gifted students who require significant curricular modifications in the classroom environment. Highly gifted students are defined as those with an aptitude score of 140 or above in any one area. 
In addition to differentiation of the core curriculum, the ASPIRE Academy curriculum will be aligned to state and NAGC standards, incorporate and utilize resources that will add depth complexity and appropriate pacing through enrichment and extension.

What does ASPIRE stand for?
Advancing Scholars in Pursuit of Innovation, Real-world connections, and Excellence in education

Where are the ASPIRE Academies located?
Elementary ASPIRE Academy is housed at Glenhope Elementary School. 
Middle school ASPIRE Academy is housed at Cross Timbers Middle School.
High school courses are held at Grapevine High School, though ASPIRE students may attend either Colleyville-Heritage High School or Grapevine High School.

How are students chosen for the ASPIRE Academy?
The eligibility and acceptance process went through several steps before being implemented. It was presented to the Gifted and Talented Advisory Committee for feedback and support, approved by district leadership, communicated to the Board of Trustees, and communicated to parents. All feedback indicated the importance of aligning with the overall GT Identification Process, including having "qualitative and quantitative data collected through three or more measures" (Texas State Plan for the Education of GT Students, 1.5.4C). All qualitative measures were evaluated using carefully designed rubrics and all qualitative scores were locally normed before individual student profiles were created. In other words, selection is not simply based upon one measure, such as student aptitude.

If my child is accepted, will transportation be available?
Yes, transportation is provided to and from a student's home campus. Parents may also opt out of transportation if it is not needed. Parents will need to return the Letter of Intent to Attend and indicate if transportation is necessary.   High school ASPIRE students may be shuttled between campuses for ASPIRE classes.

What if my child is accepted into the ASPIRE Academy, but I have another child at our home campus?
Please go to the Transfer Request webpage from the GCISD website. Complete the Intradistrict Transfer Request form and follow the instructions on the form to submit your request.

If my child is not performing, will he/she be exited from the program? Will that require parental consent?
ASPIRE is a specialized learning environment designed for highly gifted students, and it may not be the right environment for all students. If a student is not progressing appropriately academically or behaviorally, a conference will be scheduled potentially involving the student, the campus principal and counselors, ASPIRE teachers, parents, and the Director of Advanced Academics to plan a course of action that is in the best educational interests of the student.

Once my child is accepted into this program will they stay in the program or must they be re-evaluated each year? 
Your child will remain in the program.

What curriculum will be used? How will that differ from what happens in the regular classroom and in the ASPIRE Pull-Out classroom?
Through pre-assessment, curriculum compacting and formative assessment, teachers will be able to introduce enrichment and extension opportunities using additional resources such as, but not limited to, William and Mary curriculum units, Texas Performance Standards Project, PBL, Junior Great Books, Creative Problem Solving, Depth & Complexity, and Young Mathematicians at Work. The curriculum will be designed by the teachers and GCISD Advanced Academics Department around state and NAGC standards with expectations for sophisticated products and performances.

What level of STAAR test will my child take?
Students enrolled in grades 3 and above will take STAAR/EOC at their instructional level.  Students enrolled in grades 3 and above who telescope in math will take the STAAR/EOC test for the grade or course to which they telescope. Students in 7th Accelerated Math take the 8th grade STAAR math test.  Algebra 1 and Pre-AP English 1 include required EOC exams.


How much will the workload increase? I understand the curriculum is rigorous and I am curious if it is so much additional work that we may not have time for extracurricular activities and sports?
The curriculum will be appropriately rigorous to meet the needs of highly gifted learners. However, added rigor does not necessarily imply added homework. We expect the workload to increase in terms of challenge but not in terms of amount.  

What is the role of technology and fine arts in the curriculum?
ASPIRE Academy classrooms will be digital classrooms. Fine arts will be the same as on home campuses, through specials. Both technology and fine arts options are offered after school and during Gatorville at Glenhope. Students choose fine arts electives at the middle and high school levels.

What about math telescoping?
Telescoping is available to any student who meets the criteria available on the district website. Exam scores place students in the next grade level for math instruction. This will look similar in ASPIRE. Please visit the Telescoping section of the Advanced Academics or Math websites for more information.

What are the social/emotional aspect of moving schools vs. benefits of ASPIRE Academy?
Research shows that highly gifted students flourish when grouped with age and intellectual peers. This program may be valuable for those who might not fit in regular classes.

How do I know if my child is a candidate for this program?
Eligible students must first be identified GT in GCISD. ASPIRE Academy is designed to meet the needs of the district’s highly gifted students, specifically students who have aptitude assessed at 140+. Campus GT Specialists are available to discuss the ASPIRE Academy with you to determine whether it is a good fit for your child. If you are unsure about your child's aptitude score, please contact the campus GT Specialist.

My child is an identified 1st grade GT LEAD pull-out student. He does not have a 140 aptitude from Kindergarten and hasn't had the chance to take an aptitude test this year. Will he be given an aptitude test this year to see if he can qualify?
If you apply for the academy, additional assessments may be given as necessary. 

What happens if a new student moves in during the school year? Will that child have a chance to test mid-year for the Highly Gifted Program?
This depends on space available. 

Will students need to reapply each year?  
No.

I have no idea what my child's score is, how can I find out?
Please call your campus assistant principal, counselor, or GT teacher. They can assist you with assessment questions. 

Which assessment measures will you be using? 
We will administer the Otis-Lennon School Abilities Test. We encourage you to consider applying if your child's CogAT, OLSAT, NNAT or an IQ score scores are at or approaching 140.

Curriculum and Assessment

What curriculum will be used? How will that differ from what happens in the regular classroom and in the GT LEAD classroom?
Through pre-assessment, curriculum compacting and formative assessment, teachers will be able to introduce enrichment and extension opportunities using additional resources such as, but not limited to, William and Mary curriculum units, Texas Performance Standards Project, PBL, Junior Great Books, Creative Problem Solving, Depth & Complexity, and Young Mathematicians at Work. ASPIRE Academy curriculum will not consist solely of one purchased product. The curriculum will be designed by the teachers and GCISD Advanced Academics Department around state and NAGC standards with expectations for sophisticated products and performances.

Will the curriculum follow the Texas State Performance Standards and will they also follow the NAGC standards?
Yes.

What programs like DI, Robotics Mindstorm, or other similar types of competitions will be available for my child at the new campus?
All campus enrichment opportunities will be available for ASPIRE Academy students. Please visit the campus websites for more information on offerings.

How much will the workload increase?  I understand the curriculum is rigorous and I am curious if it is so much additional work that we may not have time for extracurricular activities and sports?
The curriculum will be appropriately rigorous to meet the needs of highly gifted learners. However, added rigor does not necessarily imply added homework. We expect the workload to increase in terms of challenge but not in terms of amount. 

Will there be any 2nd language classes offered to Aspire Academy students?
There are currently no options for 2nd language offerings at the elementary campus, except for extra curricular options that may be available on the campus. 

What about math telescoping?
Telescoping is available to any student who meets the criteria available on the district website. Exam scores place students in the next grade level for math instruction. This will look similar in ASPIRE.  At GHS, math is taught at the beginning hour of each day, this allows easier scheduling and enrichment. Please visit the Telescoping section of the Advanced Academics or Math websites for more information. 

What are the social/emotional aspects of moving schools vs. benefits of ASPIRE Academy
Research shows that highly gifted students flourish when grouped with age and intellectual peers. This program may be valuable for those who might not fit in in regular classes.

What will be done in the regular classroom for my student who is very close to qualifying but does not qualify?
Classroom teachers will continue to differentiate in the classroom for identified GT students. Also, these students will receive GT LEAD classes on their home campus.

My child will qualify for the program but I don’t want to leave my campus. What happens then? How will my child receive equitable services?
Please see above.

If my child qualifies will he/she still go to GT Classes one day a week?
No, for these students, ASPIRE Academy will replace GT pull-out services.