The middle school program for gifted education is designed to serve those students who demonstrate a specific academic aptitude. The program is provided primarily through advanced and accelerated courses offered in English, math, science, and social studies as well as through differentiated instruction within the classroom. The Lynchburg City Schools Local Plan for the Education of the Gifted provides detailed information on referral and identification processes, as well as the services provided for identified students. Eighth graders have the opportunity to accelerate their program of studies by taking high school credit courses in the areas of math, science, and foreign language. In some cases, severely gifted students have required an accelerated program of study which includes traveling to one of the high schools for courses. However, this type of service is rare and presents some logistical challenges. Students and their parents are encouraged to contact the school principal to learn more about all the gifted services available to middle school students and the opportunities they provide.
Programs available for students with disabilities are provided according to the student’s Individualized Education Plan. Referrals for special services are routinely made by parents, counselors, and teachers through the school principal; however, a student can only be considered after authorization is secured from the parent or legal guardian. Placement in a special education class or program is contingent upon the results of extensive diagnostic testing and evaluation. Scheduling is done on an individual basis according to the needs of each student. Since the instructional program in all special education classes is based on each student’s individual needs, individual educational programs are developed by the school in conjunction with parental permission and input.
In College Prep students will be assigned to a teacher for the entire year that will facilitate their pathways to career and college exploration. Each grade level team of College Prep teachers will develop units of studies to reflect the goal of the course. Possible topics will include, but are not limited to: novel discussion, public speaking, instructional project research and development (e. g. science fair, history day fair, etc.), exploration, and college search. The career exploration and college search components will follow a progressive model. In the sixth grade, students will explore personal interests, strengths, competencies, and accomplishments. Seventh grade students will apply their knowledge of their personal interests, strengths, abilities, and accomplishments to education planning and career decision-making. Eighth grade students can apply their knowledge of their personal interests, strengths, abilities, and accomplishments in the process of selecting high school courses, as well as, planning a post-secondary education program or career path.
Fort Hill Community School
The Fort Hill Community School (FHCS), a program for secondary students who have experienced difficulties in the regular school program, provides instruction in the four core content areas: English, math, science and social studies. Both direct instruction and computer-assisted learning models are used. Placement at the FHCS is made on an individual basis. For more information, contact the director for student services at (434) 515-5049.