OUR MISSION: 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.
WHAT IS ASPIRE ACADEMY?
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.
"SCHOOL WITHIN A SCHOOL"
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 students attend co-curricular classes, electives, lunch, and recess with all grade level peers.
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. The four parallels of this model are:
The Core Curriculum- Focuses on the essential skills, concepts, and principles of a given discipline.
The Curriculum of Connections- Guides students to make connections within or across disciplines, time, and cultures.
The Curriculum of Practice- Encourages student growth toward expertise in the discipline by increasing skills and developing confidence as professionals and scholars.
The Curriculum of Identity- Increases the understanding of each student’s strengths, preferences, values, and commitment to help students gain a better understanding of both the discipline and themselves.
GOALS FOR ASPIRE HIGHLY GIFTED LEARNERS
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 LEARNER OUTCOMES
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).
Dr. Wynette Griffin
The Grapevine-Colleyville ASPIRE Academy serves highly gifted students in grades 1-8 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 nominate their child by completing the ASPIRE Academy application during an identification window.