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Gifted and Advanced Learning

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"Gifted and advanced" comes in lots of different forms

There are gifted, advanced, and talent development students in every grade at every school, and they represent all populations. City Schools is committed to equity and excellence in identifying and serving our gifted and advanced learners, inclusive of those who may also have learning challenges – also known as twice exceptional learners. All schools are required to support their gifted and advanced learners – GAL students.

District Policy

City Schools’ Board policy for Gifted and Advanced Learning (GAL) covers four categories – formally identifying GAL students, expectations for instruction, professional development, and evaluation. Below is information about each category. For additional information, please read the policy.

Dennis Jutras, Coordinator– Gifted and Advanced Learning (email)


GAL Policy


GAL Regulations


GAL School Contacts

Identification: How are GAL students formally identified?

All City Schools students can be identified as gifted and advanced learners. In kindergarten, ALL students are initially screened, but the process is ongoing. If you would like to have your child formally identified as a GAL student, please fill out one of the Formal Identification forms below.  


Formal Identification


Identification formelle


Identificación formal

What does instruction look like for gifted and advanced learners?

Every student who is identified as gifted, advanced, or talent development receives an Instructional Learning Plan (ILP). They are created with GAL leads, teachers, parents/guardians, and the student to make sure students are regularly supported academically, socially, and emotionally. 

Kindergarten to Grade 5

In the early grades, GAL students are grouped in their classrooms and receive enrichment through supplementary resources such as: 

Grades 6 to 8

In middle school, honors math, English, science, and social studies classes are available to challenge all students. Gifted and advanced learners taking these classes should expect to experience above-grade-level curricula in honors English, compacted/telescoped curricula in honors math, and course-long original projects in honors science and social studies. Through middle school choice, 5th-grade students can apply for seats at Advanced Academics schools, which offer honors courses in all core content areas, and the Ingenuity Project, both of which are offered at several schools beginning in 6th grade. Please note that formal GAL identification is not required for admission to either nor is admission handled by the GAL office.   

Grades 9 to 12

In high school, gifted and advanced learners can take honors and Advanced Placement courses at all schools, and can pursue dual enrollment to earn college credits and mentorships. The Ingenuity Project is available at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, and Baltimore City College offers the International Baccalaureate.  

Since high school offerings vary, it is important for students to learn about the opportunities offered at each school as part of the choice process to ensure the best fit. The right time to start planning is 6th and 7th grade! 

Honors Criteria (6 to 8 and 9 to 12)

If your child has been formally identified as a Gifted or Advanced GAL student, they have a right to take honors programs. Other students are invited as well as outlined on pages 5 – 7 of the GAL Regulations


City Schools provides a variety of acceleration opportunities based on national models. Acceleration includes whole grade acceleration (see request forms later on this page), subject acceleration, mentorships, and extracurricular programs as outlined on pages 6 – 7 of the GAL Regulations

The Ingenuity Project

The Ingenuity Project, a non-profit organization, is a joint effort of the Baltimore City Public School System, The Abell Foundation, and Baltimore’s science and mathematics community. We are the only comprehensive advanced math and science instructional program for high-achieving Baltimore City public school students in grades 6-12 with consistent positive achievement outcomes.

Ingenuity is committed to ensuring the program reflects the ethnicity, gender, and income of Baltimore City households by recruiting and cultivating students with high potential and interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) from historically underserved populations.

Find out more information about The Ingenuity Project

Talent Mentoring Program

The University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM), in concert with the Gifted and Advanced Learning (GAL) office, are partnering again this year to provide a science-based Talent Mentoring Program (TMP) for identified or potentially identified 3rd grade Gifted and advanced learners. Our goal is to provide these students with a valuable experience that will broaden their ideas of what is possible for their contemporary and future selves. 

Two or three University mentors will dedicate 1 hour each week over the course of the school year with the intent of providing a more authentic “one to one” interaction between the identified students and their mentors. They will engage in “William and Mary” science units which utilize an inquiry-based approach to studying science and offer higher level thinking challenges for our learners. Each school will receive a “William and Mary” science resource kit to use for implementing the lessons. Each school has a TMP Liaison that is responsible for monitoring the program from week to week.

 The mentors will provide life-long benefits for the gifted students by demonstrating positive role model behaviors for these students. One of the most valuable experiences a gifted student can have is exposure to a mentor who is willing to share personal values, a particular interest, time, talents and skills. For gifted children, the potential benefits of a committed mentor are numerous and can contribute to both short and long-term success for the mentees as well as the mentors.

This partnership has existed for 6 years and has had a positive impact on the students that have been in the program. The responses from the students and mentors show that both have enjoyed this experience and it provided both mentor and student with lasting relationships that will provide inspiration and new insights in their future. The video link above (Medical Mentoring Program Comes to Life) will show the relationship between both mentor and mentees during a “William and Mary” science lesson where the students were engaged in learning about “chemical reactions”.

We currently have 26 schools that participate in the program and 40 plus first and second year UMSOM mentors that have signed on to participate. The program has been highlighted in the Baltimore Sun papers as well as one of our mentors were recognized as an “Everyday Hero” with Chick-Fil-A. 

Schools that currently participate in the program:

  • Abbottston Elementary
  • Belmont Elementary
  • Callaway Elementary
  • Federal Hill Preparatory Academy
  • Furman L Templeton Preparatory Academy
  • Hilton Elementary
  • Maree G. Farring Elem./Middle
  • Matthew Henson
  • Moravia Park Elementary
  • Robert W. Coleman
  • William Paca
  • Calvin Rodwell Elem./Middle
  • Gwynns Falls Elem.
  • Dr. Bernard Harris Elem.
  • Dallas F. Nicholas Elem.
  • Yorkwood Elem.
  • Steuart Hill Elem.
  • Pimlico Elem./Middle
  • Commodore John Rodgers Elem./Middle
  • Windsor Hills Elem./Middle
  • Glenmount Elem./Middle
  • Cross Country Elem./Middle
  • Furley Elementary
  • Wildwood Elem./Middle
  • Charles Carrol Barrister Elem.
  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Elem./Middle


Whole Grade Acceleration Request


Accélération totale


Aceleración de grado completo

Professional Learning

All teachers and additional school staff receive instruction and coaching to help identify and support our gifted and advanced learners. Many of our teachers and instructors have been recognized for their accomplishments in gifted education. 


Javits-Frasier Scholarships awarded to City Schools teachers


Meggy Awards won by City Schools teachers


State-level awards from the Gifted and Talented Advisory Council


teacher recognitions from the Gifted and Talented Advisory Council

Excellence in Gifted and Talented Education (EGATE)

Every year, the Maryland State Department of Education, and the State Advisory Council on Gifted and Talented Education award the Excellence in Gifted and Talented Education (EGATE) designation to schools across Maryland.   

20 different schools within City Schools have been given the EGATE designation since 2014. 

In addition, dozens of students and teachers from City Schools are recognized for their work annually. 


EGATE School listing

Read more

State Award Winners


City Schools’ gifted and advanced learning programs are evaluated every year. For additional information, please refer to:


Ability - The potential to perform at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared to other students of a similar age, experience, and/or environment.

AchievementTypically measured by performance on nationally norm-referenced assessments designed to measure what students have already learned, mostly in specific content areas. Examples of norm-referenced assessments of achievement include, but are not limited to, the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT), Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), American College Testing (ACT), Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program (MCAP), i-Ready, and/or Measure of Academic Progress (MAP).

Advanced Learners -  One of three levels of formal identification within Baltimore City Public Schools (“City Schools”): typically determined by nationally norm-referenced assessment scores of ability and achievement that fall in the 80th to 89th percentile range. 

Analogical Reasoning -  A kind of reasoning or thinking that relies on finding a common relational system between two or more images, situations, or exemplars and then transferring that information/rationale to a new scenario.  It is considered a core component of learning and problem-solving in everyday situations, and this type of reasoning forms the core of the most commonly used ability screeners like the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT) and the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT). Families can support their children in developing this type of logic by regularly selecting various objects or images and asking their children to select those that share the most in common and share their rationale for their choices. 

Equity index - A calculation used to determine how well represented a subpopulation of students is among formally identified Gifted, Advanced, and Talent Development Learners as compared to their overall representation within the general student enrollment. A factor of 0.8 is typically used as a minimum threshold to determine equitable representation.

Gifted learners - One of three levels of formal identification within City Schools: typically determined by nationally norm-referenced assessment scores of ability and achievement that fall in the 90th to 99th percentile range.

Individualized Learning Plans -  An ILP is asset-based and interest-based in nature and typically features a long-term, problem-based or project-based learning opportunity. ILPs are required for all formally identified Gifted, Advanced, and Talent Development Learners and are created in tandem with educators, parent(s)/guardian(s), and the student, who are collectively referenced as the student-specific stakeholders. The goal of the ILP is to make sure that formally identified students are regularly supported by providing them with more appropriate work rather than just more work.

Talent development learners - One of three levels of formal identification within City Schools: determined by nationally norm-referenced assessment scores of ability that typically fall in the 75th to 99th percentile range

Twice-exceptional - A term used to describe a student who is both gifted and also eligible for special education services; the terms “dual exceptionalities” or “gifted with learning disabilities” are also used.  Examples include, but are not limited to, students who are gifted with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (“ADHD”) or gifted with autism.

Universal screening - Screening all students eliminates any requirement for parents/guardians or teachers to make an initial referral, thus removing one of the most common barriers to formal identification. In City Schools, all kindergarten students are given a nationally norm-referenced assessment of ability as part of the formal identification process. In addition, a wide array of norm-referenced assessments of achievement are regularly administered to students while enrolled in City Schools, and those assessments also serve as universal screeners for the formal identification process.


Local organizations

National organizations

Supporting your gifted learner at home

  • Hoagies: A comprehensive site designed for families of gifted and advanced learners. 
  • University of Connecticut's School of Education: Recommendations for of award-winning books, audiobooks, and books recommended by other children, adolescents, and young adults.
  • Academy of Achievement: This site seeks to bring students face to face with leaders, visionaries, and pioneers who have helped shape the world. 
  • Library of Congress: Resources for students and families ranging from classic books online to a national jukebox of recordings.