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Gifted and Advanced Learning

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"Gifted and advanced" comes in lots of different forms

There are gifted and advanced learners in every grade at every school, and City Schools is committed to meeting their needs. More than 100 elementary and middle schools offer gifted and advanced learning programs. In high school, students have opportunities to pursue advanced programming of different kinds at numerous schools across the district. 

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Gifted and advanced learning by grade

Kindergarten to grade 5

In the early grades, gifted and advanced learners are grouped in their classrooms and receive enrichment through supplementary programs 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 and compacted/telescoped curricula in honors math. Through middle school choice, 5th-grade students can also apply for the Advanced Academics program and the Ingenuity Project, both of which are offered at several schools beginning in 6th grade.

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!

100 schools

offer gifted and advanced learning services

19 schools

have received the state's EGATE recognition

2 teachers

have been honored by the National Association of Gifted Children

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 3 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 below 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

Does gifted and advanced refer only to academic ability?

No. Gifted and advanced learners perform or show the potential to perform at high levels academically, artistically, creatively, or in leadership.

How are gifted and advanced learners identified?

All kindergarten students are screened with an ability assessment, and achievement results are monitored throughout the grades. Either the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT3) or the Cognitive Ability Test (CogAT) is used as an initial identifier, and formal identification then includes data from nationally normed achievement assessments in mathematics and reading (e.g., PARCC, i-Ready, or the Measure of Academic Progress). City Schools also uses motivation scales (GES-3) and creativity assessments (Torrance) in limited cases when students pre-qualify in only one of the two categories of ability or achievement.

What's the difference between gifted and advanced?

Gifted learners have ability and achievement scores in the 90th to 99th percentile range (level 5 on PARCC in both ELA and math), while advanced learners' scores fall in the 80th to 89th percentile range (level 4 on PARCC in both ELA and math).

What about students who are near the 80th percentile, but not quite there?

City Schools also identifies students for talent development when their ability scores exceed the national average but do not yet qualify them as advanced or gifted. 

Can my child be screened for gifted and advanced programs?

Thank you for advocating on behalf of your child. All requests are limited to students enrolled in City Schools at the time of the request.

Formal identification: Selecting this link initiates the process to formally identify the student as a Gifted, Advanced, or Talent Development learner within City Schools. Formal identification entitles students to Individualized Learning Plans (ILPs) but is not required to gain access to gifted learning resources at the school level. Additionally, formal identification plays no role in the school choice process. 

Formal Identification Request (English) | Spanish | French


Local organizations
  • Maryland Coalition for Gifted and Talented Education: This volunteer organization is made up of parents, professionals, graduate students, educators, and others who share an interest in gifted education.
  • Maryland Mensa: The local affiliate of the national organization provides opportunities to network with and support gifted learners.
  • Maryland State Department of Education: The Maryland State Department of Education's Gifted and Talented education information site which includes regulations and guidelines.
  • Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth: This organization works to identify and develop the talents of the most advanced K-12 learners.
  • GT Discover: GT Discover builds the capacity of schools, communities, and parents to identify and serve more gifted and talented students, especially those who are historically underrepresented, serving as a repository of resources, learning opportunities, and a collaborative community for stakeholders.
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.