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    Document Summary
    - Report Published -

    House Document No. 23

    Document Title
    Establishment of Residential School for Gifted Students

    Feasibility Task Force

    Enabling Authority
    HJR 46 (Regular Session, 1984)

    Executive Summary
    The report of the Department of Education to the Governor and members of the General Assembly in response to HJR 45 provided initial recommendations related to establishment of one or more residential, state-operated schools for the gifted and talented students in the arts, humanities, and sciences.

    The report, dated January 13,1983, recommended that a residential school for gifted students be designed to meet the needs of the Commonwealth's most gifted and talented students by providing greater opportunities for an appropriate in-depth educational program. The Feasibility Task Force, composed of representatives from the State Advisory Committee for the Education of the Gifted, the State PTA Education Committee, the Virginia Association of Secondary Principals, the Virginia Association of School Administrators, the Virginia Education Association, and the State Chamber of Commerce, met with members of the Department of Education staff to plan the residential school program. The Department of Education employed two consultants, Dr. Glen I. Earthman and Mr. Robert N. Lawrence, with expertise in school planning and organizational structure to develop this report.

    The objectives of the program offered through such a school would be to:

    • Provide intensive, in-depth instruction in the academic/artistic disciplines in accordance with individual needs

    • Provide encouragement and support in the student's exploration and growth within the various disciplines

    • Provide opportunities for students to demonstrate and practice skills (e.g., performances, research activities)

    • Encourage interdisciplinary investigation among students and faculty

    • Expand students' interests and develop aptitudes in selected areas

    • Enable students to interact with others who share similar aspirations and ambitions

    • Provide role models - scientists, artists, composers, industrialists, authors, economists, and scholars - in the academic and artistic disciplines.

    This report, the second phase of the study, provides detailed information on establishment of a residential school, including recommendations on:

    A. Capacity and Phasing of Enrollment
    B. Target Group and Selection Considerations
    C. Model
    D. General Specifications for Physical Facilities
    E. Criteria for Site Selection
    F. Staffing Requirements and Phasing of Staff
    G. Organizational Structure
    H. Budget
    I. Requirements for Implementation

    Extensive data and information were collected from the staff of the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, a model secondary school in operation since fiscal year 1980-81. Detailed budget data, equipment requirements, program specifications, and insights of staff in planning and program development have been utilized in development of this report.

    The following assumptions have been made in developing the descriptive information and cost estimates:

    • The ultimate goal of the residential school would be to provide services to gifted and talented students in math, science, and the arts.

    • The school should be developed in increments, with student enrollment and program areas phased over a four-year period.

    • The initial program area would be math/science.