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The Spectrum program is designed to address the special needs of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade intellectually gifted students as they

·        Learn through discovery, research, and application
·        Expand their intellectual curiosity
·        Develop initiative, creativity, and leadership
·        Increase their understanding of relationships among the academic disciplines
·        Strengthen critical thinking skills
·        Acquire a greater respect for the ideas and opinions of others
·        Pursue special interests


The Spectrum program seeks to enhance and to develop the intellect of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students who have been formally identified as generally intellectually gifted.

Students are scheduled for Spectrum in lieu of their resource period in sixth and seventh grades. In eighth grade, Spectrum students receive a half block of resources and a half block of Spectrum . The length of time spent in Spectrum may vary from two to three half-block periods per week.

All students are immersed in lessons that correlate with the Virginia Standards of Learning Objectives for the core content areas and technology. Teachers stress complex level thinking skills that include the following:

·        Stimulate each student’s curiosity, by providing opportunities for him/her to question, to think, and to be creative

·        Differentiate the learning activities and performance tasks to meet individual needs of students with exceptional ability, special interests, strengths, and challenges



Spectrum enables students to work with academic peers in and environment that focuses on identifying and maximizing individual student talents and interests. The curriculum gives students the opportunity to explore a range of high interest, real world issues that are both personally relevant and intellectually challenging. The program’s curriculum is interdisciplinary in nature and focuses on four different themes or areas of study:

·        Business & Economics

·        Communication & Culture

·        Technology & Engineering

·        Ethics & Perspectives

Organizing topics and units around a theme promotes a richer integrated curriculum. These areas of study provide a framework with many facets to allow in content.

All units in this program are designed to promote active student engagement in learning and to develop student skills in critical and creative thinking, information processing, problem-solving, communication, and leadership. Community resources are tapped to bring real world experience and expertise into the classroom. Technology is used extensively to create products and develop a sophisticated understanding of various fields and issues. Time management strategies, current events, language arts skills, and service projects are also incorporated into the Spectrum program. 

                          “The formulation of a problem is more important than the solution.”   Einstein