High School Gifted

  •  High School Gifted Services


    Gifted high school students in Pinellas County should be provided consistent, structured, consultative support in order to meet their unique social-emotional needs as well as assist them to ensure they make continual academic growth in their advanced studies. Ultimately, gifted students should achieve higher levels of success in high school because of the gifted services they will receive. 


    “Gifted programming positively influences students’ futures. Several longitudinal studies have shown that gifted programs have a positive effect on students’ post-secondary plans. For example, studies found that 320 gifted students identified during adolescence who received services through the secondary level pursued doctoral degrees at more than 50X the base rate expectations.” – NAGC, Why Are Gifted Programs Needed? 


     “Students who are gifted need affective as well as cognitive growth. Appropriate counseling services might address issues related to characteristics of giftedness, including perfectionism, underachievement, exploration of cultural identity and value system issues related to identification, or social-emotional support.” -FL DOE, State Gifted Plan 


     "Gifted high school dropouts often cited boredom and failure as a reason for dropping out. Studies were done to obtain more comprehensive information about gifted high school dropouts and found, in addition, that gifted students that weren’t involved in extracurriculars were far more likely to drop out. Also “many gifted students who dropped out of school were from low SES families and racial minority groups.” - The National Research Center on Gifted & Talented, Joe Renzulli, Giftedness and High School Dropouts 


    IQ is a potentiality, not a guarantee of success. Gifted students have unique needs that go beyond academic rigor. 



    We believe that the mix of challenging coursework at the school level, the opportunity for interest-based growth in the independent study elective, and the affective support as well as the critical and creative thinking skills included in the monthly consultation meetings will provide the best environment for our high school gifted students to better meet their high potential.

    Students who choose to continue gifted services in high school will now have the opportunity to take an online, quality-point, independent study gifted elective course which will also incorporate monthly in-person consultative services.

    The online course: Students who enroll in the online elective class offered via Pinellas Virtual School will have the full year to complete the ½ credit course, with assignments due weekly. A grade is issued at the end of the year and not the end of each semester. The elective course is set up as an independent study so they will choose their area of interest, their final product and work at their own pace with quarterly due dates! This independent study class can be taken for credit each year of high school and students will earn a quality point (weighted the same as an honors course).

    The monthly consultation: Students who enroll in the course will also meet monthly during the school day in small groups with gifted peers and a gifted endorsed teacher to work on critical & creative thinking skills as well as social-emotional activities and discussions. During this time, they can also ask questions about their assignments, brainstorm ideas, and receive guidance as well as feedback.


     Contact our district high school gifted teachers for more information:

    Brittany Hughes  & Mary Ellen Garibaldi


  • Q & A:

    Can anyone take this course?

    No, this course is only available for PCS high school students who are identified as gifted.


    Can a student start this course over summer 2024?

    No, the course will start on the first day of school in August.


    Is this course graded?

    Yes, it is graded using the PCS scale of A, B, C, D, F


    Can a student take this class multiple years?

    Yes, a student can take and get credit for this class for any of their high school years.


    What does the drop date mean?

    Students must un-enroll by this date to avoid receiving a grade that will become part of their permanent high school transcript.


    What is a quality point?

    Quality point classes offer weighted course value. This course is weighted the same way as an honors course.


    What topics are allowed?

    Topics must be approved by parent and by instructor to verify appropriateness.


    What final projects are allowed?  

    Anything that shows off what you learned: website, TED talk, documentary, brochure, poster, power point, service project, video, magazine….creativity is encouraged!

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