Dear Families and Students,                                                                                                      

Welcome to the Gifted and Talented Page for the Washington County School District! I look forward to working with students and families throughout the year. My goal for the Gifted and Talented Program here in Washington County is to provide quality programming for families and students, while addressing the specific needs of gifted students in classrooms across our district.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions, concerns, or comments about our GT program.  I look forward to working with you. You can see information about current events GT students are involved  in or potential opportunities to get them involved in on this page OR on our twitter account.  The handle is @washcogifted .

Allison Carney

District Gifted and Talented Coordinator & Resource Teacher    859-336-5470     Twitter: @washcogifted   #WCGT

2019-2020 WCSD Gifted and Talented Identification Information

Grades 4-12: Gifted and Talented Referral Form

Grades 4-12: Gifted and Talented Special Considerations Form

Grades 4-12: Services Appeals Form

Grades K-3: Primary Talent Pool Referral Form


Acceleration Opportunities

Early Graduation Option: WCSD-Early-Graduation-Documents 19-20 and WCSD Early Graduation Brochure

Kindergarten:  WCSD-Early-Kindergarten-Information 19-20



Teen Leadership Washington County

Washington County Juniors are invited to participate in this program sponsored by the Washington County Extension office and endorsed by Washington County Schools.  It is a school year long program in which students are able to develop their leadership and soft skills, form bonds with others in the program, and learn about many aspects of their community such as city/county government, industry/ business, law and justice, and health/emergency services among others.  Students must be in the top half of their class to apply.  Applications are usually due in May.  Students will be notified by early June of their acceptance. Teen Leadership Application 20-21

Junior Leadership Washington County

Washington County 7th grade students are invited to participate in this program sponsored by Washington County Gifted & Talented and supported by the Washington County Extension Office.  Students learn active listening skills, soft skills, cell phone etiquette, and dinner etiquette.  They also explore their leadership personalities and learning styles, as well as participate in mock interviews and create resumes/applications.  The application process for Junior Leadership will begin in October.  Students will be notified in early November.  Here is a link to the application. JR Leadership Application 19-20 

Governor’s Scholar Program (GSP)

The Governor’s Scholars Program strives to enhance Kentucky’s next generation of civic and economic leaders. Established in 1983, the program provides academic and personal growth through the balance of a strong liberal arts program with a full co-curricular and residential life experience. Students must complete an application and compete with others from across the state. Those selected attend the program free of charge.

Governor’s School for the Arts  GSA

For three weeks every summer, over 200 of Kentucky’s most talented and creative high school students are invited to grow and learn together at the Governor’s School for the Arts’ college summer residence program.  Rising juniors and seniors in high school are offered in-depth instruction in one of nine artistic disciplines: architecture + design, creative writing, dance, drama, instrumental music, musical theatre, new media, visual art, and vocal music.

The Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science- Western Kentucky University

The Commonwealth’s first high school for students interested in pursuing advanced careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.  Instead of spending their junior and senior years in traditional high schools, our 190 students take all their coursework through Western Kentucky University with regularly-enrolled college students.  The Academy empowers Kentucky’s exceptional young scientists and mathematicians  to live and learn in an environment which offers advanced educational opportunities, while preparing them for leadership roles.  For more information please click the link below. The Gatton Academy of Mathematics & Science

The Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics-Morehead State University

The Craft Academy  is a dual-credit residential high school for academically exceptional Kentucky students. The Craft Academy’s purpose is to meet the unique educational needs of academically gifted and talented high school juniors and seniors in the Commonwealth. The academic rigor of the Craft Academy challenges students to excel at their highest level through project-based STEM+X courses and hands-on learning experiences, with emphasis on innovation, design and creativity, and civic and regional engagement. The Craft Academy for Excellence in Science & Mathematics

Duke Tip

The Duke University Talent Identification Program is a nonprofit organization that supports academically talented students in grades four through twelve. They offer above-grade-level testing, enrichment resources, year-round learning options, residential summer programs, online courses, and original research to supplement what students receive in school.  If eligible, you will receive information about enrolling in the programs from Ms. Carney.  See more information at this link:

Summer Institute for the Gifted

Summer Programs for Gifted, Creative, and Academically Talented Students. Through Summer Institute for the Gifted (SIG) programs, students experience the energy and excitement of campus life at prestigious schools and universities across America. SIG summer enrichment camps help students strengthen current skills and interests, explore new subject areas, and interact with other kids who love learning.  If interested, you can follow this link  OR you can ask Ms. Carney for a booklet.

Senior Salute

Senior Salute is a prestigious program to honor outstanding seniors. 2020 seniors will be honored by having their pictures and accomplishments displayed throughout the community in various agencies, businesses, and industries from September through May.  The Application will be posted in early May.

Digital Campus Tours

8-12: Campus Tours Students can digitally tour hundreds of college campuses around the country.



Free ACT Practice- ACT Academy

Commander Day Resources

The following links allows students to engage in enrichment and acceleration opportunities during Commander Days.

  • 6-12: Hippo Campus and K-12: Khan Academy
    • Students in all grades can access over 45 subjects to brush up or accelerate their learning.
  • K-8: Kids Know It
    • Games and activities for reading, math, science, and social studies.


Tips for Teachers: Successful strategies for teaching gifted learners

Universal Design for Learning Guidelines  CAST is a nonprofit education research and development organization that works to expand learning opportunities for all individuals through Universal Design for Learning. 

CAST UDL Lesson Builder– sample lessons (for multiple days) with commentary from teachers on the application of UDL and you can create your own lessons on this site! 

University of Louisville The University of Louisville UDL site includes an excellent Beginners’ Guide to Implementing Universally Designed Classroom Content by Michael Abell.  There are also many other resources on this site! It is an excellent source for information regarding UDL.  15 nonprofit organizations have joined forces to support parents of the one in five children with learning and attention issues throughout their journey -Article on UDL includes some suggestions on how to use from the Center for Teaching Excellence in Adult Literacy, a project of the U.S. Dept of Education. 

National Center on Universal Design for Learning 

Giving Students a Choice with Their Learning

Vanderbilt University Peabody College Supported by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs and located at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College, the IRIS Center develops and disseminates free, engaging online resources about evidence-based instructional and behavioral practices to support the education of all students, particularly struggling learners and those with disabilities. This link is to a module that examines the three principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and discusses how to apply these principles to the four curricular components (i.e., goals, instructional materials, instructional methods, and assessments).

K-12 WCGT Identification Policies & Procedures


Universal Design for Learning: Theory and Practice  by Anne Meyer, David M. Rose, David Gordon

Other Books to help with Differentiation:

Strategies for Differentiating Instruction: Best Practices in the Classroom by Julia L. Roberts and Tracy F. Inman (Work at WKU)

Total Participation Techniques by Himmele and Himmele  (Pimser often offers Professional Development on how to use these)

Other Resources to help with Differentiation:

Easy Enrichment Strategies:

  • Journaling– Work toward flexibility and depth.  When a student understands the lesson early, if you have a journal in place- you can ask them to do simple things like take the journal and create a flow chart showing how they got from here to here.  Or make a poster to show all. When you see a journal it helps you see their thinking and helps affirm them, also helps you see how to further differentiate/teach.  
  • Controlled Choice Do have rubrics and set parameters such as time constraints and goals, but allow them to score themselves and reflect and definitely allow some choice in how they accomplish the product.  However, do not give unlimited choice as that is too much.Tic-Tac-Toe Boards can be used for delivery of instruction or for students to choose how to deliver product.  See Ruby Bridges Example Handout
  • Secondary Goals– Often high achievers and gifted students either have already mastered the goal or are very quickly going to master it, have secondary goals in mind based on the needs and strengths of the students.  Example, “I know you kinda know this, so for you let’s work on handwriting, etc.”  
  • Total Participation Techniques– Everyone responds.  Builds accountability that encourages students to listen and respond to each other.  Expect students to expand and build upon initial ideas. See Book listed above by Himmele and Himmele
  • Independent Study  Allows them to practice Executive Function Skills such as time management, organization, communication, and goal setting.​ Even better when student’s have a choice in the topic or manner of study.  Great opportunity for PBL or Research. 
  • Cluster Grouping– A grouping assignment for gifted and high achieving students  in the regular heterogeneous classroom. Typically, five or six gifted students with similar needs, abilities, or interests are “clustered” in the same classroom, which allows the teacher to more efficiently differentiate assignments for a group of advanced learners rather than just one or two students
  • Flexible Grouping–  An instructional strategy where students are grouped together to receive appropriately challenging instruction. True flexible grouping permits students to move in and out of various grouping patterns, depending on the course content. Grouping can be determined by ability, size, and/or interest
  • Authentic Assessment should be based on clearly identified mastery criteria built into instruction and product development.  These criteria are clearly articulated through the learning targets and product decisions and are matched to students’ needs and abilities in order to reflect growth goals. 
    • Include Core Components of Product- Minimum Requirements
    • Use language of the standards
    • Should be directly related to objectives of activity (may be negotiated based on product modifications/differentation)
    • Should allow for continuous progress from beginner to professional.  There should always be room for growth
    • Numbers/Length Limits may contribute to underachievement for Gifted Students- “use at least” 
    • Link quantity back to objectives when possible 
  • High Level Questions Prepare them with your lessons and keep them on a post-it note or index card so as students finish you can give them one- example- how would you justify, argue…  What is the antithesis of that? Cause & Effect- If this, then what? Why? Where? Etc. Ask students to combine, summarize, infer, or create new scenarios. Use synthesis, interpretive, and evaluative questions.  
    • Examples: 
      • Based on the evidence, what would you hypothesize about these unusual events?
      • Formulate an estimate for the costs of the project based on the information you have.
      • Why does the photographer emphasize only his subject’s eyes?
      • What social and economic factors were the framers of the Constitution addressing through their language? 
      • How would you rank these choices? Why? 
      • How might you defend that character’s actions?
      • Justify the decisions of the historic figure based on the events of the time.


Byrdseed  Created by teacher Ian Byrd- this website offers a plethora of resources for teaching G/T students

Curiosities & Puzzlements He also has this great site with puzzles.

Useful Websites for Teaching Gifted


Resources for Parents and Families of Gifted Students

Kentucky Association for Gifted Education

National Association for Gifted Children


Hoagies’ Gifted Education Page

Essential Links for Parents of Gifted Children

The Center for Gifted Studies

The Institute for Talent Development & Gifted Studies

Davidson Institute

The Gatton Academy of Mathematics & Science

The Craft Academy for Excellence in Science & Mathematics


Curiosities & Puzzlements

Other websites

Some #WCGT Happenings:

North Washington 8th grade students and WCMS 8th Grade GT students recently enjoyed a Shakespeare play titled “The Comedy of Errors” at the Norton Center in Danville. This trip was sponsored by Washington County GT.

The Washington County Gifted & Talented Recruitment night for the Gatton & Craft Academies was very successful.  There were almost 50 students and parents in attendance!

4th/5th grade GT and Music GT students recently visited the Norton Center for the arts at Centre College to see The Sounds of Zamar and Gabriel Royal.

GT 11th grade students recently visited the University of Kentucky to eat lunch, experience an admissions presentation, and tour the campus!

21 Students from WCMS, WCES, and NWES were selected to participate in a 2 day art camp with Ms. Marilyn Peters as the instructor.  The art camp took place in March at the Springfield Opera House.  Several high school Art students also helped instruct the students.  WCGT and the Opera House held a reception in early April to premiere the student’s artwork, as well as student artwork from WCHS.  All of this artwork was on display during the month of April at the Opera House and was also on display around various businesses downtown during the month of March to celebrate National Youth Art Month.

Two gifted and talented dance students from NWES attended a ballet by The Lexington Ballet Company at the Lexington Opera House in February.

In March the 6th and 7th grade students from NWES and the GT 6th and 7th grade students from WCMS attended Theatre Unspeakable’s The American Revolution at the Norton Center for the Arts at Centre College.

Congrats to Junior Ethan Speer on his acceptance to the prestigious Craft Academy.  Ethan will spend his junior and senior years of high school attending academy for excellence in science and mathematics.

Congrats to sophomore Katie Spencer whose play titled “Purple” was selected for the 14th Annual New Voices Young Playwright’s Festival at Actors Theatre in Louisville.  Many high school students were able to attend the festival on April 24th to see Katie’s play, as well as other plays written by students from around Kentucky.  Only 8 students were selected for this honor!

Both the Junior and Teen Leadership programs for the 19-20 school year were great successes!  Both graduations occurred in May.