Advanced Academic Program (AAP)

FCPS Advanced Academics Programs

Program Overview

Fairfax County offers a continuum of Advanced Academic Programs (AAP) for students K-12 that builds upon students' individual strengths and skills and maximizes the academic potential for all learners.

Advanced Academic services are implemented using a school-based model in the following ways:

  • All students engage with content using the Nine Critical and Creative Thinking Strategies.
  • Some students require differentiated extension lessons in areas of academic strength.
  • Some students are identified for part-time services that typically occur once a week.
  • Some students are identified for full-time services in all academic subject areas.

At Bonnie Brae Elementary School, we provide challenging experiences for all students as they participate in varying levels of AAP services. In addition to providing Levels I, II, and III services, we have a Local Level IV program in grades 3-6, and we are working to expand and grow our Young Scholars program.

Our Advanced Academic resource teacher (AART), collaborates with the school staff to determine the appropriate level of advanced academic service for each student. Parents may refer their child for advanced academic services or get additional information about the screening process by contacting her below.

See our School's SIIP Goal for more information about access to AAP programs for all students. 

Level I Services

Level I Services

Critical and Creative Thinking Lessons, Grades K-6 

The first level is provided to all students in kindergarten through grade six and consists of model lessons that are designed to teach critical and creative thinking skills. The lessons are modeled in all classrooms by the Advanced Academic Resource Teacher (AART) and the thinking strategies are then used throughout the year by classroom and other teachers who work with students. Student responses to these lessons are used as part of the identification process for Levels II-IV. Parents may also practice these strategies during family conversations and activities.

CCT Strategies


Level II Services

Level II Services

Differentiated Lessons in Areas of Academic Strength, Grades K-6

Students identified by a local school screening committee are offered differentiated lessons (Level II) in areas of specific academic strength. The AART collaborates with classroom teachers to provide additional challenges through lessons and resources within the general education program. Screening for this level of service is ongoing throughout the school year. 

Level III Services

Level III Services

Part-Time Advanced Academic Programs, Grades 3-6

Students identified by a local school screening committee for Level III part-time advanced academic services are challenged through models and strategies designed to extend and enrich the POS in the four core subject areas. Students receive direct instruction from the Advanced Academics Resource Teacher (AART) in the local school.

Level IV Services

Level IV Services

Full-Time Advanced Academic Programs, Grades 3-6

Students found eligible for placement in full-time Level IV Advanced Academic Programs through a central selection process receive a highly challenging instructional program in the four core subject areas.

The full-time advanced academic program is differentiated in depth, breadth, and pace of instruction. It provides an appropriate level of challenge for highly gifted learners with a strong emphasis on critical and creative thinking, and problem-solving.

The mathematics curriculum is accelerated by one grade level and readings and resources that are used in other subject areas are also presented at advanced levels. 

Full Time Services

AAP Family Newsletters and Presentations

AAP Family Resources


In the spring, the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT) is administered to all FCPS first grade students. In the fall, the CogAT-Custom Form is administered to all FCPS second grade students. During the fall testing cycle, the NNAT and/or Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) may be administered to students in grades 3-6 who do not have an ability test score.

An initial second-grade screening pool for AAP Level IV is established using the test results from first and second-grade testing. Parents of students in the second-grade screening pool receive a letter notifying them that their child will be screened for the full-time advanced academic program. 

The benchmark score used to create the second-grade initial pool will be published on the FCPS AAP website by mid-January.


Referrals for Full-Time AAP Level IV

October 15th - Fall Level IV Referrals Due electronically to AART by 11:59 (for families new to FCPS as of 1/1/2023)

December 15th - Spring Level IV Referrals Due electronically to AART by 11:59 PM

Students who are not in the second-grade pool will not receive notification.

Parents or guardians of students not in the second-grade screening pool may initiate the full-time AAP Level IV screening process by completing and submitting an Advanced Academic Programs Level IV Referral Form to the local school. The referral form plus forms for additional optional information are available on the FCPS website (link below) and in the Parent Information Packet available at the local school.

No longer included in the Level IV Screening file:

  • Awards, certificates, and letters of recommendation will not be part of screening files.


What does Advanced Academics Services look like in Secondary school?

AAP services in middle school look a little different than in elementary school. Middle school students may receive services in IB Middle Years Programs, Honors courses, and full-time Advanced Academic services. Please review this document to see how services are provided in middle school and beyond.

Advanced Academics Resource Teacher

FCPS AAP Identification and Placement

FCPS VA Local Plan for the Gifted