ASPIRE Academy for the Highly Gifted (Frequently Asked Questions)

“Giftedness is asynchronous development in which advanced cognitive abilities and heightened intensity combine to create inner experiences and awareness that are qualitatively different from the norm. This asynchrony increases with higher intellectual capacity. The uniqueness of the gifted renders them particularly vulnerable and requires modifications in parenting, teaching and counseling in order for them to develop optimally.” (The Columbus Group, 1991)

Founded in 2013, ASPIRE Academy is designed to meet the unique needs of highly gifted students. Utilizing a school-within-a-school framework, ASPIRE engages students with an advanced academic curriculum, allowing them to accelerate in core subjects while equipping them with the skills needed to ensure their well-being and success.

In core classes taught by specially trained teachers, ASPIRE students learn alongside their intellectual peers. Content knowledge is deepened in all grade levels and subjects through the use of the Depth & Complexity Framework. The development of personal well-being is fostered through a variety of techniques utilized by ASPIRE teachers at all grade levels. Artistic and athletic passions are developed in a range of classes offered on host campuses and attended by same-age peers.

Gifted & Talented ASPIRE Academy
Qualification 95th percentile 99th percentile
Elementary School Services GT LEAD Pull-Out & students placed in cluster classrooms with GT trained teachers

Location: All campuses
Core Classes: students with ASPIRE peers and teacher in humanities, math, and science classes

Location: Glenhope Elementary
Middle School Services GT Discoveries (ELA & social studies) & GT Independent Study (optional)

Location: All campuses
Core Classes: students with ASPIRE peers and teacher in humanities, math, and science classes

Location: Cross Timbers Middle
High School Services GT Pre-AP/AP courses in all core subjects

Location: Colleyville Heritage High &
Grapevine High
ASPIRE Pre-AP/AP English and/or ASPIRE AP Social Studies and/or GT Pre-AP/AP courses in math & science

Location: Grapevine High

ASPIRE currently serves over 400 students in grades 1-10, with plans to add grades 11 and 12 over the next two school years. It is located on the following GCISD campuses:

  • Glenhope Elementary School (grades 1-5)
  • Cross Timbers Middle School (grades 6-8)
  • Grapevine High School (grades 9-12)

Mission
The ASPIRE Academy is committed to serving the unique needs of highly gifted students by providing a culture where learners engage in rigorous and meaningful learning experiences that empower them to take risks, pursue passions, and make a positive impact on the world.

Eligibility
ASPIRE Academy is designed to meet the academic and affective needs of highly gifted students within the GCISD population, as well as residents of Grapevine and Colleyville. Academically, these highly gifted students require significant curricular modifications in the classroom environment. Due to their asynchronous development, they may also require more focused, explicit support to ensure their social and emotional well-being. Students with these needs typically score in the 99th percentile in one or more domains on a nationally normed aptitude test and also demonstrate remarkable, consistent ability in qualitative and/or quantitative domains.

Expand the below buttons for more information regarding ASPIRE Academy at the various grade levels.

Elementary School ASPIRE

Grades 1-5 of ASPIRE Academy are housed at Glenhope Elementary School, where they are taught by a core team of teachers who are highly trained in meeting the academic and affective needs of highly gifted students.

ASPIRE students in grades 1-3 attend self-contained classes where they are taught science, social studies, and language arts by a dedicated ASPIRE teacher. In fourth grade, classes are semi-departmentalized, and in fifth grade, they are fully departmentalized, with ASPIRE teachers offering specific instruction in different content areas.

Because all math students in GCISD have the option of telescoping, students may have a different teacher for their math class. However, most ASPIRE students are taught math by an ASPIRE teacher, regardless of grade level. Glenhope students who are enrolled in 7th grade accelerated math or higher are taught by an ASPIRE middle school teacher at Cross Timbers Middle School. For the 2019-2020 school year, 45% of ASPIRE elementary students telescoped in math, with 11% telescoping two grade levels or more.

ASPIRE students attend specials classes (music, PE, etc.) and all-school activities with their same-age peers.

Tours Available at the ASPIRE Academy at Glenhope Elementary:

  • 8:30 am to 10:00 am on the following dates:  November 21st, January 23rd, February 20th, March 26th, and April 16th.
  • Please contact wynette.griffin@gcisd.net for reservations.
  • Open House for newly placed students:  May 14, 2020.

Campus Contact Information
Dr. Wynette Griffin, Principal
wynette.griffin@gcisd.net

Glenhope’s ASPIRE Academy webpage


Middle School ASPIRE

Grades 6-8 of ASPIRE Academy are housed at Cross Timbers Middle School, where they are taught by a core team of teachers who are highly trained in meeting the academic and affective needs of highly gifted students. ASPIRE middle school students receive core instruction in humanities, math, and science from ASPIRE teachers. Curriculum in all classes is accelerated, covering greater breadth and depth than traditional grade-level classes.

Humanities courses are blocked, so students receive integrated instruction in social studies and English language arts during two back-to-back class periods each day. The Parallel Curriculum Model and Depth & Complexity  are the frameworks through which the humanities curriculum is extended. Students are routinely encouraged to make connections across time periods and disciplines; to recognize, analyze, and evaluate patterns and trends; to view events through multiple perspectives; and to write, research, and interpret information with a professional mindset.

Science curriculum is accelerated so that students receive five years of science instruction in three years and leave middle school with two high school science credits: Integrated Physics and Chemistry (IPC) and Biology.

Students continue along their accelerated path in mathematics. Students enrolled in 6th grade and 7th grade accelerated math complete three years of math in two years, taking the 8th grade math STAAR at the end of 7th grade. Students in Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II/PreCalculus can take those class at Cross Timbers with an ASPIRE teacher. Some students in Geometry and Algebra II and all students in AP Calculus take their classes at Grapevine High School or Colleyville Heritage High School, per scheduling needs.

Recognizing that the asynchronous development experienced by many highly gifted adolescents can result in unique social and emotional challenges, ASPIRE middle school teachers also offer a range of supports to help ensure the well-being of ASPIRE students. In addition to being responsive to students’ individual needs in class, teachers utilize Wolf Time (a campus-wide advisory period) to help further develop students’ self-understanding, independence/self-management skills, leadership skills, social skills, and service. 

Campus Contact Information
Alex Fingers, Principal
alex.fingers@gcisd.net

Cross Timbers’ ASPIRE Academy webpage


High School ASPIRE

ASPIRE high school courses are housed at Grapevine High School. Two core humanities courses form the basis of the ASPIRE high school curriculum each year:

  • Ninth Grade: ASPIRE PreAP English I and ASPIRE AP Human Geography
  • Tenth Grade: ASPIRE PreAP English II and ASPIRE AP World History
  • Eleventh Grade: ASPIRE AP English Language & Composition and ASPIRE AP US History (beginning fall of 2020)
  • Twelfth Grade: ASPIRE AP English Literature & Composition and ASPIRE AP History (specific course TBD)

As in ASPIRE middle school humanities, students have opportunities to engage with material at a deeper level and to approach the content in meaningful ways as professionals do. In addition to the academic content, specially-trained ASPIRE teachers support students as they continue to build the psychosocial skills needed to traverse increasingly challenging courses and the high expectations that accompany rigorous academic pathways.

For math and science, students have a variety of G/T and AP options from which to choose, based on their individual needs and interests. In 2018-2019, 38% of ASPIRE freshmen completed an AP math or science class, with 100% of them earning a 3 or higher on the associated AP exam.

ASPIRE high school students have the option of choosing any high school endorsement as part of their diploma plan and may enroll in any electives and activities that accord with their personal interests and scheduling.

ASPIRE students who are zoned for Colleyville Heritage High School may choose to attend CHHS as their home campus and bus to GHS for either or both of the ASPIRE humanities courses.

All ASPIRE high school students also receive specialized support in the college search process through the Advanced Academics department and their ASPIRE high school courses.

Campus Contact Information
David Denning, Principal
david.denning@gcisd.net

Dr. Paul Cook, Assistant Principal
paul.cook@gcisd.net

Grapevine High’s ASPIRE Academy webpage