Advanced Academics Program (AAP)

Fairfax County Public Schools offers a continuum of advanced academic services for students that builds upon students' individual strengths and skills and maximizes academic potential for all learners.

Our Bailey's Upper Advanced Academic Resource Teachers (AART), Denise Cash-Pinckney and Stephanie Gardner, collaborate with the school staff to determine the appropriate level of advanced academic services. Parents may refer their child for advanced academic services or get additional information on the screening process or advanced academic opportunities at Bailey's Upper by contacting the AART's at Bailey's Upper at  [email protected], [email protected] or by calling 703-503-2700. Ongoing observation and assessment ensures that student needs are being met.

Click below to view our Fall 2022 Newsletter:

AAP Fall 2022 Newsletter-English

AAP Fall 2022 Newsletter-Spanish

To learn more about the levels of service and the county-wide Advanced Academic Programs, please read below. You can also learn more by watching this video in English or this video in Spanish.

Level l

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. 

Level II

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

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 Academic Resource Teacher in the local school.

Level IV

Full-Time Advanced Academic Programs, Grades 3-6

For Bailey's Upper students, the Level IV program is offered at the Belvedere ES center.

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. 


FCPS offers two ability tests to all students (universal screener):

  • Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT) in Grade 1
  • Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) in Grade 2

One-time Retest Option

  • Parents/Guardians may request the one-time retest of either the NNAT of CogAT by contacting the school testing coordinators.
    • CogAT Retest Deadline: September 30
    • NNAT Retest Deadline: October 15 

Note: While private testing that follows guidelines may be submitted, testing is only one type of data considered. All ability tests are considered within the larger context of the overall screening portfolio. FCPS does not encourage families to seek additional testing beyond what FCPS provides to all students.

Referrals for Full-Time AAP Level IV

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.



Note: Please do not wait for test scores before submitting a referral for your student as there will be no referrals for Level IV screening accepted past the deadline. If you are waiting for test scores and would like your student screened for Level IV, please submit the referral by the published deadline (even if you have not received the test scores for your student).

The FCPS Testing and Identification Timeline link below includes the deadline for submitting the Advanced Academic Programs Level IV Referral Form for students in Grade 2 who are not in pool and students in Grades 3–6.


Young Scholars

We also participate in the Young Scholars program, a K-6 initiative that is designed to increase the proportion of historically underrepresented students in gifted programs.