Advanced Academic Services Waco Independent School District

Advanced Academic Competitions

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Advanced Academic Competitions

Competitions under the direction of the Advanced Academic Services Department, such as Destination Imagination and Academic Decathlon, are directed by Advanced Academic Services Instructional Specialists.

Data Integrity Checks

Each 6 weeks reports will be sent to campus staff to verify coding of G/T students. Corrections will be noted by staff and reviewed by the campus principal. Coding will be corrected by the Advanced Academic Services Department.

Advanced Academic Services Department Procedure

  1. Secretary will send report to campuses for verification.

  2. Instructional Specialists will liaise with campus and department secretary to make changes.

  3. Secretary will make required changes in coding.

Advanced Academic Services

Advanced Placement

Advanced Placement


Any student may take advantage of AP and PRE AP courses. AP and Pre AP courses are academically advanced courses designed to challenge motivated students to understand and master rigorous content. The curricula for the courses are built on the core academic curriculum following the Texas Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) expectations for each course. AP math, science, language arts, languages, and social studies are offered at the 11th and 12th grades (with AP World Geography at grade 9) and Pre-AP at the 6th-10th grade levels (AP Spanish may be offered at grade 8).

Pre Advanced Placement and Advanced Placement courses offer challenging learning experiences and maintain national standards set by the College Board. Students who meet specific criteria set by each college or university on an AP exam may receive credit for specific college courses. Students may also apply for above level or concurrent enrollment in AP courses. WISD offers AP courses in all core areas as well as several elective areas. Additional opportunities for advancement include dual credit courses, credit by exam, and early graduation.

Advanced Placement

Advanced Placement (AP) and Pre Advanced (PRE AP) Placement Courses

Placement Procedures

AP and PRE AP courses are academically advanced courses designed to challenge motivated students to understand and master rigorous content. The curricula for the courses are built on the core academic curriculum following the Texas Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) expectations for each course. AP math, science, language arts, languages, and social studies are offered at the 11th and 12th grades (with AP World Geography at grade 9) and Pre-AP at the 6th, 7th and 8th grade levels (AP Spanish may be offered at grade 8).

Any student may take advantage of AP and PRE AP courses. Identified gifted and advanced students are strongly encouraged to participate in AP and PRE AP courses of their choice.

Contracts with students in these courses must be signed and policies strictly followed.

Advanced Academic Services Department Procedure

  • An Advanced Academics Services Instructional Specialist is notified of AP and Pre AP course schedules of identified gifted/talented students.

  • An Advanced Academics Services Instructional Specialist ensures that AP and Pre AP contracts of identified gifted are signed and returned.

  • Campus personnel inform Advanced Academics Services Instructional Specialists when the identified gifted students fail to fulfill the AP/Pre AP contract.

  • An Advanced Academics Services Instructional Specialist checks to make sure all courses are differentiated for the gifted students.

Entrance Guidelines

Pre-AP courses are open to any student wishing to enroll. In order to assist with placement decisions, entrance guidelines have been developed to provide a profile of students who typically experience success in Pre-AP courses.

Advanced Academic Services Department Procedure

See above.

Academic Guidelines

  • Successful performance in related content area courses (Example: math and science relate; English and social studies relate)

  • Written teacher recommendations

  • Scores at the commended level on the most recent TAKS test in the content area related to the Pre-AP course being considered.

Course Expectations:

Students in the Pre-AP classes are held to a higher level of rigor than in an academic class. Each student in a Pre-AP class is required to:

  • Attend tutorials as needed,

  • complete and submit all assignments (homework, projects, reports) on the due dates. (Late work may be turned in two days beyond the due date for a maximum grade of 70),

  • turn in make-up work promptly following any absence,

  • do his/her own work on all assignments, projects, or exams, and

  • sign a course/AP/Pre-AP contract.

Probation and Exit Guidelines:

  • A student with a grade average less than 80 will be placed on probation, upon communication among the student, teacher, parent, administrator and/or counselor. A probation period can begin at the end of the first grading period or at any subsequent progress report period.

  • If the grade average for the class remains less than 80 at the end of the semester, the student will be exited from the Pre-AP course and scheduled into an academic class in that subject, unless otherwise recommended by the teacher and principal.

  • Waco ISD offers a solid curriculum in all courses. If a schedule change to a corresponding academic course occurs, the student will continue to experience quality learning opportunities designed to effectively prepare him or her for the high school curriculum.

Middle School Pre AP and High School Pre AP and AP

Entrance and Exit Requirements

Any student may take advantage of AP and PRE AP courses. AP and PRE AP courses are academically advanced courses designed to challenge motivated students to understand rigorous content.

Recommended Entrance Requirements:

    • Recommended for automatic placement into classes:

Math and/or science Pre AP: Commended on previous year’s math TAKS/STAAR, EOC test

    • ELA and/or SS Pre AP: Commended on previous year’s ELA TAKS/STAAR test

    • Successful (grade of 80 or higher) completion of previous year PreAP


  • Recommended requirements for individual placement in classes when above qualification do not apply:

    • Parent or student request

Requirements to remain in classes:

Maintain a grade of 80 or higher in class during each grading period

Pass TAKS/STAAR or EOC in that subject


If student falls below 80 in a Pre AP/AP class at the end of any grading period:

      • Student is placed on probation and parent is notified in writing

      • If grade is brought up to 80 or above by next grading period:

      • Student is removed from probation.

      • If grade is not brought up by next grading period:

Non-identified G/T student: Student is removed from class and parent is notified.

Identified G/T student:

  • A.R.E. must be called and parent invited to participate.

  • Student and parent choose for student to be exited out of the class and out of

G/T services.


  • Student exited out of class but receives G/T services in an alternate class and method to be mutually agreed upon by the A.R.E. committee.

All students and parents will sign the appropriate contract.

Advanced Academic Services

International Baccalaureate

Primary Years Programme

Advanced Academic Services

Primary Years Programme of International Baccalaureate
Students in the 21st century are faced with the challenge of learning about an interconnected world where knowledge is constantly developing. The International Baccalaureate® (IB) Primary Years Programme prepares students to be active participants in a lifelong journey of learning.

The IB Primary Years Programme, for students aged 3 to 12, focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in the classroom and in the world outside.

Waco ISD offers the Primary Years Programme(PYP) at Mountainveiw Elementary.
The PYP Written Curriculum

The most significant and distinctive feature of the IB Primary Years Programme is the six transdisciplinary themes.

These themes are about issues that have meaning for, and are important to, all of us. The programme offers a balance between learning about or through the subject areas, and learning beyond them. The six themes of global significance create a transdisciplinary framework that allows students to "step up" beyond the confines of learning within subject areas.

  • Who we are

  • Where we are in place and time

  • How we express ourselves

  • How the world works

  • How we organize ourselves

  • Sharing the planet

The PYP Taught Curriculum

The six transdisciplinary themes help teachers to develop a programme of inquiries–in-depth investigations into important ideas, identified by the teachers, and requiring a high level of involvement on the part of the students. These inquiries are substantial, in-depth and usually last for several weeks.

The Assessed Curriculum

Assessment is an important part of each unit of inquiry as it both enhances learning and provides opportunities for students to reflect on what they know, understand and can do. The teacher's feedback to the students provides the guidance, the tools and the incentive for them to become more competent, more skillful and better at understanding how to learn.

Contact the principal at Mountainview Elementary for more information. 254.722.2520

Advanced Academic Services


ATLAS Academy Magnet


Advanced Academic Services

ATLAS Academy


ATLAS Middle School Academy is designed to offer gifted and advanced learners a 21st Century curriculum that meets their learning nature and needs. This academy will serve as a Research and Development campus that implements and evaluates best practices that may be used in other middle school campuses in WISD.

Mission Statement

Waco ATLAS will develop the talents of gifted and advanced learners through differentiated, integrated, and accelerated Pre Advanced Placement (Pre AP) curriculum. The purpose of this middle school academy is to enhance students’ problem-solving abilities, critical and creative thinking skills, and leadership skills through inquiry-based learning exemplified by innovative products and performances and service opportunities. The curriculum will offer authentic intellectual work through concept-based learning in order to meet students’ learning needs and interests. Students will demonstrate their learning through a variety of venues, including Exhibition of Inspired Learning.*

Instruction will emphasize twenty-first century skills of

  • digital age literacy,

  • inventive thinking,

  • intellectual capital,

  • interactive communication, and

  • quality for state-of-the-art results

in a creative educational setting that offers opportunities to develop students’ intrinsic motivation and sustained inquiry.

ATLAS Academy is a school of choice that addresses student interest in the humanities, sciences and technology as the foundation for advanced learning, Pre AP, in all content areas. Students who attend ATLAS in grades six to eight work closely with multi-talented, creative teachers who guide students in developing deep understanding of subject matter through direct instruction, problem-based learning, collaborative exploration, and discovery.
Instruction is interdisciplinary. There is a strong emphasis on technology across the curriculum. Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) are integrated into thematic units centered on 21st century skills and problems of relevance to adolescent learners. Emphasis for all students is on applied learning experiences that help them function with increasing competency as researchers, creators, problem solvers and practitioners. Problem-based study using a variety of research strategies, group activities and independent work allows students to pursue their individual interests in depth.
It is a goal of ATLAS to instill in young people lifelong intellectual curiosity and commitment to learning based on students’ strengths and interests. The dual emphasis on rigorous academic standards and creative productivity creates a dynamic learning environment that inspires authentic learning, motivation, innovation and enjoyment!
Students who are curious and who learn best in a creative educational setting will comprise the student body at ATLAS. Intrinsic motivation, resourcefulness and a problem-solving disposition are characteristics that all students must possess. From revision of writing to completion of science experiments and creation of exhibits, students are always learning from mistakes and overcoming obstacles in order to be successful learners.
Daily “hands-on, minds-on” learning allows students to work through the intellectual dissonance they experience when presented with new information and skills. Students ask questions, conduct research, and consult with experts in order to make uncertainties more certain.
Through authentic, intellectual work, students grapple with important concepts that are important to them. They are engaged in sustained inquiry as they work with one another, and with teachers and other adults. The Exhibition of Inspired Learning is the heart of ATLAS because one outcome of integrated curriculum, such as creativity and technology, is spotlighted in their products.


The Exhibition of Inspired Learning offers students opportunities to research and create quality projects in art, science, mathematics, social studies and language arts.

Upon completion of an exhibit, students serve as docents in service to the entire community, sharing their findings with others. In this way, student learning expands beyond the classroom, leading to real-world applications and connections.


Students will be motivated through the opportunity to

  • demonstrate self-knowledge with respect to their interests, strengths, identities, and needs in socio-emotional development and in intellectual, academic, creative, and leadership domains,

  • develop competence with interpersonal and technical communication skills,

  • demonstrate personal and social responsibility and leadership skills,

  • demonstrate growth with their aptitude and interests, including acceleration and enrichment,

  • become independent investigators and lifelong learners, and

  • identify future career goals and the talent development pathways to reach those goals through rigorous academic standards.

*The Exhibition of Inspired Learning will be an annual event in which students present the culmination of their year’s learning through innovative and creative products and/or performances.


Dear Parents/Guardians:

Waco ISD recognizes that gifted students within the district require services that address their unique needs. Waco ISD’s gifted and talented services place importance on general intellectual ability within the four core areas of language arts, math, science, and social studies. Waco ISD has a strong commitment to provide an appropriate program for students needing this service.

After considering the Gifted Learners/Creative Thinker list of characteristics below, if you wish to nominate your child for gifted and talented services please request a conference and a nomination packet from your child’s classroom teacher, the school office on your campus, or the Advanced Academic Services office in the administration building.

A Gifted Learner…

Is curious

Knows without working hard

Ponders with depth and multiple perspectives

Is beyond the group

Already knows

Needs 1 to 3 repetitions to master

Prefers the company of intellectual peers

Initiates projects and extensions of assignments

Enjoys self-directed learning

Is an expert who abstracts beyond the field

Guesses and infers well

May not be motivated by grades

A Creative Thinker…


Plays with ideas and concepts

Injects new possibilities

Is in own group

Questions: What if…

Questions the need for mastery

Prefers the company of creative peers but often works alone

Initiates more projects that will ever be completed

Enjoys creating

Is an inventor and idea generator

Creates and brainstorms well

May not be motivated by grades

A High Achiever…

Is interested

Works hard to achieve

Answer the questions in detail

Performs at the top of the group

Learns with ease

Needs 6 to 8 repetitions to master

Enjoys the company of age peers

Completes assignments on time

Enjoys school often

Is a technician with expertise in a field

Memorizes well

Gets A’s


Cecelia Boswell, Ed. D.

Executive Director

Advanced Academic Services

Estimados Padres/Tutores:

Waco ISD reconoce que los/las alumnos/as dotados en el distrito requieren servicios que respondan a sus necesidades particulares. Los servicios de dotados y talentosos de Waco ISD dan importancia a la capacidad intelectual general dentro de las cuatro áreas básicas de lenguaje, matemáticas, ciencias y estudios sociales. Waco ISD tiene un compromiso para proveer un programa adecuado para los estudiantes que necesitan este servicio.

Un estudiante dotado ...

Es curioso
Sabe sin trabajar duro
Reflexiona con profundidad y múltiple perspectivas
Está más allá del grupo
Ya lo sabe
Necesita de 1 a 3 repeticiones para dominar
Prefiere la compañía de sus compañeros/as intelectuales
Inicia proyectos y ampliaciones de las asignaciones
Disfruta del aprendizaje auto dirigido

Es un experto que abstrae más allá del campo
Adivina e infiere bien
No es siempre motivado/a por grados

Después de considerar la lista de las características de los Estudiantes Dotados/Pensador Creativo que está más abajo, si desea nombrar a su hijo/a para los servicios de dotados y con talento por favor solicite una conferencia y un paquete de nominación del/la maestra/o de la clase de su hijo/a, la oficina de la escuela en la escuela, o la oficina de Servicios Académicos Avanzados en el edificio de la administración.

Un/a pensador/a creativo/a ...

Juega con las ideas y conceptos
Inyecta nuevas posibilidades
Está en su propio grupo
Se pregunta: ¿Qué pasa si ...
Cuestiona la necesidad de la maestría
Prefiere la compañía de compañeros/as creativos/as, pero a menudo trabaja solo/a
Inicia más proyectos que quede completar
Goza creando
Es un/a inventor/a y generador/a de la idea
Crea con facilidad de ideas
No es siempre motivado/a por


Un/a gran triunfador/a ...
Se interesa
Trabaja duro para lograr
Responde a las preguntas con detalle
Se realiza en la parte superior del grupo
Aprende con facilidad
Necesita de 6 a 8 repeticiones para dominar
Disfruta de la compañía de compañeros/as de su edad
Cumple con su tarea a tiempo
Disfruta de la escuela a menudo
Es un técnico con experiencia en un campo
Memoriza bien
Recibe A’s

Cecelia Boswell, Ed. D.
Directora Ejecutiva
Servicios Académicos Avanzados

Gifted and Talented Services

Waco Independent School District

Nomination of Students for Screening


Gifted and Talented services in Waco ISD are dedicated to providing the most appropriate educational services for gifted and talented students in grades K-12.

State Definition:

Gifted and talented students are those who perform at or show potential for performing at a remarkably high level of accomplishment when compared to others of the same age, experience, or environment and who exhibit high performance capability in an intellectual, creative, or artistic area or excel in a specific academic field.

Local Policy:

Waco Independent School District addresses academic abilities in Math, Science, Social Studies, and English Language Arts.

Nomination of Students

Anyone may nominate a student to receive gifted and talented services, and all students nominated will be assessed and evaluated by district personnel trained in the practice of gifted and talented education. Assessment and evaluation of nominated students includes data from multiple sources both objective and subjective, and identification decisions are made by district personnel who understand characteristics of gifted and talented learners.

To nominate a student for gifted and talented services complete the form below and return it to one of the following: the student’s classroom teacher, the counselor, the principal, or the advanced academic services office. If you have questions or concerns, please contact the Waco ISD office of Advanced Academic Services at (254) 755-9519.
Gifted and Talented Services

Student: ________________________________________ Date:______________________

Campus: ___________________________________ Grade: ____________________

Nominated by: _______________________________________________________

(Please print)

Relation to nominated student:_____________________________________________________

Briefly describe the setting in which you have observed the student performing or potentially performing at a remarkably high level of accomplishment ______________________________



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