Advanced Academic Program

AAP Program Information

Fairfax County Public Schools offers a continuum of advanced academic services for students K-12 that builds upon students' individual strengths and skills and maximizes the academic potential for all learners.

Our Willow Springs Advanced Academic resource teacher (AART), collaborates with school staff to determine the appropriate level of advanced academic services. Parents may refer their child for advanced academic services, get additional information on the screening process, and learn about advanced academic opportunities at Willow Springs. Ongoing observation and assessment ensure that student needs are being met.

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 the 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.

2021-22 AAP Elementary Services Overview

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

The AART collaborates with classroom teachers to provide additional challenges through lessons and resources that extend and enrich the Program of Studies. 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 Program of Studies in the four core subject areas. Screening for this level of service is ongoing throughout the school year.

Level IV, Full-Time Advanced Academic Programs, Grades 3-8

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. Screening for this level of service occurs in the fall for students who are new to FCPS and in the spring for all other students. 


Young Scholars

Willow Springs participates in the Young Scholars Program. Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) created the Young Scholars Model to increase the representation of diverse students in K-12 Advanced Academic Programs. In this model school, staff and families work together to:

  • Find and nurture gifted potential
  • Support academic mindsets and habits
  • Prepare students for more challenging and rigorous courses