High School Writing Contest

Strong Men & Women in Virginia History
2019 Student Writing Contest

Contest Overview

High school students in Virginia are invited to honor outstanding African Americans by participating in Dominion Energy and the Library of Virginia’s Strong Men & Women in Virginia History student writing contest. Four winning essays will be chosen, one from each of the four regions in the state.  The deadline is November 9, 2018.


The Strong Men & Women in Virginia History honorees strive to combat inequalities in the world around them. Fannie W. Fitzgerald was a pioneer in desegregating public schools as a teacher. Reverend Lawrence A. Davies has worked to bring affordable health care and public transportation to his community. Kwame Alexander established his own press to publish underrepresented authors. What does equality mean to you? Which past honoree embodies that definition for you? How can you embody that definition in your life—now and in the future?

Contest rules and deadline  Contest Rules and deadline information



Third, Fourth, Fifth, Seventh, and Eighth Grade Gifted Referral Window Opens

HCPS identifies students in mathematics and/or language arts.  Contact the gifted education coordinator at your child’s school elementary school or the gifted resource teacher at your child’s middle school if you have questions about the referral process. Kevin Carr, Coordinator for Secondary Gifted Services, is the contact for all high school referrals.

All referrals for students in grades 3,4,5,7 and 8 must be submitted in writing to the gifted education coordinator (elementary level) or the gifted resource teacher (middle school level) on or before October 26, 2018.

If you would like to refer a high school student, please contact Kevin Carr, Coordinator for Secondary Services. (kdcarr@henrico.k12.va.us)

Referrals are accepted only during the referral window (October 9-October 26).  The formal identification process follows a tight timeline.


A Day of Learning

Gifted Education Spotlight

HCPS Elementary Gifted Resource Teachers participated in a Day of Learning on Monday, October 8th.  The day began with teachers gathering in the Wilder Middle School library to listen to a presentation by Dr. Joy Lawson-Davis, a nationally recognized advocate for Gifted Children.           Dr. Lawson-Davis shared personal stories from her work with students. She also shared numerous examples of how specific assignments as well as teacher involvement in community events enables teachers to make deeper connections with their students. This was the second time this year that Dr. Lawson-Davis has met with the Elementary Gifted Resource Teacher Team.  At a workshop in August, she shared information about how children with various background and cultural experiences may exhibit gifted characteristics/traits in a variety of ways.

The afternoon workshop, Once Upon a STEM, took place at the Math Science Innovation Center. Teachers actively participated in model lessons, at one point becoming toy testers.   Throughout the afternoon, Crystal Clark, the K-5 Math and Science Coordinator at the Math Science Innovation Center provided opportunities for teachers to review a variety of  books from the center’s professional library.  Teachers were made aware of a wide variety of STEM lessons all using children’s literature selections  as anchors.

Let’s Innovate! Student STEM Conference for 6th-8th Grade Students

Discover the newest innovations in earth & space science and engineering. Meet and talk with the scientists and professionals who are studying the systems of our planet and those far beyond our atmosphere! See how you can turn the possibilities of today into the realities of tomorrow.

**This is not a gifted specific program.  The content may be of interest to gifted students in grades 6-8.

Date: Saturday, November 17, 2018
Time: 9:00am – 3:00pm
Location:  MathScience Innovation Center, 2401 Hartman Street, Richmond, VA  23223
Cost: $20 per student
Registration: Online
Lunch: Provided for all students

For additional information, please contact Debbie Mitchell: 804-343-3525 ext. 80243 or Crystal Clark: 804-343-6525 ext. 80251

Discoverers (grades 4-5) at the Math Science Innovation Center

Come to explore in-depth STEM subjects for three Saturdays and discover how science, technology, engineering, and math fit into the world around you.  Each 3-week course includes inquiry-based, hands-on, minds-on problem-solving! Courses often have guest speakers, field trips, and/or design-and-build stations.

Students in grades 4-5 currently enrolled in HCPS are eligible to participate. Spaces may be limited.  (This is NOT a gifted specific program.  The content and experiences offered may be of interest to gifted students.)

Dates: Saturdays, October 27, November 3, and 10, 2018
Time: 9:00am to 2:00pm.
Locations: MathScience Innovation Center, 2401 Hartman Street, Richmond, VA 23223.
Cost: $45 per student for materials.
Transportation: Buses will be available.
Lunch: Students must bring a lunch.

For additional information, please contact the MathScience Innovation Center at (804) 343-6525.    MathScience Innovation Center Link

Dr. Joy Lawson-Davis Holds Workshop for Henrico Parents

Gifted Education Spotlight

  Priceless Parenting:  Collaborating with Schools for Success, a workshop for parents, was presented by Dr. Joy Lawson-Davis at Wilder Middle School on October 3, 2018.  During the workshop Dr. Lawson-Davis encouraged parents to become advocates for their children through collaboration with school personal who work with gifted students.   Parents also had an opportunity to discuss ways to help their children develop academic strengths.  Dr. Lawson-Davis is an expert in the field of gifted education.  She is known nationwide for her work in advocating for gifted students of color.

M3 Coaching Now Available for Teachers

Gifted Education Spotlight

Mentoring Mathematical Minds (M3) is a math program designed to provide opportunities for gifted students to apply mathematical skills in a meaningful and fun way.  Fourth and fifth grade gifted students who are participating in the zone/center based gifted classes have the opportunity to work through two M3 units each year as part of the math curriculum.  Henrico County Programs for the Gifted have purchased most of the available M3 units so that classroom teachers may select the units that best meet the needs of their students from year to year.   Dr. Kristi Trevillian is available to assist teachers who are using the M3 units with their students.  Dr. Trevillian is visiting classrooms, consulting with classroom teachers, modeling lessons, and team teaching.  We are happy to have Dr. Trevillian serving as an M3 Coach for Henrico teachers.

Students Learn Leadership Skills and Raise Thousands for Our Community

Gifted Education Spotlight

Lisa Chandler, Gifted Resource Teacher at Moody Middle School, serves as a member of the Education Advisory Board for Lead2Feed, a national leadership program supported by the Lift A Life Foundation.  This program is designed to develop and strengthen leadership and collaboration skills while providing the opportunity for students to complete a service learning project from conception through implementation.  Lisa spent part of this past summer meeting with other members of the national advisory board and participating in a Learning + Leadership Summit in conjunction with the Novak Leadership Institute at the University of Missouri.

Lisa tells us that utilizing the Lead2Feed lessons with her students has been a powerful journey, for both her and her students.   Lisa was offered the opportunity to serve on the advisory board in part because of the success that her students have had as they participated in the program.

Participation in Leed2Feed requires extensive research, project management, and real-life connections with our local community.  Students explore their personal strengths and passions, research and analyze data about a community issue, and plan, develop, modify, and complete a service learning task directly related to a targeted need. As the  students work through the various leadership lessons,  they document  the obstacles encountered, successes, and ultimate outcomes of their service learning projects.  Progress is shared with the Lead2Feed organization from beginning to end.

Each year, Lead2Feed recognizes exemplary service learning projects from across the nation.  Lisa’s 8th grade gifted enrichment classes at Moody have been nationally recognized the past three years for their exceptional work.  In 2016 her students were awarded 3rd place recognition for their efforts supporting Rikki’s Refuge, earning this nonprofit a $5,000.00 donation.  in 2017, her students were awarded a 2nd place $10,000.00 donation to AARF, and in 2018, students received “Honorable Mention” and a $2,500.00 donation to the Richmond SPCA.

In addition to raising awareness and advocating for numerous local non-profit agencies over the past three years, Moody students have raised over $20,000.00 in donations and supplies through this leadership and service learning experience.



GYSA Open House Dates

Applications for the Gifted Young Scholars Academy were recently distributed  to rising sixth grade students who have been identified gifted in both language arts and mathematics.

An open house will be held at Wilder Middle School from 5pm-7pm on Monday, October 22 and again on Wednesday, October 24.  We encourage you to visit Wilder to learn about the exciting activities that are taking place.

Applications are due no later than Wednesday, November 28, 2018.  Applications should be sent to the gifted contact at your child’s home school.  (The name of the contact is printed in the application packet.)

National Board Certification

Kevin Carr, Amanda Nevetral, and Shannon Wakefield

National Board Certification was designed to develop, retain and recognize accomplished teachers.  Three members of the Henrico County Gifted Programs team recently received the National Board Certification in Gifted Education. Pictured left to right  Kevin Carr, Amanda Nevetral, and Shannon Wakefield.