Academically Focused Programs

Explore the core principles of academically focused programs. Each approach outlined here provides a unique framework designed to support and enhance the learning and development of students throughout their school years.

Exploring Academically Focused Programs

When exploring academically focused programs, consider your child's academic strengths and future career aspirations. This guide is here to help you navigate these options to enhance your child's educational journey.

Use this guide as a starting point to explore what your local schools have to offer. Talk to school counselors, attend information sessions, and visit schools to see these programs firsthand. Getting a closer look at these options will help you make the best educational choices for your child.

Gifted and Talented (GT)

These programs cater to students who demonstrate exceptional intellectual abilities and a thirst for learning. They often involve differentiated instruction, project-based learning, and a faster pace than regular classes. Eligibility is typically determined by standardized testing and teacher recommendations. Benefits include a more stimulating academic environment and opportunities to develop talents.

Available for Kindergarten to 12th grades

  • Challenges your child to reach their full potential
  • Encourages critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving skills
  • Provides opportunities for accelerated learning and advanced coursework
  • Fosters a sense of community with like-minded peers
  • Prepares your child for competitive colleges and careers
Learn More About GT Programs
Advanced Placement (AP)

AP courses are college-level programs offered in high school. They cover a wide range of subjects and culminate in an exam that can earn college credit. Enrollment usually requires strong academic performance and teacher approval. Benefits include a challenging curriculum that prepares students for college rigor and the potential to earn college credits while still in high school.

Available for 9th to 12th grades

  • Offers college-level courses and exams for high school students
  • Prepares your child for college-level coursework and academic success
  • Provides opportunities for advanced skills and knowledge
  • Enhances college applications and scholarship opportunities
  • Saves time and money by earning college credit in high school
Learn More About AP Courses
International Baccalaureate (IB)

The International Baccalaureate (IB) provides a comprehensive education for children ages 3 to 12th grade, culminating in the Diploma Programme for the last two high school years. This program emphasizes critical thinking, interdisciplinary learning, and global awareness, preparing students for university and beyond. Recognized worldwide, the IB requires strong academic performance and commitment to its philosophy, offering a well-rounded curriculum that equips students for success in top universities. This comprehensive educational system begins with the Primary Years Programme, extends through the Middle Years Programme, and concludes with the Diploma Programme, offering a consistent and cohesive educational philosophy throughout a student's schooling.

Available for Early Childhood (3 year olds) to 12th grade

  • Develops well-rounded, globally aware citizens
  • Encourages critical thinking, inquiry, and intercultural understanding
  • Fosters a sense of community and social responsibility
  • Prepares your child for international universities and careers
  • Emphasizes language development and cultural awareness
Find IB Programs/Schools
Dual Enrollment

Dual enrollment programs allow high school students to take courses at a local community college or university, earning simultaneous high school and college credit. The assessment typically involves regular college coursework assessments. Requirements include high school enrollment, and often a GPA cutoff or placement testing. Dual enrollment can accelerate a student's educational trajectory and reduce college tuition costs through earned credits. Each state or educational institution offers different programs, so check local educational websites for more information.

Available for 11th to 12th grades

  • Reduced time required after high school to finish a college degree.
  • Provides students with a head start on the college experience.
  • Dual-enrollment classes often save students money on tuition.
  • Grades earned become part of the student’s permanent transcript.
  • Students may be able to transfer credits earned to a four-year school.
  • Students may choose from classes not currently available at their high school.
Dual Enrollment