Accelerated Student Curriculum to Engage and Nurture Development
The ASCEND program is a full-time program designed to support the educational need of exceptionally gifted learners socially, emotionally and academically. It offers students an opportunity to engage in learning activities at an accelerated pace, depth, and complexity on above-grade-level curriculum. At the elementary level, students are placed in a class together for all core subjects. At the secondary level, students are placed in ASCEND language arts, math and science classes together. The District Admission and Review (DAR) committee evaluates students for admission into the ASCEND program, which is offered to eligible PISD students in grades 4-8. Admission includes an invitation to transfer to the campus that offers ASCEND. The Committee consists of administrators, counselors, and teachers trained in gifted education who are responsible for reviewing data, making placement decisions and evaluating student progress.
Windermere Elementary School (grades 4-5)
Pflugerville Middle School (grades 6-8)
The following criteria are used to determine student eligibility for participation in the program:
- Current PISD student, G/T identified or actively being screened, during the spring ASCEND screening and identification process
- Educational need for the learning environment provided by classes for the highly gifted
- Evidence that the student is functioning in the top 1% of the district’s population when compared to peers
- Ability to function in an environment which requires students to work at an accelerated pace on above-grade-level curriculum, self motivation and independence
- At least one abilities test score for math or verbal at or above 140 on a district-approved assessment
- Achievement test scores at or above grade level in all core areas
- Classroom performance indicating highly gifted level
- Teacher inventory indicating highly gifted level
- Expressed desire to participate in the program
- Student interview (optional)
Student Identification Process
Step 1: All PISD G/T students currently in grade 3 are considered as possible candidates for the program. PISD G/T students currently in grades 4-7 are nominated by campus based on need and as openings are available in the current program classes. Ability and achievement scores are reviewed for each student to determine if he/she has scores in the highly gifted range (see eligibility criteria above).
Step 2: Campus Admission and Review Committees review quantitative and qualitative data for G/T students and make recommendations to the DAR (District Admission and Review) committee.
Step 3: DAR committee reviews quantitative and qualitative data for G/T students who were recommended by the Campus Admission and Review Committees to identify students who meet the eligibility criteria and show a strong potential for success in the program.
Identification Timeline 2013
District Contact Information: