AAP Newsletter - November

By Lauren Keninitz
For Parents
November 05, 2020

Dear Graham Road Families,

Happy November! We are so thankful that many of you joined us for the AAP Parent Information night in October. If you were unable to make the event, the presentation can be found on the Graham Road website, in the Level IV Screening section of the Advanced Academics site. During that evening we reminded families that the Advanced Academic Program exists to provide children the academic services they need. Some children do not need Level IV service because they do not show frequent or consistent strength in all academic subject areas (reading/writing, math, science, and social studies), and that is perfectly fine!

There are so many strategies that parents can use to help their children grow in critical and creative thinking and problem-solving. The best thing you can do is to find what your child is interested in and guide him/her though exploration of his/her interests. This will allow them to build confidence and passion, which will transfer over into other topics. Research shows that parents can cultivate play, creativity, and risk-taking at home to allow children to reach their fullest academically, socially and emotionally. Try some ideas from this newsletter!

Lauren Keninitz |Advanced Academics Resource Teacher | Lmkeninitz@fcps.edu

Important Information

November 10 : Level IV Referral Office Hours – Open Q&A (5:00 – 7:00 PM) - BBCU Link

November 18 : Level IV Referral Office Hours – Open Q&A (11:00 AM – 2:00 PM) - BBCU Link

December 1: Level IV AAP Parent Referrals Due to @email

March: Central Selection Committee Meets

April: Level IV Eligibility decisions will be mailed to homes from the AAP Office.

What is in a Level IV Screening File?

Parents/Guardians must submit the following in the referral packet:
  1. Referral Form (required)
  2. Parent Questionnaire (highly encouraged)
  3. Up to four pages of student work samples - single sided (optional)
  4. Five pages of awards/certificates/letters of commendation (optional)
  5. Additional Test Results, such as private testing or testing from a prior school (optional)
The school prepares the following to be included in the screening file:
  1. Summary sheet
  2. Progress Reports (1 ½ years)
  3. Gifted Behaviors Rating Scale with Commentary
  4. Abilities Test Scores (CogAT and NNAT2 results)
  5. Two student work samples

Getting a high score on the NNAT and/or CogAT does not mean that a student is automatically found eligible for Level IV service, and vice versa. When the file is sent to the AAP central office, four to six FCPS employees who do not know your child will look at the contents to consider the entire portfolios to decide eligibility or ineligibly status. An oversight committee also reviews the decisions to ensure that all children are correctly identified for eligibility or ineligibly. Students in grades 2-6 are eligible to apply for Level IV screening. 


Encapsulation is the process of stating ideas in a concise, precise form. It is not a summary and does not involve simply stating the main idea or restating information or opinions. Encapsulation requires students to synthesize information and nuances in order to capture the essence of an idea, object, or activity, and then communicate their thoughts clearly. Vanity license plates are an example of encapsulating an idea with letters and symbols – try creating your own with your child!

Source: FCPS Critical and Creative Thinking Website

Encapsulation Strategy:

Color – Symbol - Image

With this thinking strategy, students encapsulate the big ideas about something they’ve learned by thinking about a color, symbol, and image that might represent a person or idea they’ve learned about, or a topic they’re interested in. You could even encapsulate yourself by thinking about the color, symbol, and image that best represents who you are!

Questions to Support Encapsulation:

  • What is the most important thing to remember about ______________?
  • What could be said about ___________ in 30 seconds or less?
  • Explain this topic in _____ words or fewer.
  • How can you create a visual that will represent this idea?

Go to CCT Page to complete an independent Pear Deck activity to practice Encapsulation.