Advanced Academic Programs

Our Advanced Academic Resource Teacher

My name is Beth Polansky and I am the Advanced Academic Resource Teacher, 3-6 Advanced Academics Program teacher, Young Scholars Teacher and the K – 4 STEM Teacher. This is my second year at Saratoga, and my twelfth year of teaching. Three of those years I taught for the military (DoDEA) in Japan. I have taught second, third, and fourth as a classroom teacher and k-6 as a gifted teacher. I am also the mother of two. Rosie is in kindergarten at Saratoga Elementary School and Robbie is in third grade at Lorton Station Elementary School. I live in the neighborhood, so you might even see me walking around the trails. My kids love to go to Big Rock, play in the creek and go fishing.

Overview of Services

Critical and Creative Thinking Lessons, Grades K-6 (Level I)

Level I services are provided to all students in Kindergarten through Grade 6. Level I services includes teaching students to use critical and creative thinking skills to process content. It also includes periodic opportunities to use advanced academic curriculum throughout the year. Student responses to these lessons are used as part of the identification process for Levels II-IV. Parents may practice the nine strategies during family conversations and activities. Descriptions and videos of the nine critical and creative thinking strategies can be found at on the FCPS website. Because Level I services are for all FCPS students, there is not a screening process. 

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

Level II services are available for students in Kindergarten through Grade 6 for students with strength in a specific subject area. The AART collaborates with classroom teachers to provide additional challenges using materials from the AAP Curriculum Framework for Levels II-IV to extend and enrich in the subject area strength. Screening for this level of service is ongoing throughout the school year. Multiple criteria are used to screen for this level of service and decisions are made at the local school level. To have your student screened for Level II, you may complete the AAP School-Based Referral Form available on the forms pageReferrals are accepted at any time. All Saratoga students receive Level II services, so the referral is not required.

Part-Time Advanced Academic Programs, Grades 3-6 (Level III)

Level III services are available for students in Grades 3-6 who are eligible for part-time direct services from the AART. Students are identified by a screening committee at the local school.  The AART uses materials from the AAP Curriculum Framework for Levels II-IV in the four core subject areas through either a weekly pull-out class or weekly co-teaching model with the classroom teacher. Screening for this level of service is ongoing throughout the school year.  Multiple criteria are used to screen for this level of service and decisions are made at the local school level. To have your student screened for Level III services, complete the AAP School-Based Referral Form available on the forms page. Referrals are accepted at any time and once a referral is received  a committee will decide if your child is eligible for the services.

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

Level IV services are available for students in Grades 3-8 who are found eligible through a central selection process. Eligible students use curriculum from the AAP Curriculum Framework in the four academic subject areas on a full-time basis.  Multiple criteria are reviewed to determine eligibility for all FCPS advanced academic services. The countywide central selection committee determines eligibility for full-time AAP Level IV placement.

Screening

Screening for Level IV services occurs during specific screening cycles: 

  • Fall screening is held for students who are new to FCPS and have been referred
  • Spring screening is held for any FCPS-enrolled student who has been referred

Due to the volume of files screened centrally for Level IV services, deadlines are strictly held. 

  • A referral form may be turned in during the referral window (beginning on the first day of school until December 1, 2020).
  • Students new to FCPS may be considered for Fall screening and Spring screening.
  • The referral form is available on the forms page.

Additional information about the holistic screening process and information used for screening can be found on the FCPS AAP page.  

Ability Testing

Students must have one ability test score to go through the Level IV screening process.  For current information on ability testing, please visit the Testing and Identification Timeline here.

AAP in FCPS

You can learn more about AAP services in FCPS through these videos, available in English or Spanish. More information about the AAP screening and identification can be found found in these videos, available in English and Spanish .

If you would like the information presented in the videos in a different language, please email Mrs. Polanksy at @email.

Important Dates

Now through October 8, 2020

  • Advanced Academic Programs Level IV Referral Form for new FCPS students (enrolled after January 2020) are due to the AART at Saratoga Elementary School.  The form can be found here.

October 19, 2020 - Advanced Academics Programs Question and Answer Sessions

  • At the session, you will have the opportunity to meet with the Advanced Academic Resource Teacher to ask any questions that you may have about the Advanced Academic program (AAP) or the screening process for Level IV.
  • Two sessions will be hosted:
    • Session I 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
    • Session II 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
    • Link to our virtual Question and Answer Session in Google Meet. You will access the virtual meeting using your child’s login. Their email address is their student number@fcpsschools.net.

Now through December 1, 2020

  • Advanced Academic Programs Level IV Referral Form and optional materials for students in Grade 2 who are not in the pool and students in Grades 3–7 are due to the Advanced Academic Resource Teacher (AART), Mrs. Polansky, at Saratoga Elementary School. This is a hard deadline and cannot be extended.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email Beth Polansky, Saratoga’s Advanced Academic Resource Teacher, at @email.