Gifted and Secondary Programs

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About the Program

  • Welcome to North Stafford High School’s Gifted and Secondary Programs resource page.  Gifted, talented, and highly motivated students are identified as having needs beyond what the regular classroom may provide.   GAP addresses the needs of not only identified Focus students but also all students at the high school level who are interested in pursuing accelerated learning opportunities. These students are encouraged to take challenging courses that offer higher level thinking skills, address their individual needs, interests, and strengths, and prepare students for university studies.  Information regarding programs and offerings for both parents and students may be found here.  North Stafford hopes to offer students a variety of opportunities for students to follow their diverse interests. 

    Unlike the gifted resource program in elementary and middle school, students are not pulled out of their regular classes for enrichment or acceleration on a regular basis.  I am the Gifted and Accelerated Program coordinator (formerly known as FOCUS) at North Stafford High School.  I am available to identified students for one-on-one work with teachers to accelerate or enrich curriculum as needed.   I am also your contact if you would like more information on the programs that are offered to enrich your learning while at North Stafford High School.  Programs like independent study, Virtual Virginia, or applying to the Commonwealth Governor’s School (CGS) are all available.


    Gifted and Accelerated Programs Coordinator

    Feli Cardenas

    (540) 658-6150 ext. 1213

Important Announcements

  • Gifted & Secondary Programs Information Night

    Parent and Student Information Night: Planning Summer and Other Enrichment Experiences
    Tuesday, October 23, 2018 at 7pm MOUNTAIN VIEW HIGH SCHOOL Room 104.

    Gifted and Secondary Programs Coordinators from NSHS, MVHS and CFHS will present on the opportunities available to you during your high school career. You will also hear from past participants in a variety of programs.


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  • Summer Residential Governor's School

    Is your student looking for enrichment opportunities over the summer? Consider applying for Virginia’s Summer Residential Governor’s School (SRGS). SRGS offers current year tenth- and eleventh-grade students in the Commonwealth of Virginia the opportunity to attend a FREE month-long residential program. The goal of each Governor's School is to provide those who attend opportunities for intellectual as well as social and emotional growth. In the company of dedicated, highly skilled professionals representing a variety of careers, selected students are encouraged to establish and fulfill their academic goals. The programs are housed on various college campuses throughout the Commonwealth. Please contact Mrs. Cardenas for more information. Please see the bottom of the page for applications, a timeline for the application process, and other general information.


    Click on this Video link to get a glimpse of what a student may experience at a SRGS.


    Mrs. Cardenas

    (540) 658-6150

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  • PSAT October 10

    Students in grades 9-11 will be taking the PSAT 8/9, PSAT 10, and the PSAT/NMSQT on Wednesday, October 10. It is critical students do their best on these tests. For juniors, this year the PSAT/NMSQT is the official route of entry to the National Merit Scholarship Program. If students have not already done so, please link their Khan Academy accounts to their College Board accounts. This process will allow them to receive personalized practice recommendations based on their results from the new SAT®, PSAT/NMSQT®, PSAT 10, and PSAT 8/9. Students should spend 15-20 minutes each night on these recommendations in order to improve their PSAT scores. I have attached a PowerPoint to help link accounts if not already done so.


    How to Link Your Account


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  • SENIORS: Regeneron Science Talent Search

    It’s back to school season! With the start of the new school year, we wanted to let you know that the Regeneron Science Talent Search is now accepting applications. The Regeneron Science Talent Search is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious research competition for high school seniors—students could win up to $250,000!

    High school seniors with individual, original research projects are invited to apply online to the Regeneron STS. There are no limits to the number of students who can enter from any school, region or state, and students may submit research from any year of high school. The program is completely free.

    The top 300 scholars receive $2,000 each, and their schools also receive $2,000—that’s funding for STEM education in your community. Forty finalists will be invited to compete in the finals week competition in Washington, DC, all expenses paid. Every finalist receives at least $25,000 and if named in the top 10, could win between $40,000 and $250,000. Check out last year’s highlights video, learn more about the top 40 finalists’ research projects in this video from the Public Exhibition of Projects, watch the winner’s results and remarks from Malcolm Gladwell in this video from our awards gala to learn more.

    The application will close on Wednesday, November 14, 2018 at 8pm ET, but we encourage interested students to open applications soon in order to receive tips and reminders.

    We hope to see eligible students from your school apply to the 78th Regeneron Science Talent Search. Please email with any questions you may have about the application process.

    Click Here for more information.

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  • Riverside Young Writers Conference

    Interested in becoming a writer? If so, check out the Riverside Young Writer's Club that meets at the Salem Church Library. The attached fliers provide meeting times and places.

    Riverside Young Writers Conference Riverside Writers Presents

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  • Virginia Aerospace Science and Technology Scholars Program

    Virginia Aerospace Science and Technology Scholars ProgramSTS) program is an interactive on-line science, technology, engineering and mathematics learning experience highlighted by a seven-day residential summer academy at NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) in Hampton, Va. Students selected to participate in the program are immersed in NASA-related research through interaction with scientists, engineers and technologists. Learn more here.

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  • Virginia Space Coast Scholars

    The Virginia Space Coast Scholars (VSCS) is a program for High School Sophomores focusing on the science, engineering, and technology integral to current missions at NASA Goddard's Wallops Flight Facility and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport. The program is FREE and designed by the Virginia Space Grant Consortium. Students from across the Commonwealth of Virginia are selected to participate through a competitive application process.Click VSCS for more information.

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  • Samsung - Solve for Tomorrow Contest

    Designed to boost interest and proficiency in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math, this nationwide contest challenges teachers and students to show how STEAM can be applied to help improve their local community.  Contest applicants will have a chance to win a share of $2 million in Samsung technology* for their school. Apply by October 30!

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  • 2018 Letters About Literature Contest

    This year's contest is now open for students in grades 4-12 and provides a creative way for students to engage with writing and authors. Entries are accepted through December 9.

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  • Emperor Science Award

    The 2018 Emperor Science Award program is committed to helping all students that have a passion for science join the next generation of cancer researchers. Through this award program, 100 winning students from across the country will be paired with a university-level mentoring scientist to collaborate on a cancer research project. Students from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

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  • Center for Legal and Court Technology at William & Mary

    The Center for Legal and Court Technology (CLCT), at the College of William & Mary Law School, in conjunction with the Center for Gifted Education at the William & Mary School of Education, provides interactive and thought-provoking classes for high school students.  Fred Lederer, Chancellor Professor of Law and Director, CLCT, exposes high school students to basic topics in law such as what is the law, how it is made, how judges can change the law, and how to resolve disputes. Click on one of the flyers below for more information.


    Search and Seizure



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  • College Decision Day! Contest

    For the third year, the College Board is celebrating College Decision Day with #Collegiance, a social media campaign and contest for high school students making their college decision. 

    The College Board is asking students to pledge their #Collegiance by May 15 with an original and creative Instagram video, Boomerang, or photo for a chance to win a $5,000 grand prize or one of nine other cash prizes. Submissions will be judged on creativity, enthusiasm, and overall quality by film and media professors from College Board member institutions.

    Taking the pledge is a great way to celebrate academic achievement at North Stafford High School. Seniors, take the pledge and represent North Stafford High School in this year’s contest!

    Visit to learn more about the campaign and follow #Collegiance to join the conversation.  

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  • Camp Rainbow

    Camp Rainbow is a weekend day camp for children ages 6-14 who have lost a loved one.  The goals of Camp Rainbow are to help children understand death and dying, learn to express grief in a healthy way and learn to cope with loss.  Art, music and dance therapy are used to promote these goals along with traditional camp activities.   They are in need of volunteers to be Big Buddies. 

    Big Buddy Application

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  • UVA Saturday Enrichment Program

    Apply to the Saturday Enrichment Program at the University of Virginia.  This program engages high-ability students in high quality learning experiences designed to expose them to topics and ideas that are beyond those they might get in their typical classroom environment.  Applications are due by December 1, 2016.

    Download the flyer for more information.

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  • Fall 2016 Saturday Enrichment Program (SEP)

    The Center for Gifted Education is accepting registrations for the Fall 2016
    Saturday Enrichment Program (SEP). The 2016 Fall program will begin on
    Saturday, October 29 to December 3 (no class during Thanksgiving week) in
    Richmond, consisting of 5 Saturday sessions.

    SEP is an academically challenging program with an emphasis on inquiry-based
    learning for students enrolled in grades K–9. It is not meant to supplant the
    regular school curriculum; rather, it recognizes the importance of allowing
    able students to explore additional specialized areas of science,
    humanities, and the arts.

    The program’s brochure is accessible through the Center’s website at If you have
    any questions or if there is anything we can assist you with, please do not
    hesitate to contact the CFGE office at (757) 221-2166 or

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Summer Residential Governor's School Applications