Gifted and Secondary Programs

Department Directory

  • North Stafford High School
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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.   Gand Secondary Programs 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 Resource teacher (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

Important Announcements

  • SCPS K-12 Gifted Brochure

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  • January Newsletter

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  • December Gifted Newsletter

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  • Wolverine Weekly for Gifted Students

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  • Office Hours

    Life might seem like it is out of control right now. This is the time to concentrate on things you can control. Catch up on much needed rest, spend quality time with your family, and of course spend time catching up on school work. This is also a great time to focus on college applications. You may also want to spend some time creating ideas that you can write about. Spend time reading books not assigned in school; create art projects; write an article for a newspaper or magazine; journal; make face masks for local hospitals, local first responders, or neighbors,…the list is endless. Make this quarantined time productive! If you would like me to review potential topics or essays, please contact me. My office hours are Monday-Friday 8:30 am-9:30 am and 3:00 pm - 3:30 pm.

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  • CGS Virtual Information Night

    Commonwealth Governor's School (CGS)

    December 8, 2020 at 6 p.m. via Zoom

    Meeting ID: 858 8547 7714
    Passcode: 176249

    Dial by your location
            877 853 5257 US Toll-free
            888 475 4499 US Toll-free
            833 548 0276 US Toll-free
            833 548 0282 US Toll-free

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  • Career & College Pathways

    The annual Career & College Pathways Event, an opportunity to learn about our division's specialty programs that support high school, college, and career goals, will be offered in a virtual format this year so that students and their families can learn about our specialty programs safely from home. 

    This page will be updated regularly to showcase program highlight videos, featured podcasts to answer frequently asked questions (FAQs), and information about specialty program Family Information Nights to explore a specific program in more detail.  

    To understand the pathway from course electives to career, SCPS Career Clusters help students investigate and design their courses of study to advance their career goals. Learn more about Career Clusters and what SCPS electives connect to career pathways by visiting the Career and College Pathways page. 

    For more information on SCPS Specialty Programs, review the Program Videos and Information below!

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  • 2021 United States Senate Youth Program

    2021 United States Senate Youth Program Scholarship Opportunities for High School Juniors and Seniors-Due December 11


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  • 2021 Virginia Junior Academy of Science Competition

    VJAS is a competition for students in grades 7-12 that builds on the skills of young research scientists. The competition has four tiers and is open statewide for members now.

    Visit VJAS for more information and deadlines.

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  • BRAIN Initiative Challenge Campaign

    The National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke is offering a competition for high school students curious about science, the brain, and the ethical implications of novel technologies being developed to understand the brain.


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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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  • PSAT Information


    Juniors will be taking the PSAT on October 29, 2020.
    Students-once you receive your PSAT scores and information, take advantage of resources for practice and skill building through Khan Academy by linking your results for a personalized study plan. Below are links for your reference. I encourage you to study in order to increase your score for the next test. Many programs (and of course colleges) will often ask for test scores as part of their application process, so you always want to make sure you are well prepared when you test!
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  • NAGC Tip Sheet

    Parents—For many of us, it's been a hectic balance between working from home while students go on video conference classes -- full time work and full time running a home can be stressful. And, for those parents who are in essential roles and cannot work from home, this balance is even more complex (If this is your situation, I want to thank you for your work). As we try to bring some sense of normalcy to our homes, I have attached a “Tip Sheet” from the NAGC in hopes of helping your gifted children during COVID 19.

    NAGC Tip Sheet

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  • High School Diplomats


    Sophomores and Juniors:  Consider applying to High School Diplomats. High School Diplomats (HSD) is a scholarship program that brings together high school students from the United States and Japan each summer through two parallel experiences. With HSD U.S. American students travel to Princeton University where they participate in ten days of cultural exchange alongside a Japanese roommate. With HSD Japan American students who complete the Princeton program travel to Japan for a month the following summer. Each participant in the program is given a generous scholarship that pays for room, board, activity and most program transportation costs. See the link below for more information.

    HS Diplomats

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  • Disney Dreamers

    Let Your Dream Change Your Life

    Each spring, 100 exceptional young people arrive at the Disney Dreamers Academy with ambition, excitement and hopes for the future. Four days later, they return home with the motivation, guidance and skills to help make those dreams come true. You have until October 31 to apply!

    Disney Dreamers

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  • Massive Open Online Courses

    A website to explore if you are looking for additional learning opportunities. is an extension of edX, a leader in online learning and education. Whether you're interested in learning for yourself, leveraging online courses to educate your workforce or creating a creating a MOOC, edX can help. Explore online courses and programs in key fields like computer science, data science, business and management, and more.



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  • PSAT October 16

    Students in grades 9-11 will be taking the PSAT 8/9, PSAT 10, and the PSAT/NMSQT on Wednesday, October 16. 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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  • 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. 



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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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  • 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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  • 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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Summer Residential Governor's School Applications