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Houston Vanguard (HISD Gifted Program)

Houston Independent School District (HISD) Vanguard Gifted and Talented (G/T) programs are for students who have been identified as potentially gifted or talented in intellectual ability, creativity, or leadership.

Vanguard serves both profoundly gifted kids, kids scoring in the 99th percentile on an IQ-like test and also very bright kids, kids scoring in the 90th to 96thth percentile on an IQ test.

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The Houston Independent School District provides two program options for Gifted and Talented students.

The Vanguard Magnet program is designed to meet the needs of G/T students in grades K-12 by providing an environment for students to work with their cognitive peers. The Vanguard Magnet Program is designed for G/T students who excel in general intellectual ability in combination with creative/productive thinking and/or leadership ability.

The Vanguard Neighborhood programs are designed to meet the needs of G/T students in grades K-12 at their neighborhood (zoned) schools. Both Vanguard Magnet and Vanguard Neighborhood programs provide a differentiated curriculum by modifying the depth, complexity, and pacing of the general school program. The Vanguard Neighborhood program is designed for G/T students who excel in general intellectual ability, in combination with creative/productive thinking and/or leadership ability.

Students who have met the criteria for accelerated learning and are identified as gifted and talented are placed with highly effective teachers that are GT certified. The difference between the HISD 10 Vanguard Magnet Elementary schools are the activities, enrichment, and projects the students are involved in.

The admissions criteria are the same for Vanguard Magnet and Vanguard Neighborhood programs. Students can only be tested once, either at a Vanguard Magnet school or a Vanguard Neighborhood school. If a student is tested by both schools, the first test administration will be used to determine G/T identification. The Advanced Academics Department conducts the admission committee meetings for both programs.

All Vanguard Magnet schools participate in the entering kindergarten G/T testing program. If a student applies to the Vanguard Magnet program, qualifies, and does not receive a space in a Vanguard Magnet school, that student may apply and submit the G/T identification matrix and the G/T status report to the Vanguard Neighborhood program in the school he/she attends to receive G/T services.

What is the Curriculum?

  • Research Inquiry Skills
  • Scholarly and Organizational Behaviors
  • Complex, Creative and Relevant 21st Century Skills
  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Integrated Learning
  • Independent and Collaborative Skills
  • Community Service
  • Advanced Level Project and Product Creation

Vanguard offers an accelerated and enriched program that is individualized to meet the diverse needs of all of the students in one class. Students typically study interdisciplinary units that emphasize higher-level thinking skills, problem-solving, and creativity. The Vanguard program requires that your child be tested. Parents should use the Vanguard application, available online or through a paper application at the school.

For more information, visit the HISD page on the gifted program.

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