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Virginia Beach Gifted: The Best Schools, the NNAT, and the CogAT

Read about the gifted programs and schools in Virginia Beach, including the Old Donation Center and Kemps Landing Magnet School, two of the best schools in Virginia Beach. Learn how the gifted identification and admissions processes work. Prepare for the NNAT and CogAT tests.

Gifted and Talented Identification

The Virginia Beach City Public School System (VBCPS) has gifted programs available for all qualifying students in grades K–12. The identification process is ongoing, with trained gifted resource teachers constantly observing children for gifted tendencies, in order to decide which students to refer for further testing.

VBCPS identifies students in two areas of gifted and talented potential:

  1. General Intellectual Aptitude
  2. Visual and Performing Arts Aptitude


First grade and fifth grade students enrolled in VBCPS undergo gifted and talented screening. First graders undergo the screening process in October or November. Fifth graders undergo the screening process in September of October. Depending on the results of the test, some students may be referred to undergo further testing.

As part of the screening process, students in grades 1 and 5 must take the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT). The results of the test are used by the Virginia Beach City Public School System as one of the components for identification of gifted students. While gifted resource teachers typically refer students for gifted testing, students and parents may request for the student to be tested an unlimited number of times throughout the course of their education.

Students in grades 1–5 who are referred for gifted testing – this means students who are not automatically screened by the district – are also required to take the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT). Students in grades 1–5 may also be required to take the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) as part of the gifted testing process.

Check with your school and with the District regarding deadlines for referrals, applications, and gifted testing.

Gifted Schools and Programs: Neighborhood School Clusters

Children in kindergarten and first grade who have not yet undergone gifted testing may be selected by their teachers for separate gifted education programs within their regular classrooms. These students are taught a "differentiated curriculum" by the classroom and gifted resource teachers.

This means that the teacher adapts the curriculum to meet the unique needs of gifted learners by making modifications in complexity, depth, or pacing. After all first graders are tested, those who are identified as gifted in grades 2–8 continue their education in one of two ways.

The first option involves "clusters" of children. These clusters are groups of six to eight gifted children, placed in a normal classroom at their local neighborhood school. These students are taught by a cluster teacher, trained to teach gifted education.

The second option available to gifted children involves select gifted schools, such as the Old Donation Center and Kemps Landing Magnet School.

Old Donation Center and Kemps Landing Magnet School

There are two select gifted schools available to gifted children: The Old Donation Center (grades 2–5) and Kemps Landing Magnet School (grades 6–8), which are considered two of the best schools in Virginia Beach.

Unlike the cluster programs within neighborhood schools, these schools require students and their parents to fill out an application, in addition to the required testing. The Old Donation Center and Kemps Landing Magnet School are both full-time gifted schools, with a curriculum that goes deeper into course material while moving at an accelerated pace.

Preparing for Gifted Testing

Gifted tests can be difficult and stressful for young children. Additionally, competition for seats in gifted programs is at an all-time high. At TestPrep-Online, we can help prepare your child for test day with our grade-specific, child-friendly practice packs for the NNAT and CogAT. If you prefer to prepare your child for both tests, we suggest purchasing our Premium Membership.

Our Premium Membership gives you unlimited access to all our test materials, for all our different practice tests, grades, and levels.

Get Free Gifted Practice Tests

To get started, take a look at some of our free practice tests:

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