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  • Deer Valley offers a wide range of courses for students needing an academically rigorous environment in every grade level. We understand that this rigor meets the needs of many of our gifted learners, but we also know that gifted students may need a more enriching environment. This is currently available to our K-8 students in many of our gifted programs such as Bright Child Kindergarten, Gifted Cluster, SAGE, SPARK, Renaissance, and Advanced Courses.  

    In addition, to a rigorous and enriching curriculum, more research is coming to light about gifted learners and the unique social and emotional needs this population has. It is important that our teachers are knowledgeable and have the tools needed to support these students. Deer Valley also understands that it is important to have  gifted specific programs available to provide supports for this population of learners at all grade levels.

    Deer Valley Gifted Services is currently working with all of our high schools to create and support programs that not only better meet the needs of our gifted learners but that also fit into the cultures of our individual campuses. All of our schools offer different gifted services and models, but all programs adhere to the gifted core areas below.


  • Our middle schools offer Advanced Courses for all gifted and high achieving students. High achieving students are not necessarily gifted, but they seek more academic rigor and are generally on a path towards college. At the high school level, we offer Honors, AP, IB, and Gifted Courses. These vary from school to school. The Honors, AP, and IB are similar to the Middle School Advanced classes, as they offer more rigor than standard classes. Our Gifted Courses allow for in-depth, hands-on, inquiry-based, explorations of  learning with embedded student choice. ALL Gifted Courses are taught by gifted trained teachers who either possess and Arizona Gifted Endorsement or are actively working toward earning the certification. Options vary from school to school.
    If you want to have your child participate in Gifted Courses, they must be identified as gifted by a state approved test and meet the school criteria for placement. More information on gifted identification testing is on our website here:
    More information can be found in our high school Academic Planning Guide.


    • Honors, Advanced Placement, Career and Technical Education, and Dual Enrollment courses are available at ALL DVUSD high schools. These programs provide a more rigorous curriculum and higher expectations any student wanting a more rigorous curriculum is welcome to participate in.  These courses allow gifted learners to explore their unique interests and ambitions.

      In addition, several Deer Valley high schools offer unique gifted programs that are specifically designed to meet the unique needs of gifted learners. These programs are modified and adapted each year based on student and community needs.


      Gifted Cohort - Sandra Day O' Connor High School

      The Gifted Academy consists of highly qualified, gifted endorsed teachers.  Sandra Day O’ Connor High School’s Gifted Academy begins in grade 9.  Freshman students are placed in Honors Gifted Biology and Honors Gifted ELA 1-2 or Honors Gifted ELA 3-4.  These courses consist only of gifted students and utilize gifted strategies such as project and problem-based learning to enhance critical thinking.  Students are able to choose their remaining courses, allowing students to pursue areas of interest. (Click HERE to learn more)


      Gifted Academy - Moutain Ridge High School 

      The Gifted Academy consists of highly qualified, gifted endorsed teachers.  The Gifted Academy at Mountain Ridge High School offers students academically rich coursework, partnered with affective supports.  Students choose which classes they would like to take, which include a wide variety of Gifted Honors course offerings and Advanced Placement.  In addition, several elective courses are offered for gifted learners, including their NEW Change the World Senior Capstone. (Click HERE to learn more)  


      International Baccalaureate MYP Honors/ Gifted Cohort - Barry Goldwater High School

      The   Middle Years Programme (MYP) is a five-year International Baccalaureate Programme, split between two Deer Valley Schools (Norterra Canyon School and Barry Goldwater High School). The International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme is a highly acclaimed and internationally recognized educational framework which encourages students to become globally aware problem solvers who are critical and creative thinkers. 

      The IB Honors and Gifted Cohort is a school within a school model.  Students in grades 9 and 10 are grouped together in Honors ELA, History, and Science courses.  The school Gifted Specialist and IB MYP Coordinator meet one-on-one with students to ensure unique academic needs are met.  Several additional electives are offered to support student  interests, including: Honors Gifted Seminar and Theory of Knowledge courses.  (Click HERE to learn more)


      Skyhawk Gifted Program - Deer Valley High School

      Deer Valley High School’s Skyhawk Gifted Program combines a robust Gifted Cluster Model with designated courses for gifted learners.  Deer Valley’s Gifted Counselor works with students to provide an individualized pathway based on students’ needs and interests. Students are grouped together in Honors, Advanced Placement (AP), and elective courses (*as appropriate).  These courses may include Deer Valley High School’s new AP Capstone Diploma and AP Seminar and Research Certificate.  (Click HERE to learn more)  


      ASPIRE Deer Valley's Online Academy

      ASPIRE provides synchronous (live) instruction for students in grades K-8 and asynchronous (independent) instruction for students in grades 9-12. ASPIRE affords students a guaranteed, viable curriculum. Gifted and specialized instruction is available for qualifying students in addition to remediation learning supports for all students as needed. Seniors graduate with a Deer Valley Unified School District diploma.   (Click HERE to learn more)