Opportunities for Students - Secondary

SMCPS Academy Programs

St. Mary's County Public Schools offers four distinct Academy Programs to better serve a variety of students. 

Information about SMCPS Academies can be found at https://www.smcps.org/academies.

CTY Talent Search

The Center for Talented Youth identifies young people of great academic promise and offers summer programs, online programs/courses, and other services/resources.  Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth information can be found at https://cty.jhu.edu/


The Maryland State Department of Education provides summer educational opportunities for gifted and talented students across the state. Programs are available in a variety of areas to include Creative Writing, Global Languages, and Performing Arts. MSDE Gifted and Talented Centers information can be found at http://www.marylandpublicschools.org/programs/Pages/Gifted-Talented/SummerCenters/index.aspx.

*Please be advised that the applications for these programs open on or around February 1. The spaces fill quickly. Please check the website periodically if you are interested.

CSM Maryland Gifted Program

The College of Southern Maryland offers opportunities for gifted students.  Students who are under the age of 16 and who have completed at least the 7th grade may be considered for admission on a case-by-case basis. Students will be considered for such admission if they demonstrate the ability to profit from instruction based on evidence of gifted and talented status as defined by their local school system or through other evidence of exceptional academic or fine arts talent.  


Maryland Mensa Association

Welcome to Maryland Mensa's Bringing Resources and Involvement to Gifted Homes Together (BRIGHT) program. Maryland Mensa is developing BRIGHT to serve the needs of gifted youth, their families, and their educators. 

Lego Robotics or VexIQ

Check with your school site to see what programs may be offered. 

Destination Imagination

St. Mary's County Public Schools proudly sponsors the Destination Imagination (DI) program for all interested schools and teams. The Destination Imagination challenge program is a fun way to supplement school curriculum and teach kids 21st-century skills. It provides opportunities for kids to work collaboratively, solve problems, and foster their creativity. Click the links below for more information.

Student Government

Student Council Association, or SCA, is a service and leadership based organization that strives to benefit both the school and our local community. Check with your school site to see about enrollment.

Model United Nations

Model United Nations, also known as Model UN or MUN, is an educational simulation and/or academic competition in which students can learn about diplomacy, international relations, and the United Nations.

School-Based Enrichment Opportunities

  • Chess Clubs
  • Mock Trial
  • Drama Productions
  • Science Fair
  • Speech Contests
  • Hour Of Code
  • Yearbook Committee

General Information

In addition to the already robust secondary program that includes a variety of accelerated coursework opportunities, upon request, St. Mary’s County Public Schools will formally screen middle school students for gifted identification. Students who have been previously identified as intellectually gifted in reading and/or mathematics by St. Mary’s County Public Schools do not need to be re-screened.

Middle School Gifted and Talented Education Services

English Language Arts

The Accelerated English/Language Arts (ELA) classes in grades 6-8 address the needs of students who require instructional experiences beyond the regular curriculum. Students are provided appropriate levels of challenge through accelerated pacing and advanced content. SMCPS ELA middle school classes are 90-minute courses divided into two 45 minute blocks, one focusing on the ELA curriculum and the other on literacy skills.  The content in the accelerated ELA courses is differentiated to provide students with higher-level, more complex texts. Instruction is supported by strategies and tools students need to engage students in active, fast-paced learning to develop the skills, habits of mind, and concepts necessary to succeed in advanced English courses.


Students who demonstrate high levels of achievement in mathematics take accelerated courses in middle school. Under the Common Core Curricula for Mathematics, students may be placed in 6th Grade Accelerated Math, 7th Grade Accelerated Math and 8th Grade Algebra I. High school credit is earned for completion of Algebra I. The content in the accelerated Mathematics courses is designed to provide students with higher-level problem-solving skills and to engage them in fast-paced learning to meet their academic needs. Students will examine ratios, proportions, geometry concepts, and statistics and probability to best prepare them for Algebra 1 and advanced mathematics courses as they advance to high school.

Gifted Identification

St. Mary’s County Public School begins screening students for gifted identification in third grade. Multiple measures of aptitude, potential, and achievement are used for identification. Students can be identified as gifted in the areas of reading and/or mathematics.  At the middle school level, the following process is used for identifying new students or reconsidering returning students for gifted identification.


Student data is collected and used to make recommendations for course placement in English/Language Arts and Mathematics.


Students may be screened for gifted identification at the request of a parent/guardian, teacher, or student. Requests for screening should be made to the school principal. Only one screening request may be made each school year.

During the screening process the following data is collected:

English Language Arts Identification Data

  • InView Assessment: Verbal Reasoning-Words and Verbal Reasoning-Context
  • Gates MacGinitie Reading Assessment
  • MCAP Reading Assessment
  • MCAP Writing Assessment

Mathematics Identification Data

  • InView Assessment: Sequences, Analogies, and Quantitative Reasoning
  • MCAP Mathematics Assessment


Data Review

  • A data review meeting can be requested. Information collected during the screening process will be explained at a team meeting. Contact the school principal if you would like to schedule a meeting.

Appeal Meeting

  • An appeal can be requested to consider new information such as additional reading and/or mathematics assessments, outside assessments, or mitigating factors. Contact the school principal if you would like to appeal your child's screening results. Only one appeal may be requested each school year.

High School Gifted and Talented Education Services

Advanced Coursework

Pre-AP and Honors level courses are designed for students who are motivated within a particular academic discipline. These courses are designed to develop the study skills, rigor, and academic knowledge necessary to succeed in Advanced Placement courses. 

Advanced Placement

Advanced Placement (AP) courses provide rigorous college preparatory coursework in the major subject areas. The AP Program was developed by the College Board and offers students a rigorous, fast-paced syllabus geared towards advanced learners. Students may also opt to sit for the AP Exams in May. 

Academy Programs

St. Mary's County Public Schools offers four unique Academy Programs designed to meet the needs of advanced learners who desire more specialized instruction in a particular discipline. More detailed information on the Academy Programs can be found at https://www.smcps.org/academies.

  • Academy of Global and International Studies (GIS)
  • National Academy of Finance (NAOF)
  • The Academy of Visual and Performing Arts (AVPA)
  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Academy (STEM)