The Advanced Academics Department includes Gifted and Talented, PEAK, STEPS, Advanced Placement, and International Baccalaureate programs.
Elementary students identified as gifted in general intellectual ability according to criteria established by HEB ISD may participate in the district's STEPS (Strategies and Techniques for Enriching Primary Students) program for grades K-3. Identified students in grades 4-6 participate in the PEAK (Pupils Excelling in Ability and Knowledge) program.
These HEB ISD programs are based on the unique learning needs of gifted and talented students. They provide differentiated and enriched curriculum to build on the strengths of these students as they prepare for higher education and leadership roles in society.
The STEPS program is designed for students in kindergarten through third grade. Students are cluster grouped and taught by teachers who have training in gifted education. Curriculum is integrated across disciplines, with emphasis on higher-order thinking skills, advanced verbal development, creative and productive thinking and problem-solving, and logical and analytical reasoning skills.
PEAK for grades 4-5 encourages the development of the student's cognitive and creative abilities. The curriculum centers on the content areas of language, arts, math, science and social studies and includes problem solving, research skills, computer applications and independent projects in a peer-group setting. Identified students in 6th grade will be served through the Pre-AP Language Arts and/or Pre-AP math classes.
The curriculum for GT students in grades 7-12 includes the Advanced Placement (AP and Pre-AP) and the International Baccalaureate (IB and Pre-IB) programs. The processes of analysis, synthesis and evaluation are some of the skills that the curriculum presents to these students. Students spend some time with their intellectual peers, age peers and in independent study. A Pre-AP/IB/GT or AP/IB/GT secondary English class composed solely of identified GT students is available in grades 7-12.
The mission of the Advanced Academics department is to assist campuses by providing the most current advanced academic methods and training, facilitating increased student participation in all advanced academic programs, and increasing community, staff, and student awareness of the opportunities available for advanced studies in HEB ISD.