Gwinnett County Schools

Gwinnett County Public Schools operates its gifted programs using a pull-out model. This means that gifted students are offered separate classes with their gifted peers, taught by a teacher with gifted certification.

The elementary school program is called FOCUS. These classes extend the curriculum with advanced topics such as chemistry and Shakespearean drama. Of note: the GCPS web site says that because of the extra workload of FOCUS classes, elementary students in the gifted program are usually excused from the daily homework of mainstream classes.

At the middle-school level, the program is known as PROBE. Unlike the elementary program that goes outside the general curriculum, PROBE offers advanced sections of math, science, social studies and language arts classes.

The QUEST program for high-school students offers gifted sections of math, science, social studies, language arts and foreign language classes. Other options available to high-school gifted students are:

  • Advanced placement – classes with work similar to a college-level class
  • Directed studies – an elective class that gives the student time for independent research
  • Internship – working in a field of interest with a mentor (juniors and seniors only)
  • Joint enrollment or early admission – transition to college in junior or senior year

Information about the county’s gifted programs is available on the Accelerated Programs and Gifted Education web page.

Identification of gifted students

Gifted assessment begins with a referral from teachers, parents or peers, or when a child surpasses a certain score threshold on standardized tests. More testing follows, and an evaluation committee at the school reviews that evaluation to decide whether the student will be placed in the gifted program.

Acceleration policy

(This comes from the web page of one Gwinnett County school; still looking for a document from the county office.) “Students will be considered for acceleration on a case-by-case basis. The student being considered should be demonstrating high achievement on or above the grade level curriculum in the grade being considered for acceleration. The expectation is students will be achieving at the same level in their new grade as in their old one. Extremely high achievement should be evident in the student’s work, classroom assessments, curriculum-based assessments and normative-based assessments. Social and emotional factors, as well as placement of older siblings, will be considered.”

International Baccalaureate (IB) schools

International Baccalaureate (IB) is a well-known, rigorous curriculum with a global perspective. The IB Primary Years Programme is taught at Peachtree Elementary School; the Middle Years Programme is used at Pinckneyville Middle School and Summerour Middle School.

Norcross High School offers the IB Diploma Programme. Students can earn an IB certificate or diploma. Many colleges will grant sophomore status to incoming students who hold an IB diploma.

Charter school for math and science

The Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology is a charter school in Lawrenceville, established in 2007 and previously housed on the campus of Duluth High School. GSMST has three primary areas of study: bioscience, engineering and emerging technology. Even arts and humanities classes are tied in as much as possible with science and technology.

Students from anywhere in Gwinnett County can apply to GSMST, but only during their 8th grade year (applying to enroll in 9th grade).  Check the web site in the fall for the registration packet.

At the county office

Julia Osborne is the director of Accelerated Programs and Gifted Education. You can reach her office at (678) 301-7020. The gifted program is part of the county’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction, led by executive director Dr. Nikki Golar Mouton. Her phone number is (678) 301-7290.

The county superintendent and CEO, J. Alvin Wilbanks, can be reached at (678) 301-6010.

Elected officials

Gwinnett County Public Schools are managed by a five-member Board of Education. The board meets on the third Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Instructional Support Center, located at 437 Old Peachtree Road in Suwanee.

Other resources

The Gwinnett Alliance for Gifted Education (GAGE) is an active chapter of the Georgia Association for Gifted Children. GAGE offers seminars and workshops for parents and teachers.

A special note for Buford residents

Residents within the Buford city limits are served by Buford City Schools.


Links on this page were verified 12/28/2014.

  1. freshdew
    June 7, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    Can you pleasr lust d ib schools in lawrenville ga. I’ve bern looking for some information on that.

    • June 9, 2013 at 1:13 pm

      If I understand what you’ve typed, you want to know what IB schools are in Lawrenceville? The International Baccalaureate web site does not list any IB schools in Lawrenceville. If you want to find the closest IB school to you, you can use the search tool on their web site: http://www.ibo.org/school/search/

  2. Carmen Gilley
    August 6, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Hello, I have a question,
    Are the stem gifted programs for Duluth middle school the same as AC programs like probe in Duluth middle school?
    Is the content different?
    Thank you.

    • August 6, 2014 at 3:36 pm

      I’m afraid I don’t know. Have you considered calling the school to ask?

  3. Carmen Gilley
    August 6, 2014 at 11:36 pm

    Yes, I’m afraid I must.

  4. Katie
    April 11, 2016 at 6:31 pm

    I have a question, if my child is in gifted for all classes in elementary school, will she be in probe classes for middle school? Please reply as soon as you can. Thank you.

    • April 19, 2016 at 2:50 pm

      I am not very familiar with the Gwinnett school system, so I can’t say for sure. I do know that Georgia requires that all students who have been identified as gifted (as your child clearly has been) be provided with gifted services. I suggest that you pose your question to an administrator at the middle school, or call the Gwinnett County gifted office.

  5. Monique
    May 13, 2016 at 12:03 am

    Does anybody know much about Fort Daniel Elementary, Osborne Middle and Mill Creek High? We have been looking in Suwanee for over a year but the market is super compeitive so we decided to expand our search.We’ve found a home that were interested in buying in that cluster. We have a 4 year old (not schedule to start kindergarten until 8/2017) who is “off the charts smart” per his preschool teacher. He is already reading on a second grade level amongst other things. We want to make sure he attends a school where is challenged and stimulated. We also want an environment that would cultivate his creativity. Any insight you can share will be extremely appreciated

  6. October 10, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    This article was really helpful. I had no idea that an IB certified student coming out of High School could receive sophomore status when entering some colleges.

  7. Sabina Chowdhury
    December 2, 2016 at 11:27 am

    Where can I find a list of Gwinnett county
    QUEST /STEM High school listings?

    • December 5, 2016 at 9:30 am

      I don’t know of a list. If you go to the main GCPS web site (follow the link on the Gwinnett page on this site) and then click on SCHOOLS, you can find a list of all high schools and look at them one by one. My gut says that QUEST would be offered in ALL high schools, since Georgia law requires that every gifted student have access to gifted education, and QUEST is the main form of gifted ed at the high-school level. As for STEM, I’m afraid I don’t know how many schools offer that.

  8. Rolene Armour
    April 24, 2017 at 10:44 am

    If your child was tested and told they did not qualify, should you not be given reason and/test results?

    • April 27, 2017 at 12:51 pm

      I don’t know Gwinnett’s protocol on that. Sorry.

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