Johnny Key

Commissioner of Education

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Gifted & Talented and Advanced Placement

Office for the Gifted & Talented and Advanced Placement

All students identified as gifted and talented in the state have the right to an appropriate education. Responding to the concern for educational programming for gifted and talented students, the Arkansas General Assembly passed Act 106 of 1979. This legislation established the Office for the Gifted & Talented and Advanced Placement. The laws may be found at Gifted and Talented-Related Arkansas Laws. Funds were appropriated to provide financial assistance to school districts operating programs for gifted and talented students. Guidelines were developed to provide information to assist districts in planning, implementing, and evaluating those programs.

Frequently Asked Questions

To learn more about Gifted & Talented (GT) education in Arkansas, please view GT FAQs.


The following definition shall guide districts in providing services and opportunities for students identified as gifted and talented:

Gifted and talented children and youth are those of high potential or ability whose learning characteristics and educational needs require qualitatively differentiated educational experiences and/or services.

Possession of these talents and gifts, or the potential for their development, will be evidenced through an interaction of above average intellectual ability, task commitment and /or motivation, and creative ability.

Gifted Program Informational Posters

Collage of student and educator photos

The following posters provide information about many aspects of gifted services:

Community Involvement (PDF)  |  Equitable Identification (PDF)  |  Licensed Personnel (PDF) 

Professional Development (PDF)  |  Program Evaluation (PDF)  |  Program Options (PDF)

System of Support (PDF)

Annual Program Approval Application

From Arkansas Code: 6-42-109. Reports by school districts.

Each school district shall report annually to the Arkansas Department of Education, at a prescribed due date, the extent to which it is providing educational opportunities specifically designed to meet the educational needs of gifted and talented children.

Arkansas Governor's School

Arkansas Governor's School (AGS) is a six-week residential, educational summer program designed for upcoming high school seniors with exceptional abilities, creativity, and maturity. Participants attend classes and many special events, including concerts, theatrical productions, lectures, and films. They participate in service projects, recreational activities, and social gatherings. The atmosphere of AGS is charged with intellectual, cultural, and social excitement. Participants take away a heightened appreciation of their own talents, a deeper sense of their relationship to their communities, and a more intense intellectual curiosity.

Students must be nominated by their schools to apply. Counselors, gifted and talented coordinators or teachers should be working through the nomination criteria with interested students. Completed applications are due from schools at the end of January. They are reviewed by state-appointed AGS selection committees and selections are announced in April.  For more information visit the Arkansas Governor's School official website.

Academic Enrichment for Gifted/Talented in Summer 

Academic Enrichment for Gifted/Talented in Summer (AEGIS) programs are educational experiences for gifted students in Arkansas at no cost to families.  Students entering grades 7-12 may apply to various programs, both residential and commuter, offered around the state.  Programs lasting from one to two weeks in the subject areas of science, mathematics, literature and communications, social studies, computer science, arts and music, and foreign languages are available.  Proposals for enrichment programs are accepted and reviewed each year.  Information about 2017 summer programs will be posted on this web page when it becomes available.

Advisory Council for the Education Gifted and Talented Children 

Arkansas Code Ann. § 6-42-104 established the Advisory Council for the Education Gifted and Talented Children to advise and consult with the Commissioner of Education and the Administrator of the Office for the Education of Gifted & Talented Children. The Advisory Council prepares an annual report for the Governor, the General Assembly, the State Board of Education, and the Education Commissioner that informs the general public about educational programs for gifted and talented students. The Council also recognizes three educational programs for gifted and talented students annually, to receive the Act 56 Outstanding Gifted Program Award.

Visit for the Governor’s Advisory Council Annual Report.

To apply for appointment to the Advisory Council on Gifted and Talented Education, please visit to fill out the online application.

Act 56 Award Recipients 

Act 56 award recipients are selected based on program standards, background information, community involvement, staff development, program options, curriculum and innovation.

Programs are judged in one of three categories: Average Daily Membership (ADM) less than 1,000; between 1,000 and 3,000; or greater than 3,000.

2017 Outstanding Gifted Programs

The Arkansas Advisory Council for the Education of Gifted and Talented Children has selected the 2017 Outstanding Gifted Programs. The awards will be presented to the districts on March 2 at the annual Arkansans for Gifted and Talented Education Conference in Little Rock. 

  • School Districts of less than 1,000 students: Carlisle.  Honorable Mention: Fordyce
  • School Districts between 1,000 & 3,000 students: Clarksville.  Honorable Mention: Stuttgart
  • School Districts larger than 3,000 students: Beebe. Honorable Mention: Fayetteville

Education Service Cooperative News

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Mary Kathryn Stein, Director of Gifted & Talented and Advanced Placement

Krystal Nail, Program Advisor
Connie Storey, Program Advisor

Arkansas Department of Education

Office of Gifted & Talented and Advanced Placement

Four Capitol Mall, Room 405-B

Little Rock, AR 72201

Phone: 501-682-4224

Fax: 501-682-4220

State Standards

Learn more about the standards that define the knowledge and skills Arkansas students should have in order to be ready for college and careers.

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Licensure & Certification

Find critical information about renewing Arkansas educator licenses, adding areas of licensure, licensing by reciprocity from other states, background checks and more.

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ESEA Flexibility

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