Mrs. Babbs is the gifted resource teacher here at Luxford.  Her role is to support, promote and implement the elementary gifted resource-cluster model program and the Emerging Scholars Initiative (ESI) with integrity and fidelity. The resource cluster model provides services to meet the cognitive and effective needs of gifted students. The aim of the ESI program is to cultivate emerging abilities in primary students (K & 1)through differentiated curriculum, instruction and assessment. In addition to working with teachers and students, Mrs. Babbs is available to meet with parents/guardians to answer questions related to these programs.

In Virginia Beach City Public Schools
, gifted education services are available for elementary students who are identified as intellectually gifted in grades 2 - 5, through a magnet school at Old Donation Center or a resource-cluster model in all elementary schools in the city of Virginia Beach. The resource-cluster model provides differentiated instructional and curricular experiences with cluster teachers who work with a small group of identified gifted students and an on-site gifted resource teacher. The gifted resource teacher is trained in understanding gifted characteristics, using specific instructional strategies, and developing specialized curriculum designed to meet the needs of gifted learners.  

At Luxford Elementary School
, the resource-cluster model is an arrangement in which a group (cluster) of identified gifted students is assigned to a classroom with a cluster teacher who collaborates with the gifted resource teacher to provide differentiated curriculum and instruction. Students are assigned to cluster classrooms according to specific program guidelines. The cluster teacher is responsible for delivering gifted services in collaboration with the gifted resource teacher. The gifted resource teacher gives continuous training and support to the cluster teacher in the development of curriculum and the implementation of differentiated instruction in the classroom. The gifted resource teacher also works with small groups of gifted or high academic-ability students, who have indicated mastery of skills, on special assignments in flexible groups. The program provides opportunities for gifted students to work independently, with intellectual peers, and with chronological peers.

First Grade Referral Process for Gifted Services

Virginia Beach City Public School system screens ALL first grade students to ensure that every student is given consideration for gifted program services.  Students who score 90% or above on the screening instrument will be referred for additional testing. Parents and/or teachers may request forms for children who do not score 90% but wish to be considered for placement. Additional testing for those students will be completed at a later date. 
If further testing for your child is recommended, you will receive a parent packet to complete.  We ask that you complete the form and provide specific examples of things that you see in your child as it relates to various topics.  Parent information is very important and the more details you can provide us about your child, the clearer picture we will have of him/her.  The Parent Information Form includes the following areas:

  • Intense Learner: uses advanced vocabulary; reads excessively; reads on an advanced level; knows a lot about certain topics; determined to complete assignments and projects successfully
  • Analytical Learner: completes puzzles with many pieces; enjoys working with building sets; finds patterns at home or outside; good at mental math and problem solving; learns new skills quickly
  • Creative Producer: expresses familiar ideas in unusual ways; excels at drawing or painting; enjoys writing stories or poems, sees humor in situations others may find humorless; asks questions with why or how; creates original projects such as birthday cards
  • Highly Motivated in Areas of Interest: works well independently but also cooperatively as a team member; does more than required on assignments; assumes leadership positions, completes school assignments without a lot of help or reminders, is able to entertain him/herself at home without a TV.

After the testing has been completed, the Eligibility Committee for Gifted Education will review test data, teacher forms, parent forms, achievement data, and other information to make decisions regarding identification for gifted program services. Parents will be notified by mail of the final decisions before the end of the school year.

If you haven any questions about the referral process, please contact , Mrs. Babbs at 757-648-2960 Ext. 55951.

Gifted Testing Dates

  • Fifth Grade Screening - October 14, 2021
  • First Grade Screening - December 16, 2021
  • Grades 2-5 Testing Session 1 (ODS & Cluster Applicants) - February 24, 2022
  • Grade 1 Testing Session 1 (ODS & Cluster Applicants) - April 22, 2022

Online applications are accessible at

  • The application for students currently enrolled in grades 1-7 will be available in the fall.
  • The application deadline for students in grades 2-7 in January 10, 2022 at 4p.m.


Students and Parents Intellectual Growth Strategies

Try out this “COWLICKS” strategy around your house or community. This is a fun and simple way parents can help their child learn.
Counting. How many _____ do you see?
Observation. Look at this ____ until I say stop, now turn around and tell me everything you remember about it without peeking.
Words. What is the first word you think of when you look at ____?
Letters. Do you see something in this ____ that begins with the letter ___?
Imagination. Pretend you are this ____(artwork, plant animal, etc.)What would you say to me?
Compare and Contrast. How is this ___ and this ___ both alike and different from each other?
Kinesthetics. If this ____ could move, show me how it would move
Senses. What would this ____ feel ( taste, smell, sound) like?

Magnet & Academy Programs

Do you have a child currently in fifth grade? If so, you may be interested in the middle school options that are available for our students. Kemps Landing Magnet School (KLMS) and the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program @ Plaza Middle School are two choices that are available. Students take a rigorous course of study, perform community service, and may earn high school credits in either of these programs.
Kemps Landing/ Old Donation School is full-time gifted programs for identified intellectually gifted students. Old Donation is for students in grades 2-5. Transportation for all of these programs is provided by the school system and they each have a variety of extra curricula activities to add to the richness of the program.
Applications for any of these programs are available from the school.  If you are interested in applying for any or all of these special programs, please contact Sharon Babbs, the gifted resource teacher for an application. As in the past, parents are asked to complete a recommendation form. It is very important that specific examples are cited for any characteristic marked “almost always”. The selection committee reads all comments and considers them as they work through the process of recommending students for various programs.
“Achievement is largely the product of steadily raising one’s level of aspiration and expectation.”
-Jack Nicholas

Gifted Benchmark Goals:

  • To develop critical thinking and creative abilities and problem solving skills.
  • To develop an understanding for systems of knowledge, themes, issues and problems that frame the external world.
  • To develop meta cognitive skills that foster independent and self directed learning in order to develop self-understanding.

Growth Mindset Generalizations:

  • All students have potential.
  • All challenges contribute to growth in learning.
  • All abilities are developed through hard work.
  • Growth mindsets lead to success in life.