Governor's Schools (Virginia)

Governor's Schools (Virginia)

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The Governor's Schools are a collection of regional magnet high schools
Magnet school
In education in the United States, magnet schools are public schools with specialized courses or curricula. "Magnet" refers to how the schools draw students from across the normal boundaries defined by authorities as school zones that feed into certain schools.There are magnet schools at the...

 and summer programs in the Commonwealth of Virginia intended for gifted students.

Virginia Governor’s Schools provide some of the state’s most able students academically and artistically challenging programs beyond those offered in their home schools. With the support of the Virginia Board of Education and the General Assembly, the Governor’s Schools currently serve in their various forms more than 7,500 gifted students from all parts of the Commonwealth
Commonwealth (United States)
Four of the constituent states of the United States officially designate themselves Commonwealths: Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Virginia....

.

History


Begun in 1973 at the behest of Governor Linwood Holton
A. Linwood Holton Jr.
Abner Linwood Holton, Jr. was the 61st Governor of Virginia, and the first Republican governor since Reconstruction. He was governor from 1970 to 1974...

, the first incarnation of the Governor's School program included summer residential sessions for 400 gifted students from across the commonwealth. From its beginnings, with three summer schools in 1973, the program has expanded to more than 40 sites throughout the commonwealth.

Academic-year Governor's Schools


The Virginia Department of Education
Virginia Department of Education
The Virginia Department of Education is the state education agency of The Commonwealth of Virginia. It is headquartered in the James Monroe Building in Richmond. The department is headed by the Virginia Secretary of Education, a position that is appointed by the Governor of Virginia...

, in conjunction with localities, sponsors regional academic-year Governor’s Schools that serve gifted high school students during the academic year. Currently, 18 academic-year Governor’s Schools provide students with acceleration and exploration in areas ranging from the arts, to government and international studies, to global economics and technology, and to mathematics, science, and technology.

They are established as “joint schools” by Virginia school law. As such, they are typically managed by a regional governing board of representatives from the school boards of each participating school division
School division
-Canada:In Canada the term is used to the area controlled by a school board and is used interchangeably with school district, including in the formal name of the board. For example, see List of Alberta school boards.-United States:...

. The regional governing board is charged with developing policies for the school including the school’s admissions process. While these processes differ from school to school, all applicants are assessed using multiple criteria by trained evaluators who have experience in gifted education and the focus area of the specific academic-year Governor’s School.

Most schools specialize in a particular subject, and each serves a single region, only accepting students whose parents or guardians live within a predefined list of nearby cities or counties.

Flagship schools


Though there are 18 Governor's Schools designated by the Commonwealth for some amount of instruction during the academic year, many are intended only to supplement the education provided by local districts; these only offer a limited subset of classes, either on a partial-day basis, or in limited form to upperclassmen.

Three schools, the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology is a Virginia state-chartered magnet school located within Fairfax County, Virginia, United States...

, also known as "TJHSST", (founded 1986) in Fairfax County, Virginia
Fairfax County, Virginia
Fairfax County is a county in Virginia, in the United States. Per the 2010 Census, the population of the county is 1,081,726, making it the most populous jurisdiction in the Commonwealth of Virginia, with 13.5% of Virginia's population...

 , Maggie L. Walker Governor's School for Government and International Studies
Maggie L. Walker Governor's School for Government and International Studies
The Maggie L. Walker Governor's School for Government and International Studies is a public regional magnet high school in Richmond, Virginia....

, as known as "MLWGSGIS", (founded 1991) in Richmond
Richmond, Virginia
Richmond is the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia, in the United States. It is an independent city and not part of any county. Richmond is the center of the Richmond Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Greater Richmond area...

, and New Horizons Governor's School for Science and Technology
New Horizons Governor's School for Science and Technology
The New Horizons Governor's School for Science and Technology is a magnet school located in Hampton, Virginia and directed by Vikki Whismer. Students of this school are chosen from the Gloucester, Hampton, Newport News, Poquoson, Williamsburg-James City, and York County School Divisions. Students...

, also known as "NHGSST", (founded in 1985) in Hampton, Virginia
Hampton, Virginia
Hampton is an independent city that is not part of any county in Southeast Virginia. Its population is 137,436. As one of the seven major cities that compose the Hampton Roads metropolitan area, it is on the southeastern end of the Virginia Peninsula. Located on the Hampton Roads Beltway, it hosts...

 are full-fledged four-year university preparatory programs and two year programs. The three are considered by many to constitute three of the best public high schools in the country with all three schools notably listed in Newsweek's Annual Public Elite list of high schools. Academic competitions in Virginia often witness these three schools meeting each other in the final rounds.

Admission to the three schools is highly sought-after and competitive. In the Northern Virginia
Northern Virginia
Northern Virginia consists of several counties and independent cities in the Commonwealth of Virginia, in a widespread region generally radiating southerly and westward from Washington, D.C...

 region served by TJHSST extensive courses were developed by private companies to help prepare students for the rigorous testing procedure. After public protests that this put poor and minority students at a disadvantage for acceptance, Fairfax County began offering similar free public courses.

As the acceptance rate is only about 15% at TJHSST, the school is currently looking to expand from 1600 students to 2000. The MLWGSGIS's acceptance rate is currently about 10% and enrolls nearly 700 students. NGHSST's acceptance rate is about 15% and enrolls nearly 200 students.

Full list of academic-year Governor's Schools

  • Governor's School @ Innovation Park "Grade 11-12"
  • Appomattox Regional Governor's School for the Arts And Technology
    Appomattox Regional Governor's School for the Arts And Technology
    The Appomattox Regional Governor's School for the Arts And Technology is a public regional magnet high school in downtown Petersburg, Virginia....

     Grades 9-12
  • Blue Ridge Virtual Governor's School
    Blue Ridge Virtual Governor's School
    The Blue Ridge Virtual Governor's School is a Virginia available to public high school students enrolled in the counties of Fluvanna, Goochland, Greene, Louisa, Madison, Nelson and Orange in central Virginia...

     Grades 9-12
  • Central Virginia Governor's School for Science and Technology
    Central Virginia Governor's School for Science and Technology
    The Central Virginia Governor's School for Science and Technology is a magnet school located in Lynchburg, Virginia and directed by Dr. Stephen Smith. Students of this school are chosen from Lynchburg-area county and city schools...

     Grades 11-12
  • Chesapeake Bay Governor's School for Marine and Environmental Science
    Chesapeake Bay Governor's School for Marine and Environmental Science
    The Chesapeake Bay Governor's School for Marine Environmental Science is a public regional magnet high school. Its main building is located in Tappahannock, Virginia, directed by Mrs...

     Grades 10-12
  • Commonwealth Governor's School
    Commonwealth Governor's School
    The Commonwealth Governor's School is one of 18 magnet Governor's Schools in Virginia. The Commonwealth Governor's School is a half-day program based on a school-within-a-school model...

     Grades 9-12
  • Governor's School for the Arts
    Governor's School for the Arts
    The Governor's School for the Arts is a regional secondary arts school sponsored by the Virginia Department of Education and the public school divisions of Chesapeake, Franklin, Isle of Wight County, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Southampton County, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach...

     Grades 9-12
  • Governor's School of Southside Virginia
    Governor's School of Southside Virginia
    The Governor's School of Southside Virginia is a public magnet high school in Keysville, Virginia and Alberta, Virginia. The Governor's School of Southside Virginia is located at Southside Virginia Community College -- John H. Daniel campus just outside of Keysville, Virginia and the Christanna...

     Grades 11-12
  • A. Linwood Holton Governor's School Grades 10-12
  • Jackson River Governor's School Grades 11-12
  • Maggie L. Walker Governor's School for Government and International Studies
    Maggie L. Walker Governor's School for Government and International Studies
    The Maggie L. Walker Governor's School for Government and International Studies is a public regional magnet high school in Richmond, Virginia....

     Grades 9-12
  • Massanutten Governor's School for Integrated Environmental Science and Technology
    Massanutten Governor's School for Integrated Environmental Science and Technology
    The Massanutten Regional Governor's School is one of Virginia's 18 state-initiated magnet Governor's Schools, located in Mt. Jackson, in Shenandoah County...

     Grades 11-12
  • Mountain Vista Governor's School
    Mountain Vista Governor's School
    Mountain Vista Governor's School for Science, Math & Technology is one of Virginia's 18 state-initiated governor's schools, serving primarily 11th and 12th graders. The school is composed of two campuses, one each in Middletown, Virginia, USA and Warrenton, Virginia, USA...

     Grades 11-12
  • New Horizons Governor's School for Science and Technology
    New Horizons Governor's School for Science and Technology
    The New Horizons Governor's School for Science and Technology is a magnet school located in Hampton, Virginia and directed by Vikki Whismer. Students of this school are chosen from the Gloucester, Hampton, Newport News, Poquoson, Williamsburg-James City, and York County School Divisions. Students...

     Grades 11-12
  • Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
    Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
    Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology is a Virginia state-chartered magnet school located within Fairfax County, Virginia, United States...

     Grades 9-12
  • Piedmont Governor's School for Mathematics, Science, and Technology
    Piedmont Governor's School for Mathematics, Science, and Technology
    The Piedmont Governor's School for Mathematics, Science, and Technology is one of Virginia's 18 state-initiated magnet Governor's Schools. It is a half-day school program where 11th and 12th grade students take advanced classes in the morning Four classes are to be taken at the gov...

     Grades 11-12
  • Roanoke Valley Governor's School for Science and Technology
    Roanoke Valley Governor's School for Science and Technology
    The Roanoke Valley Governor's School for Science and Technology is located in the Grandin Court neighborhood of Roanoke, Virginia on the campus of Patrick Henry High School, and was established in 1985 as a result of the cooperative effort of seven regional school districts to improve education in...

     Grades 9-12
  • Shenandoah Valley Governor's School
    Shenandoah Valley Governor's School
    The Shenandoah Valley Governor's School is one of Virginia's 18 state-initiated magnet Governor's Schools. It is a part-time school where 11th and 12th grade students take advanced classes in the morning .-Curriculum:There are two separate curricula at SVGS...

     Grades 11-12
  • Southwest Virginia Governor's School for Science, Mathematics, and Technology
    Southwest Virginia Governor's School for Science, Mathematics, and Technology
    The Southwest Virginia Governor's School for Science, Mathematics, and Technology is one of Virginia's 18 state-initiated magnet Governor's Schools...

     Grades 11-12

Summer Residential Governor's Schools


Also offered are summer programs for exceptional Virginia students. These Governor's Schools last up to four weeks and are held at Virginia institutions of higher learning. Students reside on the campus, but take courses taught by teachers and professors from around the state. Depending on the program, students may or may not have choices in course selection. There is typically no relationship between the institution at which the Summer Governor's School is held and the program its other than providing the infrastructure support for what resembles a college lifestyle.

Selection is based on applications submitted by students during the school year, while they are attending their home high school. Often, the number of students accepted from any given high school is capped, depending on the population of the school. Selection to summer programs is limited to rising 11th and 12th graders.

Full list of Summer Residential Governor's Schools


The institutions at which the Summer Residential Governor's Schools are held can vary from year to year. The colleges indicated below are the most recent institutions selected for hosting the programs.
  • Governor's School for the Humanities, at Radford University
    Radford University
    Radford University is one of Virginia's eight doctoral-degree granting public universities. Originally founded in 1910, Radford offers comprehensive curricula for undergraduates in more than 100 fields, and graduate programs including the M.F.A., M.B.A...

  • Governor's School for the Visual and Performing Arts, at Radford University
    Radford University
    Radford University is one of Virginia's eight doctoral-degree granting public universities. Originally founded in 1910, Radford offers comprehensive curricula for undergraduates in more than 100 fields, and graduate programs including the M.F.A., M.B.A...

  • Governor's School for Mathematics, Science, and Technology, at Lynchburg College
    Lynchburg College
    Lynchburg College is a private college in Lynchburg, Virginia, USA, related by covenant to the Christian Church with approximately 2,500 undergraduate and graduate students. The Princeton Review lists it as one of the 368 best colleges in the nation...

  • Governor's School Mentorships in Engineering and Marine Science, at NASA
    NASA
    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

    's Langley Research Center
    Langley Research Center
    Langley Research Center is the oldest of NASA's field centers, located in Hampton, Virginia, United States. It directly borders Poquoson, Virginia and Langley Air Force Base...

  • Governor's School for Agriculture, at Virginia Tech
  • Governor's School for Life Sciences and Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University
    Virginia Commonwealth University
    Virginia Commonwealth University is a public university located in Richmond, Virginia. It comprises two campuses in the Downtown Richmond area, the product of a merger between the Richmond Professional Institute and the Medical College of Virginia in 1968...

  • Governor's School at Innovation Park
  • Governor's School for Foreign Language at Virginia Commonwealth University
    Virginia Commonwealth University
    Virginia Commonwealth University is a public university located in Richmond, Virginia. It comprises two campuses in the Downtown Richmond area, the product of a merger between the Richmond Professional Institute and the Medical College of Virginia in 1968...

  • Governor's School for Video Game Programming, "at University of Virginia
    University of Virginia
    The University of Virginia is a public research university located in Charlottesville, Virginia, United States, founded by Thomas Jefferson...

    "

External links