2020 Summer Residential Governor’s School Program in Mathematics, Science, and Technology
June 28 – July 25, 2020
Director: Stephen P. Smith
Assistant Director: Jennifer L. Monroe
The Summer Residential Governor’s School at University of Lynchburg is part of the State of Virginia’s broader Governor’s School programs.
For more detailed information, applications, and deadlines visit the state website at:
The state site also offers a guide for school administrators, and a guide for students and parents are available and are updated yearly.
Typically, the deadline for students to apply to their local school district is in early January, a process that begins with the local school district. However, as these deadlines are set by the school districts themselves and may be different, it is advisable that those students who want to apply contact a high school guidance counselor to inquire about that school’s procedures and deadlines as early as possible in their sophomore or junior year.
Benefits for Students
Governor’s Schools give gifted students academic and visual and performing arts opportunities beyond those normally available in the students’ home schools. Students are able to focus on a specific area of intellectual or artistic strength and interest and to study in a way that best suits the gifted learner’s needs.
Each program stresses non-traditional teaching and learning techniques. For example, small-group instruction, hands-on-experiences, research, field studies, or realistic or artistic productions are major elements in the instructional design at all schools.
Students become scientists, writers, artists, and performers as they work with professional mentors and instructors. Every effort is made to tailor learning to needs of the community of learners that comprise the program.
The Virginia Governor’s School Program has been designed to assist divisions as they meet the needs of a small population of students whose learning levels are remarkably different from their age-level peers. The foundation of the Virginia Governor’s School Program centers on best practices in the field of gifted education and the presentation of advanced content to able learners.
The Governor’s School programs are administered by the Virginia Department of Education, Office of Secondary Instructional Services, in cooperation with local school divisions, colleges, and universities.
A local director at each Governor’s School site has direct responsibility for the logistics of the program. Academic-Year Governor’s Schools have directors and regional governing boards that provide policy and administration of these schools. Program and site directors at the Summer Residential Governor’s Schools along with the specialist in the Virginia Department of Education work together to manage and maintain these programs.
The Department of Education, regional governing boards, local superintendents, site or program directors, school boards, and advisory committees establish policies for the Governor’s Schools. These policies are described in an administrative procedures document for each school. All Governor’s Schools annually submit a current administrative procedures document to VDOE.
Maintaining High Standards
Each Governor’s School maintains its standards through a system of internal evaluations. Summaries of findings are submitted to the Department of Education as part of the administrative procedures document. Internal evaluation methods may include collecting information from students and staff, interviews and written surveys with administrators, instructors, students, and parents, and analysis of other documents related to the programs.
Teams of external evaluators visit each Governor’s School on a regular basis. Evaluation rubrics have been developed based on the National Association for Gifted Children’s standards (external link). The Governor’s School directors receive commendations and recommendations from the team sponsored by the Department of Education. The final report, sent to the director and the chairperson of the regional governing board, summarizes the findings and conclusions of the team.
Summer Residential Governor’s Schools
Summer Residential Governor’s Schools provide gifted high school juniors and seniors with intensive educational experiences in visual and performing arts; humanities; mathematics, science, and technology; life science and medicine; or through mentorships in marine science or engineering.
Each Summer Residential Governor’s School focuses on one special area of interest. Students live on a college or university campus for up to five weeks each summer. During this time, students are involved in classroom and laboratory work, field studies, research, individual and group projects and performances, and seminars with noted scholars, visiting artists, and other professionals. In the two mentorships, students are selected to work side-by-side with research scientists, physicians, and a variety of other professionals. A director and a student-life staff provide supervision of students 24 hours a day throughout the program.