Academic-Year Governor's Schools
The Virginia Department of Education, in conjunction with localities, sponsors regional Academic-Year Governor's Schools that serve gifted high school students during the academic year. Currently, 19 Academic-Year Governor's Schools provide students with acceleration and exploration in areas ranging from the arts, to government and international studies, and to mathematics, science, and technology.
The Academic-Year Governor's Schools have developed innovative ways to serve their students. Appomattox Regional Governor's School for the Arts and Technology, Central Virginia Governor's School, Maggie L. Walker Governor's School, Roanoke Valley Governor's School, and Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology are housed in their own facilities. Other Academic-Year Governor's Schools share campuses with high schools, community colleges/universities, or professional organizations. The Governor's School for the Arts in Norfolk shares facilities at the Wells Theatre and with the Virginia Ballet. Several new schools are using interactive television to link multiple high school sites. A. Linwood Holton Governor's School is the commonwealth's first completely virtual Governor's School. Daily, students in more than 24 high schools in 13 counties in Southwest Virginia are taught through an Internet connection using a variety of software. Commonwealth Governor's School uses compressed video technology and coordinated large group activities to produce a community of learners at multiple sites across three counties.
Dr. Michael Robinson, Director
SW Virginia Higher Education Center
One Partnership Circle
P.O. Box 1987
Abingdon, Virginia 24212
Serves students in grades 10 - 12 at multiple sites in local high schools throughout the Southwest Virginia area.
The following school divisions participate in the A. Linwood Holton Governor's School: cities of Bristol, Galax and Norton; and the counties of Bland, Buchanan, Carroll, Dickenson, Grayson, Highland, Lee, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise and Wythe.
Dr. Brendon Albôn, Director
512 West Washington Street
Petersburg, Virginia 23803
Serves students in grades 9 - 12 at a single site at the renovated Petersburg High School campus in Petersburg, Virginia.
The following school divisions participate in the Appomattox Regional Governor's School: cities of Colonial Heights, Franklin, Hopewell, Petersburg and Richmond; and the counties of Amelia, Charles City, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Powhatan, Prince George, Southampton, Surry and Sussex.
Marc Carraway, Director
Fluvanna County Public Schools
Blue Ridge Virtual Governor's School
14455 James Madison Hwy
Palmyra, VA 22963
Serves students in grades 9-12 at multiple sites in local high schools throughout the central Virginia area.
The following school divisions participate in the Blue Ridge Governor's School: counties of Fluvanna, Goochland, Greene, Louisa, Madison, Nelson and Orange.
Dr. Steve Smith, Director
3151 Wards Ferry Road
Lynchburg, Virginia 24502
Serves students in grades 11 - 12 at a single site next to Heritage High School in Lynchburg, Virginia.
The following school divisions participate in the Central Virginia Governor's School: city of Lynchburg; and the counties of Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford and Campbell.
Dr. Rachel Ball, Director
P.O. Box 1410
202 S. Church Lane
Tappahannock, VA 22560
Serves students in grades 10 - 12 at three sites; two sites on the campuses of Rappahannock Community College and one site within a Caroline County Public School.
The following school divisions participate in the Chesapeake Bay Governor's School: the town of Colonial Beach; the counties of Caroline, Essex, Gloucester, King George, King & Queen, King William, Lancaster, Mathews, Middlesex, New Kent, Northumberland, Richmond and Westmoreland.
Jennifer Grigsby, Director
12301 Spotswood Furnace Road
Fredericksburg, Virginia 22407
Serves students in grades 9 - 12 at multiple sites in area high schools.
The following school divisions participate in the Commonwealth Governor's School: counties of Caroline, King George, Spotsylvania and Stafford.
Dr. Andrea F. Warren, Executive Director
254 Granby St.
Norfolk, Virginia 23510
Serving students grades 9 - 12 at the renovated Monroe Building, now referred to as the Perry Family Arts Center, and the renovated Shulman Building on Granby Street in Norfolk.
The following school divisions participate in the Governor's School for the Arts: cities of Chesapeake, Franklin, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk and Virginia Beach; and the counties of Isle of Wight and Southampton.
Eddie Graham, Director
Dabney S. Lancaster Community College
1000 Dabney Drive
Clifton Forge, Virginia 24422
Serves students in grades 11-12 at Dabney S. Lancaster Community College.
The following school divisions participate in the Jackson River Governor's School: cities of Buena Vista and Covington; and the counties of Alleghany, Bath and Botetourt.
Dr. Robert Lowerre, Director
1000 North Lombardy Street
Richmond, VA 23220
Serving students in grades 9 - 12 at a single site at the renovated historic Maggie L. Walker High School in Richmond, Virginia.
The following school divisions participate in GSGIS: cities of Colonial Heights, Hopewell, Petersburg and Richmond; and the counties of Charles City, Chesterfield, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, King & Queen, New Kent, Powhatan and Prince George.
Susan Fream, Director
Shenandoah County Public Schools
Triplett Business and Technology Center
6375 S. Main Street
Mount Jackson, VA 22842
Serving juniors and seniors from the high schools in the city of Harrisonburg and the counties of Page, Rockingham and Shenandoah.
The school is located at the Triplett Tech site in southern Shenandoah County.
Kelly Huff, Director
Lord Fairfax Community College - Warrenton Site
6480 College Street
Warrenton, VA 20187
Phone: 540-347-6237 or 540-347-6238
Lord Fairfax Community College - Middletown Site
173 Skirmisher Lane
Middletown, VA 22645
Phone: 540-868-7237 or 540-868-7238
Serving students in grades 10-12 from the high schools in the city of Winchester and the counties of Clarke, Culpeper, Fauquier, Frederick, Rappahannock and Warren. The program operates in conjunction with Lord Fairfax Community College at the Middletown and Warrenton sites.
Vikki Wismer, Director
520 Butler Farm Road
Hampton, Virginia 23666
Phone: 757-766-1100 ext. 313
Serving students primarily in grades 11 - 12 at a single site within the New Horizons Regional Education Center.
The following school divisions participate in the New Horizons Governor's School: cities of Hampton, Newport News, Poquoson and James City/Williamsburg; and the counties of Gloucester, Isle of Wight and York.
Joshua D. Bocock, Director
P.O. Box 984
Martinsville, Virginia 24114
Serving students in grades 11 - 12 from the campuses of Patrick Henry Community College and The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research.
The following school divisions participate in the Piedmont Governor's School: cities of Danville and Martinsville; and the counties of Henry and Pittsylvania.
Mark A. Levy, Director
2104 Grandin Road
Roanoke, Virginia 24015
Serving students in grades 9 - 12 at a single site in Roanoke, Virginia.
The following school divisions participate in the Roanoke Valley Governor's School: Cities of Roanoke and Salem; and the Counties of Bedford, Botetourt, Craig, Franklin, and Roanoke.
Dr. Lee Ann Whitesell, Director
49 Hornet Drive
Fishersville, Virginia 22939
Serves students in grades 11 - 12 at multiple sites located at Valley Career and Technical Center, and in the Waynesboro and Staunton area. The following school divisions participate in the Shenandoah Valley Governor's School: cities of Staunton and Waynesboro, and Augusta County.
The following school divisions participate in the Shenandoah Valley Governor's School: cities of Staunton and Waynesboro, and Augusta County.
Rebecca Phillips, Director
100 Northwood Drive
Pulaski, VA 24301
Serving students in grades 11 -12 at a single building site.
The following school divisions participate in the Southwest Virginia Governor's School: the cities of Galax and Radford; and the counties of Carroll, Floyd, Giles, Montgomery, Pulaski, Smyth and Wythe.
Wesley Swain, Director
Southside Virginia Community College
John H. Daniel Campus
200 Daniel Road
Keysville, Virginia 23947
Serving students in grades 11-12 on the Southside Virginia Community College – John H. Daniel and Christanna Campuses.
The following school divisions participate in GSSV: counties of Amelia, Brunswick, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Greensville (includes Emporia), Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Nottoway and Prince Edward.
Dr. Ann N. Bonitatibus, Principal
6560 Braddock Road
Alexandria, Virginia 22312
Serving students in grades 9 - 12 at a single site in Fairfax County, Virginia.
The following school divisions participate in the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology: city of Falls Church; and the counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William.
Dr. W. Jason Calhoun, Director
George Mason University Prince William Campus
10910 University Blvd.
Discovery Hall 175 MS6D10
Manassas, VA 20110-2203
Serves students in grades 11 - 12 at a single site on the George Mason University Science and Technology (SciTech) Campus.
The following school divisions participate in the Governor's School @ Innovation Park: the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park; and the county of Prince William.
More about Academic Year Governor's Schools
The Virginia Board of Education must approve proposals for new or expanding Governor's Schools. In 1998, the board passed Procedures for Initiating Academic-Year Governor's Schools (PDF) to direct the actions of regional planning groups. Each school creates a program tailored to the needs of its students. Academic-Year Governor's Schools vary in format. While three are full-day programs, fulfilling all requirements students need to graduate, most are part-time programs. Students in these schools spend a portion of their day at the Governor's Schools but rely on their high schools to provide other programming required for graduation. Students use computers, robotics, and other current technology in laboratory activities; they conduct in-depth research, work with other students to develop special projects and performances, and alongside mentors in business, industry, government, and universities gaining experiences that enhance their understanding of the content as well as contemporary career options.
Faculties for the Academic-Year Governor's Schools are selected based on advanced degrees, professional experience, and training and/or experience with gifted high school students. Most teachers have the gifted add-on endorsement that represents post-graduate training in gifted education, and several are certified through the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards. Each school is responsible for providing staff development to extend its teachers' knowledge and use of innovative teaching strategies, technology, and contemporary subject matter. See Licensure Regulations for School Personnel for more information.
The Academic-Year Governor's Schools 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 division. 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. Students can only attend an Academic-Year Governor's School program if their school division is a participating public school division and the students are selected by the Academic-Year Governor's School program through a competitive admission process. Transferring or students in military families should inquire with school division school counselors as to the availability of Academic-Year Governor's School programs in that school division and the application timeline.
- Navigating Gifted Education and Governor’s School Programs as a Military Transfer Student Briefing (PDF)
- Military Families
The Virginia Department of Education oversees and evaluates the Academic-Year Governor's Schools. Each school is evaluated through the use of evaluation rubrics designed to determine the effectiveness in curriculum, professional development, program design, guidance and counseling, identification and selection process, and facilities. A full-site evaluation team visits each school every six years.