Horizons » Program Overview

Program Overview


Horizons is the district’s self-contained gifted program designed to meet the needs of highly gifted students whose intellectual, academic, and affective needs exceed beyond those of other gifted students in regular classrooms. The program offers a learning environment and advanced curriculum for same-aged peers in four of the content areas from kindergarten to eighth grade, including English and Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies. The program emphasizes not only academic and intellectual rigor but also emotional and social growth for a wide range of highly gifted children from all backgrounds.


Horizons curriculum and instruction are taught by highly qualified teachers who function as instructors, facilitators, coaches, and mentors. Content-rich and curriculum teachers use are also designed to extend, accelerate, and add depth to the North Carolina Standard Course of Study. To receive appropriate academic challenges, opportunities, and growth, students are expected to function at cognitive levels that are generally two to three grade levels above the assigned grades. Various skills and abilities include understanding and interpreting advanced texts, handling complexity, and providing possible solutions to real world problems. Controversial dilemmas and open-ended discussions raised from text, concepts, and issues provide students opportunities to engage in meaningful intellectual discourse. The accelerated pace also allows time to engage students in solving advanced problems that are concept-based, multidisciplinary, and cross-curricular. Students will also investigate issues independently and cooperatively based on their interests, readiness, and learning profiles.


Student growth is assessed through ongoing assessments, performances, and portfolios. A collection of products of learning in all core subjects is captured and shared in quarterly Performance Reviews. 


Please contact Talent Development Specialist, Benna Haas (souyonne1.haas@cms.k12.nc.us) for more information.