Students, staff & families celebrate official opening of Huntsville’s new Academy for Gifted and Talented

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Huntsville City Schools celebrated the opening of a sixth magnet program this week.  It's the Academy for the Gifted and Talented at Williams P-8.

The inaugural class at the Academy for Gifted and Talented has 51 sixth graders.  They have differing strengths and interests, but they are united in their passion for learning.

"It got to the point, especially in math where we didn't think there was going to be an option to put her in school so when this opportunity came up, she was really excited about it and we were really excited about it and we decided to give it a try," said Jennifer Johnson, a parent.

"Certainly, we're looking for students that perform at a high level but we're also looking for students who have unique interests and students who think outside of the box and who are looking for something that we might be able to provide in that regular school environment," said Dr. Barbara Cooper, Deputy Superintendent for Huntsville City Schools.

While all Huntsville elementary schools provide some sort of gifted education, this is the first such program to meet the needs of middle schoolers.

"If we really get these students engaged and allow them to continue on in programs with peers that are like-minded and working at the same level, they're going to propel on to our International Baccalaureate program or New Century Technology High School program or even the performing arts," said Dr. Cooper.

Students in the program come from across the Huntsville City School system.  The system is planning several events this fall for parents interested in learning more about magnet opportunities.  WHNT News 19 will keep you posted once those are scheduled.

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