Horizons 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 those of other gifted students in regular classrooms. The program offers a learning environment and advanced curriculum for same-aged peers in four content areas from kindergarten to eighth grade, including English and Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies. The program emphasizes academic and intellectual rigor and 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. Teachers' content-rich curriculum is 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 offer 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. In addition, a collection of products of learning in all core subjects is captured and shared in quarterly Performance Reviews.

    Horizons Application Process

    The application window for students for Horizons entry in the 2024-2025 school year was from November 1-December 13, 2023. The application window is currently closed. If you are interested in being notified when the window opens for the 2025-2026 school year, please complete the form linked here. Please note that in order to apply to the Horizons program, students should have academic data showing that they are currently performing in the 98th-99th percentile in their current school in all subjects.

    Current CMS Students

    Students currently enrolled in a CMS school will complete an application and submit to the TD teacher or Academic Facilitator at their child's school. 

    Application Process for CMS Students

    Out of District Students

    Students who are not currently enrolled in CMS will submit their application directly to the Advanced Studies Department. The application window is currently closed. 

    Application Process for Out of District Students 



  • Frequently Asked Questions

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  • Want to apply for Horizons? Click the link below to be notified when the window opens for the 2025-2026 school year.

    Horizons applications for the 2024-2025 school year are currently closed.

    Horizons Interest Form