McKinney ISD


ALPHA Services

Elementary School


The entire MISD kindergarten population is screened in December for placement in ALPHA classes beginning March 1st as mandated by the State Plan. These newly-identified students are serviced on their campus once a week for one hour.

First and Second Grade

The 1st & 2nd grade students meet with the ALPHA teacher for differentiated and extension activities approximately one hour, once a week. Two gifted-endorsed primary educators travel to two campuses per day. Curriculum incorporates scientific thinking, problem solving, creativity, and complexity based on Dr. Sandra Kaplan’s research.

Curriculum for our K-2 students for the current school year will incorporate creative and critical thinking. The students will research “biomes” and the “ologies”. Scientific thinking, discovery, investigations and explorations will provide these gifted students an opportunity to understand science from real-world problem-based learning opportunities.

In order to support regular classroom teachers, the two ALPHA teachers provide low-prep, teacher- friendly differentiation strategies weekly for all K-2 teachers to incorporate into their lesson plans.

If you have any questions regarding the K-2 ALPHA curriculum or services, please contact either Lisa Sutton or Lisa Crates.

Third Grade

Third grade ALPHA students receive services on Friday of each week at Webb Elementary.  The third grade curriculum is designed to provide learning experiences modified through a variety of strategies of flexible pacing, advanced and complex concepts and abstract creative thinking opportunities.  The ALPHA teachers promote self-directed and self-initiated opportunities within in their classrooms encouraging students to develop a growth mindset.

Fourth and Fifth Grade

Gifted students are tenacious and active learners, requiring content that allows academic challenges. In order to meet these intellectual and social needs, our Alpha program provides academic rigor, encouraging students to reach beyond their current knowledge and develop the love of learning.

ALPHA students are exposed to curriculum to develop the mindset that knowledge and learning is constantly changing. Problem solving and in-depth study of major ideas, themes or problems encourage ALPHA students to think both critically and creatively.

If you have any questions, suggestions, or comments regarding Alpha 3-5, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s Alpha teachers.

Middle School

English Language Arts and Reading (ELAR)

The William and Mary Curriculum for High Ability Learners is the curriculum for 6th, 7th, and 8th gifted ELAR students. Students in GT-Language Arts will study literature from a historical perspective. An in-depth study of grammar and classical (Greek & Latin) root words are an integral part of this curriculum (Word Within the Word, M.C. Thompson).

Social Studies

Social Studies is only offered to our 8th grade gifted students in order to support and develop skills in preparation for Humanities. Social Studies students also participate in Mock Trials.

7th Grade Duke TIP

The Talent Search is the largest program of its kind in the nation, representing participation from junior high and middle schools in the Duke TIP 16-state region.

Over 1.5 million students have completed the Talent Search since its inception in 1980. The Talent Search identifies academically talented 7th graders based on standardized test scores achieved while attending elementary or middle school. Candidates are identified and invited to complete either the SAT Reasoning Test or the ACT Assessment college entrance examination. Duke TIP then provides the participants with comparative information concerning their academic abilities and resources for unique educational opportunities.

The goal is to assist young people with excellent mathematical or verbal aptitude. Students are provided with information about their abilities and introduced to a network of services and programs.

High School


Gifted and high ability math students are serviced in PreAP and AP math classes.


Students are clustered with GT certified teachers in their PreAP and AP classes.

Need Help?

If you need additional assistance with the content on this page, please contact McKinney ISD team member Leslie Reins by phone at 469-302-4109 or by email here .