Advanced Academics

Arlington Public Schools is dedicated to maximizing the strengths and potential of all students so they may become self-confident, well-rounded, responsible and productive citizens. Many advanced students need opportunities to think abstractly, work at various rates and levels of complexity, and pursue tasks independently. In addition, students eligible for advanced academic services need opportunities to learn with others of like abilities, as well as opportunities to develop social relationships with others of all abilities. For more resources and information about such services in Arlington, please visit the APS Advanced Academics page here:

“Our goal is to encourage all children to succeed to their maximum potential regardless of their starting point. “

The APS Office of Advanced Academics and Talent Development follows a local plan which complies with Virginia Regulations Governing Educational Services for Gifted Students based on the following concepts:

  • Giftedness is developmental; it is potential which must be nourished.
  • Gifted students share some characteristics with all other children.
  • There is variability among the gifted.

The gifted services eligibility process identifies students in the following areas:

  • Specific Academic Aptitude – students with specific aptitudes in the academic areas of mathematics, science, English, social studies.
  • Visual/Performing Arts Aptitude in grades 3-12 – Students with specific aptitudes in visual art and/or instrumental or vocal music areas.

Mr. Villacrusis

Mr. Villacrusis

Who? My name is Raphael Villacrusis, but you can call me, “Mr. V.”  I am the Resource Teacher for the Gifted here at ASFS.  This year will be my 14th year as an educator.  I have had experience teaching second, third, and fourth grade advanced academics curriculum.  I am definitely looking forward to learning along with teachers, you, and your child over the coming months.  We will work together with CCT (critical and creative thinking) strategies to make our thinking visible.  I will be cooperating with all grade levels to push in with the classroom teachers to model the use of gifted resources and strategies, as well as attending grade level team meetings to provide differentiated resources for our gifted learners. 

Where? I graduated from James Madison University (JMU) with my Masters of Arts in Teaching with a concentration on Elementary Education PreK-6th grade.  I also attended JMU for my undergraduate degree of Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies with a focus on Humanities and Social Sciences.  I also am a triple minor; Elementary Education, Music Industry, and World Religions. 

What? My hobbies include laughing, driving and dancing, more specifically breakdancing.  I like to do collage art, as well as haircuts. I fancy reading above all the school subjects, but I very much love math, social studies and science… especially lunch and RECESS! I value honesty and trust; in others and in yourself to always do your best, and work to be better than you were yesterday. I enjoy eating just about any cultural foods, but my favorite thing to eat is pizza with any and as many toppings as you can muster. My favorite sport is billiards (pool).  It requires concentration, strategy, and a mastery of physics and geometry.  Playing billiards is a true brain game! I am married to my best friend, whom I am sure you will meet several times throughout the year.  Her name is Mrs. Nathalie.  Together, we are the proud owners of a 8-year old white boxer named Luna, who I’m sure you will hear about a LOT during the school year.  We are also proud PARENTS of a 5-year-old kindergartener boss named RJ (Raphael Junior), whom I’m sure you will get the chance to meet this year, too!

When? Parent Information Night, November 14, 2023 @ 7pm in the ASFS Library.

Why? Why not?

How? If you have any questions, please contact through