Purpose and History of Academic Year Governor's Schools




Purpose of Academic Year Governor's Schools


Virginia Academic Year Governor's Schools are recognized internationally as a model of excellent programming for gifted secondary students. The AYGS Programs provide educational opportunities for students identified as gifted or eligible to be so designated. These programs offer the following opportunities:

  • to develop their own identity as a community of learners,
  • to learn and grow in an environment that nurtures their unique abilities and needs,
  • to develop a positive and realistic concept of self and others,
  • to belong to a community of learners who share interests and abilities,
  • to learn about subjects of interest to them,
  • to be risk-takers and decision-makers in a non-threatening environment,
  • to provide career exploration and advanced classes which help them prepare for college or other post-secondary opportunities, and
  • to expand their knowledge of, and interest in, science and technology, the humanities, and the arts by providing interaction with community, industry, professionals, and higher education.



  • History of Academic Year Governor's Schools


    The leadership of Governor A. Linwood Holton was pivotal in establishing the Governor's School program in Virginia, which began in 1973 with summer residential programs and evolved over time to include Academic Year Governor's Schools (AYGS) by 1985. Central Virginia Governor's School, New Horizons Governor's School, Roanoke Valley Governor's School, and Thomas Jefferson Governor's School were the first four academic programs.