Governor's Schools (Virginia)

Governor's Schools (Virginia)

Governor's Schools (Virginia)

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The Governor's Schools are a collection of regional magnet high schools and summer programs in the Commonwealth of Virginia intended for gifted students.

Virginia Governor’s Schools provide some of the state’s most able students academically and artistically challenging programs beyond those offered in their home schools. With the support of the Virginia Board of Education and the General Assembly, the Governor’s Schools currently serve in their various forms more than 7,500 gifted students from all parts of the Commonwealth.


Begun in 1973 at the behest of Governor Linwood Holton, the first incarnation of the Governor's School program included summer residential sessions for 400 gifted students from across the commonwealth. From its beginnings, with three summer schools in 1973, the program has expanded to more than 40 sites throughout the commonwealth.

Academic-year Governor's Schools

The Virginia Department of Education, in conjunction with localities, sponsors regional academic-year Governor’s Schools that serve gifted high school students during the academic year. Currently, 18 academic-year Governor’s Schools provide students with acceleration and exploration in areas ranging from the arts, to government and international studies, to global economics and technology, and to mathematics, science, and technology.

They are established as “joint schools” by Virginia school law. As such, they are typically managed by a regional governing board of...
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