"To think, it seems to me, is to hold an idea long enough to unlock and shape its power in the varied contexts of shared human knowledge." --John Steiner, Notebooks of the Mind


    We believe that effective instruction for intellectually gifted students is created in an environment that not only permits learners to interact with their intellectual peers, but also nurtures self-directed learning, flexibility, decision making, thinking skills, and divergent thinking. This environment nurtures both the cognitive (thinking) and affective (social and emotional) needs of the intellectually gifted learners, and, hopefully, encourages them to become life-long, imaginative, autonomous learners.

    Mission Statement

    The mission of the Madison County School District's PAthways (Intellectually Gifted) Program is to offer to intellectually gifted learners those differentiated learning experiences which will meet their special needs and encourage growth.


    These are the skills taught in each of our gifted classrooms.  We have a specific scope and sequence for each grade so that students may best learn these outcomes at their developmental level. 

    • Thinking Skills
    • Creativity
    • Information Literacy
    • Success Skills
    • Affective Skills
    • Communication Skills


    Program Goals

    *To provide students with those activities which emphasize the process of learning rather than content; divergent thinking rather than convergent; exploration of ideas through creative problem solving; and reasoning skills

    *To provide students with a diversity of learning experiences, including instructional methods, materials, and activities.
    *To provide opportunities for the students to grow in their understanding of themselves and others.

    Structure and Regulations

    Link coming soon!



    Parenting gifted children can be challenging!  Click on the resources below to help with information and support.
    Mississippi Association for Gifted Children
    National Association for Gifted Children


    Pathways is Madison County's intellectually gifted program for students in grades 2-8.  We make every effort to identify all students who would qualify and benefit from participation in this program.  Here is a quick overview of the referral process:

    --All students in the Madison County Schools are universally screened in both first and second grades.  Students who qualify on the screener are referred for further testing.  Students who do not qualify during universal screening, but are thought might be good candidates for the gifted program, can also be referred at this time.

    --Madison County Schools has an open referral policy and accepts gifted referrals in grades 2-8 throughout the school year.  Referrals may come from parents, teachers, the students themselves, or from any other member of the community.  Each building has a school-level gifted contact--generally the school counselor or gifted teacher--who can be approached if one would like to refer a student for Pathways.  Please note:  MCS does have a referral cutoff date of the Friday before Spring Break, so that testing may be completed and plans made for the next year.  Referrals received after this time will be processed after July 1.  Students who are new to our district after the cutoff date are exempt from this deadline. 

    --Some parents may choose to pursue private testing at their own expense.  With private assessments, there are also additional criteria to be met, per Mississippi Department of Education guidelines.  Please contact the Gifted Coordinator at the Office of Special Services for a private testing information packet.


    For more information, please contact

    Shelley Helenius, Gifted Coordinator
    467 Highland Colony Parkway
    Ridgeland, MS 39157
    Phone: 601-853-1326