In 1972 the Irvine Unified School district instituted the Mentally Gifted Minors (MGM) Program for intellectually talented students. Legislation later redefined the program as Gifted and Talented Education (GATE). The Board of Education in 1980 established alternative classes to accommodate the gifted and high achieving students. These self contained classes are designed to provide opportunities for more individualized instruction, learning experiences aimed at utilizing high competencies, opportunities to explore areas of interest, and close interpersonal relationships with students of similar abilities.

The APAAS Program student curricula are intended to benefit those students whose capacity for intellectual achievement can be enhanced by flexible instructional strategies, unique learning opportunities, independent judgment, creative and critical thinking, and the development of common interests and interaction among intellectual peers.

There are admission procedures and not all eligible students would profit from the APAAS structure. Admission based upon test data, IQ scores, report card grades and other types of assessments. A recommendation for placement from the teacher, psychologist, and site administrator is part of every review and placements are for one year only with continued enrollment based on yearly screening.

APAAS classes are located throughout our district and Deerfield is fortunate to have a class at grade four, grade five and grade six. These classes are comprised of students district wide and parents are responsible for transporting their child to these geographically distributed classes throughout Irvine Unified School District.