Academic All-Star Camp

  • Camp Overview


    The Academic All-Star Camp (AASC) began in the summer of 2001. The camp provides an opportunity for rising high school freshmen to participate in activities that prepare them for a successful transition to high school.  During the camp, students engage in hands-on, problem-based learning experiences designed to equip them with the skills needed for honors and advanced placement (AP) courses.  District high school teachers with experience in teaching honors and AP courses provide an interactive curriculum for students in their selected focus area (reading, math, science, or social students).  Students are encouraged to select the focus area that is not necessarily their favorite subject but is the subject for which they know they will have the opportunity to use a Learner’s Mindset, as they engage in material designed to teach real-world applications of the subject area. 


    Participating students will also have the opportunity to participate in teacher-designed test preparation sessions that will help them understand national assessments that provide information on a student’s college and career readiness.  These assessments include Advanced Placement® Exams, the ACT®, the PSAT/NMQT® as well as the SAT®. During the AASC, students receive test-taking strategies and tips for each focus area (reading, math, science, and social studies).  The tips will help students learn how to strategize for future administration of standardized assessments. Additionally, our AASC teachers share information about the potential use of these exams for college credit. 


    The camp also includes leadership development activities that will help students develop the self-advocacy and executive functioning skills needed for school success. These activities are typically taught as team competitions where students work collaboratively to solve challenges that encourage school success.  Most of our leadership curriculum is facilitated by our camp counselors, who are a vital part of the student’s camp experience.


    All students who accept the invitation to participate in the AASC must be able to attend Monday – Thursday for the entire camp session, which runs for 3 weeks. Exceptions will be made for students who may need to miss a few days in order to attend freshmen orientation at their assigned GCS high school.  For the AASC, lunch is provided; however, depending on district decisions, this is subject to change. Click here to read more about this enrichment opportunity.  



    The Selection and Notification Process


    The top 10% of each GCS middle school’s 8th grade class are invited to participate.  Students are selected based on the Grade 7 administration of the NC End-of-Grade Reading and Math assessments.  During the second semester, the TAG Chair, at each middle school will distribute a notification letter to each student who is eligible for the camp.  The notification document will include the information parents/guardians need to register their child for the camp experience.  In addition to the notification letter, the AG Department will provide Connect Ed messages informing families of their child’s eligibility to participate in the AASC.  Upon registration, the AG Department sends frequent updates regarding receipt of the student’s registration.  However, final camp decisions, such as assigned camp location and assigned focus area, are not communicated until approximately two weeks following the registration deadline. 


    2024 AASC Schedule


    The 2024 Academic All-Star Camp will be held Monday – Thursday, June 24 – 27 and July 8 – 19, 2024.  The 2024 locations are Ragsdale High School and Western High School locations.  Students will attend from 9:00am – 1:30pm.  Lunch is available. However, unlike previous camps, transportation is not available for the 2024 AASC.  Notification to students selected to participate in the 2024 AASC will begin April 12, 2024.  The AG Department will use the following methods to inform families of those selected to participate in the 2024 AASC:


    • Beginning April 12, letters will be delivered to the students by the school’s TAG Chair.
    • The week of April 15, a postcard will be mailed to the student’s address as listed in PowerSchool on April 10.
    • The week of April 22, a Connect Ed message will be delivered to the student’s primary number as listed in PowerSchool on April 10.


    The letter and postcard will include the registration link as well as a link to join a virtual meeting that will be held on May 7, 2024.  During the virtual meeting, the AG Department will provide additional information about this enrichment experience to the families of those selected to participate.


    Questions about the AASC should be sent to



    Academic All-Star Camp Virtual Open House


    Click HERE to access a recording of the virtual Open House that was held May 7, 2024.  This recording will be available until June 6, 2024.  






    According to feedback received from previous campers, over 90% of the students who attended the Academic All-Star Camp say that they would recommend the camp to other students.  Below is an infographic that captures testimonials from previous campers and parents/guardians.


    Camp testimonials logo


    Exceeds Expectations Testimonials


    Pleasant Surprise Testimonial


    Team Work Testimonial


    Camp was Exciting - Testimonial


    Camp Highlights Video Link