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Talent Achievement Program


 Located in a lovely residential neighborhood in the heart of historic Bixby Knolls, Hughes serves a student body representing a diverse cultural heritage and a broad range of socio-economic backgrounds.   It was a Hughes that the Long Beach Unified School District pioneered its junior high GATE program (appropriately named the Talent Achievement Program, or TAP) in the mid-1970's.

For a quarter of a century, TAP has emphasized research, leadership, and higher level thinking skills, encouraging students to individualize projects and exercise multiple intelligences as they integrate diverse learning experiences.   Their success is reflected in award-winning performances in academics, music, art, speech, sports, and leadership roles on campus and in the community.

 TAP students also maintain the highest percentage of acceptance into the award winning Poly PACE program of any middle school in the district, and are easily accepted in all programs for high achievers in our local high schools.

Hughes continues to set the standard for educational excellence.   In 1998, Hughes earned distinction as aCalifornia Distinguished School , and in 2000, Hughes became a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence.


 Academic challenge and success are hallmarks of the TAP experience.   Sixth graders enjoy numerous hands-on lessons, simulations and labs in science, history and math.   In Language Arts, a standards based program is augmented for gifted students with a wide array of extension menu activities and opportunities for independent study.   These activities and the use of gifted learning strategies continue in all content areas inseventh grade while the students prepare eagerly for the Renaissance Faire, a culminating project for history, and in eighth grade each student enters the science fair.   Adding to this, our dedicated and active parent group raises the funds necessary for multiple field trips each year to enhance the students' learning experiences.  

Our math students excel in local, regional, and national competitions.   Hughes Mathletes consistently place near the top in the American Scholastic Mathematics Association Competition, the Continental Mathematics League, Mathfax, MathCounts, Math Olympiads, and Sigma.   From 1986 to 2006 our math students have won first or seconds place in the MathCounts regional competition for the Long Beach Chapter placing Hughes within the top 25 teams in the state.  

Our premiere music program is the most extensive in the district and has been awarded Superior rankings in a vast number of festivals and competitions over the past 17 years.   The Instrumental program has grown to eight performance groups from Beginning Band to a select Chamber Orchestra, and Hughes musicians are often principal players in prestigious honor orchestras throughout southern California.   Our Choral music program is also recognized throughout the state as exemplary.   Consisting of six performing choruses, the department has earned top honors throughout the district; three choirs have received Superior rankings for the past four years.   This distinction places Hughes' Choirs in the top 10% for choral music in the entire United States.

Professional Leaders

 TAP teachers represent a wide range of experience both in and out of the classroom.   This credentialed staff has provided over 125 years of classroom instruction, most in their respective majors.   Our teachers are involved in continuing education within and beyond the district and are recognized by parents and professional peers and organizations for their personal and professional achievements.  

Many of our teachers are associated with one or more of the following:  

National Council of Teachers of Math (NCTM)

Association of Curriculum and Supervision

California Association for the Gifted (CAG)

California Mathematics Council (CMC)

The El Dorado Poets

National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS)

California Council for the Social Studies (CCSS)

National Council for Geographic Education (NCGE)

National Education Association (NEA)

California Teachers Association (CTA)

Teachers Association of Long Beach

National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC)

Our staff is involved in many professional development activities:

Subject-specific institutes and conferences

District curriculum development committees, including content standard development committees

Textbook selection committees

National Faculty

Massachusetts Confratute for Gifted Education

College and university classes and workshops to maintain a reputation for cutting-edge strategies and materials

On-site collaborative workshops to review and revise curriculum, enhance interdisciplinary and cross-grade planning, and extend technology skills through computer training

World History Institute CSULB, CSUDH

TAP's professional staff includes a singer/song writer, world travelers, and others whose real-world activities impact their students' classroom experience in very positive ways.   PTA Founders Day Awards reflect the high caliber of our teachers.