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Are your gifted kids in public school? - Page 2

post #21 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by RiverTam View Post




If a school fails to make Adequate Yearly Progress for two many years in a row, the kids are allowed to switch to another school in their district that is making AYP or in a neighboring school district that will take them.  One of the schools in my home town is in a low SES area and has been failing to make AYP for three years. Many kids in that neighborhood go to other schools in the district. A good chunk of money goes with them to their new schools. 

 


Yeah, I can see how that could have a financial impact on schools in some areas.  It's not an issue here in Vermont, because most districts have only a single school, so there's nowhere for people to switch to.

 

 

post #22 of 41
Sort of. The schools in our district are sub-par, and DD is above grade level in math and a few other things. We decided to go with a home school program through a local district that would allow her to work at her own pace. If she blows through the grade-level curriculum, she can start on the next grade level's work. They base the starting point on assessments in math and language arts.
post #23 of 41

My highly gifted 12 yo was in public school until this year. Now we are homeschooling and he is really challenged, both with the pace and with the complexity of the curriculum. He is now working at his level, and even taking a college Spanish course. What a difference from last year where he was bored to death in middle school... My other 2 kids who are moderately gifted enjoy the public school education here.

post #24 of 41

My gifted 11 year old has always been in public school.  We are in a top ranked, California Distinguished school, 900+ API's, blah blah blah...

 

But that's not what makes it a good fit for my ds.

 

What makes it a good fit is that we are in a small program within the public school that is decidly a little hippie-dippie ;) but more importantly strongly believes in differentiation.

 

The key question to ask schools is what their differentiation looks like.  It should look deeper and broader, not necessarily faster. 

 

That's the right question to ask - not what the test scores are.

 

Good luck!

post #25 of 41

My kids haven't been given a "gifted" label, but this is their first year in public school, so they haven't had the opportunity before this year. Our local public school where they're going did not meet AYP this past year. They have struggled with it for several years — sometimes meeting it and sometimes failing to. There are a lot of non-English speakers in the school population, though, and I think that is the main thing that holds them back. In general our school system, as a whole, is highly regarded in terms of gifted education.

 

There are 4 different programs at the elementary level in our schools. One, Academic Nurturing and Enrichment, is designed to help kids who are not achieving all that they could. I think this is primarily targeted at the kids (maybe ESL) who show a lot of promise, but need a little extra help to get there. This program is K-12. Standard Gifted Education is gr 3-12 targeted at the kids in the top 5% of grade level peers nationally, Highly Gifted Education is K-12 targeted at the kids in the top 1-2% of the general population nationally, and LEAP is gr 4-8 and is for kids performing 2 or more grade levels above across the board.

 

So, although, my kids have not been evaluated yet, I feel confident that their needs could be met in our school even though our school did not meet AYP. I think my dd2 might get a standard gifted eval at some point. My dd1 shows some signs of being gifted also, but she has some other things going on that hold her back a little bit, so while she could be 2E I think it's unlikely that we would pursue a gifted label for her. We're actually looking at a smaller charter school for middle school next year where she won't have the academic pressure that comes with the upper level schools in our system.

post #26 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by pranava View Post

I was looking up my school districts "report card" today and it's not pretty. 

 

Those of you who have gifted kids succeeding in public school, how does your school measure up?  I'm trying to figure out if the gifted kids who do just fine in public school are going to schools where 80% to 90% of kids are passing standardized tests, or schools where only 60% are passing.

 

I'm getting a little nervous about sending DS(2.5) to a school where he has already mastered 75% of the end of year Kindergarten skills and only 65% of students in that school are passing standardized tests.



I think you really need to look at the specific school.

 

My kids (both gifted, one with special needs and one NT) both just started in a public school setting. They both really like it. This school does not have a gifted program, but does in class differentiation for different subjects. Youngest son (who is NT) says scornfully that they just do "baby math," but likes the fact that there are 60+ kids just in his grade level. Oldest son says the work is to easy, but he likes being the smartest kid in the class. I think he's getting some slack for his spectrum traits from the other kids because he's clearly smart. We do enrichment through extracurriculars outside of school. (We were doing that when they were in a private Montessori as well.) This school is the best elementary school in a high performing, high SES school district.

 

I have friends in my home town whose gifted kids attend schools in a school district that is a low performing district. However, they have a gifted program that starts in 1st grade and by the time the kids get to 6 grade, they are in all gifted classes for academics.  They really like the schools there for their kids. a lot of the low performance in that school district can be tied to having kids who are growing up in poverty. The schools are fine. The home life for a lot of these kids is difficult. 

 

 

post #27 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by RiverTam View Post

I think you really need to look at the specific school.

 

 

Yes, and not just at its standardized results. They can be ridiculously poorly associated with actual learning. An anecdote: 

 

My experience with standardized testing is minimal, having homeschooled most of the elementary years, but my eldest did do a popular nationally-normed standardized test in 3rd grade as part of a homeschooling study. I watched her do the reading comprehension section, where she answered most of the "What would be the best title for this story?" questions wrong. Of course I knew that the testers were wanting her to use these questions to show that she knew what the story's main idea was. But at age 8 with no school or testing experience whatsoever, not even really understanding the aim of the testing, she didn't realize that was their intent. She was a creative writer with a fabulous imagination that had been nurtured like crazy, an interested consumer's understanding of the publishing industry and a taste for off-the-wall humour. She would look at one of the suggested titles like "A Picnic with Grandmother" and think "Who would ever pick up a story with that title to read?" and instead check off the quirky and enticing title like "A Crazy Squirrel" that referred to a subthread of the story, knowing it would pique prospective readers' interest and engage them. Her reading comprehension score came in at the 95th percentile, probably 2 or 3 standard deviations below where it really was. Because rather than teacher her lock-step "show me the main idea" strategies, I had chosen to let her soar where her gifts were leading her. 

 

The really wonderful schools tend to do a lot of the "let them soar where they want to go" thing rather than concentrating on teaching a good test-taking mentality. Which means that testing results may fall far short of demonstrating the true value and effectiveness of the education they're doing.

 

Miranda

post #28 of 41

my kids are in a public charter school.  our test scores are not great, but I don't really care.  I've seen the schools that get great scores and they are very rigid, teach to the test (and don't really teach anything else) have very limited recess, and too much homework (which is more worksheet test prep crap). 

 

Visit the school.  Spend a few hours in the classrooms.  Go to the lunch room, library, etc.  Observe, observe, observe .  If you can visit more then once and more then one classroom (and grade level).  If there is a parent group --ask parents what they like about the school and what needs improvement.  I know that seems like a lot, but really that will tell you more then a test score.

post #29 of 41


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post

 

Yes, and not just at its standardized results. They can be ridiculously poorly associated with actual learning. An anecdote: 

 

My experience with standardized testing is minimal, having homeschooled most of the elementary years, but my eldest did do a popular nationally-normed standardized test in 3rd grade as part of a homeschooling study. I watched her do the reading comprehension section, where she answered most of the "What would be the best title for this story?" questions wrong. Of course I knew that the testers were wanting her to use these questions to show that she knew what the story's main idea was. But at age 8 with no school or testing experience whatsoever, not even really understanding the aim of the testing, she didn't realize that was their intent. She was a creative writer with a fabulous imagination that had been nurtured like crazy, an interested consumer's understanding of the publishing industry and a taste for off-the-wall humour. She would look at one of the suggested titles like "A Picnic with Grandmother" and think "Who would ever pick up a story with that title to read?" and instead check off the quirky and enticing title like "A Crazy Squirrel" that referred to a subthread of the story, knowing it would pique prospective readers' interest and engage them. Her reading comprehension score came in at the 95th percentile, probably 2 or 3 standard deviations below where it really was. Because rather than teacher her lock-step "show me the main idea" strategies, I had chosen to let her soar where her gifts were leading her. 

 

The really wonderful schools tend to do a lot of the "let them soar where they want to go" thing rather than concentrating on teaching a good test-taking mentality. Which means that testing results may fall far short of demonstrating the true value and effectiveness of the education they're doing.

 

Miranda



I totally agree with this.  when we homeschooled very briefly I was going to have to have my son take a standardized test in California.  Reviewing the test, there was really no way to have kids pass it without feeding them the info.  The test was so stupid, I honestly didn't understand 1/2 of it. 

 

There are far better ways to assess children then these tests. 

post #30 of 41

I don't think I would be concerned about giftedness as a parenting issue if my child weren't in public school. We picked a program that claimed to be all about individuating curriculum, but somehow, that's not happening, and I think it's because my DS is strong in math and analytical skills rather than in language arts and reading. I actually had a teacher tell me that my son couldn't go on with arithmetic until the rest of the class was ready. It's almost like they don't know what "individuated curriculum" means, or understand that they committed to it, ha ha. (It's precisely that, actually.) 

 

 

 

I think he's enjoying school at least as much if not more than I did at his age, even though my public school was a lot better at the whole individuation thing. Well, it's easy to individuate curriculum for a strong reader and independent writer with weak arithmetic in an open classroom, and my school in the 1970s had open classrooms. It's much harder to do it for someone who is ridiculously interested in and good at math, but needs help with reading and writing, in a totally regimented, here's-your-desk-sit-down classroom. His teachers keep some fun advanced math problems on hand for the kids after they finish the regular math work, and that's about the size of it. 

 

On the plus side, though, my son enjoys standardized testing (!) loves the reward system they have for behavior management because it's all money and counting, and is getting a lot out of the few special innovative programs this school does have. The school is diverse and he's meeting all kinds of kids, and that's really great. He wouldn't be if we were homeschooling, or sending him to Jewish day school as we'd originally intended to do. It's probably a good thing we decided we didn't have the money to do the latter, considering where and what his intellectual gifts are. 

 

So we're getting something out of school, and what we're not getting there, we're finding other places. 

 

 

post #31 of 41


I don't know.  I think with tools like Kahn Academy, etc. it is actually easier/just as easy to differentiate math--at least that has been our experience. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by captain optimism View Post

I don't think I would be concerned about giftedness as a parenting issue if my child weren't in public school. We picked a program that claimed to be all about individuating curriculum, but somehow, that's not happening, and I think it's because my DS is strong in math and analytical skills rather than in language arts and reading. I actually had a teacher tell me that my son couldn't go on with arithmetic until the rest of the class was ready. It's almost like they don't know what "individuated curriculum" means, or understand that they committed to it, ha ha. (It's precisely that, actually.) 

 

 

 

I think he's enjoying school at least as much if not more than I did at his age, even though my public school was a lot better at the whole individuation thing. Well, it's easy to individuate curriculum for a strong reader and independent writer with weak arithmetic in an open classroom, and my school in the 1970s had open classrooms. It's much harder to do it for someone who is ridiculously interested in and good at math, but needs help with reading and writing, in a totally regimented, here's-your-desk-sit-down classroom. His teachers keep some fun advanced math problems on hand for the kids after they finish the regular math work, and that's about the size of it. 

 

On the plus side, though, my son enjoys standardized testing (!) loves the reward system they have for behavior management because it's all money and counting, and is getting a lot out of the few special innovative programs this school does have. The school is diverse and he's meeting all kinds of kids, and that's really great. He wouldn't be if we were homeschooling, or sending him to Jewish day school as we'd originally intended to do. It's probably a good thing we decided we didn't have the money to do the latter, considering where and what his intellectual gifts are. 

 

So we're getting something out of school, and what we're not getting there, we're finding other places. 

 

 



 

post #32 of 41


Yes, we're using Kahn Academy. We're using a lot of good tools for math differentiation--AT HOME. At school, my son is still waiting for the curriculum math problems to include single-digit multiplication. (He memorized the times tables on his own.) At home, I'm willing to help him find whatever he wants to know. If it's not online, I take him to the library, or we call a friend. 

 

It's kind of like when I visit my mom. Some people go home to eat their favorite childhood dishes. My mother is not a good cook, and I remind myself, "We're not visiting for the food." Apparently, when it comes to school, you don't go there to learn your favorite subject. You go to meet other children, and to learn to do group activities, and to learn your not-favorite-but-still-interesting-enough subjects, and then you go home and satisfy your curiosity and learn the stuff you want to learn. 

 

There is something alarming and amusing about me being responsible for teaching someone arithmetic. It's really fun to teach him, though. I was so bad at it and he just picks it right up. I did a little algebra with him and it was a redemptive experience--he makes it so intelligible and fun, and I remember it was so hard when I had to learn it. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by carmel23 View Post

I don't know.  I think with tools like Kahn Academy, etc. it is actually easier/just as easy to differentiate math--at least that has been our experience. 



 

post #33 of 41

That set up didn't work at all for my daughter, and disastrous isn't too dramatic a word to describe how it turned out for her.  The first signs of major discontent appeared in grade 3, and only waited until then due to a wonderful grade 2 teacher. 

post #34 of 41

Our son attends one of the lowest achieving 5% of Title 1 schools in our state. He is a kindergartener who is likely profoundly gifted. He started the year reading at a 4th grade level, and doing math that they expect out of 9 or 10 year olds.

 

We have been beyond thrilled with our experience thus far. the teachers created an individual program for him--he goes to the highest reading group in the first grade for 2 hours a day, and then they are completely differentiating math for him (one day a week, the gifted teacher does a flexible small group with him and a rotating group of other children and the other days, she and the math specialist give the teacher assignments that are thematically similar to what the other kids are doing). he still needs to master things like the lower case alphabet, writing numerals, and (most importantly!) how to keep his hands to himself, and how to listen appropriately to the teacher. he is very reluctant to show what he knows, and he guards his talents closely. they are doing an amazing job of making him comfortable enough to really show what he knows.

 

tons of parents in our neighborhood send their kids to the private school for "the intellectually advanced", but I have observed in there, and there is no way their kids are getting a better education than what my son is getting in his "failing" public school.

 

things may deteriorate when he gets older since the school currently ends in 4th grade. we are prepared for needing to revisit when he is in 3rd or 4th grade, but for right now, it is wonderful.

post #35 of 41

Yes, and after a lot of angst prior to the beginning of the year, I feel like we are starting on a path that's working.  My child's teacher is a good advocate, and we have some differentiation/subject acceleration happening.  Is every bit of the day tailored expressly to my child's interests/needs?  No, but I'm not sure that we would find that anywhere except h'sing, which ds doesn't want.  Truly, the key has been the strength of the teacher, and the fact that socially and emotionally my child feels fulfilled.  It's pretty clear that we're going to need to move forward more, but for the moment things are going in the right direction.

 

We're also fortunate that the elem school is an "anchor" of the town--it's not something that can be quantified by test results.

post #36 of 41

My DSC have all been labeled as gifted in our public school system and they are thriving there. Our particular district has a very strong gifted learning program that allows for kids to be pulled out for individual and group instruction in areas where they excel. I've always said that while we have very strong private schools in our area, our public school system is best for kids that are outliers in the curve. If your child needs special instruction for whatever reason, our public school system seems to have the most resources to be able to handle things like that. For instance, DSS 16 is taking an engineering class this semester at our local university. His HS has a plan for kids to do things like that and work with his schedule to allow for travel back and forth to class, labs, etc.

 

I'd suggest going to the specific school your child would attend and ask the principal about their gifted program. If one exists, meet with the gifted resource teacher and learn about the program. Different districts identify gifted children at different ages. In my kids' school district, identification starts in kindergarten. Some schools don't start until 2nd or 3rd grade.

post #37 of 41

In our school every child has their own learning plan (montessori) and they are integrating kahn academy into the classroom.  The kids use the computers for research all the time and this use is considered 'research' even though it doesn't 100 per cent match with the montessori math (which works very well for my kids).

 

So much depends on the individuality of the teacher/school.  I have had to advocate at various levels at every school my kids have been at-- some schools are more receptive then others. 

 

The one advantage we have at their current charter school is that each child has an individualized learning plan, and a lot of independence. There is also little pressure to get a good score and compete, etc. So my kind of anxious older child feels like he isn't being judged and can do work that interests him. Also, process is stressed not product.  So if my kid wants to spend hours researching something and then only write a few sentences--that is fine.  If he wants to build a scale model of a bridge (with the help of some materials from home) that is great, too!

post #38 of 41

My gifted son does not go to public school. I wish he did. We've agonized over it each of the past couple years (he's in 1st grade). I'm a huge supporter of public schools and my oldest son goes to a great public school. My daughter will most likely go to public school. However, I have been told by people in the schools (principals and district administrators) that they could not meet my gifted child's needs. He is not profoundly gifted but they just don't have the resources for kids who are more than a couple of years ahead. He is just thriving in private school and he would be miserable if we switched him now. He will almost certainly go to public middle school and high school, though, where the public schools get better at differentiation. 

post #39 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJB View Post

My gifted son does not go to public school. I wish he did. We've agonized over it each of the past couple years (he's in 1st grade). I'm a huge supporter of public schools and my oldest son goes to a great public school. My daughter will most likely go to public school. However, I have been told by people in the schools (principals and district administrators) that they could not meet my gifted child's needs. He is not profoundly gifted but they just don't have the resources for kids who are more than a couple of years ahead. He is just thriving in private school and he would be miserable if we switched him now. He will almost certainly go to public middle school and high school, though, where the public schools get better at differentiation. 



I'm curious, what's happening in the private school that meets the needs of your son?  Is he able to work at the grade level that matches his abilities?  I'd love to know how successful programs work.  We don't have a gifted program in our PS, although there is differentiation, and for some, subject or grade advancement.  So much depends upon the teacher though.

post #40 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by karne View Post



I'm curious, what's happening in the private school that meets the needs of your son?  Is he able to work at the grade level that matches his abilities?  I'd love to know how successful programs work.  We don't have a gifted program in our PS, although there is differentiation, and for some, subject or grade advancement.  So much depends upon the teacher though.



Well, first off, they let him in K a year early, which is why we sent him there in the first place. The public schools make no exceptions to the cut-off. We chose to send him there again this year because we fell in love with the school. He gets reading and spelling at his level (for spelling, some kids are doing CVC/CVCe words and he's writing homophones like weather/whether in sentences). There are 12 kids and 2 teachers in his 1st grade class and the teacher is able and willing to delve deeper into the topics they are learning about. They have been making Venn diagrams comparing books, learning about the continents (currently South America), and he is learning new things every day. He can talk about plot and setting, and told his brother he was anthropomorphizing his food. They get a lot of specials-- science lab, spanish, art, music, PE, and computers several times a week each. Since kids have to test into the school, the average student is working at a higher level than the average 1st grader and there is another student at a similar level to my son, so they get to work together all the time. It's better than I knew was possible for a gifted primary student. 

Like I said, I am a huge supporter of public schools, I have a son in public school, all of my friends use the public schools, and my little guy will probably go to public school in the future. 

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