I'm totally new to this forum and I'm not technically sure I should be here :) but I'm hoping to learn from your collective experience and wisdom.
My DD1 is 4 years old and will enter kindergarten next Fall (Fall 2013). Over the coming year we need to make several decisions about what school she will go to. We live in a city with districted schools, magnet schools and charter schools. I need to submit our application (lottery only) for the magnet schools and/or charter schools in the late Fall and I need to list our preferences on that application. So, at this point, I'm trying to envision what type of school will be best for my DD overall and one big thing I find myself taking into account is what type of gifted programs are offered and how they are integrated-- as in are kids bussed out for gifted once a week or is there a gifted program in the school. (The other big thing is availability of arts instruction).
But, my DD has not had any testing done and has not been labelled as gifted (which is totally standard, I assume that most kids are tested and labelled at some point during their school years). But, the idea that she is gifted is all my assumption... but based on evidence. We're assuming she's gifted based on 1) the fact that DH and I were both in the gifted programs throughout our schooling, scored at the top on testing, etc... and we're both now highly educated; 2) her pediatrician (who's exceptionally laid-back) routinely uses the phrases "exceptional," "advanced," and "precocious" about her verbal and cognitive abilities; 3) her preschool observation reports typically highlight that she's "the only one in the class who can..." with regard to her concentration, level of complication in games, math skills or verbal skills. And, this is a class full of dr. and prof.'s children; 4) when I look at basic checklists she's typically 2-4 years ahead on everything cognitive, creative or verbal (age typical for physical and social). and 5) a good friend who teaches 5th grade consistently points out that the types of things my daughter comprehends and follows are more complicated than many of her 5th graders (novels that we read at night for example). All that said, I don't think she's a genius... just bright.
So I'm really looking for feedback both on a) advice on testing or not and b) advice on choosing a kindergarten. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge with me!