I am now faced with 2 choices for schooling for my child. Currently I am very happy with DS' current school but I do have a worry that he is not pushing towards his full academic potential. All other areas, I am totally in sync with. I love the arts exposure and DS is generally happy there.
I'm outlining the situation below for brevity as I have my 3 yr old who needs me but basically, I'd like your input on my situation. Which school? Why? What do I need to be doing?
Child: 6 yrs old, 1st grade
Reading at middle school level, at least 2 grade levels above in all academic areas.
Very talented in the drawing, arts
Current teacher says that he is on the track for the gifted program with the district (starts at 3rd grade but we will talk about starting earlier during conferences next week)
Socially, he is ok. He likes being alone but is also ok with being in a group. If he feels the need to withdraw, he does. Which is what he does maybe 2 out of 5 days during recess. I'm not sure how I feel about that. On the one hand I am worried that he is not like the other kids socially but on the other, I kind of respect his need for space and the way he recognizes that.
Current school: It is a charter school with a focus on integrated learning through science and arts (movement, visual, music, etc etc). They have a thematic approach yearly throughout the school and there is lots of collaboration between teachers. The focus is on the whole child, multiple intelligence type of learning. From what I have observed, the learning is very casual. Almost conversation-like. Seating arrangement is in pods as opposed to rows of chairs facing the teacher. A lot of conflicts are resolved through their life skills program. Resolution happens between parties involved, facilitated by teacher if necessary.
Another option: Another charter school with a very high academic focus. They operate one grade level above (so 1st grade gets 2nd grade curriculum). Intensive focus on Math and Reading. Discipline policy is through a carding system (start with a green card depending on infraction may get a yellow, red, white card. White card gets child sent home).
Thank you in advance.