Hello, all. I have three children, aged 10, 7 and 1, and two of them are currently in their school district's gifted program (here called GATE, Gifted and Talented Education). I am happy with their school. It is the same school I attended as a child (also in the same program) and while I was unhappy with it as a student, in the past twenty years they have made a lot of improvements to the program and my children are doing well. One thing I'm particularly happy with is they now have a better understanding that being gifted is not just the Straight A Kids Club or the Overachievers Club and that gifted doesn't automatically mean academic achievement. The program takes all kids who test as gifted (with parental consent) and puts them in an all-day program where they are with other gifted kids and the curriculum is tailored (as much as it can be, considering how the education standards are now) with being gifted in mind. The school is one of the district's magnet schools for this and because of that and changing demographics (its feeder neighborhoods don't have many children anymore) actually the school is more GATE than not.
Here's my problem. We're seriously considering relocating to another area, more specifically to a cheaper area. Orange County, CA is a very expensive place to live and even though I was born here and I do like it here I would like it better if we were in a better economic position. But it's important to me that we move somewhere that has a decent gifted program. I don't think we'd be able to homeschool or afford a private school at this point in time, but we do have a good deal of flexibility in where we could move, so I would like to keep this as a priority. Does anyone have any recommendations, or even warnings, places to avoid? Right now most of my research is on Northern CA, Oregon and Washington. I have read, for example, that the gifted program in some parts of Washington State is one where they pull the gifted kids for enrichment one day a week. That's not ideal, but I guess if the schools are quality schools otherwise it might be okay. My main focus is the schools really caring about gifted kids and their particular issues. In the past we've run into the sentiment that there are so many kids who are remedial that nobody has time to help kids who are so smart. But I know it's very easy for gifted kids to fall through the cracks.
I'm also going to contact our district's GATE office (they've said before they can help with transfers) and just try to go to the districts themselves for information, but since I'm in an information-gathering phase I thought I would throw my net wide. :) Thanks for reading.
Mom of two intact, intelligent and funny boys, 8 and 5. VBAC mom pregnant with #3, Due 6/24/12
Where in Washington are you looking to move? I've looked at a bunch of the programs in the Eastside area of Seattle (east of Lake Washington). The entrance requirements and programs really vary a LOT, as do your chances of getting in after the 1st grade. If this is one of the areas you're looking at, PM me or drop me an email.