Educational Options for Highly Gifted Students


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©2004 Mary Codd
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Public School

Was the school a regular public school, magnet school, charter school?

public school type

In which grades did your child attend public school?
grades attended
Did the school have heterogeneous or homogeneous grouping in the classroom? Did the school offer any of the following options for your child?
program options

Key to Schooling Options Shown Above:
Hetero - Heterogeneous Grouping (children with widely varying ability levels)
Homo - Homogeneous Grouping (children with approximately the same ability level)
GIEP - Gifted Individualized Education Plan
Differentiated - Differentiated Instruction
Curric Comp - Curriculum Compacting
Ability Group - Ability Grouping
Subject Accel - Subject Acceleration
Grade Accel - Grade Acceleration
Dual Enroll - Dual Enrollment
AP - Advanced Placement Classes
IB - International Baccalaureate Program

Was this public school successful in addressing your child's academic needs?

Was this public school successful in addressing your child's academic needs?
Comments: [YES] [PARTIAL] [NO]

Comments from parents who checked YES:

  1. A parent with a child in a selective admission public high school said:
    The whole school is for highly gifted students, so the curriculum has been adapted for them. They do not offer AP classes, but many students take and pass AP exams. Not only was it a school for gifted students, but even there, math classes were at two different levels and some students have been allowed to take classes far beyond what would be expected for their grade levels. Also, most students skip a year to get into the school, so they are effectively being accelerated one year. This isn't obligatory, but it is common.
  2. Homogeneous grouping, FT coordinator at each level, honors classes avail., open to acceleration/indiv. study
  3. Magnet was successful. Regular public school was a bad fit. The magnet covered only grades 3-6. Grades 7-12 were regular public school and were nearly a disaster. Graduated early to escape.
  4. My son is grade accelerated (4 years), and then additionally subject accelerated in math and science.
  5. He has been in a public/non-GT: didn't meet needs, a GT magnet: did OK, Charter: not as well, The best has been 2 grade skips, online curriculum and subject acceleration into college level classes. He has also been involved in a Public Online School. I do not consider this a homeschool because it is a public school.

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Comments from parents who checked PARTIAL:

  1. Not really but he did complete HS very successfully - quite Well respected by his peers & he did well in spite of the lack of a gifted program - or much of an academic program overall. A large part is due to his personality style & in HS I think it had a lot to do w/the teacher/coach & his participation in a very large (over 50 students participating), successful Speech & Debate team program all 4 years as his extra-curricular activity.
  2. If acceleration will meet the need, they have been able to do so. However, when a faster pace of instruction is what is needed, that is hard to accommodate. Also when a student has intellectual abilities of high schooler but emotional and organizational maturity of a young middle school student, it causes problems. In early elementary years the scool met my son's needs in K and Grade 2, when his teacher was flexible and able to differentiate curriculum for him. IN Grade 1 this did not happen and the school did not meet his needs. It is hit and miss. His needs were best met the two years he was in a self-contained GT classroom.
  3. M's three years of elementary school, starting in the 3rd-grade HG classroom at age 5, were abusive and created severe depression requiring medical treatment. His significantly older & larger classmates were physically and verbally abusive. His teachers were verbally abusive in that they told him he was not "all that gifted" and did not belong in their classrooms. The most damaging abuse was that M did not get to learn anything new in his elementary school years except through his own reading and interests at home. He was really self-schooled duing those years. The high school allowed M to enter at age eight and take selected classes (selected by us) at or close to his level. His first organized math class was honors precalculus at 8, followed by AP Calculus BC at 9. He also took AP Computer Science, AP Physics C, AP Chemistry. The school paid for him to continue his math beyond AP Calculus with Internet classes from Stanford. He spent 4 years at the high school; the last year was, in hindsight, wasted time.
  4. At the magnet my son attended for grades k and 1 he was subject accelerated for reading and math, while also given PT and OT for motor skill issues. We moved and the grade 2-3 school did nothing for differentiation. He learned virtually nothing those years. He attended a public charter for his 4th-7th grade years and did well but wasn't given any special accomodations other than being placed in the highest ability track.
  5. Math is less than an hour a day and is the only thing differentiated in his curriculum. His language arts potential is just as high as his math, but is unrealized.
  6. The principal would not allow the teacher to spend time developing materials for my son. The teacher did welcome parents to come in and allow a few students an hour a week of enrichment. They allowed the one grade skip which was needed but have made their indications clear that nothing more will be done. They did group the probably more gifted into one classroom for 1st grade (1st time ever) but did not coach the teacher what to do or allow her the freedom to experiment with them.
  7. AP teacher this year (10th, AP Calculus) was hell-bent on "proving" the child not-so-good in math; she eneded up dropping from AP to Honors last month, and is doing very well with a teacher who's not putting her down daily. Prior to this, social needs were not met until the 3rd full grade skip from 5th to 7th. Social needs met then only by accident of larger school, and two other very gifted families in the school.
  8. This public school has not been able to offer my child the depth and breadth of curriculum he needs. There is too much spiraling of curriculum where the same topics are addressed again and again. We are currently looking at subject-specific acceleration, compacting and/or grade skipping for next year.
  9. The full-time gifted program did not meet my child's academic needs. The charter Montessori school does meet my child's needs.
  10. Social isolation was the biggest problem. Not that he was not accepted, all the teachers from Jr. High, HS and college said he fits right in but from not having anyone like him that he could be friends with. We live in a town of 600 people.
  11. not accelerated enough, no support for math and we had to do it ourselves
  12. The Montessori differentiation has worked well for my 9 year old. He did grades 1-3 homeschooling afternoons after Kindergarten. My 6 year old is with a teacher who I have had to push to get advanced work with my daughter. She completed 3rd grade homeschooling before entering first grade a year early, and tested on the 5th grade level for reading and math and the 3rd grade level for writing last summer. Her teacher wanted to start her with beginning math, reading, and spelling. She is now working on reasonable levels in reading and spelling, but still working well below her level in math.
  13. G&T program loosely follows a Renzulli enrichment model -- no elimination of regular curriculum or acceleration.
  14. They grade skipped her from 1st to 3rd to meet her needs.
  15. Son is twice exceptional - gifted with LD. His LD is being met with guided study period and aide to help organize him.
  16. She used the 1 day/week program as social time. That was okay, but not great. She was far different from the kids in that group, but she did have some good experiences and a great teacher. The jump to 9th grade was great, 10th grade started out okay, but it has become less effective -- she is bored again and finds the pace/depth tedious and lacking.
  17. Most of his academic needs are met through homeschooling.
  18. This public school failed my daughter for 8 years (K-7). They do not recognize gifted students and did nothing on thier own initiative. When I pushed the issues, however, they were willing to make the accommodations that I wanted.
  19. Even with acceleration and customized programming, it's still holding him back
  20. The acceleration was good and we'd do it again. However, even a 2 grade advancement was not enough academically in some areas, and she was socially pretty isolated. We withdrew her from school the following year after the new teacher was very unreceptive to having a younger student. (This school was NOT in California, FWIW, but in North Dakota, where we lived until last summer.)
  21. One of public schools was good for half of second grade and half of 4th due to good teachers. The other school was not good for 3rd grade d/t teachers not taking her needs for accomodation due to a vision handicap into account so we left after the 1st half of the year and started homeschooling.
  22. Pullout was not enough for a PG kid; no true peers. 2yr acceleration in math was fine for 4th grade, but needed algebra in 5th, not offered. He was very isolated socially, and there was no effective way for the school to address this.
  23. Now he is in High School at a different school district, taking 4 HS classes and 2 University classes, and I would call that partial success. He actually tolerates HS because of the opportunity to take Uni classes and because he found friends (most of them also in HS/Uni program)
  24. The gifted language arts program was woefully inadequate. Science Olympiad program (not necessarily gifted) was wonderful. Accepted her elementary grade skips accomodating her as a 9 y.o. 7th grader. Allowed her to take the 8th grade algebra class as a 7th grader. she took geometry and algebra II at the local community college in 8th, substituting an extra elective at the middle school. No special accomodations in any class, just plain group instruction. Math, science, and language arts somewhat ability grouped but still below her level. Social studies way below level.
  25. Lack of peer-grouping until later (middle school) years. Inconsistent and insufficient challenge in differentiated instruction.
  26. The school would give what I asked for, but made no attempt to do anything on their own for him. The only differentiation was EPGY math in the classroom in the 3rd grade.
  27. In first grade, she did Johns Hopkins EPGY Math, at my request, in the classroom, with me. That was it. Everything else has been status quo for her, and she cannot take it anymore. That is why we are opting to homeschool for next year.

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Comments from parents who checked NO:

  1. They could/would offer him nothing until 4th grade because "most kids even out by 3rd grade".
  2. Two grade accelerations was still not enough to meet our daughter's needs. They felt that they had done enough by allowing the accelerations and stopped there.
  3. Bored bored bored. Teased. And tortured.
  4. Besides being profoundly gifted, my son also has profound neurological impairments that affect his fine and gross motor skills, his vision, etc. We have spent most of the school year trying to get his teacher to understand that a child can be gifted and disabled at the same time. As a result, he was getting accommodations for neither his giftedness nor his disabilities. After hiring an advocate, we're beginning to make some progress, but it's slow and frustrating.
  5. Pulled "A's" & "B's" w/o cracking a book.
  6. They were only willing to move him for one class and that was done at the expense of the classes he enjoyed (gym, computers, French, and music). He spent 2 periods in his classroom doing nothing (sometimes being asked to go into the hall so he wouldn't disturb the other children) then pulled out of the classes he enjoyed togo to reading. He learned nothing in Math, science, or social studies. We had been told the teachers were working out schedules and didn't know until half way through the year when he started making himself sick to stay home that he was not going to reading when his class was having reading. We stopped it as soon as we found out. At the end of the school year the K teacher, who was the 3rd grade teacher the year before, told us not to expect him to learn anything in 1st grade because he already knew the entire 1st grade curriculumn(by the end of 2nd grade they are 2 years ahead and maintain 2 years ahead through 8th grade). Our response was why didn't you say something earlier.
  7. Although school #1 correctly identified our daughter as being PG and attempted to create a program for her and three other children, none of us really understood what was needed. They tried a one-size-fits-all program and placed her with probably the worst possible teacher for her. The staff at School #2 initially agreed to provide accommodations, however the teacher refused. When my daughter became emotionally depressed and shut down, the staff agreed w/the teacher, saying she would have to earn the right to have the accommodations.
  8. Currently a freshman in HS & has most definitely shut down - at this point am not really sure if a good program would make a difference or not, what little our HS does offer is definitely not doing it for him. Been watching this coming for the past 3 years as he's complained about being totally bored, totally unchallenged, & is getting absolutely nothing out of school but some bad social habits. His personality is much different than older bro & his main goal right now is his independence. He does do what minimal work is required to get "B's" & "A's", but really doesn't care a whole lot anymore.
  9. Child learned nothing new for YEARS.
  10. They have no accomodations for asynchrony. If the child isnt writing at a high level, they can't participate in the literacy program for the gifted. They do not accellerate at all. Even the guidance counselors and social workers are not pleased with this. Many of our gifted asychronus kids could handle 2-3 grade levels of accelleration in math and science but htey must stay with age peers only. Hence, my child who is studying at a highschool math level++ is only eligible for a grade 4 gifted math pull out one hour per week.
  11. Child started K early & did 2nd & 3rd in one year. That worked. Started 4th this year and was bored and frustrated. All they offer in response is to pre-test each unit, skip assignments for material mastered & do enrichment while class does unit. No acceleration. Also offered limited (2 hrs in Soc. St. & Science, 3 hrs. in reading each 9 weeks) opportunity to work with other highly-able students on above level work. But 7 hours every nine weeks was not enough for me to accept, and that came only at the 2nd or 3rd IEP meeting this year.
  12. Subject and grade acceleration was just more of the same with older children - not more enriched or challenging. Atmosphere was increasingly anti-intellectual. He asked in 1st grade to go to a school where he could learn something, despite attending 3rd grade half the day.
  13. We pulled him out after 2 years and are now working with school to assess his actual achievement levels in order to properly place him next fall
  14. Three different teachers said they simply didn't have the ability to teach her and the other kids in the class. She was too young emotionally and socially to fit into the older groups, which still moved too slowly for her learning pace. There was nothing for her, and they advised us to find a private school. We were heartbroken.
  15. The elementary principal was anti-gifted and pro future football. The middle school was forced to worry more about pregnant 12 olds and drugs and did not focus much attention on advanced academics.
  16. Although there has been some gifted programming, it is not available in all subject areas and does not even begin to address my son's current academic levels, or move at an appropriate pace. There is no attempt in our school district to provide differentiation within the classroom - all children must go through the "regular" curriculum at the "regular" pace - so any enrichment/gifted programming is in addition to, not instead of, grade-level instruction. So, for instance, my son has 2 math classes this year: the regular 6th grade class and the advanced class where they're doing the 7th grade curriculum. And he is expected to do ALL of BOTH classes - even when the 6th grade class is covering a topic that was previously covered in the advanced math. Frustrating for all involved!!!
  17. Acceleration was not permitted and the ft gt program worked at one year above grade level (elementary) The 7th grade journey lasted 3 weeks. We had high hopes for this program since it served the upper 1% and offered 2-3 years subject acceleration . They refused to grant my child the LD accomodations she needed since she was operating 5+ years above grade level. Since her hearing loss is a whopping 98% while in a classroom she really needed the accomodations.
  18. Child entered public school 2 years grade accelerated from private school. Public school was 1+ year behind private school. Also, child does not learn from methods used for normals.
  19. She is a high achiever and they lump these students in with the average students not allowing them to accelerate in any way.
  20. The school district doesn't have any commitment to gifted beyond offering a 2 hour/week pullout run by parents who've had a weekend "gifted" course. Not appropriate, and my child was too young to even be eligible.
  21. The school department does not have the adequate training in gifted or gt/special needs children. The gifted teachers do not know how to adequately determine the child's needs, whether it be differentiation, compacting or acceleration of any form.
  22. Too asynchronous with above 160 tested IQ, and learning disability (dysgraphia / encoding dyslexia). To a great extent, the curriculum was not right for my son's learning style (visual/spatial). A one year acceleration simply was no where near what he needed.
  23. They really did not even try. Threw us a bone with subject then grade acceleration -- too little, too late. Reneged on promises of further acceleration, assigned her to extremely poor teacher after acceleration who was on probation and subsequently fired for inappropriate remarks to students. Altogether awful.
  24. Curriculum was WAAAAAAAAAY below this kids ability level, organizational level, intellectual level, interest level. The only good thing was the social interaction. Son made many good friends and greatly enjoyed the social aspect of school.
  25. The regular classroom teacher did not understand my son until the final conference of the year when the gifted teacher explained why he was the way he was. (duh...)
  26. They could never catch up with his abilities and didn't want to do enough of an individual program to address his level.
  27. The school expected children to adapt to the program since enrollment was by choice. If the program wasn't a good fit then they helped students locate other schools. Adapting the program was not an option.
  28. No provisions at all, besides of early entrance to 1st grade
  29. My son, has been to several public schools. K,1, and 2 at one which provided some subject acceleration. For 3rd and part of 4th he was in a full time gifted program at another public school in our district. This program was great for 3rd but did not meet his needs for 4th. I pulled him mid year to homeschool. We then enrolled him in a new charter school for 5th grade. This school grade skipped him to 6th where he did all 7th grade work and Algebra 1. They grade skipped him to 8th since he had done all 7th grade work, and also, they were originally going to provide Geometry. This school had not met his expectations as the charter states they were going to have a math and science curriculum, which they did not.
  30. The staff did not recognize my son's problems as anything other than him being "emotionally immature." The WISC-III showed a gap of 38 points (VIQ>PIQ), so he needed accommodations as well as acceleration.
  31. They did not understand my child's extreme needs and it was harming her by causing high anxiety in my child.
  32. Although they claimed he was instructed at 6 grade level in English and Math (while he was in 4 grade), my son was bored and definitely in need of further acceleration, which the school refused to consider. He was having organizational problems (which he never had earlier, in accelerated/gifted setting in home country), and he started to display all classical signs of depression.
  33. They tried initially to address their needs, but then refused to provide further accommodation until the boys were willing to "jump the hoops" - ie show extremely high achievement in all areas before they'd consider any further accommodations. But the boys were so bored they refused to co-operate.
  34. They did not actually address her needs. Tried to patch it, or at best give her books 1 grade level above her class. Never any instruction with it, just isolating her in the classroom. Clean closets, frog tanks, help others. She spent most of her time in the nurse's office. Migraine headaches from boredom. (Possibly some headaches not that severe, but she did manage to escape the classroom!) Spent most of our time after school trying to meet her academic needs (requests actually!)
  35. There was no plan, everything was ad hoc. The accelerations were not enough without curriculum compacting. The administrators and teachers did not address the learning disabilities and in fact tried to undermine the programs stating that he was not as bright as we thought. He was constantly bored. He started to get bullied. The curriculum was not relevant to his interest areas. His depression and anxiety worsened which impacted on his ability to attend school.
  36. No support; by their tests she was not gifted; her teacher yelled at students in the class
  37. See above, only pullout offered, some teachers did better than others in differentiating, but all ultimately could only focus limited attention of the one kid who was way ahead when they had to consider all the grade level kids and the several falling behind.

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