Thinking about Moving to a "Better" School?
Updated: Dec 12, 2019
If you are thinking about changing schools so your gifted child can have a better challenge (whether they have a gifted program or not), please consider assessing the school's programming first. I know of cases where people moved to a different town so their child could be in a gifted program or a "better rated" school district only to find out that the school didn't accept the child into the program or that the school was really not better than the one they moved from, and in some cases it was worse.
So... you need to do some homework on your own before you make that kind of a decision. Something that might help would be NAGC's standards for educating gifted students. You can find them at http://www.nagc.org/resources-publications/resources/national-standards-gifted-and-talented-education
If those seem kind of complicated, here are some suggested criteria that I have used in the past which may be helpful.
1. Is the culture of the school supportive of giftedness and gifted children?
2. Have the teachers been trained in gifted education methods and systems?
3. Are gifted children identified? If so how is that done and what happens after that regarding the child's education?
4. What kinds of services are offered to gifted children? How frequently and for how long are those services?
5. What kinds of curriculum and activities are there for gifted children and how do they vary from the regular curriculum?
6. Do they allow and support acceleration by subject or grade and how commonly is that implemented?
7. Exactly what do they mean if they say that they "differentiate" for gifted or for all learners? Have them show you examples that you can observe in the classroom.
8. Do students have to do all of the regular curricula if they are pulled out for gifted programming or do they have to do all of the regular curricula before they are allowed access to the advanced curriculum or enrichment?
9. What is the racial breakdown of the school compared to their "gifted" programming?
10. Does your child like the feel of the school? Are the kids nice to your child when s/he visits?
I hope this helps! If you would like to discuss this further you can always email me. That's what I'm here for.
MaryGrace Stewart: firstname.lastname@example.org
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