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Need to make a decision, looking for advice.


Forum: Gifted and Talented Children

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  • 1 Post By ::er!ca::

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  #1  
August 6th, 2012, 08:53 PM
::er!ca::'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 36,283
Hello! My incoming 2nd grader has been evaluated and recommended to the gifted & talented program that our school corporation offers. We're struggling with our decision because she will have to switch schools. Our neighborhood school does not offer a GT class. My struggle is that we love our neighborhood school. The principal is wonderful and the teachers are great. Over the past two years I've formed more for a friendship with the teachers and staff than a teacher/parent relationship. Leaving it behind makes me really sad.

I try making out a list of pros & cons to decide our decision, but I have a hard time deciding which outweighs the other. This is probably because I let my emotions get in my way, and I over analyze everything. I almost wish I didn't know my child was gifted, or that she wasn't gifted, so I didn't have to make this decision. She tested well into the high ability range, so even leaning on the "Oh she's borderline, so we'll just not put her in the program" doesn't help.

Here are my pros/cons, with a little bit of info about how our GT class works:

Our GT class is a separate class. It is not a pull-out program. 2nd & 3rd graders are in one class, and have the same teacher for two years. 4th & 5th graders are in the same class, and also have the same teacher for two years.

PROS: More challenging academics; not waiting for the class to catch up (we had a problem with the teacher postponing tests in 1st grade because not everyone in the class was ready to move on- very frustrating); being in a class with other high ability children

CONS: transportation- We'd be able to take her to school, but she'd have to be bused back to our neighborhood school until we get a second vehicle. We're 1 block from our neighborhood school and we walk to/from. I have enjoyed that, and the face-to-face interaction with the teachers when I pick her up each day. Because she'd have to be bused, she would get out of class 25 minutes earlier than the other students and I have heard that that 25 minutes is when the students do their homework; being in a new school and not knowing the environment; has to make all new friends (she was the only student in her grade at her school to test into the GT program)

Two other things to consider, but I can't decide if they're cons, are the teacher for the 2nd/3rd grade class retired at the end of the school year and the replacement teacher is fresh out of college; and the school also has a brand new principal this year.

With all that being said, I was hoping to get some opinions on what to do.

ETA: We've been sitting on this information for a long time, but still can't come up with a final answer. We're at our deadline, and need to make a decision NOW. School starts in 7 days.

Last edited by ::er!ca::; August 6th, 2012 at 08:58 PM.
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  #2  
August 7th, 2012, 01:55 AM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Andrews AFB, MD
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I think my decision would be made based on what options she has at her current school. If it is meeting her needs, and you think that it will continue to meet her needs in the future, I'd leave her where she is. You seem happy with the school so they must be doing okay with her so far. Will she be working alone at her current school, or is there a group of other above average kids in her class? Even without a TAG program a good teacher will differentiate for kids within the classroom. Do they group at all? Especially by fourth and fifth grade I think it's nice to have reading and math classes for different abilities.

Are you okay with having your girls at two different schools? I assume your TAG program starts in second grade like the one in our area does. There's always the chance your younger child will test in and could join her sister in a few more years.
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  #3  
August 7th, 2012, 06:02 AM
Butter's Avatar Heather the Mama Duk
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: San Antonio TX
Posts: 28,853
Which is best for your daughter in the long run? For example, having to make new friends is a very short term thing. I'd be willing to bet she'll make friends in no time. A new, fresh out of college teacher may be a great thing. I recently learned that my 4th grade teacher was so new out of college that we were her second class ever. I didn't know that then. She was the best teacher I ever had. She was amazing. Another teacher I had, in second grade (it was a 2/3 combo), I later learned was pretty new out of college. She had a couple of years under her belt before I had her. She, also, was amazing. Those are two of my favorite teachers ever. They were creative, fun, and full of energy, but expected a lot out of us at the same time. I'd put being a new graduate on the pro list because of my experience.

I think I'd really focus on what her current school can do for her vs. what the gifted school can do for her. I'd go with the one that would be, educationally, better in the long run. I suspect that'll be the gifted school.
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  #4  
August 7th, 2012, 09:02 AM
::er!ca::'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I had a lengthy discussion with our school principal this morning. She has said there will be enrichment programs offered for Brinlee, and other students who need them as well. They're also starting a couple new programs, and she seemed very excited about them and eager to have Brinlee participate in. She gave me her opinion as a professional, and as a parent of a high ability child. We discussed our options as teachers, and said she'd place Brinlee with whatever teacher we felt would be a best fit for her. She wasn't trying to bribe me or anything like that, just making sure I knew she wanted what was best for Brinlee as well.

I have also reached out to some other parents, both those who have had children go through the GT program and those who had children qualify but they made the decision to keep them from the program. Brinlee's kindergarten teacher and her principal both had children identified as high ability in elementary school, but chose to not send them through the program. Both had their children start advanced/GT classes in middle school (6th grade). One mom I've been friends with for a long time has a daughter in college who went through the GT program (at the school Brinlee would go to) and said she felt like in the end, the rewards just weren't there. Even though her DD graduated with a 3.80 GPA in all honors classes, the honors aspect wasn't taken into consideration... just the number. Then it is compared to those receiving 4.0 GPAs in regular classes, and of course a 4.0 is viewed as better than the 3.80. I spoke with another mother who pulled her child out of the GT program after one year.

We have had lot to consider, and it is stressful. At this point, for at least 2nd grade, we've decided to keep Brinlee where she is now and re-evaluate after this next school year. Making that decision today has taken a lot of weight off of my shoulders and makes me feel more at peace. I feel like this is the right decision for us, for now. It could change, and if it does, there is always the option of switching her. I just couldn't make the decision to move her, it didn't make me feel peaceful... I still felt stressed about the decision.
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  #5  
August 7th, 2012, 02:20 PM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: The Lonestar State
Posts: 50,214
I think giving yourself another year to consider it is a good idea. Many times, a decision feels like a now-or-never kind of decision, when really it's not. You may decide in the future to choose another option, or you may look back and see that you made the right choice all along. As long as she's being challenged, it doesn't matter where she is. If she starts slacking off and getting bored, you should consider moving her to a more difficult environment.

Sounds like you made a good choice for now, and now is all we can really control anyway.
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  #6  
August 8th, 2012, 07:26 PM
HS&Fsmom's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: May 2008
Location: NC
Posts: 2,611
Glad you made a decision!!
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