S.S. asks from Orlando, FL on January 11, 2010
Gifted Program - Orlando,FL
Hi! I'd like to ask for input on having a child in the gifted program. Just like every other parent, I have always thought my kid was bright and smart, but I was a little surprised when I got a permission form to have her tested for the gifted program. I had no idea they did that so young (kindergarten!) So she passed the screening and has completed the 2nd test with the psychologist at school and now we're waiting to have our meeting with psychologist and teachers. Of course, I am proud of her and now I can hardly wait to hear the results. I am curious of they would still meet with us even if she didn't pass the test? And if she did, I understand that we will have to decide if we even want her in the program. As a parent with only 1 kid in school I don't have a lot of experience in this area and not a lot of resources to ask about it either. My first reaction is that it is great, but I can't help but wonder what the cons might be of having her in the program. What should I expect? What are your experiences with it?? She goes to Orange County Public Schools.
J.G. answers from Orlando on January 12, 2010
I used to teach 3rd grade for Orange County, and the students who were in Gifted in our school went to the program once a week for most of the day. For most children, it was great. (They didn't have to make up the work they missed in the regular class, though they were responsible for knowing the material for tests, of course, which wasn't a problem for most children.)
The awesome part of being in the program is that they are able to work lots more on higher thinking and problem-solving--what all kids need to be successful--but they can go much further with it.
The only downside I can think of is that some students get this feeling of superiority that can hurt relationships in their regular classroom, but that depends on the child's personality and the way that parents react to everything.
Best wishes to you--you must be so proud!! :)
L.P. answers from Orlando on January 12, 2010
I agree with Kim F--try it out if she makes it & you can always refuse it the following year. Also, I would talk to the teachers and counselors to find out EXACTLY what the differences are between the gifted program and the regular courses. When I was younger, I was in a gifted program in NC that had all sorts of neat activities, but when my older son was to be placed in the gifted program here in Orlando in middle school, I found out all it entailed was more homework. Mostly, stay involved with her. At this point, she is so young and new to school, that she will likely not notice the difference, and won't be losing any friends by attending different classes.
R.T. answers from Orlando on January 11, 2010
My daughter is in the gifted program. She is in 5th grade and I have never seen a down side to it. She has a whole set of friends in the gifted program that she would not have met otherwise because they pull them from different classes to meet together once a week. Most years, they did not have enough kids on her grade level to have one full class, so there was a mix of 2 grades together, which I think is a great way for kids to learn from eachother. (She actually had one-on-one with the gifted teacher in 1st and part of 2nd grade because she was the only one on her grade level so far that was tested in! We were so happy when they got a few more kids!!) The only down side I know of is if her school doesn't have their own gifted teacher (due to not enough kids at the whole school qualifying), which means they'd put her on a bus to attend once a day at a neighboring school, but that's rare. Just make sure there is a good relationship and communication with the school's gifted teacher and her own teacher. Some years, my daughter was completely excused from anything that was assigned during her regular class while she was at gifted, and some years the teacher worked with her to make sure she completed EVERYTHING that she missed-- which my daughter handled just fine, but may be overload for some kids. Also, make sure the gifted teacher will allow her to stay in her regular class during her class's special events.... and ask what happens if the gifted teacher is absent on the day your daughter is supposed to go-- usually she will just miss gifted that day, which throws off her routine if she is used to be excused from whatever goes on in her class on that day of the week!
K.C. answers from Orlando on January 11, 2010
As far as I know the program differs from school to school, county to county. I teach in Seminole county and our school has a pretty small gifted program.
Your counselor, teachers, and psychologist would probably not have a formal Student Study meeting with you if your daughter did not pass, but they also might if she was close and want to keep you open minded for testing again at a later date. Write down any and all questions you have before you go to the meeting that way you can make sure that everything you want to know gets answered. I hate thinking of questions later so I always try to think of them before.
At our school the children that are in gifted go with the gifted teacher one day a week (after the first 90 min of the day which is our reading block) they spend the entire day with that teacher doing their own lessons and are excused from classwork. I know at other schools the kids go for a certian amount of time each day.
My advice would be to try it out (assuming she gets in :)) and if you/she doesn't like it by the end of this school year, you can take her out of it for first grade.
Good Luck and way to be an involved mama!!