Does Your Childs School Have Any Programs for Gifted and Talented???

Updated on May 20, 2012
L.O. asks from Sterling Heights, MI
13 answers

WE live in Michigan and school budgets are tight. OUr school district got rid of the gifted and talented program 3 years ago.. and now has nothing to offer the gifted kids.. I was just in the classroom today, and saw that my child as well as several classmates are way way way above the work taht is being given. I know there are also students in the class that are far behind also.. they get special title I tutors that pull them out of class for special help.

are there gifted programs out there anywhere (for elementary grades)//

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answers from Kalamazoo on

We're in MI too and Kalamazoo has a program that starts in 2nd grade - they ride a bus to another facility (old high school bldg) every Wed for a full day. But as far as the "normal" classroom goes, the teacher should be prepared to let certain students work ahead in groups kind of on their own. "Academically Talented" is different than just being in the highest reading/math group etc. They should be allowed to move forward at their own pace.

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answers from Norfolk on

The smart kids are pretty much on their own.
But the money is there for special ed kids so an aide is on hand to help change their diapers even up through high school.
Our son is gifted but as far as the school is concerned he might as well be chopped liver.
We do science experiments at home (build catapults, and experiment kits) and visit museums and zoos often as we can.
Anything our son is curious about we get him a book about it.
You can't leave all the learning up to the school.
In some ways I feel like we home school a bit even though he goes to public school every year from Sept through June.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I live in Michigan as well and our elementary school does have a gifted program in elementary. We still have all of the extra curriculars as well... Gym every day, and art or music everyday (3 days music 2 days art one week, followed by 3 days art, 2 days music, etc). This is a public school and we are very very lucky to have a supportive community! The cut for us has been that we have to share our principal with another elementary, so he is not always in the building. The teachers don't like it... I haven't noticed significant problems with it, but certainly not ideal!

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answers from Los Angeles on

My children's school doesn't even start the G&T programs until 4th grade. The kids have to pass the G&T tests every year from K-4th to be 'labeled' G&T.

~I understand what you mean though and it is very frustrating. The last year and this year at both my boys' early March Parent/Teacher conferences we were told that both boys were WAY above grade level in everything across the board and they couldn't even test them any higher. So my husband and I were both like: Well, what exactly will they be doing for the last 4 months of school?? It is absolutely something that needs to be addressed. I wish they would go back to the way they did things when I was younger. You were tested and put in the class with your 'peers' as far as your 'level' there would be 2 of every grade and a combined class where the advanced kids all went together and the ones that were right on track stayed together and the ones that were behind were in the mixed classes----> So if you were a 3rd grader that was behind you would be placed in the 2nd & 3rd grade combined class.

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answers from San Francisco on

At my son's school the teachers spend part of the day working with the children in groups of 3 or 4. They also have some of the kids switch classrooms for science lessons. This way they accommodate all skill levels without having separate remedial or gifted programs.

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answers from Washington DC on

Yes our schools do, but they also allow students to stay at their regular school if it doesn't have a GT program and they can work from an ALP (advanced learning plan). You should check if your school district has this - sometimes the teachers aren't even aware of it.

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answers from Austin on

At our daughters elementary school, every teacher on campus has been trained in gifted and talented, so every child is taught with this program.

As a PTA , years ago, we are the ones that originally funded this. Each time a new teacher joins the campus, they still provide for that person to also be trained.

As you can imagine, our children all excel.

Maybe this is something you all could look into.

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answers from Dallas on

We have it here in TX for starting in grade 1. They test all Kindergartners in our district the second half of the year and if they score high on the test, they then go onto further testing to determine if they do indeed qualify. It sounds like I'm pretty fortunate where I live. Sorry your school district took that program away:(



answers from Denver on

my district has a great gifted program, so they are out there and are possible even in tough times. we live in colorado and have not had consistent funding for 5 years now, so I get budget issues.

if you are willing to be the squeaky wheel and do a LOT of advocating as well as a lot of research to back up your position, you can get GT back. No child left behind actually makes it illegal to not serve the gifted children if the district gets ferderal funds. if there's title 1 tutors, then there's federal funds. This information came straight from my district's admin staff, so I feel pretty confident that its true.

Up to you whether you want to simply supplement a ton at home or fight the system. and beware, it will probably be quite the fight. IMO, school districts are not out to serve the kids in the best way but to maintain their jobs and the status quo (as a system - individuals, of course, many times do want to serve the kids).

i'd do the research about how they have to (quote federal websites, the actual law, etc). then I'd go in and say that you're concerned some children are not being served and you're concerned the district may lose federal funds or are violating the law and lay it out. don't be combative; approach from a position of "there's a big need, this law says you need to be doing something, how can we work together to serve the need"

good luck!



answers from Minneapolis on

Yes. Our school district has a very good GT program for grades 2-5. Then for some reason they do almost nothing for the middle school kids and my son is frustrated with that and the curriculum. Then in HS they offer very challenging honors and AP classes. I don't know why they let things slip in middle school, but both of my boys participated in a high quality GT program in elementary school. However, not all educators and school districts believe in a GT program per se or identifying kids as "GT." There was a post about this a few weeks ago if you want to search the archives. Although my boys both benefitted from the program I do have some mixed feelings about it.



answers from Charlotte on

We had a gifted program, but it didn't start until 3rd grade. First graders took the OLSAT's and that identified them for testing the next year to see if they qualified for the gifted program. In our state at the time, a 130 IQ was the benchmark for being accepted.

My older son was in this program, Lisa. It was a pullout program, and all those kids had IEP's that were technically called GIEP's (Gifted Individual Education Plan.) The testing told how he learned best, and the teachers paid attention to that. It's just like what they did for the kids who were struggling and had IEP's - their testing showed how THEY learned and teachers helped them develop learning strategies based on what their strengths and weaknesses were.

It sounds like the state of Michigan is struggling, for them to drop their gifted program. No wonder they were charging for what they call fullday kinder when it's really a childcare program after the kinder class is over, from your explanation :) !

If you all aren't able to get that reinstated in your school, I'd just make sure you offer as much enrichment as you can with your kids. Museums, extra reading, studying curriculum to make sure your kids are getting what is recommended, that kind of thing. As many educational opportunities as you can find, try to get it for them. I remember a science class that met once a week (I paid for it) that was for my older kindergartener. It was offered at 5:00 and held at the middle school in the science classes, the ones with the lab tables. They did all kinds of cool experiments, and my son could explain to me why the experiments worked. So cool! One of the touch museums had a class that taught all about rocks (3rd grade) and one taught all about volcanos. I sought out stuff like that all of the time because it was more fun learning than just me reading a book to them. (And a "guest speaker" was more fun than Mom!)

I know this is more than you asked for, but I thought it might help, if Michigan truly won't start another gifted program.



answers from Jacksonville on

Yes. My daughter is in one. She started in 3rd grade, when she entered the public school system for the first time. They have an excellent one day a week pull-out program. The county directly to the north of us, however, got rid of theirs this year due to budget issues.


answers from San Francisco on

Nope. Ours fell victim to budget cuts a few years ago, too. The only solution they really have to meet the needs of the brightest children is to bump them up a grade - several kids at my daughters' school have done this, including my younger daughter (who should be going into 2nd grade age-wise, but is going into 3rd). Next year, my older daughter (going into 5th grade) will be in a 5th/6th combination. Because it's a combination, the class size is smaller (yahoo!) and she will have the opportunity to take the 6th grade curriculum, while still being in a class with her friends. The best of both worlds! It's not ideal to have to move kids up a year to challenge them, but given the budget issues, it's the best option we have.

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