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Old 05-12-2007, 06:31 PM
20 posts, read 83,830 times
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Hi memm626,
I sent you a private message with some specific questions....I thought I'd let you know on the forum though because I once had a message sit for a long time before I realized it was there!
Thanks for your info.
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Old 06-25-2007, 03:40 PM
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Your info regarding CMCA was great - thanks! Is there a long waiting list for that school? We'll be moving there in Dec. 07 and I assumed it would be too full for my 5th grader to be allowed in. Is there much diversity there? How about in Dist 12? We aren't Christian, and I've read on other threads that that is sometimes a problem. Any info you could give me would be great!
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Old 11-29-2008, 11:01 AM
53 posts, read 142,605 times
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I was wondering what school you ended up picking and how is your child doing in that school since I have a similar situation...


I was wondering if you still feel the same way about the CMCA since that's one of the schools I'm looking into enrolling my son for next year 1st grade...

Let me tell you about my situation to see if any of you or anyone else have some suggestions for a good school for my son...

I relocated to the Springs just a few months ago, August '08, and was late into making a decision for school for my gifted 5 year old. I soon found out the relocation was a big mistake! I went from having a school lined up for him where he was going to be able to enter the 1st grade in TX to having to enroll him in Kindergarten. I visited a few schools in the area and called the different school districts, and ended up trying the Renaissance Academy and after a day of observation and a day of my son trying the school, he was not pleased and the kindergarten program didn't seem gifted at all. So I ended up finding a rental house in D49 and enrolling my son in his local school.

However, the local school was "teaching" him stuff he knew since he was 2, such as the letter sounds and colors, and the Kindergarten program was only 3 hours, another shocker coming from out of state. After a few weeks of "Mom I'm bored" and "I don't want to go to school anymore" I decided to look for other alternatives. I ended up enrolling him at Banning Lewis Ranch Academy. The school had great facilities and they mentioned that they would accomodate the kindergarteners in reading groups according to their skills and it seemed like they would do better than the local school.

My son had not been tested for giftness yet (we are in the process now), but he had been assessed by a psychologist and most of his daycare/preschool/pre-K teachers seemed to think he was as well, so I didn't have anything to provide to his school, not that it would have matter from what I have researched.

With his giftness also comes social deficiencies though... my son challenges authority maybe more than the "average" child, and also directs to disrupting behavior when bored. Most of his previous caregivers and teachers have had the skills to stop negative behavior before escalating, like any educator should have in my opinion, but that has definetely not been the case at BLRA.

My 5 year old son has been suspended twice from this school in a matter of 2 months and if you ask me, once for throwing a tantrum and another one for saying poop. The 1st time he got so upset about a "broken promise" that he knocked down some chairs... the 2nd time things escalated from saying poop and making noises in class to get attention because he was bored to grabbing a teachers leg, since they had allowed him to be a "clown" for the whole morning and he figured that was the next best funny thing to do. The thing is that this behavior doesn't happen anywhere else, even at the places where he goes for care after he had gotten suspended. According to other teachers and caregivers he does tries to push the boundaries, but he's stopped right away and so things don't get out of control.

BLRA has been able to meet some of his academic needs... his teacher individualizes his work, and provides him with books, math problems, and materials to keep him busy, however, when it comes to social skills I don't think they work with him at all. Complaints such as he blourts out answers, he talks too much during class, he doesn't want to take a nap or stay quiet either... all signs of I'm bored and I already know this. I don't think they have the skills to teach him self-control. The minute he acts up, they don't know how to control him, so suspension is their easy way out. I don't see how a teacher can possibly feel threatened by a 5 year old, unless he's carrying a gun. I'm afraid this rejection will have some serious negative effects later on in his life. My son doesn't even seem to have established a connection with the kids in his class at all either, except for the one "silly" kid that he gets in trouble with.

So I'm looking for alternative schools that have the capacity to teach children not only the academics, but the most important part of all, which is their social development. I have heard good things about CMCA, but I wonder if someone has experienced how they handle discipline and how they help the children develop their social skills.

I'm even contemplating relocating out of state again in search of better schools, but I would like to know if there's any school in the area that would accomodate his needs before making such a big change in our lives again. I'm a single mom, so I'm hoping not to have to pay for his schooling, but if private school is the only choice to get him the education he deserves I'm willing to sacrifice as well.
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Old 06-15-2009, 01:57 PM
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We currently live in MA and recently had our 4yo daughter tested and told she is gifted. The town we live in, and MA in general, does not accommodate gifted children. We were looking into private schools, but then decided to look at states that would best suit our little girl. CO is one state we are seriously considering and after reading posts here, I'm thinking it's a wise choice. At 4, are we looking to make such a major change to our family too early in the game? Should we wait until she's at least in the 1st grade to see where is is academically? The doctor who tested her suggested we grade accelerate to Kindergarten, but I don't want to do this just yet, and besides, it doesn't make up for the fact MA doesn't support it's gifted students--It would just be a quick fix. This is all new to us and we're feeling very overwhelmed by it all.
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Old 06-15-2009, 02:03 PM
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If you're going to move, I believe it is easier on kids in general to do it now, before she makes tons of school friends. I think there are many good gifted programs in the public schools here.

As for CMCA, they do not really have gifted programs per se. They are substandard in arts and labs and other experiential education, and do have some accelerated programs, but unless they have changed significantly in the last few years, they do not really teach kids to be independent thinkers, problem solvers, critical thinkers. They are more of a rote memorization school in terms of curriculum and instructional methodology. And as for older kids (grades 7 and 8), they are given 3-5 hours of homework nightly including weekends, and given very little freedom compared to their peers in other schools. That is my opinion/observation as someone who used to teach there.
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Old 06-17-2009, 08:36 AM
Location: Virginia
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First of all, my prayers are with you as you tackle this journey. I know many parents wish for a gifted child but it comes at a price- poor socialization skills/lack of friends, not being normal. I have had other parents describe it like they have a child with special needs.
I am a special education teacher BUT I have gifted and talented as well. Gifted and Talented programs here in our area are taking off and really focusing on how to make a program effective. In the past, schools claimed they had a GT program but what really happened was the children were held after school for fun projects or occasionally pulled out of the classroom for fun projects. Now, schools are recognizing that this method isn't going to cut the cake. Additionally, teachers are on top of differentiation and meeting a child's needs.
There are two things that I am seeing in our area with kids who are gifted- neither an ideal one. One, a child is placed within their grade and the teacher accels the child through the classroom materials/curriculum. Additionally, sometimes the child attends a higher grade for reading. This is probably the easiest way to work with a student who is gifted, however not the ideal way. The other way is advancing the child to the next higher grade- skipping a grade. However, the child isn't developmentally equal to those kids in the next grade and social problems were already an issue.
I haven't seen anyone putting a bunch of gifted students together in a classroom away from the other students where they can accel academically. We use the inclusion model where all students interact together.
I would ask the following questions as a parent of a gifted child:
1. How are the social skills? If they are lacking, this should be a priority. Your child will pick up on academics easily but social skills are a must in order to become a successful adult. Being intelligent doesn't do you any good if you can't interact with others.
2. Do I want my child to be part of a class where the other children?
3. Do I want my child to be advanced to a higher grade?

I am actually opposed to the advancing to a higher grade. Children who are gifted will master material and concepts very quickly. Therefore, by advancing one grade, your child will quickly grasp onto those concepts just as quickly as he/she would the grade below, so no real challenge is occuring. For an example, I know of a child who stayed with his class and within 3 months mastered all of first grade, within the next 3 months mastered 2nd grade and was just finished 3rd grade material by the time the school year was over all while in a first grade classroom. Another child I know was supposed to go into the 3rd grade and was advanced into the 4th grade instead. Within the first half of the year, she had mastered all of 4th grade material and spent the rest of the year working on 5th grade skills. When she started 5th grade, she was very much behind (developmentally) than the other girls and it made her even more ostrized than ever.
I think my recommendation is to take your testing results and connect with the principal. From there, discuss your child's academic plan and be sure your voice is heard. If you run into friction with the principal, then change schools. I would suggest finding a great school for elementary and sticking with that school the entire duration of elementary. We have some excellent schools with awesome principals and teachers who you will just adore. I think this is our biggest asset- staff who truly value your opinion and will do everything possible to ensure your child succeeds.
I would also recommend D20 schools. Your chances of connecting with another parent in the same boat as you are higher than in other school districts. This doesn't mean other school districts couldn't accomodate you and your child and this is my own two cents.

I wish you the best of luck and remember if you aren't comfortable with what is going on at school, change. Trust your gut.
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Old 06-17-2009, 10:58 AM
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When I was in first grade, the school met with my parents about advancing me to 2nd grade early. My parents decided to keep me in 1st grade and asked the school to try to 'enrich' my education there and they would do the same - even though they were tight on budget, my parents made sure to keep me occupied in some good extracurricular activities and we always had lots of books, etc.
At the time, I was a little disappointed about not going on to 2nd because it sounded cool. But I quickly got over it and it didn't take me that long to realize my parents made a great choice. I soon realized I was much better off being at the top of my class staying with my developmental peers - it set me up for success for my entire school career.
I might suggest also, based on family experience, that this could be even more important for boys. My brother was extremely interested in sports and still is to this day. In school, he was often one of the smaller kids in his class even though as an adult he is 6 foot tall 180-190 pounds. Socially and in sports, being small put him at a disadvantage that I think still bothers him to this day because he feels like he missed out on some things that if only he had been a year older in those grades he might have gotten to enjoy. Cest la Vie, but something to think about in terms of promoting gifted children.
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Old 06-17-2009, 10:35 PM
Location: Virginia
1,938 posts, read 6,195,278 times
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Good post Otowi, good example. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 03-21-2010, 10:41 PM
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The Classical Academy has no GT program and is weak on Spec Ed as well (improving, I am happy to say). They teach the same to all kids. Their answer to GT is to give more work. Not acceptable in my mind, standard for Charter Schools. We have been involved with that school for 11 years. It is great for other things. We are still planning to send our likely gifted son to kinder there in the fall and supplement outside of school. It is a great place for kids who are talented but often kids who are gifted are more lopsided in their intelligence output and often have LD as well. My daughter is likely gifted and has LD and Asperger's. She is doing ok at TCA but we fight every step with getting her the help she needs to succeed because she does well enough due to her smart brain, but not the great she knows she can and it is frustrating for her. I understand that it is that way at many schools and more charter schools than not. I know if you have a kid who is more on the talented side you will like an IB school, there are many in Colorado Springs at every level and district. TCA or Monument Academy or Cheyenne Mt. Charter would also be a good fit for the talented kid. Gifted, that is another story. Any regular school will be able to serve the dual learner child (gifted and LD) but a charter school may not.
On the districts. I am a native so know a bit about the area. 12 is a mostly affluent area but contains rather poor areas as well, it is a very diverse community as far as schools, not all are equal. D11 is the majority of the city and has troubles of it's own. Their education is standard and good enough, there is a great deal of diversity between schools depending on the socioeconomic level of the neighborhood. They have a good GT program. North is more academically advanced than the south in D11. D20 is mostly upper middle class and the involvement of parents there gives them good scores and so it is well rated. They are a large and growing district, with larger classes. Don't expect to be able to choice into this dist. from out of dist. very easily. D38 is north of the city in Monument on the Palmer Divide and N. Black Forest. Smaller classes and lots of good education going on. But it has the drawbacks of affluence and kids with too much money. This is a good district to consider. D49 is out east of the city and is a good and is developing and growing. They have IB there too and a few charter schools. That is about it for the better districts. There are GT programs at UCCS and CC (the local university and college) as well. Oh and the wait for Charter Schools is different for each one. Some have a list and you get in on the list, others have a lottery to get it. So, you should check. TCA has a list system, and it is a long list. MA has a lottery system. Also I don't usually check this board. Looking at gifted info too.

Last edited by DaisyJill; 03-21-2010 at 10:42 PM.. Reason: forgot something
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Old 06-09-2011, 11:01 AM
1 posts, read 2,164 times
Reputation: 15
Default Check out AcademyACL

District 11's newest charter school, Academy for Advanced and Creative Learning, is a whole school designed around the needs of advanced, creative, and gifted learners. It just successfully completed its first full school year and it is an amazing place where gifted students can "be themselves."

Academy for Advanced and Creative Learning :: Academy for Advanced & Creative Learning
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