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Old 05-01-2007, 08:29 PM
160 posts, read 880,205 times
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Can anyone recommend the best private and public schools for a gifted child? I am most interested in district 20 for public schools. But also want to look at small private schools. Any recommendations? Thanks.
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Old 05-02-2007, 01:16 PM
Location: Colorado Springs
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I believe there is the COlorado Springs School. Also, The Classical Academy is rated high for academics. You can also go to www.greatschools.net and get alot of information from there. bashep
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Old 05-02-2007, 02:15 PM
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Hi, Just went through this whole thing myself for my boys. My sons have been in gifted programs in Florida and Washington states so I knew a little of what to look for. We are moving to COS too in July and concentrated our efforts on district 20 and 38. This was purely from a time perspective as this is so time consuming (we are overseas currently) and also because these were the districts most people were recommending both on this forum and from word of mouth. The districts are both different in what resources and how they offer these resources to gifted children. Each district also differs in what testing they will accept from other states. My children were all tested quite young but in district 20 and 38 formal testing does not take place until grade 3. In fact you will find that you will need to talk to TAG co-ordinators from each specific school you are considering. That is because each school in fact differs as to what they offer gifted children. I can tell you though that there are no self-contained classrooms and they do focus a lot on enrichment activities. I went on the websites for District 20 and 38 and contacted both directors of each district. They were all great, very good to get back to me and I spoke several times with district 20. We finallly settled on DaVinci Academy (great TAG lady there but she is leaving unfortunately) Discovery Canyon Campus and Pine Creek High School. Hope that helps. I put a message out on the forum about a month or so ago but got very few replies. So hope this helps.
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Old 05-02-2007, 02:53 PM
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Yes, it does. Thanks. My son is only 4yrs old and we have not yet had him tested, but his preschool teacher feels that he may be a gifted child. I have just begun researching schools and also am interested in district 20. Thanks again, and good luck with your move.
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Old 05-02-2007, 10:15 PM
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It sounds like we're all in somewhat the same boat! We are also moving to COS this July and we have a 7 year old son whose has been tested and is receiving gifted services in Kansas. We will be living in district 12. After much research and talking to multiple people we have decided to let him attend the neighborhood school. He was accepted to the EAGLES program (a gifted magnet school in District 11) and applied to the Renaissance Academy (a private school offering 'a gifted education to all students'). He currently attends our neighborhood school in KS and is pulled out for a couple hours a week for gt. He is very social and at this point really enjoys school for social reasons. He is very much a 7 year old boy. He learns everywhere he goes and in everything he does and althought he has been deemed 'highly gifted' I don't know that a 24/7 gifted program is what he needs. I think you need to really evaluate your child and decide what suits them best. It seems like the schools in D12, 20, 38 are all very strong, so hopefully they are able to help all of us. Good luck!! If you learn anything else interesting, post it!!!
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Old 05-03-2007, 08:28 AM
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Thank you for your post. My child actually has some social deficiencies and we are in the process of having him evaluated. Do any of you know the average class size in D20 for lower grades? My son will more than likely need to be in a class size of no more than 20 children. According to greatschools.net, the class sizes are definately on the smaller side (ie: 20 or less students per teacher), but I don't know how accurate that is.
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Old 05-03-2007, 03:48 PM
Location: Colorado Springs CO
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Just to let you know, there are a 178 school districts in Colorado. For 2006, District 12 ranked number 1 in the state, district 38 was number 4 and district 20 was number 8. District 12 is in the S/W part of town around the Fort Carson area. District 38 and 20 are in the Northwest, Northeast, and Monument Black Forest areas. Our son was identified as gifted and we bought a home in District 20. He attended school from 2nd grade to 12th. He was part the IB program.
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Old 05-03-2007, 04:05 PM
160 posts, read 880,205 times
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Thank you. The reason I focussed on D20 is because that seems to be the one that everyone on this forum recommends. Now I will look at homes in those other districts as well. Can you recommend any preschools?
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Old 05-11-2007, 04:36 AM
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Hey there, you are going to Love Colorado!

I also have two children and have found that with a little searching you can find the perfect fit in education for every kid with our wide range of charter, public and private schools.

My child was identified as gifted early and we placed him at Renaissance academy for 1 year (it was a huge waste of money and time as far as education goes) we found that academically it was not challenging and they seem to switch teachers quite often. The families were all very nice and if you are looking for a small school with good (wealthy) families -it may be a great fit. You are allotted a trial period (2 weeks I believe) and then make your decision to enroll. After that point you are stuck (regardless of teacher changes or other circumstances) paying the tuition for the year. We found that our son was not challenged academically and that a large percentage of the student population enrolls in preschool (testing for giftedness is not required at that point) so most of the students in the school are not gifted. Our goal in enrolling our son in a school for gifted children was to surround him with children who made him feel normal (however strange that seems). By the end of the first year , he was pretending not to know things for the purpose of fitting in (just what we were trying to avoid). It took several years to remedy that.

District 20 is great as is 12. My son is currently as Cheyenne Mtn charter academy (dist 12) and we LOVE it!

They use direct instruction (which takes some getting used to) but it seems to be a Great fit for children who learn quickly.

They use ability grouping for reading, spelling, and math so your child is always in a group with children at the same level. They separate these groups for instruction so that all of them think they are doing exactly the same things - The self esteem in these kids is awesome! Groups are fluid so that the kids move up and down as needed and always feel that they are being promoted.

As far a educational benchmarks go - my child is almost through kindergarten and reads between 2nd and 3rd grade level, his math skills are 2nd grade level - has incredible knowledge of history and geography (can name all of the presidents in order and tell you facts about each one), has a very solid art and music base, great spelling and writes in the most beautiful cursive you have ever seen. The greatest thing is that he isn't atypical. Even the children that came into kindergarten not knowing their letters continue to first grade wit 1st to 3rd grade skills (everyone was reading by winter break).

I am not sure what the GT program looks like in higher grades (the school goes through 12th grade) but so far giftedness hasn't been an issue - If your child is in 1st grade but needs to go to 4th grade reading, 2nd grade math, and 3rd grade spelling- it is automatically accommodated.

Cheyenne Mountain Charter Academy (CMCA) is a great fit for children with social issues as well because is soooo structured that personality and socialization are kept totally seperate from education.

Also as far as preschools - if you stick with D20 I know the classical academy has a preschool affiliated with it.

D12 is a great district (I think was rated number 1 in the State this year!)

You may want to look at CMCA - the academics there are unparallel in the state.

Anyway - With the huge variety of public and charter schools in Colorado Springs, there is really no need in paying for education. Keep searching and you will find the perfect fit for your kiddo! Money can be better spent in enrichment activities (we have everything here music, dance, sports, drama, rock climbing, great camps for gifted kids, OM etc!)

Hope this helps!
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Old 05-11-2007, 09:25 AM
160 posts, read 880,205 times
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Thank you. That is so helpful. I am going to look into that. I was wondering, though, if there are long wait lists for these charter schools?
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