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Old 02-17-2012, 02:12 PM
 
1,212 posts, read 1,769,788 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momedu View Post
hockdad, your first suggestion for hockaday was great, however not achievable for us, pls do let me know about several other great options for gifted child from kindergarten, thanks you!
I will be the first to admit that I do not have a good understanding of the schools in the burbs. Most of my experience involves private schools in the heart of Dallas. You say that Hockaday is not an option (I can't tell from your posts if you have a boy or girl, but I assume a girl since you are looking at Hockaday). However, I am not sure why it is not an option. If you are worried about the money (which is considerable), please note that a substantial portion of the girls are on financial aid (around 20%). The parents have absolutely no idea who receives financial aid (thus, no stigma).

I think it is always interesting to note which schools feed the most students into St. Marks and Hockaday. Quite frankly, I think it is the most objective standard when judging pre-school programs (yes, I understand I am biased and consider those two schools the best- Greenhill is right there too). Traditionally, three schools matriculate a substantial number of students: 1) lamplighter, 2) Meadowbrook, and 3) St. Alcuin. By no means am I saying that even "most" of the students come from these schools, just a substantial number. I know each of these schools quite well and would say that they would do a good job with a "gifted" student. There are numerous other very good options.
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Old 02-18-2012, 01:27 PM
Mvc
 
173 posts, read 134,968 times
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Chance of getting into Westlake Academy through non-resident lottery is slightly better than hitting powerball.
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:46 AM
 
2,206 posts, read 3,792,801 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momedu View Post
Hi, our family is looking to relocate to a Dallas Suburb. We blv we have a gifted 5 year old and are looking for a regular public school, charter or magnet school, or a ISD with a great overall curriculum for advanced and gifted learner.
What do you mean by "gifted" in the above?

In general, the National Merit post prior to mine is a great place to start. Plano has a great gifted math program that has the privates beat hands down. I would look at Plano, Coppell, Flower Mound, and Highland Park as far as publics go. One thing to keep in mind is that many of the parents with kids in the publics do use outside tutoring services as well as other kinds of enrichment, ie Singapore Math, to complement what they get even in the best publics.

There is no dedicated program in the lower grades in any public school district in the DFW area for intellectually advanced child. Carrollton does have the LEAP program, which is really just working two grades ahead, but by the 3rd grade, it has no further acceleration. Plano does have the Math Rocks program which is a great program that starts in the 3rd grade.

The privates are good for the advanced student because the low student:teacher ratios allow for the advanced child to get extra attention and because the privates are flexible in letting the advanced child take classes early, ie calculus when they are 13, or even skipping one or more grades. But the privates do not offer anything curriculum-wise that the best publics do not also have. The privates also have less of a STEM focus than the publics.

I would also keep in mind that truly exceptional kids have a very hard time with traditional education even at the top publics and privates. And find that outside enrichment, getting multiple whole grade skips, and early entrance to college are things to consider. This is another discussion and I would encourage you to read the available literature on it listed at Hoagies so you can determine where you stand. Very often the "best schools" are not the "best" fit for a really smart kid due to their rigidity.

Quote:
Also wanted to know with Texas heat what the general culture is for outdoor play during summer? would we find lot of kids at parks etc... or far and few brave ones as it is very hot. Are parks with water feature popular and accessible during summer months? Are kids able to go bicycle and shoot hops for hours in summer months or they generally end up going to indoor recreational places?
Texas heat is not that bad. There are a few days where the wind does not blow and that can be bad, but for the most part, you can get out and do stuff as long as you drink lots of water. Most cities have water parks and they are great to beat the heat with.


Quote:
which suburbs are most outdoorsy and family friendly? when we look at a person who is a parent, we value their closeness and involvement with their kids more then what they have attained monetarily. so we would look for an educated and dedicated parent community.

thank u in advance...
I find it ironic that you want an "educated" community, yet post on a forum as if you were sending a text message.

All the suburbs mentioned above are family friendly and are geared to raising kids. All are quite wealthy. (Wealth in TX mostly means new money, ie came from hard work.) With HPISD being the most wealthy. Flower Mound and Coppell have more of a small town feel. Plano ISD will be the most competitive.

I would rent for the first year to give yourself time to explore the area.
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Old 02-19-2012, 01:35 PM
 
7,283 posts, read 8,116,246 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TX75007 View Post
Plano has a great gifted math program that has the privates beat hands down.
I really wish you would stop saying that. Do you get this feeling from the same person who told you privates cost 30% more than the stated numbers?
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Old 02-19-2012, 03:47 PM
 
350 posts, read 618,522 times
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In Plano, Mathrocks really is a remarkable program for those big on math. Here's its anticipated high school course sequence:
9th Grade: Honors Algebra II/Honors PreCal (integrated into a one year, one period class)
10th Grade: Calculus I, Calculus II
11th Grade: Differential Equations, Number Theory
12th Grade: Abstract Algebra, Multivariable Calculus

Many of my friends went off to TAMS to get these types of higher-level math classes, but this program would allow them to remain in Plano ISD. You really won't be able to find these opportunities in many other schools. As stated, it starts in 3rd grade to build the requisite foundations for the upper-level classes.
http://www.timelesswayfoundation.org...Math_Rocks.pdf (One note: the program has since expanded into many other schools since this was created, so the list of campuses is outdated).

PACE, the traditional, non-math based gifted program, starts either in Kindergarten or first grade, and continues through high school.

I really enjoyed PACE, but haven't had any experiences with Mathrocks as it was only recently implemented.

Last edited by PISDstudent; 02-19-2012 at 04:09 PM..
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Old 02-19-2012, 04:29 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
2,346 posts, read 5,792,682 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EDS_ View Post
I really wish you would stop saying that.
Why should he stop saying that? It's true. The type of acceleration laid out by MathRocks at the HS level is nowhere to be found at ANY of the DFW private schools, apart from negotiated one-off agreements to do an independent study or go off-campus for math instruction.

(Disclosure: It's nowhere to be found in PISD yet, either. The HS program rolls out next year ONLY for the pilot group originally from Rice, in the class of 2016. The district-wide progam is available only to those kids in the class of 2018 and beyond.)

Such a program wouldn't work at most privates for two reasons:

1) Critical mass. The number of MathRocks kids is roughly equal to the number of NMSFs. (That's a function of the very-high-test-score-ONLY admissions criterion.) As such, a progam like this, which has about 100 kids district-wide per grade in PISD, would have a dozen at Hockaday or Greenhill, and 5 or 6 at Jesuit or ESD.
2) Early starting point. This program's standard entry point is 4th grade, with possibilities at 3rd and 5th. Now, that would work for the 1-12 schools, but a place like Jesuit or Bishop Lynch would have to coordinate such a program with ALL of their major feeder schools.
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:11 PM
 
7,283 posts, read 8,116,246 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big G View Post
Why should he stop saying that? It's true. The type of acceleration laid out by MathRocks at the HS level is nowhere to be found at ANY of the DFW private schools, apart from negotiated one-off agreements to do an independent study or go off-campus for math instruction.

(Disclosure: It's nowhere to be found in PISD yet, either. The HS program rolls out next year ONLY for the pilot group originally from Rice, in the class of 2016. The district-wide progam is available only to those kids in the class of 2018 and beyond.)

Such a program wouldn't work at most privates for two reasons:

1) Critical mass. The number of MathRocks kids is roughly equal to the number of NMSFs. (That's a function of the very-high-test-score-ONLY admissions criterion.) As such, a progam like this, which has about 100 kids district-wide per grade in PISD, would have a dozen at Hockaday or Greenhill, and 5 or 6 at Jesuit or ESD.
2) Early starting point. This program's standard entry point is 4th grade, with possibilities at 3rd and 5th. Now, that would work for the 1-12 schools, but a place like Jesuit or Bishop Lynch would have to coordinate such a program with ALL of their major feeder schools.
That's not the point, TX75007 seems to have this notion that the privates are not prepared to challenge kids who excel at math. I think the Mathrocks programs sounds wonderful. That does not mean that the privates are behind simply because they don't have a program with a cool name. This line of thinking reminds me of a claim once made on CD that one of the publics was better than Cistercian because that school offered more AP courses than Cistercian.

Are you implying that everyone in 9th grade at each private takes the same math class? I hope not.

I have a son who went through one of these seemingly second rate private school special math tracks. His accomplishments in college from a STEM perspective have been exceptional. He scored a 40 on a practice MCAT the other day for one.
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Old 02-20-2012, 05:48 AM
 
11,672 posts, read 21,236,098 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EDS_ View Post
That's not the point, TX75007 seems to have this notion that the privates are not prepared to challenge kids who excel at math. I think the Mathrocks programs sounds wonderful. That does not mean that the privates are behind simply because they don't have a program with a cool name. This line of thinking reminds me of a claim once made on CD that one of the publics was better than Cistercian because that school offered more AP courses than Cistercian.

Are you implying that everyone in 9th grade at each private takes the same math class? I hope not.

I have a son who went through one of these seemingly second rate private school special math tracks. His accomplishments in college from a STEM perspective have been exceptional. He scored a 40 on a practice MCAT the other day for one.
Agreed. And by the looks of Math SAT I & SAT II scores at St Mark's, Hockaday, Cistercian, etc- there is NO gap between the elite privates and Plano ISD. If there is one, I think it favors the privates.

We have discussed this on here before, but I think the privates aren't known for STEM because those career paths are *typically* not the "ideal" ones for a private school ("old money" / "old money influenced") student body. Most of the elite Dallas kids are going into finance, consulting, real estate, entrepreneurship, oil & gas, etc vs engineering and computer science fields. Med school being the one STEM exception as far as desirable career paths on the whole. The very small handful of St Mark's grads I know who pursued a STEM career have been QUITE successful (MIT, Stanford, Google, Microsoft, etc). I think STEM is still seen as a "blue collar" career path in many elite private school families vs a lucrative starting salary field to many PISD families. But that cultural bias doesnt mean the private schools shy away from a strong science and math background- quite the opposite.
Just my $.02.
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:04 AM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
2,346 posts, read 5,792,682 times
Reputation: 2284
n/m. Suffers from TLDR syndrome.

Last edited by Big G; 02-20-2012 at 09:08 AM..
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:25 AM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
2,346 posts, read 5,792,682 times
Reputation: 2284
Quote:
Originally Posted by EDS_ View Post
Are you implying that everyone in 9th grade at each private takes the same math class? I hope not.
Never said that. FWIW, the math tracks at Jesuit and PISD are identical:

Standard:
Alg I/Geom/Alg II/Precalc

Honors:
Geom/Alg II/Precalc/AP Calc

(PISD also has a "basic" math track for low-performing kids that Jesuit has no need for.)

This is where you can insert arguments about the superior educational environment of Jesuit leading to enhanced learning. That can't easily be quantified, so we'll have to agree to disagree on that.

Quote:
TX75007 seems to have this notion that the privates are not prepared to challenge kids who excel at math.
Well, are they? To be clear, we're talking about kids who are beyond the honors track referenced above - those who come into high school with Geometry or more already completed. Most schools, including both Jesuit and pre-MathRocks PISD, can only offer to move the kids up an extra year, then have them take AP Stats (an easier course than AP Calc BC) their senior year.

Quote:
... That does not mean that the privates are behind simply because they don't have a program with a cool name. ....
No, the privates are behind because they don't offer as many high-level math classes.

Offerings beyond Precalc:

St. Mark's:
AP Calc AB & BC
Calc (non-AP)
Stats AP
Independent Study

Jesuit:
AP Calc AB & BC
Stats AP

Greenhill
AP Calc AB & BC
Stats AP
Diff. Eq. and Multi-variable Calculus
Independent Study

PISD's MathRocks, cool name or no, beats all these selections - only Greenhill comes close.
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