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Old 11-23-2018, 07:25 AM
 
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At first I thought it was Magnet Schools but apparently, those are lotteries instead of "Invites" based on academic grades.

Then there is the Advanced Placement (AP) Programs but not sure if they offer this for Freshmen or if it starts on Junior (Grade 11).

There is also an International Baccalaureate (IB) Program but reading through, it gave me an impression it is more of a cultural learning and appreciation program rather than academic.

I am looking for something straight Academic that invites qualified kids to the Program like the Gifted Programs in Elementary and Middle Schools.

My eldest is completing his Middle School this current school year and finding out High School is a different animal altogether. It didn't help I have no prior experience of HS in America.

TIA.

 
Old 11-23-2018, 07:44 AM
 
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I believe the answer will be different in every high school around the country. They way my kid's high school handled it, which seems to be pretty typical for this area, is through the AP/Honors program and for some classes co-registration with the local community college. Kids who had been in the gifted program in elementary/middle school were guided toward, and given first choice of the AP classes & Honors classes. AP and Honors classes had a higher GPA calculation than non AP/Honors. I don't remember the exact multiplier but it worked out that that straight A's in regular classes was a 4.0; straight A's in Honors was 4.5; straight A's in AP was 5.0.

Beyond that, there was no high school level gifted program or gifted guidance. All students had the same guidance by grade level. It was pretty much individual student and parent choices and there were some parents who spent a lot of time at the high school working the system to ensure their kid got into the courses that maximized GPA rather than the courses that were most valuable because of the competition for college scholarships.
 
Old 11-23-2018, 08:34 AM
Status: "Epiphany Season" (set 1 day ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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I agree with tnff (!) that the answer will vary school by school, sometimes even in the same school district. My kids' school "invited" some kids to take AP courses, but kids could also select the courses themselves. I don't believe anyone was given "first choice". The school usually added sections as necessary. This was in a big high school, mind you; it'd be different in a smaller school.

Two high schools in our district have the IB program. I don't know how exactly one gets into IB as my kids never had any interest. IB is considered strongly academic, and it does have a service component as well.

As for weighted grades, our district does that as well. Parents and kids do try to game the system. They are being somewhat foolish as colleges usually recalculate the GPA on a non-weighted basis and leaving out some courses.

I'm not sure, OP, why being "invited" is so important to you. "Magnet" schools are handled differently in each school district as well. IB is actually considered a "magnet" program to attract kids to a particular school in my district. Offering lots of AP courses is considered a "magnet" program at another school. Your son will most likely get some high school advice from his school as the school year continues.
 
Old 11-23-2018, 08:58 AM
Status: "Tinsel, not just for decoration" (set 5 days ago)
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
32,550 posts, read 39,948,785 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yippeekayay View Post
At first I thought it was Magnet Schools but apparently, those are lotteries instead of "Invites" based on academic grades.

Then there is the Advanced Placement (AP) Programs but not sure if they offer this for Freshmen or if it starts on Junior (Grade 11).

There is also an International Baccalaureate (IB) Program but reading through, it gave me an impression it is more of a cultural learning and appreciation program rather than academic.

I am looking for something straight Academic that invites qualified kids to the Program like the Gifted Programs in Elementary and Middle Schools.

My eldest is completing his Middle School this current school year and finding out High School is a different animal altogether. It didn't help I have no prior experience of HS in America.

TIA.
If your kid is in Honors classes (can also be called Talented and Gifted or a variation) in middle school, or has been identified as such, he'll likely be scheduled into them in high school.

Keep in mind that not all classes will have an Honors section, typically you'll find them in English, some Sciences (Biology and Chemistry usually) and sometimes Social Studies (usually US History and World History).

Also, and this is unfortunate, in many schools all Honors means is "the class has more homework".
 
Old 11-23-2018, 09:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
If your kid is in Honors classes (can also be called Talented and Gifted or a variation) in middle school, or has been identified as such, he'll likely be scheduled into them in high school.

Keep in mind that not all classes will have an Honors section, typically you'll find them in English, some Sciences (Biology and Chemistry usually) and sometimes Social Studies (usually US History and World History).

Also, and this is unfortunate, in many schools all Honors means is "the class has more homework".
This is so sadly true. Our daughter took a non Honor English class freshman year because it allowed her to fit a class she really wanted into her schedule. They harassed her constantly to switch to Honors, which she finally did. The only difference was, as you say, more homework. And it messed up her schedule.

There was one advantage to the Honors English is either the sophomore or junior teacher (can't remember which) used the class to work on college essays to put their best foot forward.
 
Old 11-23-2018, 09:49 AM
Status: "Tinsel, not just for decoration" (set 5 days ago)
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
32,550 posts, read 39,948,785 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
This is so sadly true. Our daughter took a non Honor English class freshman year because it allowed her to fit a class she really wanted into her schedule. They harassed her constantly to switch to Honors, which she finally did. The only difference was, as you say, more homework. And it messed up her schedule.

There was one advantage to the Honors English is either the sophomore or junior teacher (can't remember which) used the class to work on college essays to put their best foot forward.
One thing I didn't mention is that the students in Honors classes are usually more serious about school and have fewer classroom management issues causing distractions. Usually.
 
Old 11-23-2018, 01:01 PM
 
3,271 posts, read 1,324,371 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yippeekayay View Post
At first I thought it was Magnet Schools but apparently, those are lotteries instead of "Invites" based on academic grades.

Then there is the Advanced Placement (AP) Programs but not sure if they offer this for Freshmen or if it starts on Junior (Grade 11).

There is also an International Baccalaureate (IB) Program but reading through, it gave me an impression it is more of a cultural learning and appreciation program rather than academic.

I am looking for something straight Academic that invites qualified kids to the Program like the Gifted Programs in Elementary and Middle Schools.

My eldest is completing his Middle School this current school year and finding out High School is a different animal altogether. It didn't help I have no prior experience of HS in America.

TIA.
I did the IB program, as did my sister. I have former coworkers whose kids did the program as well much more recently. It is a highly rigorous program that typically has competitive admission to ensure a good likelihood that kids accepted actually get the IB diploma at the end. In my last city, there were two magnet IB schools (both of which are consistently ranked in the top 50 of magnet schools nationwide and one is usually in the top 10). My understanding is that the kids there typically go to the gifted and talented middle magnets (which do not have lottery admission) in that city. It requires a series of exams at the end along with significant community service hours, an extended essay on a topic of their choice, as well as a yearlong critical thinking class that is usually taken in 11th grade. Students also have to do four years of foreign language and two years of one science.

The quality of the students in the IB program is going to depend on the quality of the school district generally. Where I went to school and the district where I worked last both generally had poor schools, so the magnet programs were desirable. Where I lived was in an amazing school district (one of the top non-magnet in the state) and there was no reason for anyone to be concerned about the offerings. I believe the median SAT score is also very high. You really should look at what your school district has to offer to see if it is worth worrying/considering.
 
Old 11-23-2018, 02:57 PM
 
384 posts, read 178,099 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yippeekayay View Post
There is also an International Baccalaureate (IB) Program but reading through, it gave me an impression it is more of a cultural learning and appreciation program rather than academic.
I suggest you visit the IB program in person, if possible. Visit the classrooms, see the work in progress.

I had a similar impression, but in retrospect, in our school district (the most diverse school districtsin the state) the IB program had a very large percentage of Chinese and Indian students. It seemed to me to be a back-door way for families who encourage academics to get their kids into a supportive environment that pretty much avoided the dumbing-down taking place in traditional American schools.
 
Old 11-23-2018, 04:05 PM
 
Location: colorado springs, CO
4,204 posts, read 1,900,663 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katarina Witt View Post
I'm not sure, OP, why being "invited" is so important to you. "Magnet" schools are handled differently in each school district as well.
If the OP is not familiar with HS in the US, she may be assuming this is par for the course due to her experience with gifted magnet programs in elementary & middle schools.

Our district uses that language a lot for their GMP’s: “Students are invited to attend ...”, “Parents & Guardians of students in the GMP are invited to a speaker event ...”, “Your student has been invited to consider ...” & so on, so that might be the case.

My twins were formally invited to their middle school GMP before their 5th grade year had ended & during the course of that time; they were also invited or sometimes “offered a scholarship to attend”, certain after-school & over-summer workshops or classes.

In HS, nothing was formalized until they met with their counselors & now for the past two years, they have taken a variety of AP courses between them. It’s probably just a terminology issue.
 
Old 11-23-2018, 04:14 PM
 
5,755 posts, read 5,205,911 times
Reputation: 10296
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yippeekayay View Post
At first I thought it was Magnet Schools but apparently, those are lotteries instead of "Invites" based on academic grades.

Then there is the Advanced Placement (AP) Programs but not sure if they offer this for Freshmen or if it starts on Junior (Grade 11).

There is also an International Baccalaureate (IB) Program but reading through, it gave me an impression it is more of a cultural learning and appreciation program rather than academic.

I am looking for something straight Academic that invites qualified kids to the Program like the Gifted Programs in Elementary and Middle Schools.

My eldest is completing his Middle School this current school year and finding out High School is a different animal altogether. It didn't help I have no prior experience of HS in America.

TIA.
They are not usually called gifted programs at the high school level.

Some magnet schools are lotteries, some are test in. You don’t get recommended in by a teacher. You typically have an entrance exam for the specialized schools.

Most large school systems have a 1. public advanced STEM oriented option (almost always test in - sometimes its a program within a larger school) and also sometimes a 2. more generalized advanced option (IB is pretty common, but it’s not always IB). If not that there is at the very least 3. a public high school widely considered a “good” college prep school that has lots of AP options. There can be more than one school in each category in a big enough area. Anyway those 3 types of schools are what you are trying to locate for advanced students, not something labeled gifted.

You want to look at the list of colleges the graduates from each high school typically enter, as well as the average SAT score and average AP scores for each AP class offered. That information can be found on what’s typically called a “school profile” and it’s found usually in the college guidance section on the schools website. Look for something that says “for college admissions officers” or something like that. Examine the average AP scores... it needs to be at least 3 for all AP classes offered (though I admit AP Physics can be a hard one to meet the criteria)


IB might be the most highly respected high school curriculum among college admissions people. Graduating with a full IB degree is a big deal, it’s a very rigorous program that closely mirrors the college experience especially in the social sciences and humanities. If there is an IB school in your area, look for the percentage that graduate with the full IB degree. That will give you a rough estimate of the school’s quality.

Last edited by Tinawina; 11-23-2018 at 04:23 PM..
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