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Old 01-04-2009, 01:04 AM
5 posts, read 26,211 times
Reputation: 11


Hello soon to be neighbors!

I am relocating to Vegas from Manhattan later this year (August) and have several questions about schools (homes will come after schools are researched.)

My kids are in a 2nd grade gifted and talented (Renzulli model) program here in NYC, in a school that values the arts. They are bright girls who need to be academically challenged and who benefit from being with other kids who are in the same creative / social / emotional / intellectual boat.

I am looking for public school recommendations (9 month schedule) in the Las Vegas area that will cater to their needs. I am looking for a program for G&T kids, in a school where their creativity is stimulated, (writing, music, art, dance, theatre, photography, etc.) and where the teachers know how to differentiate the curriculm for these learners. Also, coming from NYC, diversity is highly valued, as is parental involvement.

I have a few questions/ concerns:
What is the difference between GATE and Highly Gifted services?
Are the Gate Specialists in the classroom the whole day?
Are the gifted students grouped together all day?
Is GATE a pull out program?
Who are the teachers for HG?
How does is work?
What is the procedure for getting kids tested and enrolled in these programs?
Are there specific people/resources you would recommend?

Just saw the Govenor eliminated funding for gifted and talented in the FY 2009 budget. How will this impact those programs? What is being done to push back on that?

I have been on the CCSD and great schools websites, and would like to hear your personal opinions and stories. Which schools are immediately popping into mind?

Thank you for your time! Any recommendations or advice is appreciated!
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Old 01-04-2009, 02:35 AM
Location: South Strip, NV --> Philly (Fall 2009)
2,404 posts, read 8,276,157 times
Reputation: 607
First of all, GATE here is a one period class and I was in it. I can't remember if it was everyday, 3 times a week, or once a week. I think it was 2 or 3 times a week actually. When we met, it was a pretty large class for a gifted program IMO, normal ES classes at my school had 30-40 students, the GATE class had at least 25 students, not much individualized attention, especially if you don't meet that much...the students in the class were from your grade level and there would be a few students from each class...the regular teacher that you had, usually saw it as a nuisance and class disruption, I missed out on other things that were going on in the regular class such as computer lab time, projects, and other stuff...the teachers still kept on teaching, even if you weren't there, so you still fell behind...There's only one GATE specialist for the whole Elementary School, and only students in 3rd-5th grade can attend the program. With all the cutting back in the budget, I don't think the GATE program will be here much longer, or it may be reduced to once a week. When I left Elementary school, i think it was the last year the GATE program was going to take field trips to the CA beaches for weekends on a pirate boat, whalewatching, stuff like that, etc, unless it was an established school, not even sure if they still do that anymore...the other issue is that you want a school with a 9 month schedule, most are year round, and i think the schools with the best GATE programs are pretty much year-round and unfortunately also not diverse like you want it to be...

i was about to say that if they really enjoy the arts to enroll them into the magnet program at KO Knudson, which leads to Las Vegas Academy, but they are still in elementary school and i'm not familiar with the magnet programs with ES's...

unfortunately with No Child Left Behind and NV's budget problems, GATE may not be here much longer...
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Old 01-04-2009, 02:24 PM
Location: NW Las Vegas - Lone Mountain
15,756 posts, read 25,441,680 times
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The kid gives you a very accurate "inmates" view. The CCSD official view is at...

[http://my.ccsd.net/userdocs/60657497.ppt#256,1 (broken link), Gifted and Talented Education Program Overview

If kids are very bright and you can afford it send them to Meadows. It ain't cheap but it is ideal for the exceptional student.

If you wish to go the public school route with a bright child pick one of the top ten schools. These are pretty much all in relatively affluent areas. Works pretty well as a large part of the school is bright and the programs are geared to them.

Note that NCLB biases the schools all to fixing their low performers. There are rewards for having no deficiencies...there are no or few rewards for a good job with the exceptional.

I agree with this to some degree...the driver of poverty and crime and sociological problems is the lower quintile. So you get more bang for buck by fixing it then by optimizing the education for the gifted.

The risk of course is that you underachieve with the gifted who drive progress.
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Old 01-05-2009, 09:47 PM
Location: Beautiful Upstate NY!
12,250 posts, read 19,692,011 times
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I was a gifted student...but my mother didn't want me...so she re-gifted me to someone else.
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Old 01-20-2009, 09:42 PM
5 posts, read 26,211 times
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Thank you lvkewlkid - I appreciate the insider's view! Your reply gave me a clearer picture of how the program works and the impact it has on the kids in it. Thanks again for your insights!
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Old 01-20-2009, 09:57 PM
5 posts, read 26,211 times
Reputation: 11
Olecapt, I have to admit, I was hoping you would post a response to my query. I've been going through other threads and you seem to be a fountain of knowledge. Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

I agree with you on NCLB and the impact it has on gifted education - it's our struggle right now.

Loved what I read about Meadows - seems like the right fit - but the tuition is exorbitant.

I will do some more digging on the top 10 public schools - I'm narrowing down my focus to the Summerlin and Henderson areas. Any other private goodies I should know about?

If you have any more suggestions, I welcome them. And thanks again!
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Old 01-21-2009, 06:43 AM
Location: Beautiful Upstate NY!
12,250 posts, read 19,692,011 times
Reputation: 5729
Originally Posted by MyFairLady View Post
Olecapt, I have to admit, I was hoping you would post a response to my query. I've been going through other threads and you seem to be a fountain of knowledge. Thanks for sharing your wisdom...
A fountain??? Some consider him The Niagara Falls of Las Vegas! Knowledge flows from this guy like water from Lake Mead through the turbines of The Hoover Dam! (that last one was for the local reference)
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Old 01-21-2009, 07:53 AM
Location: Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
10 posts, read 27,909 times
Reputation: 15
I am also looking at private schools in the area. The only options I have come up with are Meadows and Henderson International School. You think Meadows is exorbitant, check out the Alexander Dawson school! Yes, Meadows is expensive but I was shocked that it is only a little higher than what I pay now in the Midwest. Please keep me updated on what you find... I need help too!
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Old 01-21-2009, 08:53 AM
Location: Home!
8,707 posts, read 8,238,060 times
Reputation: 8478
There is Faith Lutheran school too, which I heard was very good. I actually was speaking to someone here whose children go to a Lutheran school and she said that the principal (pastor??) left here to go to FL in Vegas and they were so sad to see him leave because he was an excellent leader for the school.

I think it is a bit less tuition than Meadows or Gorman. That is if you are interested in a private school.
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Old 01-21-2009, 01:27 PM
Location: Las Vegas, NV
90 posts, read 245,217 times
Reputation: 60
I have also been trying to find info on what the public schools do with gifted kids...and it seems like the answer is "not much". We cannot afford The Meadows - we have 2 elementary kids both deemed gifted in their current school in Ohio. Their current program is focused more on academic enrichment rather than the arts which is fine since we supplement them after school with dance and music lessons. One will be a second grader and one a 5th grader when we get there. I have pretty much determined from the posts that I am going to have to seek out extracurricular activities that are geared toward the academically gifted rather than rely on the schools. I have half a mind to go on meetup and form my own after school group to offer field trips, chess club, or other activities to stimulate their brains - and hopefully be fun and offer interaction with other gifted kids. I hate to overschedule my kids which is why it is nice to have these types of programs within the schools, but barring that - I'm prepared to take matters into my own hands. We're not elitists and our kids have friends of all ability levels, but I feel it is important to keep them challenged and engaged with other kids at their same level. I'm sad to hear that the Gov is cutting GATE altogether. That doesn't say a whole lot about how NV feels about their kids - or actually, maybe it does say a lot.
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