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Old 01-21-2012, 10:49 AM
 
5 posts, read 14,845 times
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We currently live in Illinois but are considering moving to be near better schools. Our son is soon to enter kindergarten but has been tested as highly or profoundly gifted. (reading and math skills area are well over 5 years ahead of his age) Interviews with local public schools have been fruitless - we have been told they really couldn't accommodate his needs. There is a private gifted school, but they cater to IQs over 125 (95th percentile and above) plus they charge $20k a year.

Is anyone familiar with the Eagle school? Or public schools with very strong gifted programs. We really just need one with a lot of flexibility in it's curriculum, one that would be willing to work with an unusual kid.

I was surprised to see low scores for so many Madison-area schools on greatschools.com. As an outsider, my impression was always that Madison had some of the best public schools in the midwest. I know those greatschool scores aren't everything, but I was still surprised.

Homeschooling may end up being the best solution for him (and his younger sister). Is there a supportive homeschooling community in Madison?

Thanks for your help!!
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Old 01-21-2012, 01:21 PM
 
Location: Madison, WI
1,734 posts, read 4,616,250 times
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I know of a couple of people who send/sent their kids to Eagle School and were very pleased. I think it is fairly competitive to get in, but your son sounds like a prime candidate. Country Day School is also supposed to be really good for G&T kids.

Re: the public schools. They are really good, but dealing with a really broad spectrum of needs and it is hard to meet all needs. I think the kids who do well on their own do tend to be left to their own devices at times. If you think about it, which is more important, that one child learns to read or that another child learns calculus in 2rd grade?

Just a personal opinion that you didn't ask for, but I would try to make his live as normal as possible. I know one father of a gifted child who is a wonderful parent, but he pushes his 5 year old son pretty hard. It is one thing to make sure a child isn't bored in school and reaches his/her full potential, it is another to make them a slave to their gifts. Let him learn the basics and explore what he is interested in more in depth. He might have the ability to be a world class mathematician, but what he really wants is to be a graphic artist. Try not to let your expectations over shadow his natural inclinations.

Another thing, the quality of a child's education relies heavily on parental involvement. If you have the luxury of a flexible schedule, which your home schooling comment indicated, be there at the school volunteering and not just in the classroom - work in the library, volunteer for PTA activities, volunteer to help the G&T teacher with activities. The best way to have your finger on the pulse of all of the neat things a school district has to offer is to be physically at the school. Plus, you gain the advantage of getting to know the staff and can determine which teachers match your child's learning style. Even though it is officially discouraged, you can do things to get your child into specific teacher's classrooms. ALWAYS be nice and support of the staff, even if you question their methods or behaviors (within reason). You catch more flies with honey than vinegar as they say. If the staff looks at you as an ally and a useful volunteer, they will bend over backwards for you and your child.
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Old 01-21-2012, 02:55 PM
 
5 posts, read 14,845 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Megan1967 View Post
I know of a couple of people who send/sent their kids to Eagle School and were very pleased. I think it is fairly competitive to get in, but your son sounds like a prime candidate. Country Day School is also supposed to be really good for G&T kids.

Re: the public schools. They are really good, but dealing with a really broad spectrum of needs and it is hard to meet all needs. I think the kids who do well on their own do tend to be left to their own devices at times. If you think about it, which is more important, that one child learns to read or that another child learns calculus in 2rd grade?

Just a personal opinion that you didn't ask for, but I would try to make his live as normal as possible. I know one father of a gifted child who is a wonderful parent, but he pushes his 5 year old son pretty hard. It is one thing to make sure a child isn't bored in school and reaches his/her full potential, it is another to make them a slave to their gifts. Let him learn the basics and explore what he is interested in more in depth. He might have the ability to be a world class mathematician, but what he really wants is to be a graphic artist. Try not to let your expectations over shadow his natural inclinations.

Another thing, the quality of a child's education relies heavily on parental involvement. If you have the luxury of a flexible schedule, which your home schooling comment indicated, be there at the school volunteering and not just in the classroom - work in the library, volunteer for PTA activities, volunteer to help the G&T teacher with activities. The best way to have your finger on the pulse of all of the neat things a school district has to offer is to be physically at the school. Plus, you gain the advantage of getting to know the staff and can determine which teachers match your child's learning style. Even though it is officially discouraged, you can do things to get your child into specific teacher's classrooms. ALWAYS be nice and support of the staff, even if you question their methods or behaviors (within reason). You catch more flies with honey than vinegar as they say. If the staff looks at you as an ally and a useful volunteer, they will bend over backwards for you and your child.
Thanks for your response!

We do and will strive for normalcy. Our concerns are about him being bored, a behavior problem, and/or sticking out like a sore thumb and not fitting in. He is who he is, and he happens to be very different intellectually than other kids his age. This is a difficult subject to talk about openly because people make assumptions when you use the word "gifted". They think we do flashcards or drill him at home. (not once) They think we put his intellect above all other aspects of his life. (absolutely not, although it is part of who he is) They think there is an elitism with our quest for a gifted program. (we definitely aren't elitists!) I see a gifted program simply as an educational accommodation that is needed. It's a shame it isn't always viewed that way.

(by the way - I don't mean to imply any of the above were your assumptions! You can see I feel a bit defensive on this issue, it isn't directed at you or your post... just general venting!)

One advantage of a gifted school would be a community of parents who understand the challenges that tend to come with kids like this. I'd like my son to also blend in as best as possible, hopefully make connections with kids he can relate to.

My husband and I would prefer a public school, but that may not be in the cards. I do have flexibility as a SAHM with my son and toddler daughter. I hope I can be involved in whatever school we end up choosing! That is excellent advice!
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Old 01-21-2012, 09:36 PM
 
Location: Madison, WI
1,734 posts, read 4,616,250 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TofuEater View Post
Thanks for your response!

(by the way - I don't mean to imply any of the above were your assumptions! You can see I feel a bit defensive on this issue, it isn't directed at you or your post... just general venting!)
Actually, I apologize as it really did sound like I was lecturing you. It wasn't my intent, but going back and reading it made me cringe. So thank you for your graciousness.
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Old 02-03-2012, 05:12 PM
 
63 posts, read 148,467 times
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Wingra School is an excellent private school but not necessarily specifically for "gifted" kids.

Public schools in Madison remain some of the best public schools in the USA, but they are facing budget crisis and don't really have the resources for gifted kids. I have heard good things about Spring Harbor. Franklin-Randall remains the best K-5 public school options in Madison. West High is an excellent public High School
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Old 02-13-2012, 07:35 AM
 
12 posts, read 22,231 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TofuEater View Post
I was surprised to see low scores for so many Madison-area schools on greatschools.com. As an outsider, my impression was always that Madison had some of the best public schools in the midwest. I know those greatschool scores aren't everything, but I was still surprised.
I believe greatschools, if you "click down" through the numbers, has a breakdown of rankings by socioeconomic status (wealth). I think there you see the root of the Madison schools' apparent declines: there are still a number of schools still getting the max score (10 or whatever) for kids who don't qualify for reduced/free lunches, while much lower scores for those that do. But Madison has made an effort to more "balance" each school by this demographic by pairing schools and busing the kids -- e.g. Randall/Franklin, Midvale/Lincoln -- as well as general urbanization of the city in recent years leading to approaching 50% minority student body -- so the old concentrations of kids from "stable" homes is gone. The West High School area in particular (located a few blocks from UW-Madison campus) still produces the most National Merit Scholar winners in the state I believe, as it consistently has for many decades. But unlike decades ago, the student body is nearly 50% minority, many of those low income kids from south side/Fitchburg. I've heard it said that for kids in the near west (campus area) schools with involved parents, you can still get one of the best public educations in the state, or even country. But no, you are not going to get a strong TAG program probably, by which I think you mean a whole lot of special support for capable kids, from an early age. Madison schools are more about inclusiveness, it is seen as a benefit to the community to keep a range of abilities in the same classroom. Although some West High parents notoriously got an AP college credit freshman honors course program created at West just last year by suing the district, to the chagrin of most other parents there, but it sounds like these people may share your POV. Each class (of up to 7 classes total) supposedly requiring 2 hours of homework per night, I've heard that there are some bright/driven freshman kids who spend 4-6 hours per night on homework, more on weekends. I guess their parents think that deisrable & psychologically healthy. I know that at least a few of the staff at West, who observe and work with these kids, think these parents are insane, but they have the district (pressured by the parents) forcing them to put the kids through this, and there is nothing they can do. Here is some discussion on that (and TAG in Madison schools in general)

There is a very active debate going on about both situations right now (achievement gap & TAG). Much of the discussion abou the achievement gap is based upon race, portraying it as an African-American (and Latino) phenomenon, but if you look at the numbers, it's really more about family economic & stability (e.g. two parents) demographics, and ethnic classification just tends to correlate with that (unfortunately). I think as long as that fact is ignored the problem will remain unsolved. Normally the conservatives would point that fact out, but they are enjoying too much the divide right now between two groups typically allied against them, minorities & white progressives, to interrupt the "fun."

Last edited by Mark2; 02-13-2012 at 08:08 AM..
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Old 05-10-2017, 10:22 AM
 
1 posts, read 794 times
Reputation: 10
Default Normal curve cumulative percentages

Quote:
Originally Posted by TofuEater View Post
IQs over 125 (95th percentile and above)
Just FYI, the 95th percentile starts at about 1.645 sigmas, not 1.25 sigmas (which is a little over 89% cumulative). Cf. (e.g.) the table at the end of jcsites.juniata.edu/faculty/roth/QM/Normal.doc
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