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Old 07-11-2008, 12:14 PM
 
4,711 posts, read 10,853,874 times
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I think the GT center programs are under the budget axe. It's due, at least in part, to the dreaded "out-of-boundary" busing. Very expensive, and getting worse with fuel prices.

As some of you know, my boredom fighting retirement gig is driving a FCPS school bus. I used to do a GT run out of Willow Springs ES which involved me driving all over greater Clifton/Fairfax Station to pick up 8 kids. The run was well over an hour each way.

This is in a 78 passenger bus that gets about 5 mpg!
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Old 07-11-2008, 12:23 PM
 
Location: TX
3,029 posts, read 10,636,700 times
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Loudoun County schools (in elem) have the Futra program. My middle daughter was the only one of my 3 who participated. (we were only in the district for 2 years)
She LOVED it, it was different from hte GT program she was in PA. (pulled from class and "enriched" on the subject matter ie..math or soocial studies etc..)THe FUTURA program (and SPECTRA for MS kids) is a 1X per week full day class. My daughter went to a different school for the day for this and she thought it was great. of course she had to make up missed school work etc.
The program is a creative exploration and NOT SKILLS learning. They studied STRUCTURES and built various projects and learned about construction tech etc... VERY right brained and creative. NOT all kids in the program are A+ students but rather students who are highly creative and intelligent, high IQ kids.

Quote:
How, when and who decides that a child is gifted? Is there a test or program we need to enroll in?
IN LOUDOUN...to participate either the teacher or the parent request enrollment. Notices go out to all students and parents. ANY kid can be tested.
They take a Teacher questionaire and a Parent questionaire into account as well AS state standardized test and 2 other tests. They use the combined score of ALL to see if your child will be placed in the program. since we were new to the district they were waiting for our PA tests...but decided not to use them since my daughter scored enough points on hte other 2 test to qualify.
YOu can have your child re-test every year etc...

SO...This program is not a gifted progam in the GT sense that some programs are.


Loudoun county has levels of math etc in the classroom environment for students who are working above grade level. I know in 5th grade there is one class of kids who are taking 6th grade math (not all of those are in Futra program and Not all kids in hte program are working above grade level...)

If your child is TRUELY gifted then the school and counslors will be very helpful in finding a place for them. yOU need to become your child advocate etc... but remember although we all tend to think of our little darlings as "gifted" the true gifted are very rare. and as others have said many of the programs in place are to placate parents. Many kids are just smart (even VERY VERY smart), and work at a faster rate etc... but not "gifted" in the true sense of the word.

YOu will see this as your kids get older 8th grade and beyond... it's a very small percentage of the kids in the elementary "gifted" program are in any different classes from alot of thier peers. They take AP classes but so do ALOT of kids who were never in a gifted program in elementary school. (my eldest is one...straight A's in all her AP classes...but she has to study, alot) AND vice vers is true as well. MANY kids who were in Gifted classes in elementary can't hack the AP classes. you have kids who in 2 grade could do 4th grade math and read at a 6th grade level etc...(mostly due to parents involvement the truely gited "just know" they are taught, they really do think differntly from normal kids) then in 7th-8th grade are on grade level with ALgebra etc...

Is your child even in school yet? If not don't worry and don't obsess over GT placement.
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Old 07-11-2008, 04:13 PM
 
2,462 posts, read 8,039,155 times
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My son attended the Haycock GT center, and I have mixed feelings about it. For him, it wasn't a great fit, and I agree with your reservations about the effect of the "gifted and talented" label on ALL the kids, both the ones so classified and the ones who are not. Especially when the line between the two groups is very thin.
However, I have to say that, for some kids, the GT program is a lifesaver. They finally have a place where they are not mocked or teased for their intense academic ability and interests, and are free to zoom ahead as far as they like. In addition, in our experience at least, these kids are largely shielded from the SOL madness so prevalent in other schools, because nearly all of them can easily pass these tests without any special preparation or silly song memorization -- that gives them more time to learn more interesting things.
And I would disagree that these programs are vulnerable to budget cuts. The GT parent lobby rivals that for autistic and special needs kids. And the GT centers are essentially the feeder programs for TJ, the school system's pride and joy.
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