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Old 10-05-2018, 02:07 PM
10 posts, read 3,439 times
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[quote=RustinginSeattle;52920456 [B]I would say that my oldest had her best year of school ever (first year of middle school, knowing no one!) and her anxiety was greatly reduced. My youngest was finally pushed in school and stepped up. Both did a great job of making friends. I will say, however, that the kids at the schools seem to be used to being around kids that are just like them and don't seem used to a lot of "difference", but I'm only basing that on some comments my kids have said. That doesn't mean they can't adapt and don't need to be exposed to more than they're used to, however. :-) In Seattle I feel like kids were adapted to so many differences in people, but we experienced way more bad behavior and bullying in schools there than out here[/b].

Hey RustinginSeattle - I have a question for you regarding your move with an incoming 6th grader. A few posters have mentioned that the middle schools run on two tracts - the regular program and the gifted program and have alluded to one being great and the other being mediocre. I’m curious about your opinion on this. Our incoming 6th grader will be coming from an Independent private school and is probably, by the nature of private school, a wee bit ahead. Though math is not his strong suit - he’s a very determined kid who works very hard. I don’t want to lose that and have concerns about public school and being around kids who want to be there, who try hard like him. So, gifted? No. But he makes up for it in aptitude and attitude.

Needless to say, I can’t seem to get any information on what the schools do for kids arriving in June/July of the new year. I see that we will miss any testing opp. To get into the gifted program, but is there still opportunity?

We are honing in on some areas/neighborhoods - Westam (Tuckahoe schools), a few neighborhoods in the Midlo school area, and robious area. I have appreciated your feedback and northwestern opinion.
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Old 10-06-2018, 04:57 PM
Location: Midlothian, VA
401 posts, read 335,782 times
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In Chesterfield we came in over the summer and they forced us to do non-gifted first year (even though kids were identified gifted in previous school district). Great programs once kids got into them though. Mine were still in elementary though so we didn't push overly hard. If move to Chesterfield I would try and force the issue with the gifted education director to have them tested over summer so they could go directly into middle school CBG (Center Based Gifted) program. I know they did this year make some changes to the entry requirements to make it a little easier to get in (more options).
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Old 10-07-2018, 08:57 AM
713 posts, read 628,272 times
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Hi Xfisch,

Our experience was that records from our prior school district were used in class placement, but mostly that was at the grade school level (I had one in middle and one in grade school last year). I think you will find the level of education to be pretty high out here at the highly rated middles. There is the CBG program, but there are also Honors classes. On top of that, we were able to push to get one daughter up two levels in math (after starting one level up and finding that she already knew the material). It took some work, but once they decided to put her in 8th grade math (as a 6th grader), they made it happen immediately and fortunately it's been a very successful move for her.

My oldest was just remarking the other day that at her school it's more unusual to Not be CBG or Honors level and that probably has a lot to do with the parents directing their kids into these specific schools by purchasing houses that place them there.

We specifically chose Chesterfield for what we were after - good schools, peace and quiet, less competitive atmosphere, and more house/yard for our money. We steered clear of schools that had some rumors (I don't know if they're true or not) of excess snobbishness. We avoided north of the river because of cost and mostly because of the crowding, busyness, and a concern that that environment could lead to an alpha dog atmosphere around schools. Our family was looking for a good education, but lower sensory level and so when I saw online that lots of people moving to the area were aiming for Henrico, we decided not to. It's a very personal decision. We didn't feel that going to a school that's rated the best of the best would necessarily be the best thing for our kids or us.

Now that being said, if you are coming from and enjoy a city environment, I think you will find Chesterfield a little too sleepy and the Glen Allen area might be just the transition you need into the suburbs and your child will get a great education.

I would imagine that coming with any gifted testing you have done will go a long way out here. I would actually call the schools out here that you're interested in to get info. I would ask to speak to the counselor that would be working with your child (6th grade next year?) and ask what they recommend. There is also usually a gifted liaison person for the district that you can get in contact with (counselor may have that info for you).

My kids also run that border between gifted and just driven and smart. The one who leans towards gifted is incredibly lazy about school and the one that isn't gifted (except in math) is super driven and loves to be challenged. I've seen neighbor kids that struggle a little with the extra weight of the gifted program and it actually makes me glad my kids aren't in it. BUT if they needed that extra challenge, I would not hesitate for a moment to put them in it. I do feel like they are appropriately challenged, much more so than they would have been in the Seattle School District. In fact, we've found the schools in Chesterfield to be a little behind our Seattle school in math, but leaps and bounds ahead in Science and Social Studies.

Whew! So long winded! I hope that helps you. I don't have any experience with private schools because we've always lived near very good public schools. I suspect the transition that will be hardest for your child is the lack of extra attention. If you were chose a school that wasn't rated very highly, you might also feel like too much classroom effort goes towards the bottom half of the class, since the school can't choose which kids attend and which don't, but I don't think that is an issue where we are right now. There are plenty of private schools here too, so you could always live where you choose and go that route.

Best of luck with your decision!!
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