Monday, March 11, 2013

Is Your Kid Gifted?

A few weeks ago, Eddie took the district-wide test to see if he would qualify for placement in the 5th grade gifted and talented program.  David took the test to get into the 7th grade program at the junior high.  And then they had to wait for the results to come in the mail.

Early last, week, David got a letter.  THE letter.  He was accepted!  What a happy boy he was that day.  The test he took, as a 6th grader, was the end-of-year test that 8th graders have to pass.  And David was above the 92nd percentile in everything but science - where he was in the 97th.  He has his daddy's genes, that's for sure.  I'm not bragging; I'm just saying that these boys need a little extra challenge.

Poor Eddie was left waiting for his letter.  And waiting.  And anxiously collecting the daily mail.  And waiting some more.  Finally, we got a phone call from the elementary school principal.  Eddie would have made it into the program, he told us, except that they are cancelling the gifted program at their school.  We have the option of going to that school anyway (even though it is already across town from where we live), or going to a school two towns down, or going to a school two towns over.  Or Eddie could just go to our local elementary, which is much closer.  

Eddie was so disappointed when I broke the news to him.  He had been so excited to be in the accelerated program.  I was sad, too.  Ben, Chris, and David were all in these classes - Alec should have been too, but I didn't know then as much as I know now about it.  I wish he'd had those same experiences.  And now Eddie might miss out on that good school, that good program to stretch him and help him learn how to be his best self.

It was about 30 years ago that a group of parents started the gifted program at the elementary school.  They talked and planned and petitioned the school district and convinced the principal to let them try something new. It was the first of its kind in our part of the state.  One of the ringleaders of the parent group was my hardworking, beautiful, concerned-about-her-kids-and-their-education mother.  And two of the guinea pigs children in that first group were me and my next younger brother.  

Mom worked hard to make sure we got the very best learning opportunities we could.  She was at every parent-teacher conference.  She patiently quizzed me daily on my spelling words -  hundreds of them for the spelling bee.  She was famous for her ability to edit our essays until they bled red ink.  I remember her sitting at the kitchen table late into the night, completing her own homework so she could finish her college degree.  Education was vital to her.

So it's a double blow to have her gifted program come to an end.  I feel bad to not continue her legacy, and extra bad that my boy won't have those opportunities.

I think I'll have to call the school district.  My boy is worth fighting for.


  1. You go mama! That will be sad if they cancel it.

  2. I think it's too late for this year, but we're not going to let it go out without kicking and screaming. Maybe we can get the to reconsider for next year.