On Gifted Kids and Public Schools

I have a long history with the subject of gifted kids and public schools. I was a gifted kid whose parent's had to try and navigate the public school system. I saw multiple child psychologists, was given many different half-assed in school curricula, and eventually skipped the sixth grade. [Sidenote: there was one quack I saw who gave me Rorschach (inkblot) tests and was obviously unsatisfied by my answers. :::shows black and white blot, listens to my answer::: "Don't you see any colors???" Um, no. I don't, dumbass. Do you???]

I am now the parent of a gifted kid and am again trying to navigate the public school system. We moved here a few years ago specifically because they have great gifted resources. We have, however, found them lacking so far and we are frustrated. Noah is currently in all gifted programs they offer at his current school and they are not proving to be enough. We applied for him to enter an all day gifted program offered at another school in the district but he did not make the cut. We did not expect this outcome as the program seems to offer everything he needs and cater to kids just like him. After that phone call we were at a bit of a loss. There may have been tears and yelled expletives, but you can't be too sure. [Yes, you can.]

We are working on setting up a meeting with the principal, the district gifted coordinator, and the school gifted coordinator and I have to admit that I am scared. I want the meeting to be a collaborative effort to work together to do what we all can to meet my son's needs. I'm afraid they are going to take a defensive posture and we're not going to get anywhere and things will turn into "us" versus "them". I'm afraid that they will treat us like the pushy parents and so we'll have to become the pushy parents. I'm afraid that the only way my son will be happy is to be home-schooled and we just don't have the means to do that right now. I'm afraid that no matter how hard we fight we can't win this battle for him.

I know I shouldn't count my chickens before they're hatched, but I just can't help it. My parents had a rough go at it and I have a feeling we may be headed down a similar road. Even if we are, I will continue to fight for him. I will continue to be his biggest advocate and make the tough decisions we need to as a family to make sure his well-being is our top priority. I don't have the answers here and quite frankly I don't necessarily have the power, but I'll be damned if I don't go down swingin' anyway.


  1. Anonymous4/16/2013

    No private or charter schools that would work? He probably doesn't have a school counselor, but if he does...get them involved too..?

    -Alex (sometimes it doesn't like my wordpress account)

  2. The meeting actually went really well! So for now we're going to stick with where we are and just work closely with the district staff to meet his needs. Hopefully next year proves to be much more fruitful for him than this year was!


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