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School Won't Put Child in Gifted Program

Gifted and Talented Expert Advice from Noreen H. Joslyn, LISW, ACSW

Q: My seven-year-old daughter has always been very smart, but for some reason, the school won't put her in their pull-out program. When she was in kindergarten, her teacher told me how smart she was and that her writing ability was phenomenal for someone her age. Her first-grade teacher agrees. She usually gets 100 percent or just one wrong on every test or practice sheet. Both of these teachers have kids in the school who are not in the pull-out program. Could they be jealous and taking it out on my child or me? I know every parent thinks their kid is smart, but my daughter has been exceptional from the very beginning. What do you recommend I do?

A: Your little girl does sound advanced. What is the criteria for getting into the gifted pull-out program? It's likely that it is based on more than just grades. Do they use standardized test scores as an entry requirement, or is it based solely on teacher recommendation? Someone in your school district is in charge of this program and its curriculum. Call the superintendent's office and find out who to contact regarding the program's entry requirements. Then speak directly to that person regarding your questions -- not the person's clerical staff. It may be necessary for you to obtain outside private testing for achievement scores and IQ, but first make sure that the school district will accept testing results from an outside source.

We all think our children are super (and they are)! It's up to you to determine your little girl's potential and see if the school can appropriately provide for her. She needs you to be her advocate. Good luck.

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Noreen Joslyn is a licensed independent social worker in the state of Ohio and is a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers. She has a master's degree in Social Work, specializing in family and children, from the University of Pittsburgh. She is a psychiatric social worker in private practice with Ken DeLuca, Ph.D. & Associates, where she counsels parents and children.

Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

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