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No Gifted Program for Seventh-Grader
Q: My daughter has been in a gifted class for the last five years, but the school does not offer this class in the seventh grade. Should I have her tested again, now that she is older? She scored around 123 on the IQ test in the second grade. She will also take the ACT this year. She qualified because of her scores on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills in the fifth grade (99th percentile verbal, 96th composite).What does this tell me about my child? What can I do to help her grow in her education?
A: These test results tell you: Your daughter is testing in the top four percent for her age group; her verbal abilities are her most superior; and she will likely get her highest scores on the ACT in verbally related areas such as reading. I think it's a great idea for her to take the ACT. A coordinator of gifted programming once told me that she believed the ACT was a better measure of abilities for middle school gifted, because it breaks down the skill areas better than the SAT. I would hold off on any re-testing of IQ for now. Let's see what the test results show. If you want more info on the ACT test other than what you received in your packet, there are numerous "how to prepare" books in the bookstore.
Reassure your young daughter that no one expects her to score as high as a high-school junior on the ACT. She should just relax and do her best. Unfortunately, it's not unusual for gifted programming to end in the middle-school years, but often advanced or honors classes are available for these kids. Taking the ACT will give her access to wonderful summer programs for gifted kids -- you might be receiving more info on that as the school year progresses. Many of these programs are superb.
Things also often improve in high school, with opportunities to take nearby college classes for credit if students have surpassed what their high school has to offer. For your research, try College Planning for Gifted Students by Sandra Berger, published by The Council for Exceptional Children. It's not too early for you to take a look at this book's educational planning tips.
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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.