QUESTIONS, ANSWERS ABOUT THE PROGRAM
Arizona Republic, The (Phoenix, AZ)
May 17, 2006
Author: Anne Ryman, The Arizona Republic Estimated printed pages: 3
About 7 percent of Arizona's 1 million school-age children are classified as
gifted and qualify for special services under state law.
Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about gifted education.
Question: How can I tell if my child is gifted?
Answer: There is no single definition, but your child could be gifted if he or
she shows strong verbal or math skills at an early age, an ability to reason
abstractly and a long attention span. Gifted children are often creative,
inquiring, sensitive and expressive. The best way to determine whether your
child is eligible for gifted services is to have your child tested.
Q: How do I get gifted services for my child?
A: The school district must provide services if your child scores in the 97th
percentile or higher on one of 27 state-approved tests that measure reasoning
abilities. Some districts have more lenient cut-offs. Contact your school or
school district for information. School districts offer testing at least three
times a year. Testing is free if your child attends public schools. There may be
a cost if your child is in private schools.
Q: How do I find out about gifted programs?
A: Contact your school principal or school district. Many districts have the
information on their Web sites or offer brochures.
Q: What if I don't like the programs offered at my school?
A: Check with another school or school district. Many districts and schools will
accept children from outside their boundaries through an application process
called open enrollment. Some caveats: The program must have room, and parents
often have to provide their own transportation if they live outside school
Q: What are examples of gifted programs available for elementary students?
A: Pullouts/replacement of services: Students go to a separate classroom to work
with a gifted teacher for reading and math.
Clustering: Gifted students are grouped together in a regular classroom and
given more challenging assignments.
Self-contained gifted classes: All gifted students are in one class.
Q: What about gifted programs in junior high and high school?
A: The most common offerings in middle school are advanced classes.
Enrollment isn't limited to gifted students. High schools offer honors and
Advanced Placement courses, and some high schools have the rigorous
International Baccalaureate or IB, programs. Many high schools also offer dual
enrollment in which students can get community college level credit without
leaving their high schools.
Examples of gifted
Here are some examples of what Arizona gifted children are capable of:
* Some students in the Isaac School District in Phoenix leave the eighth grade
ready to take college-level math.
* A sixth-grader in Scottsdale is taking a high school algebra class online and
told his teacher the class is easy. He was motivated and wanted to do the class
on his own. His parents didn't suggest it.
* A sixth-grader in Scottsdale thinks poetically and writes poems when he
responds to a written questions in class.
* Several gifted sixth-graders are reading the adult bestseller The Da Vinci
Code in preparation for the movie release.
* A 16-year-old student in Paradise Valley began taking college classes at age
12 and has taken courses in the Arabic, Pima and Navajo languages.
Isaac School District
Gifted students: 174.
Amount from the state: $10,467.
District supplement: District pays salaries of four gifted teachers and pays
to bus gifted children to special programs. Total unavailable Tuesday.
Paradise Valley Unified
Gifted students: About 2,500.
Amount from state: $44,000.
District supplement: $1 million.
Per-student spending: $417.
Gifted students: 547.
Amount from state: $16,000.
District supplement: About $580,000.
Per-student funding: $1,090.
Gifted students: 3,515.
Amount from state: $33,329.
District supplement: $1.3 million.
Per-student funding: $379.
Local school districts
Sidebar to: "Schools may get more aid for the gifted"
Reach the reporter at (602) 444-8072.
CAPTION: Comparing bright kids, gifted kids
Edition: Final Chaser
Copyright (c) The Arizona Republic. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the
permission of Gannett Co., Inc. by NewsBank, inc.
Record Number: pho137251826
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QUESTIONS, ANSWERS ABOUT THE PROGRAM