Need Some Advice

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-05-2003
Need Some Advice
4
Thu, 01-24-2013 - 10:06am

My daughter is in 2nd grade at a public school.  She received a score of 133 through private testing.

The next step in the process is for her teacher to complete a "needs assessment".  Her teacher has expressed to me on a few occasions that she basically doesn't believe in/agree with the process the school uses for identifying gifted kids and that in her opinion, only 2 of the kids in each gifted class are "truly gifted" - the other are just high achieving, smart kids. 

That being said, the teacher has expressed some concern in filling out the needs assessment for my daughter.  My daughter tends to be a quiet observer at school who takes it all in, so not one of the "typical" outspoken, verbally inquisitive types. She's a totally different kid at home, but I think because she tends to be quiet at school (but not really shy), the teacher says she doesn't know if she'll be able to meet the "need" requirement since they look for things like taking leadership or being an excellent communicator. 

We are going to meet next week to discuss the paperwork, but in the mean time, I wanted to get some advice on how best to approach the situation.

Thank you!

 

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-05-2003
Fri, 01-25-2013 - 8:52am

Thank you for the response!  I will definitely check out the book you suggested. 

The minimum score is a 130.  From what I understand, in order to qualify, a student needs the appropriate test score as well as a "need" for specialized instruction,  Apparently this need is determined from the teacher check off list as well as one the parent completes. 

Since I posted yesterday, I spoke with my daughter's teacher and she said she had looked over the form and was able to check off "quite a few" things so she doesn't think it will be a problem now.  I'm not sure where the change of heart came from (when we first talked, she didnt have the sheet in front of her), but I'm  happy to hear.

Thanks again for the reply!

 

 

 

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-21-2013
Thu, 01-24-2013 - 1:10pm

That's interesting.  I have a kindergartener who is an introvert, insofar as he displays really no leadership skills, yet he talks and asks questions nonstop.  As far as leading the class in anything, he will slink off to his desk or the classroom computers or read a book and watch from the sidelines.  I myself was an introvert, but I remember watching every single thing going on around me and learning A LOT.  Perhaps she just doesn't feel the need at this time to be the social butterfly it sounds like her teacher expects her to be.  That would frustrate me too.  I don't have any advice for you, as I'm new here, but I totally hear what you are saying and feel for you.

Blessings, Michelle

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-13-1999
Thu, 01-24-2013 - 11:32am

Ugh, as the mother of a very quiet, very smart kid, this sort of thing really bothers me.  Have you read the book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain?  If not, I suggest you take a look through it in order to educate this teacher and perhaps this school about quiet leadership and communication.  The quieter kid brings qualities to the mix in the classroom that are valuable and that enhance the community.  In fact, a quiet kid can be a leader behind the scenes (my dd routinely does the organizing and editing for lab reports and group projects) and can communicate very effectively either in small groups or in writing.  While I found the book a wee bit too anecdotal for my taste, I appreciated the general message as well as the historical perspective the author provided about how qualities of leadership and extroversion came to be so prized in American schools.  I'd ask politely for some clarification as to whether this is a program for academic giftedness or a leadership program.  Each has its value but the purpose and terms need to be clear. 

The other issue I hear is that the teacher seems to have some preconceived notions about giftedness that may be rooted in misunderstandings.  If you haven't already done so, take a look at hoagiesgifted.org.  There are tremendous resources in that site that may help you to educate the teacher about giftedness.

One last question: is there a cutoff score for inclusion in the program?  In our area, at one point it was 135 but that was on school-administered group testing.  I ask because if the cutoff is lower than what your daughter scored in private testing, that test result may be enough to override the teacher's recommendation.  Can the tester provide some support?  Would he or she be willing to talk to the school directly?

The most important message is for you to be polite, considerate, and friendly while also clearly conveying your message.   Good luck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-13-1999
Thu, 01-24-2013 - 11:32am

Ugh, as the mother of a very quiet, very smart kid, this sort of thing really bothers me.  Have you read the book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain?  If not, I suggest you take a look through it in order to educate this teacher and perhaps this school about quiet leadership and communication.  The quieter kid brings qualities to the mix in the classroom that are valuable and that enhance the community.  In fact, a quiet kid can be a leader behind the scenes (my dd routinely does the organizing and editing for lab reports and group projects) and can communicate very effectively either in small groups or in writing.  While I found the book a wee bit too anecdotal for my taste, I appreciated the general message as well as the historical perspective the author provided about how qualities of leadership and extroversion came to be so prized in American schools.  I'd ask politely for some clarification as to whether this is a program for academic giftedness or a leadership program.  Each has its value but the purpose and terms need to be clear. 

The other issue I hear is that the teacher seems to have some preconceived notions about giftedness that may be rooted in misunderstandings.  If you haven't already done so, take a look at hoagiesgifted.org.  There are tremendous resources in that site that may help you to educate the teacher about giftedness.

One last question: is there a cutoff score for inclusion in the program?  In our area, at one point it was 135 but that was on school-administered group testing.  I ask because if the cutoff is lower than what your daughter scored in private testing, that test result may be enough to override the teacher's recommendation.  Can the tester provide some support?  Would he or she be willing to talk to the school directly?

The most important message is for you to be polite, considerate, and friendly while also clearly conveying your message.   Good luck!