Let’s Talk Gifted Programs

November 21, 2011 at 2:38 pm 94 comments

I got 2 emails today about gifted stuff and it might be fun to discuss something different for a while.  The Union debate makes me sad.  The Charter debate makes my head hurt.  How about gifted kids?!

I got this email today. It’s always fun for other parents going through this to hear what other people experience.  Any thoughts on this?

“My daughter took the 4 year old test last Friday.  When we arrived there were about 6 other children.  The testers came in to retrieve the children about 1 minute apart and early.  One particular tester said,  “We’ll be back in 10 or 15 minutes.”  Sure enough, she was back with the child in 10 minutes.  In fact the 5 other children taken into the test were ALL back within 15 minutes.  My daughter; however, was in there for a little over 50 minutes.  I am completely freaked out by this.  She is bright.  Has been reading since she was 3.5 years old, knows her numbers to 100, etc.  She pretty much does all of this on her own, just loves to learn.  My husband and I are both people who stressed our whole life about the need for a perfect GPA and take fun approach to learning with her.  So we did not do test prep or any of that stuff. 

Do you have any thoughts or experience with this?  Is it super weird that all of these kids were testing in 15 minutes and took my daughter 50?  I am dying to know what when on in that room, but all my daughter will say is…”most of it was easy, there were 3 money questions that were hard and I did not understand the sentence about the blocks.”  (Which she later told me she was instructed to read the sentence to herself, but she read them out loud.)  Whatever that means.”

I’ll put my response in the Comments section.

I also got a link to this article in the Sun Times about the decrease in Gifted spots in the city, due to the phasing out of the South Loop Regional Gifted Center to make more room in the school for neighborhood kids.

Actually, I’m unclear whether this is an “article” or an opinion piece.  It was written by ESTHER CEPEDA eejaycee@600words.com.  I’m curious to hear people’s thoughts….

***

Public schools are failing the most gifted students

I have a master’s degree in special education, but when I rack my brain, I can recall only one or two class sessions, tops, during my teacher training that were devoted to gifted students. And through hundreds of hours of classroom observations, I never once got to sit in on a class for gifted students.

This isn’t a surprise. Public schools are not set up to support or enrich gifted students, who often come across as bored and listless or energetic troublemakers, because they’re not being challenged.

The fact is that gifted students — defined by federal law as “youth who give evidence of high achievement capability . . . and who need services and activities not ordinarily provided by the school in order to fully develop those capabilities” — are routinely ignored in public education.

Schools have forever been challenged by budget constraints, too few high-performing educators who have the necessary specialized training, and plenty of students with high needs that keep them from achieving even average grades.

But most significant was the enactment of the federal No Child Left Behind law, which took the wind out of the sails of gifted programs by forcing schools to put a greater focus on the achievements of their lowest performers.

According to a National Association for Gifted Children’s report released last week, gifted students are being held back by inadequate teacher preparation and professional development, little public accountability and inconsistent access to services.

“The nation’s infrastructure to serve our high-ability and high-potential students is in disrepair and in urgent need of attention,” said NAGC President Paula Olszweski-Kubilius, a professor of education at Northwestern University. “Unless the nation redoubles its effort to identify and serve our high-potential and high-ability students, we will fail to ensure our future competitiveness, security and prosperity.”

Just days after that report was released, the Chicago Public Schools announced that South Loop Elementary School will be cutting its entire gifted program.

The reason is a classic case of overcrowding. The school’s main building has too many students and no space in which to expand.

“Today I announce that we will [be] permanently phasing out the South Loop School Regional Gifted Center program. Thus, over an eight-year period, we will see a reduction in this source of enrollment pressure of approximately 28 students per year [one classroom] for a total reduction of 224 students [nine classrooms],” wrote principal Tara Shelton in a letter to parents.

What a terrible shame that the brightest students are considered a “source of enrollment pressure.”

But I’m not here to knock Ms. Shelton; this isn’t just a CPS issue. Illinois, in general, doesn’t value its most gifted students, a failure that trickles down.

According to NAGC, Illinois doesn’t know how many gifted students it has because, like many other states, it doesn’t bother to count them. And it doesn’t count them because, in part, the state is not accountable for their education. Illinois spends zero dollars on Gifted and Talented education.

We have no guidelines for identifying gifted students, don’t require teachers to have any training on how to instruct them, and don’t permit gifted students to get around our lack of programs by, for example, allowing grade school students to enroll in high school classes or allowing high schoolers to enroll in college courses.

What a phenomenally ridiculous waste.

And now we say farewell to South Loop’s gifted students. Tragically, we hardly knew ye.

***

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Entry filed under: Gifted kids.

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94 Comments Add your own

  • 1. cpsobsessed  |  November 21, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    This was my response about the gifted test…

    The traditional thinking was that the longer a child was in the room,
    the better they did. I guess we all assume that if they keep getting
    questions right, the interviewer will ask them more. I think it’s a
    little weird that the interviewer said the other kids would be back in
    15 minutes! I wonder if those kids were taking only the gifted or
    classical test?

    I’d been told that when a child take gifted AND classical it can go up
    to 50-55 minutes.

    However despite what I just told you, I’ve heard of kids who were in
    there a short amount of time who got a high score and vice versa.

    A friend of mine also heard that the interveiwers sometimes keep the
    kids in there just coloring and stuff to “mess with the parents.”
    They seem so nice there I can’t believe they’d waste their own time
    like that.

    So I think in the end, there is no way to know until you see those
    test scores in a few month! Grrrr. I would say that you probably
    have a better chance of your child scoring well than someone who’s kid
    left after 5 minutes (I’ve heard of this) but one never knows. And
    now without the South Loop program there are even fewer spots than
    last year, so they are few and far between……

  • 2. wren  |  November 21, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    I don’t know what goes on in there. My younger was in there about 10 minutes. He scored well and got into RGC. (We didn’t test for classical.) My older was in there for longer, scored less well, also got into RGC.
    I find the test results very confusing. I’m pretty sure that neither of my kids are gifted. If they are gifted, then so is just about every other kid I know.

  • 3. Smile Quietly  |  November 21, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    My child was in there for over any hour when testing for Kindergarten. When test scores came back both for classical and gifted they were 99.9% for both. This was in the days when you could receive more than one offer. My child was accepted into both the schools we had selected for gifted and classical. How they are testing now days, I have no idea.

    But one thing does never change. Just a word to the wise if your child test well, one thing that other parents hate to hear is how smart your child is, how well they did etc. I have seen people loose friends over talking about how smart their child is. I have witness two parents with equally smart kids get competitive. If you want to keep friends never talk about how smart your child is if they have kids too. Being at a gifted or classical school can make for a lonely experience. Meaning nobody at a neighborhood school wants to hear about your successes.

  • 4. ExCpS  |  November 21, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    3.- You are absolutely right. I have witnessed several ugly comparing kids / competitive parents conversations in the park. Awful for everyone. It doesn’t stop there. Once the CPS SEHS letters come out, neither the kids nor the parents want to talk about it. A few bragging parents are happy to make loud announcements, but most of us were pretty quiet about the results. Even at graduation most kids / parents did not talk about what high school they were headed to. It is like “mean girls” — it never ends, the mean girls just get older and become your neighbors. lol.

  • 5. 2 great kids  |  November 21, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Last year, my 4-year old was in the test for about 30 minutes, while others were back within 10-15 minutes. Man, I was nervous, afraid my child had been abducted or something! The proctor brought my child back and told me the kid did great, so they “kept on going,” whatever that means. My kid enjoyed the test and felt great about it–no pressure, so the proctor must have done a great job. We did test for both RGC and classical, so I assumed that’s why it took longer. BTW, my child scored a 142 on the RGC and did well enough on the classical part to get into a GREAT school, Skinner North. So far, so very good. We all love the school and feel like it a good, challenging fit. The K teachers are awesome!

  • 6. CPSDepressed  |  November 21, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    I get most frustrated with the bragging parents in the comprehensive gifted program, because if one of two classes per grade is labelled “gifted”, it’s not gifted. It’s a marketing ploy.

    The kids I know in RGC programs strike me as really gifted, with all the good and bad that implies.

    As for high school, it makes me sad that high school in Chicago carries so much baggage. I’m envying people who moved to the suburbs.

  • 7. Mom  |  November 21, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    I don’t see the gifted parents bragging as much as they’re simply expressing relief to have a place for their child to go to school.

    Most would rather have their own neighborhood school be safe and challenging enough rather than deal with a long haul across town during am and pm rush hour.

    Personally I’m a lot more jealous of those who get into a great magnet school!

  • 8. Vlajos  |  November 21, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    “I’m envying people who moved to the suburbs.”

    Not me, I feel bad for them.

  • 9. cpsobsessed  |  November 21, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    Just to clarify, the reader who emailed me the question wrote to clarify that she was worried that her child was in the room so long that she was taking way too long to answer the questions whereas the other kids were zipping through it.
    So she thought they blew any chance at a gifted/classical program.

    I guess we will find out in March……

  • 10. Smile Quietly  |  November 21, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    She should not worry, they keep going if the child is getting the answers right until they start missing every other question and they start seeing the frustration. If you have a child who when asked, say they can not read, they say “ok” and do not even try with them. It is a no pressure type of one on one. My child answered every question and they kept going with the 1st grade test as well. People think you are so lucky to have a child who academically excels. Sadly, I would rather have an average learner if given a choice.

  • 11. Dahlia  |  November 21, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    I registered to test my son on the morning online registration opened, and have not received a test date yet…what is their system for testing? I called CPS to try to get an estimate as I would like to book some out of town travel and am afraid to miss the date for fear they will mess up a reschedule. On top of all the other frustrating red-tape and confusion about CPSchools, now even this they cant do right.

  • 12. Mayfair Dad  |  November 21, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    Mentioning the word gifted to other parents on the schoolyard is discouraged, unless it is a gifted schoolyard. Talk about the weather, fundraising or lack of recess instead.

  • 13. wandrerr  |  November 21, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    RE: Article – Sorry, CPSObsessed. It was in the Chicago Sun Times. It was under Esther J. Cepeda’s column.

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/cepeda/

    Re: Gifted Testing. For K my son was in there about 15-20 minutes. For 1st grade, it was over an hour. I was shocked at the time difference. Does anyone know if the first grade test is more comprehensive? I know the K test is sort of abbreviated.

  • 14. Mama  |  November 21, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    @7 yes, you are speaking my mind. I have a kid at classical school, but would preffer a decent neighborhood school. Less pressure, less homework, less commute. I would like more neighborhood friends, community interaction and short commute.

  • 15. Frango Mint  |  November 21, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    Is there any mention of starting a new RGC to replace the seats from South Loop? If it is just a matter of space, they could put it anywhere they want. There are plenty of under-enrolled schools.

  • 16. Kelly  |  November 21, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    I, too, have heard that the longer a child is in the test, the better their doing. But I guess there’s no knowing whether that’s really true. When my twins tested for K a few years ago, one was in the test nearly twice as long as the other. When the first one came back, the proctor was all business, all done, here you go, be on your way now. When the second twin FINALLY came back much later, the proctor GUSHED at me — “She did a great job! She used every part of her brain today!” I was convinced that one was going to have a really great score and would get into a great SE school, and the other would not. But in the end, they had nearly identical scores and both got offers from a great classical school. So what does that mean? I guess it means that trying to predict what the scores will be is a fruitless task. Let’s hope the letters come early this year!

  • 17. Kelly  |  November 21, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    Er, make that “they’re” – sorry.

  • 18. also obsessed  |  November 21, 2011 at 11:44 pm

    #7:
    Almost agree: I have to say I would envy, most of all, those with a great neighborhood school. That is the best scenario in my opinion, and having a pretty good one, I can’t imagine it not being an option for us.

    #12, Mayfair Dude:
    I agree. At Edison the first thing the K teacher told us in parent orientation was NEVER to use the word gifted in front of our kid, and that it comes off wrong to others not in your situation. Kids don’t know those cues so if they hear their parents say it, and then THEY say it, ooh, it’s just yucky.

  • 19. LR  |  November 22, 2011 at 12:16 am

    #11: I registered my son for the RGC test a couple weeks ago (going into 1st grade). I got a robo-call last Tuesday saying that his test was Saturday (last Saturday) and that I should refer to my letter, which I received in the mail last Wednesday. I was shocked! First of all, we got nowhere near a week’s notice. Furthermore, it took his group almost 2 hours to finish the test! They estimated an hour and 20 minutes. I think this test is much longer than it used to be. When my daughter took the RGC test two years ago, I think it took about 50 minutes or so in total. Anyhow, nothing interesting to note, except they must go over the answers in the test because my son said he got 2 wrong and the girl sitting next to him got 6 wrong. That seemed odd that he knew that.

  • 20. SLS mama  |  November 22, 2011 at 7:20 am

    The RGC at South Loop was a bait and switch… It is far more comprehensive gifted than RGC, which is not to say comprehensive gifted is a bad program, just not what CPS advertised or what we were looking for.

    #15 – There are rumblings that the alderman’s office is pushing for a new RGC in the ward, and there are parents in contact with the alderman. We are optimistic. The city needs the seats, and parents of the younger kids in the RGC really don’t trust that the principal is looking out for our kids too.

  • 21. thoughts  |  November 22, 2011 at 11:21 am

    I agree about the word gifted….it is just not good to use it, even at Edison school. The place where the word gifted is especially not cool is at the schools where there is a RGC within a neighborhood school (like Coonley or Bell). My kids did attend one of these schools and our school used the name Options instead of Gifted. Also, the last time one of my kids took the test, the gentleman up front pointed out that CPS treats the test as a diagnostic test only, and it is only used for placement into a Chicago accelerated program……I took that to mean that my kid might be smart, but let’s face it, she is probably not gifted the way that many people think of gifted (and thankfully so). I have found this very thing to be true among gifted programs in Chicago–there may be one or two who are profoundly gifted but overall, the kids are just smart–and interested in doing the work. (And let me tell you, that is a very important part of any classical/gifted program–the kid has to do the work or it is not worth it). I try to be tight lipped about all of that stuff–and continue to be that way even today, in high school, with acts tests and stuff like that. I mean, in the end, it is just one dimension of a child and nothing more.

  • 22. Magnet mom  |  November 22, 2011 at 11:26 am

    My son was in there for a really long time, much longer than the other kids that were in the waiting room before or after us. He got into Lenart. He himself only told me that “the lady hit me in the head with a hammer”. Go figure. My daughter last year was in there way over 30 minutes. She tested off the charts. I don’t know if that is any indication or what. Just my own personal experience.

    But, be careful what you wish for. Not all kids are suited to the “gifted” method as applied in CPS. Some kids need that but it many times becomes parents doing homework and projects.

  • 23. 'Gifted' thoughts  |  November 22, 2011 at 11:47 am

    I also agree about the word gifted, especially with schools with comprehensive gifted programs within them. (i.e. Blaine and Disney) and much prefer the term Options or RTI (response to intervention which can be used for accelerated and remedial instruction). My kid HATED that she wasn’t in the gifted program in her school; hated that the kids went on better field trips; did cooler science experiments etc. It made her feel dumb. She is now in an Academic Center and takes extreme pride in the fact that she is in a ‘gifted’ program. Is she gifted? Of course not. She is simply motivated and wants the same opportunities as her peers.

    My other daughter has been in a gifted program since Kindergarten. She was only in the test for an average amount of time and received first round acceptance offers. Is she gifted? Probably not. Northwestern’s Center for Talent Development won’t even take the test for admission- so that tells you something about it. She was 4 at the time she took the test. Sure she was reading by then but plenty of exceptionally gifted people don’t necessarily read early. Is her education any better? Not really. In fact the longer we are in the program the more it seems as if resources are being diverted from the Options program to the neighborhood program at her school.

    That being said I am testing her again this year, for the first time since Kindergarten. She has informed me that she doesn’t want to leave her friends but: 1) I am curious as to how she will do; 2) I do think that Edison is more accelerated than the programs with neighborhood components ; and 3) I am now a huge fan of academic centers so there is no reason to shy away from Decatur if that’s what we will strive for after 6th grade anyway.

  • 24. klm  |  November 22, 2011 at 11:55 am

    @18

    I agree about the actual parents at RGCs being more low-key about “gifted” labels. The parents at my DC’s RGC school refer to it by its first name to others and omit the “Regional Gifted Center” part. I do the same. If people really prod (“why does your kid go to school way up THERE?”), I’ll just say “It’s a really good school and my kid likes it”, etc. Most people don’t want to sound like they’re pontificating. Those familiar with CPS gifted and classical programs know the school when I mention it by first name, but I never delve into the “gifted” aspect unless prodded by one of these people.

    One of my friend’s son was in the “advanced” section of a magnet school (they previously declined a spot at a RGC so that all siblings would be at the same schools). Well, the magnet school teachers just kept going on and on about how “smart’ their son is (even in front of the son). As anybody that knows about kids’ development (especially a teacher, one would think), labeling a kid “smart” at such an early age can be nearly as problematic in the long run as labeling him/her “stupid” early on. They were happy when a spot opened up at Edison and their son is is doing great and nobody’s “labeling” him anything there.

  • 25. RL Julia  |  November 22, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    Depends on the parent. Some are low key, some can’t wait to share their kids ISAT score with perfect strangers or make sure that you know just how brilliant their child is. I am with Mayfair Dad – just talk about the weather or the upcoming holidays. Ultimately, no one besides your immeadiate family who doesn’t have children your children’s age wants to know or needs to know what your kids are doing in school.

  • 26. Navigator  |  November 22, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    I have heard the term “gifties” used by kids who attended a neighborhood school with a gifted program. I expect that resentment does creep in.

  • 27. sfw  |  November 22, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    For the 1st gradegifted and classical tesst, do they do it one-on-one, like the K test, or in a group?

  • 28. cpsobsessed  |  November 22, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    First grade and up they go in as a group and there are 2 separate tests on different day.
    Parents sit in an auditorium sweating it out.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 29. CPSDepressed  |  November 22, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    I will say that well-meaning people who don’t understand CPS drive me up the wall, like the lady from my church who thinks my son should go to Payton or the friend in Oak Park who can’t understand why I’d consider private high school when she’s heard about this nifty little magnet school called North Side College Prep that we really should look into.

    My kid got a B, okay! CPS isn’t sure that kids who get Bs in 7th grade should go to college, let alone to Payton or NSCP. At least not if they live in Tier 4.

    Anyway, I mostly just smile and nod. As I do with the parents of kids in comprehensive gifted programs who work the phrase, “my child is in the gifted program” into every conversation.

    But I have a special place in my heart for Robert Posner, who got to hear the ridiculous “Gifties vs. Tards” t-shirt lawsuit filed by some Beaubein parents a few years back. It’s not good for a lawyer to be reamed out by a judge, let alone Robert Posner, over the need to tell the world just how “gifted” her child is.

  • 30. CPSDepressed  |  November 22, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    Here’s Posner’s ruling: http://www.projectposner.org/case/2007/480F3d460

    He made the plaintiffs pay CPS’s court costs, he was so annoyed.

  • 31. xCpSmOm  |  November 22, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    30 – wow. I’d like to smack Brandt myself. How smug, and why in the world would his mom get involved in total disrespect to other students, the principal, the school, etc. Bad taste in my mouth.

  • 32. ChicagoGawker  |  November 22, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    I thought the whole lawsuit thing was gross also (almost stopped me from sending dc there), but there’s history with the principal at that school and the options program that helped fuel it.

  • 33. SLS dad  |  November 22, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    @ 20… SLS mama..
    I would disagree that the SLS RGS is a bait & switch. I’ve found it to be exactly as it was described in the tours, by parents, and other associated with the school. My child has been challenged and seems to be getting the caliber work/teaching as friends’ kids who go to Edison and a classical school… plus my kid absolutely loves school. I think it’s a shame, mistake, and loss to SLS they’re phasing it out.

    As for a new RGC, I think CPS must start a new one. There aren’t enough opportunities for kids who need more challenging work. Whether that’s at another school in the 2nd Ward, or somewhere else in the city, CPS needs to make that happen. I don’t think it should be done by uprooting the existing SLS RGC, and putting those kids in a new school.

    Not all the younger grade RGC families distrust the principal. As for us (a younger grade RGC family not living in South Loop), we think the decision to phase out RGC was a bad one (though a solution to overcrowding over time), and we think SLS’s communication to families during the process was poor. We think the decision to keep the program going for the existing students, and to not end it and remove the existing RGC kids shows the principal/SLS/CPS gave consideration to our kids’ best interests.

    Also, the principal’s public apology to the young kid families at the last LSC meeting (which was packed) about how she handled the process with them spoke volumes to me about her character and her desire for the best for the kids at SLS.

    Lastly, I’ve heard as many parents who echo SLS mama’s position of principal mistrust, as I have of parents who seem to share my viewpoint. Either opinions are split, or I’m wrong, or SLS mama is wrong… who knows? I am only speaking for my family’s view of SLS.

  • 34. ChicagoGawker  |  November 22, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    Hey CPSDepressed-My kid flunked out of gifted math, but is a kind, responsible, hard worker. Let’s start a movement here. My kid is NOT gifted, but they are (insert moral virtue).

  • 35. wandrerr  |  November 22, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    @28 – sweating it out, literally. It was about 80 degrees in there last Saturday.

    @CPSDepressed – I had never heard this story before. Sigh. Makes me really sad.

  • 36. cpsobsessed  |  November 22, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    I Know! It was broiling and my son was in sweats and said the test room was broiling.

    Also, his group was kept in the test room at least 20 minutes (33percent) longer than the other groups which is just too inconsistent for my liking.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 37. 1 more  |  November 22, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    …and the country is lead by C students.

  • 38. wandrerr  |  November 22, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    @cpsobsessed – I wonder if a kid in the test group has to go to the bathroom or something? I’m guessing they would just halt the test for everyone which might make up for some of the time difference. But I’m guessing that would be more applicable to the younger grades and not your DS. Kids that age would be more likely to be able to “hold it” for an hour.

    I was very happy I had DS and myself in a tshirt that day. Parents scheduled for testing – not sure if they’ll fix the heat issue – but I’d advise a tshirt underneath a sweater that can easily be pulled off. Whooeee, it was hot in there!

  • 39. Navigator  |  November 22, 2011 at 10:41 pm

    @29 – I find it interesting when talking about college and the SE enrollment high schools (in relation to kids with Bs in tier 4). I don’t envision Einstein, Bill Gates, and others necessarily fitting the mold of CPS gifted programs but did/do major things.

  • 40. cpsobsessed  |  November 22, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    I was thinking that same thing about Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerburg. Although getting into harvard takes good test scores….

    I know that the 2 google founders attritbute their success to their Montessori education which promotes following your interests and setting your own workplans. Not 8000 worksheets a year.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 41. 6272  |  November 23, 2011 at 8:38 am

    This is why a lot of parents with gifted children do home schooling.

  • 42. Kimberly  |  November 23, 2011 at 10:35 am

    What kind of things do they test at the 4-year old level? And what does the “average” high scorer know at 4-years old? thank you!

  • 43. SLS Mama  |  November 23, 2011 at 11:14 am

    SLS Dad –

    I don’t disagree with a lot of what you said. Our kid is happy and thriving. Right now, the level of instruction is satisfactory. I do know families at Skinner West, Pritzker, Edison, Keller, and Lenart. Our instruction is not on par with theirs, especially as the kids get older. Their classrooms are not full of brand new teachers, nor do their schools have a policy similar to the Walking Classroom model Shelton is a fan of (when it isn’t a stand alone center). And I really cannot believe she can sustain the program as the years go by – it is a noble goal, but not a realistic one. The neighborhood kids need help with their class size now, not “down the road.”

    I do not, at all, think that Shelton’s apology at the LSC meeting is a sign of a shining character. If she truly meant it, she would extend that apology to all of the parents who could not attend the meeting for whatever reason, and she could have taken the time to acknowledge those who wrote to her. I have a problem placing trust in someone who misled me, yet again, mere days before she sent the letter to the entire school.

    I also do not think all families should be “uprooted” from South Loop, but I do think they should be given the choice. It is going to be a rough go no matter where the RGC is, but I would rather fight to build something up…

  • 44. Mayfair Dad  |  November 23, 2011 at 11:25 am

    @42: 4-year olds who do well on the test are 4-year olds having a good day (eager, curious, not stressed out, having fun). 4-year olds who do not do well tend to be clingy, over-tired, stressed, hungry, have to go potty, distracted by squirrels playing in the tree, freaked out by the whole experience –in other words, typical 4-year olds.

    All three of my kids scored mid 90s which was never quite good enough. I am still offended they asked for race and family income on the application form, why should that matter? Oldest tested into Ogden for 6 – 8, now at LPIB. The twins lotteried into Disney 2 and we couldn’t be happier. If gifted/classical doesn’t happen for your young scholar, maybe it wasn’t meant to be. Other opportunities will present themselves, get informed and keep your eyes on the prize.

  • 45. wren  |  November 23, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Regarding 44, I believe that because the RGC classes are working so fast in order to get ahead, the kids miss out on some of the more enriching, engaging activities that they’d get at other good schools. K-2 were mainly worksheets, worksheets and more worksheets.

    When I first found this site, I was surprised by the widespread obsession with getting kids into gifted programs. I had been doing searches because I was so disappointed with my kid’s RGC. It seemed like a very narrow and joyless way to do education. Maybe my view was skewed by my early years in Montessori school.
    I might be the only person here to feel that way, but there it is.

  • 46. cpsobsessed  |  November 23, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    I got this list somewhere, I assume the natl assoc of gifted kids website since I have that link at the bottom. Some of it is like reading a horoscope – you can find those traits in most kids.

    I think that early reading is usually considered an easy-to-identify sign (although the gifted test in Chicago does not test for reading skills.) I also read that the the earlier a child questions Santa Clause, that is a sign too. My son is 8.5 and still fully believe even though I’ve prodded him with “I wonder how he gets ALLLL those toys delivered?” Supposedly some 2 years olds are smart enough not to buy it. I would love to see that conversation.

    The “rage to master” is also a sign of giftedness that I believe it. Whether that is music, certain topics, art, I see it in a couple kids in my son’s class. Mine has only the rage to master games on his laptop but I don’t think that counts.

    Reasons well
    Learns rapidly
    Extensive vocabulary
    Long attention span (if interested)
    Sensitive (feelings hurt easily)
    Shows compassion
    Perfectionistic
    Intense
    Morally sensitive
    Strong curiosity
    Persevere in interests
    High energy
    Prefers older companions and adults
    Wide range of interests (i.e. want to learn everything about dinosaurs, civil war, everything written by a certain author)
    Early or avid readers (if young, loves to be read to)
    Concern with justice and fairness
    Judgment mature for age at times
    Keen observer
    Vivid imagination
    Tends to question authority
    Facility with numbers
    Good at puzzles

    As a baby:

    Get language early
    Are early talkers
    Early advance reasoning
    Skip some stages
    No naps, less sleep than average

    In PreK:

    Advance academic or talent development
    Child might not fit in
    Asynchrony between abstract reasoning and motor skills
    Advanced language and reasoning, good vocabulary
    Often don’t “play right”
    Have ideas for things they want to draw/write but don’t have the motor stills to express them
    May teach themselves to read (but not all gifted kids are early readers)
    Parent may be able to use advanced reasoning with child and get a well-reasoned argument back
    Play can be a problem — child makes it too complex
    Prefer a couple good friends
    Are introverts

    http://www.nagc.org/

  • 48. CPSDepressed  |  November 23, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    Hey, CPSObsessed, are you sure your kid believes in Santa? I know for a fact that my youngest brother stopped believing in Kindergarten, but kept up the charade for my parents until he was in fourth grade. His reasoning was that he would get better presents if our parents were still doing the Santa thing, and that it would break their hearts if they thought the baby no longer believed.

  • 49. cps Mom  |  November 23, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    OK – now the Santa Claus thing is breaking my heart. My son “believed” until he was in 5th grade. He caught the tooth fairy and it was a domino effect from there. We had such fun. He meets most of the criteria stated but gifted???

  • 50. cpsobsessed  |  November 23, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    Sadly, I really think he believes it!

    He’s always been big on action heros and other magical powers so I guess it makes sense. But I’m probably like every other parent who’s in denial. I’m sure some kid will set him straight soon.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 51. CPSDepressed  |  November 23, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    I’m telling you, your kids are scamming you. Especially if an older sibling is coaching them.

  • 52. cpsobsessed  |  November 23, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    One weird thing about my son’s class, since we all started kindergarten in the new RGC together, is that of 27 kids I think 25 are the oldest or only child in their family.

    I think it creates a weird dynamic if you believe in first kids having certain traits. And not traits that I necessarily envy the teacher for dealing with so many of. 🙂

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 53. Mayfair Dad  |  November 23, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    You gotta believe to receive. So what if they’re faking it.

  • 54. Esmom  |  November 23, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    @46, interesting list. My son has an autism spectrum disorder and many of those traits listed could be used to describe kids on the spectrum. Atypical learners, all of them. Not easy to fit into the cookie cutter mentality that pervades most schools.

  • 55. frackie mom  |  November 24, 2011 at 1:13 am

    @46: My DD asked me at age 2 in 1999 in a little person’s voice: “Santa Claus is just like Barney, right?” I said, “Right, but don’t tell the other kids.”

    Can’t really lie to your child when she puts it in simple terms like that.

    I didn’t really know anything about the term “gifted” until a notification was sent home in 3rd grade (public affluent suburban school) about my child after a test was given. Afterwards, DD was pulled out of class along with another 3rd grader from a different classroom. They worked on projects (assessed, but not graded) and advanced math levels together but had to keep up with regular classwork. DD has been in CPS system for 4 years now (RGC, academic center, SEHS). CPS definitely has its flaws, but in my child’s experience, it does offer more options than your typical suburban school system for advanced students.

  • 56. Jennifer  |  November 24, 2011 at 2:40 am

    Having a gifted child in the suburbs is much worse, the schools aren’t equipped in any way to deal with them, and there certainly aren’t entire schools dedicated to educating them. We have a 2nd grader in a top ranked North Shore elementary and their solution is to ask us to enroll her in the Northwestern classes on Saturdays, which we can’t afford.

  • 57. Ivana  |  November 24, 2011 at 9:26 am

    Any opinion about greeley gifted center for bilingual students ?

  • 58. anonymous  |  November 24, 2011 at 10:07 am

    CPS offers more options for the tiny fraction of gifted kids who test high enough into the select programs.
    There are some really great suburban gifted programs in public schools. Or were. One of the skokie districts used to have a fabulous program up until last year which they lost to budget cuts.
    But there are others out there. Just like people move into a good neighborhood school boundary in Chicago, if one wants/needs a good gifted suburban program one must do their research before renting/buying, including the long term financial health of that district/town. Not saying it is always possible, but getting into a gifted or classical program in Chicago is nearly impossible even for kids who are profoundly gifted and or talented or advanced.
    Best solution imo? Parents of gifted kids, just like parents of kids with other special needs, must advocate long and hard and most of the time, must be the ones to personally provide for their gifted child. Not that CPS or other schools shouldn’t be doing it. They should. But since CPS can’t even manage the very lowest requirements of basic needs of schools, don’t hold your breath waiting for them.
    Fwiw, many private gifted programs like NU offer financial aid for families. It might not work for any particular family, but it is worth a try.

  • 59. anonymous  |  November 24, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    fyi — a number of suburban districts have their general curriculum advanced by one year, such as Hinsdale and Barrington, because so many of their population is ahead of the curve.

  • 60. LR  |  November 25, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    Yes, I agree with #59 – the gifted programs in the burbs are advanced by a year or more. I grew up in Glenview in the 80’s. I was on the advanced track. I remember that in 8th grade, I was in Advanced Algebra/Trigonometry for math. And we had a great advanced Language Arts program. Living in the city now, I am just surprised about how few kids actually end up even taking Algebra in 8th grade. At my daughter’s conference, I got our School Progress Report. At her school (Bell), only 58.1% of the kids take Algebra and 65.6% pass it. That seemed really low to me. At Springman Jr. High, in 1988, I believe almost everyone took at least Algebra by 8th grade and most people received passing grades. Anyhow, with my daughter in the options program now, it doesn’t really seem all that accelerated compared to what I had growing up in the burbs.

  • 61. Jennifer  |  November 26, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    My daughter is already in accelerated math and reading class, but she needs more than that. The biggest problem is that there aren’t other children like her for her to engage with. She will be fine academically, it’s socially that she is failing, which is what truly breaks my heart. The fact that her school has no real experience with children like her leaves them stumped for ideas on how to help her.

    And there is a massive gap between being able to afford $400 for 6 weeks of classes and qualifying for financial assistance unfortunately, but I appreciate the advice.

  • 62. EDB  |  November 26, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    Apply again for SEES. Sounds like your daughter is truly gifted & just had an “off” day with the test. Good luck.

  • 63. Josh  |  November 26, 2011 at 11:55 pm

    I have a question I haven’t been able to find an answer to – I’m applying for my son to be in Kindergarden next year – come March when acceptance letters come out, could he potentially be accepted to multiple RGCs or Classical schools, or would he be accepted into a single school ideally coupled with our 1-6 preferences?

  • 64. wandrerr  |  November 27, 2011 at 6:01 am

    Hi, no, you get one offer. They do try to go in the order of preference you put on your application, but that’s not guaranteed. So if your child did great on the Classical test, you would most likely get a Classical offer. If they did great on the gifted, it would be a gifted offer. If you have a savant on your hands that does great on both, then I’m not sure how they decide – maybe your preference and/or what is availabile.

  • 65. cpsobsessed  |  November 27, 2011 at 8:34 am

    They ranks the kids’ score for gifted and for classical and then proceed down the list assigning spots based on your preference.
    If your first choice fills up (with kids who scored higher) they keep moving down your list to try to get your kid in the next school on your list, then the next.
    So if a kid scores off the charts on both tests, whichever school they had ranked first (gifted or classical) would be the offer.

    The more common scenario is that a child might get their 5th offer and then you decide if you’ll accept that spot or not. If you do, you’re taken out of the pool. If you decline, you’re still in the pool and if a spot opens at one of your higher choices (again, based on that ranked list) you could get a new offer.

    If you rank by true preference the system is fairly efficient.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 66. anonymous  |  November 27, 2011 at 10:17 am

    #61, I am guessing you already tried this, but have you spoken with the psychologist on staff at your child’s school?
    Please try for financial assistance at CTD (Northwestern’s program). It also might not seem like much of a difference depending on one’s financial situation, but classes are closer to $330 for 8 weeks. It might be worth asking grandparents (if they are around) for part of the tuition or choosing to forego swim lessons and soccer to be able to afford out-of-school gifted programming. Even if CTD could only offer you a 25% scholarship, that might help.
    Have you tried meeting up for a “playgroup” of sorts with families who also have gifted kids? I know it is difficult when you have a truly gifted child. There is such a difference between kids who read a few years above grade level and the kids who are actually gifted. It really is so similar to having a special needs child. I hope something works out for you.
    I highly doubt your child’s school has no experience with kids like your daughter. All schools that aren’t brand new have seen gifted kids. It is much more likely they just don’t want to deal with her needs the same way schools don’t really want to deal with sped kids, but the law forces them to. Perhaps purchasing a book or two on gifted kids for the school and or the teacher might be a good investment.
    Good luck, I feel for you.

  • 67. Mom2S  |  November 27, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    @61: Definitely talk to the school counselor or school psychologist to see what he/she recommends to meet the social/emotional needs of your daughter. I taught in a suburban gifted program for 5 years and know that teaching/dealing with gifted children is not all sunshine and rainbows like some may assume. You are her best advocate so please continue to follow up with the teacher and ask for resources on how to help her succeed socially. If the school is not helpful with this, can you check with your insurance company to see if you can take her to see a child psychologist on your own? Also, I subscribe to meetup.com and know that I have seen a meetup group for gifted kids. Not sure if it is a city or suburban group, but either way that might be something to look into so your child can meet other kids like her. Check out books about gifted kids by Jim Delisle. Also check out http://www.hoagiesgifted.com/ Best of luck!

  • 68. two cents  |  November 27, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    Wanderr – read through the past years’ posts upon receiving the letters (March with LOTS and LOTs of responses) to get an idea of what your in for.

  • 69. CPS Dad To Be  |  November 28, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    Speaking of ranking your choices, we’re just about to send in our SEES application for our kindergartener-to-be and were were wondering about Skinner West,

    We had a chance to tour the other SEES schools near us (Pritzker and Skinner North) but unfortunately missed the Skinner West open house.

    In particular we were wondering about the arts and language programs at Skinner West for their classical school. The building and facilities are definitely nice and past comments on this blog indicate the program is good. If anyone here has a child there or went to the open house, please comment on your likes/dislikes. How are the programs, teachers, and overall administration?

    We like Pritzker for the arts they have but feel that the teachers and teaching approach at Skinner North seem a better fit for our daughter. If Skinner North had the same arts offerings as Pritzker, it would be our top choice without any reservations but due to the pluses and minuses of each, we’re having a hard time ranking them.

    Either way, if our daughter gets a chance (lots of hope here for a good test day) at one of these schools we’ll definitely take it. Any insights to sway our ranking are definitely appreciated.

  • 70. TwinMom  |  November 28, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    @69: You could practically rank all the RGCs first, and then all the Classical schools, because chances are your child will score high on only one of the tests. Why they make you rank all 6 together, I don’t know. That said, my son did get offers from the both RGCs and classical schools…eventually. But his RGC score was definitely higher, and the offers to classical schools came later in the summer.

    My point is that you shouldn’t sweat it (which to rank higher – Pritzker or Skinner North) because it’s very unlikely to matter – they’re differently scored. It matters more how you rank the various RGCs vis-a-vis one another and the various classical schools vis-a-vis one another.

  • 71. CPS Dad To Be  |  November 28, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    @70 I was under the impression that if you score high enough on both (I only wish), only one is chosen so ranking does play a choice but trying to guess which one the kid will score better on is a guessing game. I agree with you about choices and options when wait lists go in effect.

    With the loss of South Loop our realistic RGC choices are basically halved (we’ll put the north side RGCs down but the commute for us becomes difficult and bussing commutes of an hour or more are an option but hard for a kindergartener — we can always move I guess)

    The classicals are probably our best and that’s another reason I was wondering about Skinner West.

  • 72. anonymous  |  November 29, 2011 at 7:24 am

    When choosing schools for this fall, parents need to add 2 hours onto the current day. I know my own children get on their school bus now at 7:15 a.m. Next year, if cps adds 2 hours onto the day as they are currently planning, they’ll be on the bus at 6:15 a.m. Just something to think about once offers come through.

  • 73. TwinMom  |  November 29, 2011 at 11:24 am

    @71, well, yes, only one is “chosen,” but it’s the one you scored the highest IN THAT CATEGORY. Unless your child scores off the charts on both tests (possible, I’m sure, but very highly unlikely), it’s not going to matter whether you put an RGC first or a classical school first. One score is always going to be better (even in my son’s case — I actually didn’t think he had a chance at classical schools because the average of his two scores was “only” 93rd percentile and that was indeed too low for a first-round classical offer. I got the feeling from talking to lots of other parents that it was somewhat unusual for my son to get offers from both schools, period (even if some offers didn’t come until later in the summer), so I think it’s probably super-duper-unusual for someone to qualify for first-round offers in both RGCs and classicals.

    The rankings, I believe, are only important for the first-round offers. After that it’s all about tier and score. I don’t think OAE says this anywhere, but it certainly seemed that way given the information they gave me during the summer regarding how many kids were “ahead” of us for offers at my daughter’s RGC (where we were trying to get my son in). So only if your child scores highly enough to get first-round offers from both your first-choice RGC and first-choice classical will it matter how you ranked them, and that scenario is so unlikely that it’s really not worth sweating, kwim?

    FWIW, two of my son’s offers were from Pritzker and Skinner North. We turned them both down, mainly because he is a twin and we wanted him (for K, at least) to be with his twin sister. And for us (north siders), the commute was an issue as well (especially given that his twin is at a north side RGC). But also FWIW, we preferred Skinner North to Pritzker RGC. Our philosophy and preferences were different than yours, however (we didn’t care about the arts as much as many parents because I felt we could supplement that more easily than other subjects). I just got a better vibe from Skinner North, and I know some parents there who were quite happy with the program.

    Best wishes to you. I know (believe me!) how stressful this process can be.

  • 74. pickingaschool  |  November 30, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    @CPS Dad To Be

    As a parent who has done this twice, I would recommend forgetting which schools are RGC’s and which are Classical, or trying to guess on which test your child will score higher. I would instead look very closely at the individual schools, their way of teaching, and the atmosphere at the school. Even though two schools are considered RGC’s the style of education can be very different. Really, the only thing they share is which test is used for entry. I have friends in both Coonley and Bell (both RGC’s) but have heard that Coonley (1st & 2nd) tends to have more worksheets, while Bell has more “projects”. You know your child, which school’s atmosphere fits her best? When I was looking I heard so much about Decatur, but when I visited the school I knew it was the wrong fit for how my child deals with learning, style of teaching, and expectations. If you get a good feeling about Skinner North, place that high on your list. You can add arts outside of school. What would be the closest to the ideal school for your daughter, her personality, and the way she handles certain environments? Use that vision, and rank accordingly. Except for a few basic guidelines, which determine whether a school is considered an RGC or Classical, they actually all have their own education styles, atmospheres (if you have a child who is sensitive to that) and schedules.

  • 75. CPS Dad To Be  |  November 30, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    TwinMon and pickingaschool,

    Thank you for the additional info. My intention here was to get some more insights about Skinner West since we missed out on their open house. I’ve read good things about the school here and on some web sites and just wanted some more personal perspectives about it to fill in the gaps.

    A project oriented school with small teams/groups would probably work best for our daughter at this point. Skinner North does quite a bit of that while Pritzker is a little less so. Anyone know about Skinner West?

    Thanks

  • 76. pickingaschool  |  November 30, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    I’ll see if I can get some info on SW from a neighbor. They have a child there.

  • 77. Nervous at SLS  |  November 30, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    I know a K family and a slightly older family (2nd or 3rd) at Skinner West, and they have both made comments about all of the worksheets. It seems to lean heavily on rote learning in the younger grades while transitioning to a more project-based style after the kids get a little older and get more basics down… You’d probably get a more thorough/accurate answer from someone who actually attends, though.

  • 78. SES Teacher  |  November 30, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    @77…I don’t think that is a bad way of learning. The worksheets/rote build skills that facilitate good problem solving/project based learning. The latter is not possible without the former. This style reminds me of Singapore methods.

  • 79. Southie  |  December 1, 2011 at 11:00 am

    Dang. For a minute there on the news last night, I thought this story was featuring a suburban school. It was Edison RGC. This is not the Chicago I know. Where are our black children? Tale of two cities:

    http://www.wgntv.com/news/teacherofthemonth/wgntv-teacher-of-the-month-edison-regional-gifted-centers-jack-matsumoto-20111130,0,2726212.story

  • 80. CPS Dad To Be  |  December 1, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    Thank you all for the responses and willingness to get more info on Skinner West.

    I personally do not have anything against worksheets as long as its not the majority of learning. They are a good way to reinforce and practice what was learned.

    However, there is a line between them teaching problem solving and memorizing information / learning test taking strategies. I personally have not come across many worksheets in my academic experience that really teach critical thinking. Most are teaching or showing a way to solve a specific problem and not really to think about what is happening.

    I feel that critical thinking skills are harder to teach (especially in a large classroom many topics to go over in a short period of time) and develop in a young child but more worthwhile to invest effort and time in at earlier ages.Too many worksheets (especially ones that are similar) tend to steer or narrowly focus a child down a certain way of thinking or doing things and that can become limiting or hard to change as a child gets older. The brain starts rewiring and pruning many things around age 9 so things learned up to that point are pretty critical going forward.

    It would be interesting to see how the level of worksheets correlates with tests scores across various CPS schools but that data is impossible to collect.

    Long term it would be interesting to see how well students of various levels of worksheet exposure across elementary and HS do in college and in the working world but there are so many other factors that influence those outcomes that correlating the data would be extremely difficult.

    My gut feeling is that worksheet based learners do well in life but may be a bit less willing to do different things or try figuring out new ways of doing things (maybe analogous to some of the high levels of practice and test taking by some Chinese students — in general they do well at school and life but seem to have a harder time being creative or thinking outside the box).

  • 81. Nervous at SLS  |  December 1, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    I’m not passing judgement at all on how Skinner West handles things. I have not seen it first hand. I don’t fundamentally have a problem with worksheets, unless, as Dad-to-be said, it is the *only* thing they do. Even then, context is everything. . .

  • 82. Jetset  |  December 5, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    This was a great thread. I am glad I am not the only one who doesn’t have the academically perfect child.

  • 83. Yoga Mom  |  December 5, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    Have you already been contacted for the tests for this year? I filled out the paperwork but haven’t heard anything yet. Should I be concerned.

  • 84. wandrerr  |  December 6, 2011 at 6:47 am

    @Yoga Mom – they seem to be running slower this year than last, or maybe it’s just that I’m testing for 1st vs. K this time around. Anyway, they do go in order. I think the people who submitted right away have been called already. OAE said if you don’t hear from them by January 27h, to contact them.

  • 85. Marlo1000  |  December 12, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    My 4-year-old tested today for slot in RGC kindergarten. Test took 5 minutes — what in the world can CPS learn about a child in 5 minutes? If she hadn’t been tested before, I would assume this meant she was out of the running for anything. But, she took a full Weschler IQ test for the private gifted preschool she currently attends and scored a 151 or 99.5 precentile. I will be very interested to see what CPS’ “score” is.

  • 86. Very concerned dad  |  December 21, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    My daughter tested last week and she was in there for about 18-20 minutes. She is four years old and 5 months, not sure what to think. Any thoughts..

  • 87. Anonymous  |  March 10, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    We have a test tomorrow, for a 4 year old. Apparently it’s the last possible test date. Daylight savings may screw things up a bit….

  • 88. RGC student  |  April 17, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    I’m one of those luckies…. got into SLRGC the year before they stopped accepting new gifted kids.

  • 89. Lisa  |  December 3, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    My daughter was in there 20-25 minutes for both tests.
    I have no idea what they asked her. She didn’t feel like talking about it. I won’t know anything until March 2013. The tester just handed her back to me. He said nothing.

  • 90. Christine Whitley  |  December 3, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    That’s pretty typical Lisa — to get no feedback from the examiner. You might get a hearty “She did great!” but they say that to all the parents. It is hard to wait until March.

  • 91. AE  |  December 4, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    So my 4-year old took both tests today. The test took about 25 minutes (which seemed fairly comparable to the other kids testing at the time). I managed to get the following bits of info from my child (but have no idea how accurate it is — I think we can all agree that 4 year olds are not the most reliable source):

    — For at least one of the tests (gifted or classical??), kids are told when they answer incorrectly and given a second chance to answer. This surprised me. Not sure how this second chance impacts scores. It also suggests longer testing time isn’t necessarily better.

    — Apparently there are “which one doesn’t belong” questions, but my child specifically said no patterns (!?!) or analogy matrixes/boxes. Having looked at the New York test prep packets, I think both of these sections are standard on the OLSAT, but didn’t seem to be on the CPS test.

    — There was also apparently a vocabulary section (point to the picture that shows the word). I’m pretty sure this is not an OLSAT section.

    I’m feeling like the CPS test is either a mix of several tests or some unique creation. Makes me wonder how it could be nationally normed??

    Also, I asked the IIT staff if they could administer the gifted test first, and was told it is typically given that way anyways.

    Hope this info helps a little. Good luck to everyone still waiting to test. I had a nice chat with some of the mom’s waiting, found the IIT staff to be very pleasant, and will now hope for the best.

  • 92. MomWhoWantsMore  |  October 10, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    This is a really old thread, but I’m desperately trying to find ANY info about quality programs for REAL gifted kids in CPS. My child is at an RGC, but it only seems accelerated, not GIFTED. Anyway, if anyone is reading this thread and has any ideas about finding programs that actually follow best practices for gifted education, please comment. We can take the conversation offline if necessary.

  • 93. CPSmom  |  October 10, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    I suggest these two resources:

    Center for Talent Development at Northwestern University:

    http://www.ctd.northwestern.edu/

    IMSA Student Enrichment Opportunities:

    https://www.imsa.edu/extensionprograms/student-enrichment-opportunities

    My son has taken several courses at CTD and done summer camps at both NU and IMSA. He is at Northside this year for his 9th year, but he was offered admission into IMSA for Class of 2020, and he will be going there starting in 10th grade.

  • 94. cpsobsessed  |  October 11, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    Here is a private gifted school I’ve heard of in the suburbs:
    http://www.averycoonley.org/

    Generally speaking kids who are profoundly gifted have a difficult time having their needs met in any public school (or small privates) that cannot accommodate the specific learning plans they need. Being in the city, we at least have accelerated programs and schools with many really smart kids grouped together. A conference I attended mentioned how if you are in a very small town, for example, the resources are even more limited.

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