Thursday, September 17, 2009


Tonight, Mr. Spy and I attended an orientation for all parents of students in our school district's gifted program. The program was run by our district's Curriculum Director, who was one of the people I spoke with by phone last year when we were trying to deal with last spring's testing debacle, and the two gifted coordinators -- Mrs. C who teaches at AJ's school, another elementary school, and the middle school; and The Cheerleader, who teaches at the other two elementary schools and the junior high.

For the most part, we didn't hear much that we didn't know, mainly because we have been such pains in the ass so involved with the program at AJ's school since kindergarten and because I am nosy and ask a lot of questions. Neither of the gifted teachers was particularly good at public speaking -- the meeting was wildly disorganized, despite its powerpoint presentation. The Cheerleader reminded me very much of Reese Witherspoon's character in Legally Blonde -- hyper perky and very wide-eyed with a high squeaky voice. At one point, she actually said she had been a cheerleader and I had to literally bite my tongue to keep from laughing. But the curriculum director is smart and said some interesting things about district-wide policy and its devotion to challenging all children. This and the program itself, which is well-integrated with the general curriculum, reassured me that it will be less of a target for cuts when the budget gets slashed next month.

The most exciting thing we heard about was the math program. They begin the acceleration process in third grade so that by next year, they are doing 5th grade curriculum. By the time they get to sixth grade, they are doing algebra. By the time they start high school, they'll be a full two years ahead of the traditional curriculum.

The other thing that sounds great is that they have a stand-alone gifted class starting in grades 5-8 when the four elementary schools consolidate into first the middle school and then the junior high. But we knew about that already.

One more item of interest was thrown out there: the school has dropped the use of the OLSAT, the test that gave us so much trouble last spring. They didn't say why. It might be because of the problems we and others encountered. Or it might be a financial issue. In any case, I am glad to see it go.

1 comment:

Jeanne said...

Yay for the end of the OLSAT as prerequisite!