What if my child is not "identified" as gifted by my school district? (Part 1)

There are several routes you can take if you find your child in this position. How far you want to pursue it is up to you and your child.

If you haven't done so already, research the guidelines used by your district to identify gifted students. Ask questions. The district should tell you specifically why they believe your child should 'not' be in their program. Challenge all non-quantitative measures. Document everything. Your best defense is a well-documented offense. This can be notes taken from a conversation with your child's teacher, examples of your child's work, standardized test scores, report cards, and your own personal observations. Remember that this is a very subjective process.

If your child does not get into the gifted program, you still have several options. You can choose to move your child into a charter school or cyber-school, but this is a highly individualized option. You know your child best. Let them be a part of the decision-making process.

Other options that will be discussed in Part 2 of this post include steps parents can take outside the school district to foster their child's gifts. Universities and summer programs for gifted students and over-achievers are good places to start. Many kids prefer online options and these can be very cost-effective if you know they will appeal to your child. And don't discount the value of providing your child with 'life experiences' such as travel, cultural experiences and exposure to the arts, participating in competitions, and visiting libraries and museums to name a few.

In my next post, I will expand on these possibilities. Any comments you may have are always welcomed.