finding a middle school for gifted son in Orlando

Heather - posted on 04/29/2015 ( 1 mom has responded )




I have a gifted child who has been identified as a genius by Orange county. His first IQ screening score was 147, then he had to do a second, more detailed testing where he scored a 135. He is 10 years old & knows that he wants to be in genetic engineering. He has had this fascination for about 1.5 years now. We were advised by gifted staff during our gifted meeting, of the charter academy that he attends now, that he should be enrolled in a "Medical Magnet Program" for middle school. I can NOT seem to find anything for him in our area. I can NOT afford a private school, for I am a mom of 5, plus my hubby, and only 1 income. He requires a challenge to hold his interest & the best thing that I have read so far in my research for a gifted middle school, is that gifted children get pulled out of a "regular class" once a week for their advanced learning. What a JOKE! There is only 5 weeks left of school & I have NO IDEA where to get him enrolled for middle school. Please Help!


Ross - posted on 09/23/2015





(First of all, I am a daddy, but felt compelled to respond to your post).

We are in the OCPS system. Our daughter is 9, and went through a similar testing cycle. I had additional testing conducted. Bottom line is that she is in the 140 range.

I conducted extensive research about schools, school programs, online learning, and homeschool programs. I contacted advocates, professors in the gifted department at UCF, gifted staff at the OCPS main office, principals and counseling staff at gifted and charter schools, and a psychologist who routinely deals with gifted kids. I read many books and scholarly articles and research papers about gifted education.

We met with the gifted "committee" at our daughter's charter school. We developed an IEP (which was VERY disappointing). I requested grade skipping (which the research shows is overwhelmingly positive for highly gifted kids) - however, grade skipping within the OCPS system is a very unusual event.

One day, my wife came home, upset after dropping our daughter off at school. "She looks so unhappy when she goes to school". Finally, after all my efforts to convince her that a change was needed, and after listening to our daughter tell us so many times how bored she is in school, we realized that the only viable option left to us is homeschooling. So we recently took the plunge - too early yet to report any significant findings.

Anyway, back to your situation. I finally concluded that the school system (at the elementary level) does not provide the right opportunities for highly gifted kids. However, it appears that the situation improves at the middle school level. It has been strongly recommended to us that we enroll our daughter in an IB program. OCPS has schools which support the IB program, and offer a type of "magnet" program. I recommend you investigate this further, as it will probably open up opportunities for your son. Of course, High School IB is the natural follow-on. We will consider having our daughter jump back into school at the middle school and high school on-ramps.

Also, you can explore other opportunities for enrichment. For example, over the summer, our daughter chose to participate in on online Astronomy course taught by a Caltech professor (check out They offer certificates of completion if you want to document your son's achievements. The county offers virtual school classes for summer enrichment (these are free also). The library has some interesting (free) courses available (we are going to an Arduino workshop tomorrow). There are many other opportunities like this.

Lastly, you should try to get your son involved with other similar kids. Chances are he does not relate very well to most of his classmates. (I am looking for similar opportunities for our daughter).

Hope this helps,

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