neighborhood school vs gifted magnet school

Sonja - posted on 05/13/2009 ( 11 moms have responded )




We have a very gifted 8yo in 2nd grade at our neighborhood school. He has ADHD as well and just does not fit in socially with the other kids. They have only 1 hr per week of GT pull-out at his school. We are considering enrolling him a gifted magnet school in a neighboring district. We have some concerns about his ability to adapt to change and whether putting him with only gifted kids will leave him still unable to relate to non-gifted peers. Has anybody gone through this decision? We also don't want to alienate the neighborhood school as we have a younger son who will go there. I would appreciate any insights.


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Christy - posted on 09/07/2009




I went through the same agonizing decision with my son, Jackson. He is extremely gifted and also has Aspergers. He made friends at the neighborhood elementary in kindergarten, which can be difficult for children with Aspergers, but they were unable to provide the level of academic stimulus he needed. They tried- they sent him to the first grade for math the entire year as well as the second grade for reading- but he was bored and acted up in class as a result. When he was accepted to the gifted magnet school here, we at first didn't want to send him because of the friends he had made. However, in the end, we decided it was best for him. His needs are provided for, his behavior is much better in school, and he is just terribly excited every day to go to school. Plus, he's fitting in and making friends. I'd say try it, and if it doesn't work out, you can always re-enroll your child in the neighborhood school.

Rory - posted on 09/03/2009




I think you should give it a try. I think the gifted magnet school would help him more. Gifted students get bored it they are not minds are not stimulated. Most of the stuff they are learning in the neighborhood school he would probably know already. I don't have my daughter in the neighborhood school she is in a talented and gifted school and it is all academic.

Tabitha - posted on 09/01/2009




Being from Reno we have the benefit of having the Davidson Academy just down the street from us. Some neighborhood kids have moved in from New Mexico to attend the school and others at the Academy have moved from as far as Australia to provide their child with an opportunity to attend an institution where their abilities are fostered and enriched instead of just "dealt" with.

If you have a gifted magnet school in your area do not let it go to waste! There are too many kids out there that need that support and do not have it as an option.

Best of luck!


Lisa - posted on 09/01/2009




Your neighbourhood school should appreciate that you want the best possible learning environment for your son, and should not treat your younger son any differently when he is enrolled. Our system here in Australia is a little different and my children are all in GATC classes within a mainstream school, but I have found without a doubt that they are far more comfortable in a class of their equals than they are in a class of their age peers. For example, when my six year old started school last year he refused to socialise with the other kindergarten kids because they only wanted to talk about and play with things he had outgrown years before. He was much more comfortable with my ten year old's friends than his own age peers. He still is, to a point! But since his placement in the GATC program he is a different child, full of self confidence and loving being at school. Hopefully you will find that the school you have chosen for your child will provide him with an environment in which he can thrive. As another reply has said, the school will have experience with the needs of gifted children and difficulty in adapting to change is something they should know how to handle with relative ease.

I wish your son all the best at his new school.

Susan - posted on 09/01/2009




You will love your decision!!!! I have a 14 year old who went to gifted school and she is flourishing. She is doing everything she wants to do and has great self confidence. Best decision I ever made.


Sandra - posted on 08/30/2009




I was going to suggest the magnet, as being around other GT kids will make him feel less ostracized. I wish I had a gifted magnet option, but I will have to wait until jr high. Let us know how it goes. Being with other GT students may give him some humility-- he wont necessarily be the smartest kid in the class every time.

Sonja - posted on 08/26/2009




We decided to go for it. He start in a few weeks, so we shall see how it goes.

Rebekah - posted on 05/21/2009




I think it's definitely worth checking into the magnet school. And take your son along for a tour to make him more comfortable with the idea. I think the concept of keeping gifted kids with age-mates to learn to socialize is odd. Like it or not, our kids are different in the way they learn, and sometimes in the way they socialize. Keeping him in an environment that isn't good for his academic development won't magically help him socialize. It's easier to be friends with people you have things in common with. Once we're out of school we're not limited to being friends with people within 2 years of our age. If you'd like for him to relate outside of the "gifted" environment, then I'd recommend a non-academic extra-curricular activity such as swimming or music.

Mandy - posted on 05/21/2009




My son is 14 and we had to wait for a spot to open for the GT program until he was in 5th grade. If you can get your child into the program at an earlier age it would be beneficial to him. It was a hard transistion in 5th grade especially in Texas because it is the last year of elementary. Everything is fine now and we are starting high school next year. My son was not challenged at all and eventhough he is not ADHD he would get in trouble for talking because the work was so easy. He has friends that are not gifted as well and he relates just fine. I hope this will help...Take Care, Mandy

Morag - posted on 05/14/2009




Oooo Gifted magnet school! My parents were told to enroll me in a gifted school but they didn't want to ostrazise me from my peers.. But I was just too weird to fit in and I ended up never having any friends and hating school. School was a very painful experience for me one I never wish to repeat. Constant bullying, hiding at the back of the class, acting up so I'd get sent out and get "street cred" with my peers... I could have done so well with the right type of encouragement of my abilities. Now as an adult I feel I've lost out. :(

Jennifer - posted on 05/14/2009




I've heard the arguments both ways, but when I went to the gifted magnet in my area, they seemed much better able to deal with the issues that a gifted child brings to the table. They were already aware that gifted kids can be highly emotional, and had a mechanism for dealing with it. My kids are still pretty little but I have some friends with older gifted kids, and all of them said their kids flourished socially when put with other gifted kids. This makes sense because then they aren't the weird one who is trying to dumb themselves down to fit in, or alternatively, not doing that and then being made fun of for being a dork.

But, each school is individual, so it might be a good idea to go tour your options and see what's going on and what they have to offer.

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