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    #44919 - 04/17/09 07:27 AM Re: Acceleration to middle school from elementary scho [Re: Ellipses]
    Advocate Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 03/31/09
    Posts: 10
    Hi, marieg!

    You have two marvelous things going for you: the awesome gifted-friendly school district, and the proximity of elementary and junior high schools. I'm jealous :-)

    I'm wondering if your choices might not be so binary (all middle school or all elementary). Have you or your district considered dual enrollment? This has been a wonderful option for many HG-EG-PG kids I know of. Even with schools separated by several miles, the Kindergarten bus often provides noon-time transportation from one school to another. And I even know a child who is triple-enrolled (high school, junior high, elementary school), with an educational program tailored to his individual needs, and with each subject at his own edge of development. Sounds a bit piecemeal, but it works for him and his family.

    With those scores, it may be your daughter is pretty much at the same level all around, in which case dual enrollment wouldn't be best. It is particularly good for the so-called "spiky kids" or those with scatter, but to be realistic, lots of HG+ kids have some super high subjects and some moderately high ones....

    My DS9 has current WISC-IV scores that are close or identical to those of your DD, particularly in VCI, PRI, and high GAI. It may appear superficially that he is well-rounded academically, with all subjects at the same very high level, but in reality he shows about a 1-4 grade spread as compared to our state curriculum guidelines -- everything in the GT range, but oh, what a range!

    With your schools so closely proximated, is it possible your daughter could "float" back to her age-mates during lunch, for instance, or homeroom perhaps? Or for certain subjects, even if she simply worked independently some of that time, just surrounded by age-mates? It would depend on the set-up and scheduling at both schools, but you might want to check this out. Or once she's settled in the higher grade, this all might become a non-issue.

    My ideal program for my DS would be to have him in about 3 different grades, 2-3 different schools. I had wanted him at middle school for the morning, with a return to elementary for lunch/recess and afternoons/specials with his age-mates. Best of both worlds. However, a rotating schedule at the middle school foiled our plans.

    Thus, we are in the same boat as you, with similar scores, and only three choices that I can tell: a) binary choice between middle school and elementary, b) school-within-a-school (a completely differentiated program housed with his age-mates), or c) homeschooling.

    Your DD sounds like the type who will thrive no matter where she is planted :-) And with the schools on your side, I'm just sure everything will work out great for her.

    My best to you!

    #44924 - 04/17/09 07:46 AM Re: Acceleration to middle school from elementary scho [Re: Advocate]
    marieg Offline

    Registered: 04/16/09
    Posts: 112
    Hi Advocate

    I did mention at our meeting yesterday that DD would prefer to have a homeroom in 5th grade and go out for some subjects. That didn't get received too well. I think they really want an all or nothing approach to this. There may also be political issues at play--our elementary school is one of 5 in the district. There are two middle schools. Of the 5 elementary schools, only two were built attached to a middle school. That means potentially gifted kids in the other three elementary schools do not have the ability to float back and forth. There is no bus to move one or two kids around. Therefore offering that to my child makes it unfair to other children. I know this sounds wonky but the district is highly sensitive to have any one school being perceived as better than the other (don't get me started on that one!).

    There was some comment made by the middle school principal that some 5th grade classes will be housed on the middle school side next year (we're closing one elementary school in the district and consolidating kids). This is not finalized and the elementary school principal commented aloud "we have to talk about that still." This would be optimal since she would see the other 5th graders, but in reality it won't be the same as being with them all day.

    Last night I talked to her about this and she seemed very sad. She said she was really stuck between a rock and a hard place. She wants to have more challenging work but at the same time recognizes the complexity of all of this (what happens to orchestra, for example. She's in 4th grade now, she skips 5th grade and then shows up for 6th grade orchestra a year behind? Can this be "caught up" with lessons? I don't know). And then there is after school. She goes to a program now with kids K-5th that are bussed from the school to a nearby church. In middle school I hear there is a teen club run by the YMCA (not confirmed). I'm not sure I like that, nor the option of her coming home alone three days a week when I'm at work. The elementary school let's out at 3pm and the middle at 2:10pm!

    The whole thing is stressing us out.

    The other option is to keep her completely in 5th grade. They seem now less interested in pulling her out next year for 7th grade reading because it messes them all up when she gets to middle school (what will she do, they say. We can't take her to the high school and it won't work out etc etc.)

    We reconvene in two weeks so hopefully there will be some more options presented.

    #44930 - 04/17/09 08:00 AM Re: Acceleration to middle school from elementary scho [Re: marieg]
    Dazed&Confuzed Offline

    Registered: 04/05/08
    Posts: 1815
    oh it's all so complicated! Perhaps if she skips up, she'll be so happy being challenged, the other things will have less importance to her. WHat a tough place to be in.

    #44963 - 04/17/09 11:04 AM Re: Acceleration to middle school from elementary scho [Re: Dottie]
    marieg Offline

    Registered: 04/16/09
    Posts: 112
    I've spent all morning reading a number of academic papers supporting the acceleration of gifted students and showing, based on primary and secondary research, the positive affects socio-emotionally on gifted students.

    This one is so moving to me it had me in tears:

    #44967 - 04/17/09 11:20 AM Re: Acceleration to middle school from elementary scho [Re: marieg]
    BWBShari Offline

    Registered: 10/24/08
    Posts: 1167
    Loc: NM
    Is there no way she could go to the after school program with the younger kids. That would be ideal because she'd be given the opportunity to spend some time with her friends. I agree with Dottie in that you have to weigh the importance of orchestra and other extra curricular activities. How serious is your daughter about music? Can she take private lessons over the summer to gain ground? These are all things to consider. I'm going through the same mess myself so I can commiserate!
    Mom to DS 10, DS 11, DS 13
    Ability doesn't make us, Choices do!

    #44968 - 04/17/09 11:23 AM Re: Acceleration to middle school from elementary scho [Re: marieg]
    elizabethmom Offline

    Registered: 04/13/09
    Posts: 146
    Loc: East Coast
    My, our DDs are so similar in scores. Mine is 9, in 3rd. We have been doing the GLL classes (gifted links through Northwestern) and also a one day a week pull out program through the county. Otherwise, she stayed with her grade. I have to say that I admire your questions and your thoughts about skipping a whole grade, I wish I had had better advice and such a supportive team, we might have done/will do the same. You are obviously caught in a real bind over this, and I'll be watching to see how it goes! Please keep us updated. cool

    #44972 - 04/17/09 11:45 AM Re: Acceleration to middle school from elementary scho [Re: elizabethmom]
    elizabeth4 Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 03/31/09
    Posts: 47
    I still feel pretty new here and hesitate to offer my two cents but here goes anyhow--

    Marieg, I think if I were in your shoes I would advance my daughter. She seems like she's open and supportive of the idea from what you said. I think the music issue can be worked out (with private lessons, etc.).

    She is obviously very gifted and will no doubt handle the academic shift (it might still not be enough over time). And she will make friends in her new grade. You can help her to sustain her current friendships outside of the classroom.

    You have obviously given this great thought. I too have done lots of reading on acceleration (our school district has no gifted program so it is really the only alternative besides homeschool for my DS--we are HSing BTW) and all it has done is strengthened my belief that when done thoughtfully, acceleration is a good thing. Trust your gut. The details will work themselves out.

    Good luck. I feel for you smile.

    #44975 - 04/17/09 12:28 PM Re: Acceleration to middle school from elementary scho [Re: IronMom]
    Austin Offline

    Registered: 06/25/08
    Posts: 1840
    Loc: North Texas

    Sounds like you have a great school.

    My acceleration from 4th into 6th was my 2d acceleration. I started out in 6th for reading and then math and then just went into 6th after the break. It was the smoothest of all my accelerations. Even then I was bored and was often left to read on my own in all periods once I had done my work in about the first 10 minutes of each period.

    Something to keep in mind - I would assume from your DD scores, that her situation is close to mine in that she will still not be deeply challenged with a +1 jump. It was not until I jumped 3 grades ( 7th to 10th ) when I was a bit older that I really got traction. So, you may be looking at another jump in the future.

    She is probably equally gifted at math, but has not had the depth of exposure that she has on the verbal side. I did not receive much in the way of math until my 4th grade year and just leapt forward once it was presented to me - and then coupled with the jump, I found it interesting and dove right in. The teacher gave me extra stuff to work on and then books to read. Something to consider.

    As for friends, I was athletic and made friends easily during pickup games during lunch, so that may not be representative of your DD situation. Sports kept me anchored to both my age and class peers though I shared little else in common. ( During my jump from 7th to 10th, I did athletics at the jr high, then went over to the HS for class. )

    The hardest part at the beginning was getting used to the new routine and the size difference. But, once the first skip occurs, the next ones are easier to adjust to. I never suffered any issues from older classmates when I skipped.


    I just wanted to add that once I got my first taste of older company, I lost a lot of interest in being with my age peers socially and wanted to be with kids 2-5 years older than I was or even adults. I joined local astronomy, computing, and reading clubs and was planning my day trips and activities without my parents being directly involved other than letting them know where I was going. I am glad my mom did not think I had to have age-peers.

    Edited by Austin (04/17/09 12:35 PM)

    #44983 - 04/17/09 02:26 PM Re: Acceleration to middle school from elementary scho [Re: BWBShari]
    marieg Offline

    Registered: 04/16/09
    Posts: 112
    Originally Posted By: BWBShari
    Is there no way she could go to the after school program with the younger kids. That would be ideal because she'd be given the opportunity to spend some time with her friends.

    The current elementary school after school program doesn't have her friends in it (they all go home every day and I work three days a week in the office). I think the issue is where she would go the 50 minutes between middle school dismissal and elementary school dismissal. I believe there are after school programs for the middle school (they were mentioning them to me yesterday). It is all pretty new and I don't have all the info yet. I am just leary of sending her to a "teen program" with 12-14 year olds.

    My son was accelerated mid year from 1st to 2nd and it worked out fine. But he is completely the most outgoing and social kid there is. He adjusted in 30 seconds. But it seems a bigger deal once they get older. And DD is tiny---10% percentile in hieght (we call her fun sized). I half jokingly told her she should try out for cheerleading in middle school because she'd always be at the top of the pyramid. She looked straight at me and said in her serious voice: "you recall I'm afraid of heights."

    Ah well.

    #44986 - 04/17/09 03:46 PM Re: Acceleration to middle school from elementary scho [Re: marieg]
    cym Offline

    Registered: 05/01/06
    Posts: 865
    Loc: southwest

    I'll offer my opinion...girls are so often overlooked with acceleration, or even identification. You daughter is clearly very very gifted. Clearly able to do advanced work (99% on EXPLORE--an 8th grade normed test). She needs acceleration, and like Austin said, probably more than just one year. People (me included) seem to try to simulate a "normal" experience for these very bright kids...which is not appropriate because they are not "normal". If she's at all willing to do it, I would ask her to try it.

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