Gifted and looking for a school in Bay area

Posted by: LuckyMama

Gifted and looking for a school in Bay area - 12/09/19 01:49 PM

Hi families, My 7 year old DS tested with high scores in WPPSI when he was 5 and has been in a private school on Main Line in PA. The school does not cater specifically to his issues and I'm noticing that he sometime loses interest in the subjects. His teacher talks about his lack of attention, etc. but also admits that he is ahead and that may be why his gets distracted with other things. He is gradually falling from 'exceeds expectation' to 'proficient' in his report cards. He is showing less interest in many areas that used to excel in - for example, he scored a national rank in Kangaroo math last year but lately he does not appear interested. This is a concern that has been running for a while in my head. I feel this may be a result of the school environment and a more stimulating place would do a better job.

Now may family is moving to the bay area - South bay. We hope to live near Mountain view or further to the south and my options are limited. I see that the Harker school is often discussed in the context of 'gifted' but I do not see anything on their website about it. Would love to hear people's insights on why they think it is a good fit for gifted kids and how they tailor their teaching methods for such kids.
Posted by: Portia

Re: Gifted and looking for a school in Bay area - 12/13/19 06:46 PM

Sorry, I do not have any regional advice for you. Hopefully some others will chime in shortly. Is homeschooling an option for you?
Posted by: Kelly55

Re: Gifted and looking for a school in Bay area - 12/14/19 12:57 PM

I don't have experience sending a child to school in the South Bay, but I have heard of two gifted schools in the area: Nueva and Helios, that might be worth it to look into.
Posted by: LuckyMama

Re: Gifted and looking for a school in Bay area - 12/14/19 06:10 PM

Thanks Portia, for your response. No, homeschooling is not an option for us.
Posted by: jolip

Re: Gifted and looking for a school in Bay area - 12/14/19 06:45 PM

In South Bay you have a few options but you need to apply now because most schools have application deadlines in early January and it is extremely competitive to get a spot. You might want to look into Helios and maybe Synapse. Nueva is a good option but maybe too far? Some public schools might also have gifted programs, but as far as I know, that varies from district to district.
Posted by: MBenedetti

Re: Gifted and looking for a school in Bay area - 12/15/19 09:56 PM

Hi there! We're looking too! I can't say exactly how accurate this is but this is feedback I've received: Helios is a great school but maybe not quite set up for 2E. (We did actually go to this school and it did seem like a very good school. However, it seemed like it was more geared for kids who are strong in math as that was the only really differentiated curriculum. The Language Arts component did not seem to be very different than other schools we've seen.) Synapes: I've been told by some it's a great school for gifted kids and have been told by others that it's not really a school for gifted kids and that they don't require any IQ tests for admissions. Nueva I have been told is a great school and by some that they focus more on kids who are "well rounded" in the 130 range, not particularly great for 2E kids. We also looked at Bowman in Palo Alto. There's also Athena that we are looking at for our PG2E son. I've heard Harker in San Jose is a great school but that wouldn't be a great fit for our son. He's more of an "absorb and learn" type of person and there's not a lot of output yet!!
Posted by: MBenedetti

Re: Gifted and looking for a school in Bay area - 12/15/19 09:58 PM

Oh sorry. I don't know why I thought you said your son was 2E. I was just on a 2E FB site and I think I was just in that mode =) If your son is gifted but not 2E I have also heard the Crystal Springs is a very academically rigorous school and kids I know who have gone there really liked it!
Posted by: yp44

Re: Gifted and looking for a school in Bay area - 12/21/19 09:06 AM

You can find some school listings here:

https://cagifted.org/regional-representatives-bayarea/
Posted by: LuckyMama

Re: Gifted and looking for a school in Bay area - 12/24/19 03:36 PM

Unfortunately homeschooling is not an option for me.
Posted by: Dannadrew

Re: Gifted and looking for a school in Bay area - 12/25/19 10:32 PM

Hi there and a pending welcome to the Bay Area! It depends what you are looking for. Kids here are really advanced and thereís tremendous pressure to achieve young in schools. I would recommend living wisdom school in Palo Alto. They do differentiate and as long as your son isnít performing 4+ years or so ahead- they will bump him up for math and possibly writing a year or two.
Additionally if you have time take a look at http://www.twicegifted.org it is a science lab org that also gives other classes geared for gifted kids and 2e. They currently operate on homeschool hours but are expanding. Sign up for the email- thereís a lot of resources there on the site about doctors neuropsychs etc.

Good luck!
Posted by: LuckyMama

Re: Gifted and looking for a school in Bay area - 01/01/20 11:13 PM

Thanks Dannadrew. I will look up the options you have suggested.
Posted by: LuckyMama

Re: Gifted and looking for a school in Bay area - 01/01/20 11:38 PM

MBenedetti, Thanks for your insights. Will visit schools this week and make a decision next week!
Posted by: JAM77

Re: Gifted and looking for a school in Bay area - 02/23/20 03:42 PM

I have a child at Helios and can share a few insights. Literature circles are grouped by ability (likely based on MAP scores / Lexile levels) within the 2 year mixed grade bands. There are usually a couple different level books selected for these groups that fit with the project theme for the semester (loosely). Unlike math (children can span several grade bands based solely on ability), i think it would be difficult for a young gifted child to read content appropriate for an older gifted child. To your point, in elementary, I thought the book choices were on par with other high performing grade level schools. However, the small discussion groups themselves seem to go deeper in terms of discussion content and how it relates to the project theme. In 5th / 6th books have been in the Lexile range over 1000 plus, with challenging content to process.
Posted by: slmw

Re: Gifted and looking for a school in Bay area - 06/17/20 04:42 PM

Is there any public school in the Bay Area that handles gifted kids well without just some 'trivial' pull-out program? In particular, one that allows grade skipping or subject acceleration?