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    Joined: Dec 2013
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    We are getting priced out of our neighborhood. (Our rent just went up $1000 a month!!) We're going to stay here one more year, but then we are going to need to move, so in the next year we need to find a private school for our child so that she ultimately has school stability.

    Has anyone ever used a school consultant? When I google around, it looks like this service is primarily used by well-heeled people trying to get their kids into the most prestigious schools possible. We'd be looking to find the best fit, whatever that means.

    Any suggestions on questions to ask or how to go about finding the right person to help us find the right school?

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    We had our DS tested by one of the psychologists on the Hoagies list and we bought a session afterwards to discuss the results and get school recommendations.

    So I guess this was more or less a "school consultant" - one big benefit was that the psychologist was familiar with the needs of gifted kids.

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    Originally Posted by Questions202
    We'd be looking to find the best fit, whatever that means.

    Any suggestions on questions to ask or how to go about finding the right person to help us find the right school?
    Parents can be their children's best advocates, including finding the best "fit" (or least-worst option) for their child's education.

    The best fit may be different for each child. This post is a roundup of tips for finding a good fit (or the least-worst fit). The Davidson Database is a rich source of information on advocacy, including school selection:
    1) Basic educational options for gifted children http://www.davidsongifted.org/db/Articles_id_10270.aspx
    2) Choosing the right school for your gifted child http://www.davidsongifted.org/db/Articles_id_10511.aspx
    3) Finding a school that fits (2e emphasis, includes questions to consider asking of a potential education consultant) http://www.davidsongifted.org/db/Articles_id_10439.aspx
    4) Chapter 14 of the book A Parent's Guide to Gifted Children discusses Finding a Good Educational Fit. Included is a Table of Questions more important than "Is my child in a gifted program?" by Dr. Donald Treffinger. This is also online at Center for Creative Learning (CCL), titled “Dear School People”: http://www.creativelearning.com/index.php/talent-development/dear-school-people
    5) Homeschooling resources and support, such as that offered by Gifted Homeschooler's Forum ( GHF ).

    You may wish to become familiar with your State laws and the policies of any schooling options or learning environments you may wish to consider. Policies are usually found on school websites. Parents may often prepare lists of questions to compare each potential school. This may include questions about programs or services described on the school’s website, items mentioned during school tours, or observed by the child when shadowing.

    You may wish to create a list or spreadsheet to document the school selection criteria important to your family. This can provide useful for reflection and future decision making.

    Gifted children may learn and grow at a rate which quickly outpaces the curriculum, services, or other students in any given learning environment. Parents may need to re-visit placement decisions as the child's developmental, academic, intellectual, or social/emotional needs change. The best fit (or least worst fit) one year may not be same the next year... or even mid-year. A child's learning experience may be less influenced by "the school" per se, than by the specific teacher, and also the particular mix of students in his/her class. Therefore "school stability" may be a lesser priority than best-fit.

    Knowing your child well is a strong first step. This may include IQ and achievement testing, awareness of strengths and relative weaknesses, and also taking into account the child's current interests. Karen Roger's book, Reforming Gifted Education and gifted education planner may be of interest.


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