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    #236223 01/31/17 07:54 AM
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    slnews2 Offline OP
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    Our family is relocating to Kansas City this summer. I am researching public schools (elementary, middle, and high schools), gifted policies/programs, and funding. Can anyone provide insight into living in Kansas (Blue Valley or Shawnee Mission schools) vs. Missouri (Lee's Summit). I am concerned about funding cuts in both states and their effects on the future gifted education. Any comments on specific schools are appreciated. We are focused on public schools right now. Thank you

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    Hello, My family is also looking at relocating to Kansas City this summer. I grew up in the area, but haven't lived there in over a decade. I've been researching the schools for a couple of months and I've been able to learn a little bit about gifted education in the region. On the Kansas side, generally the neighborhoods have more money so the public schools are better than average. There is no public gifted school. I think they focus on in class subject acceleration, and maybe a pull out program in certain districts. We've been focusing on the Missouri side, mainly because I have family on that side of the city. KCMO participates in the PEGS program, which is a public school option for profoundly gifted children. The program is very selective and you have to live in one of the 3 districts on the south side on the city to guarantee admission, or your home school district has to agree to cover the cost of your child's enrollment out of district. Otherwise, the public schools downtown are not very great and involves a mixture of charter schools, with some being better than others. On the Missouri side, the better public schools are located in the northern suburbs - with some good schools in the North Kansas City Public Schools district. Liberty is also known for having good schools. These districts also have a pull out program, but not a focused gifted school. Our son is still a preschooler, so I think we're going to try out one of the highly rated north land school districts and see how he does there. He may do great and not need additional services, but he tends to cause trouble when he gets bored and I'm worried he'll be bored to death in a standard classroom where the kids are learning material he's known for years. His Dad, Grandpa, and cousins are also gifted and there is a family history of getting into trouble in school because of the lack of challenge. We'll just have to see how things go. I was hoping we might end up in St. Louis instead, which has a gifted magnet school where his cousins attend, but that didn't work out. Good luck finding a school that works for you! Unfortunately Kansas City isn't really the best place for gifted education, and with the new ultra conservative governor slashing the education budget, it's likely we will see further cuts to gifted services.

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    Keep in mind that in Kansas, gifted education is mandated by state law. Gifted students are included in special education and get a real IEP. State law also specifically allows for acceleration (although many districts will still fight you about it).

    In Missouri, there is no requirement for any sort of gifted education and the decision to provide anything at all is left entirely up to the individual districts.

    Of course, there are some good districts for gifted education in Missouri and some not-so-great ones in Kansas. And Kansas is definitely having difficulty with education funding lately, but it is good to be aware of the current laws.

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    I grew up in KC 6th-12th grade and went to the Blue Valley school district. It's a top-notch, fantastic district with high-end classes and extracurricular activities.

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    slnews2 Offline OP
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    Thank you. Yes, I have reviewed the laws of both Kansas and Missouri. The Kansas laws seem more supportive and protective of gifted children. We are leaning toward settling in Kansas because of these laws. However, I am concerned that with Kansas' financial situation, these protections and support may be cut. What are the odds? Will local school districts continue to support their gifted students? We are looking at Blue Valley district which seems to be a generally strong district and Shawnee Mission mainly because it offers an IB program. Any information on specific schools within these two districts, IB vs AP, and thoughts on the stability of gifted education in KS and the districts is appreciated.


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