Will my child develop an elitist attitude being labeled gifted or attending an all-gifted school?

For the vast majority of gifted students, the short answer is no. This is probably the most common question we hear when discussing accommodations for gifted students, and something we’ve put a lot of thought into as we designed our school.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of giving a student a label?  This is an extraordinarily complex question with profound implications. How will a label of “gifted” impact the life of a student in both positive and negative ways? At the most basic level, appropriately diagnosed labels give us a way to communicate about a certain set of characteristics and provide optimal support. In our case, you are probably reading through this website because you have a “gifted” child. How would you have found this website if the label “gifted” didn’t exist? Our teachers have advanced training specifically to serve gifted learners. Because of decades of research, we have a general idea of what has worked well for other students who have been labeled as gifted, and that gives us a really solid starting point to begin providing the best possible education to your child.

Humans are social creatures, and we are all wired with a desire to fit in, even the introverts. Gifted children in particular are highly sensitive to the fact that they are different, and that often leads to anxiety, isolation, and other issues. They already know they are different, so identifying them as gifted gives us a starting point for healthy conversation.

Elitism among gifted students is often a response to the insecurity of being different. Students who come to gifted schools understand what it means to be an outlier. Because of this, our students are very tolerant of the differences among their classmates, and this is a starting point to learn how to respect and appreciate all human beings. Our students sincerely appreciate a place where they can feel normal and enjoy an appropriately rigorous learning experience.

Resources related to this question:
Is Gifted Education Elitist?
Labeling and Disadvantages of Labeling

Does the Apogee School serve twice-exceptional gifted students?

Much of the teaching staff is certified and licensed at the Master’s level specifically to serve the unique needs of gifted learners. Additionally, all staff regularly participate in professional development to refine their teaching skills. We are equipped to work with mild twice-exceptional issues such as dyslexia, anxiety, high functioning autism/Aspergers, ADHD, sensory integration, and others. If a student can keep up with academic demands and they integrate well into our community, then they are very likely a good fit.

While we do our best to serve as many students as we possibly can, there is the reality is that some students have more needs than we have the ability to serve. We take this on a case-by-case basis.  We have a network of excellent psychologists and counselors who specialize in gifted learners, so it’s very likely that we can work together to give your child the best possible support.  If our school isn’t a good fit for your child, we know several other excellent schools in our community that we can connect you with.

Resources related to this question:
Hoagie’s Gifted: Twice Exceptional
2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter

Does the Apogee School serve highly/profoundly gifted students?

Yes. Although extremely rare, our teaching staff does have experience working with gifted students with IQ’s of 160 and higher. We also have many resources and supports that you will find extremely helpful. If your child is highly/profoundly gifted, please come talk to us. We will keep everything confidential.

If a student is admitted to our school, they are treated with equity and accepted as they are. We don’t believe it’s wise for a child to know their own IQ score. If you’re a member of our community, you’re a member of our community. We’re all gifted, so we celebrate the results of hard work and are unconditionally supportive of each other.

Resources related to this question:
Hoagie’s Gifted: Exceptionally and Profoundly Gifted Students: An Underserved Population

How do I choose a gifted school for my child?

Gifted education has come a long way since the 1970’s. We now have a lot of research and experience to build a better gifted program, but that doesn’t guarantee that a program will be an ideal fit for a particular child.

Follow your instincts.  You know your child better than anyone.  Ask yourself if you think your child would learn well and be happy at a particular school. If the answer is “yes,” then you should consider sending your child to that school.

Resources related to this question:
7 Things to Know About Sending Your Kid to a Gifted and Talented School
Hoagie’s Gifted: Gifted 101

What else can I do as a parent?

The biggest advocate for any child is their parents. You know your child better than anyone else on the planet. If you suspect that your child is gifted, you should learn all you can learn about the subject so you can be an “expert” on your child. We highly recommend reading as much as you can from the Hoagies’ Gifted Education website. Start with their Gifted 101 section and go from there. Knowledge will empower you to advocate for your child.

Resources related to this question:
Is Your Child Gifted? What to Look for and Why You Should Know..
Ten myths about gifted students and programs for gifted.
NAGC: Common Characteristics of Gifted Individuals

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