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Re: Gifted Children in JC Public Schools?
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Jersey City Public Schools has an accelerated program (Acceleration & Enrichment Program) for 6-8 grade at 2 sites (Academy I & MS 4). Applications are now available at all public schools or by contacting the AEP Supervisor, Elizabeth Iannetelli @ eiannetelli@jcboe.org, or 201-369-3720. See ad in today's JJ for more details. Applications are due 2/23 and students must also take an entrance test on March 8.

Posted on: 2008/2/17 22:47
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Re: Gifted Children in JC Public Schools?
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I think an important question is "how gifted?" and what does the kid enjoy doing?

If just bright in a normal way: I'll bet the Learning Community is the best bet. I think it's a lot easier for older kids to get in than kindergarteners, so it's worth applying as a transfer student.

If the kid is truly exceptional -- e.g., using Schaum's outlines to teach himself trigonometry or teaching himself Latin -- then maybe it would be possible to get exceptional student support from the regular public schools the same way you would with a child with a severe handicap. Maybe, for example, the parents could make the school district hire math tutors for the child from Rutgers, send the child to special classes at Rutgers, or pay to send the child to the Hunter school for gifted children in Manhattan.

Also: I think one important point is that "enrichment programs" for a truly gifted, self-directed child who reads a lot are pretty useless. Given a chance, bright children with library cards will enrich themselves and learn all sorts of great things.

What gifted children really truly need is programs that will teach them math and foreign languages as quickly as possible. No matter how gifted in math children are, or how gifted in languages, their brains tend to lose some of its ability to learn those topics, or at least concentrate on them, as they grow up. And, even if the brain is working as well as it can, super bright kids might prefer to go to the MIT or Cal Tech and go party or write for the paper or work in a research lab rather than hole up learning math or Latin declensions.

So, I think one key question to ask of a gifted program is, "Are you actually going to teach my kid math and languages quickly, or are you going to mickey mouse around with enrichment?"

I think schools tend to say "enrichment" because the teachers don't actually know enough math, Latin or Greek to teach kids an accelerated math program. I think the solution is to use Schaum's outlines or other good, clear self-study textbooks, and to bring in tutors in person or through the Internet to fill in the gaps.

Posted on: 2008/2/16 22:08
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Re: Gifted Children in JC Public Schools?
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Having grown up in town, I can defintely say that there is a gifted program in the city. They are in all the grade schools, and have been since about 1978. I was in one of the pilot classes when I was in the 5th grade, and stayed in them till graduation. They tend to do accellerated work in all subjects, and also independent projects. In the first few years they also did a lot of field trips and would also select students to go to science challenges and other such events.

They also have a higher tier accellerated program in which the brightest kids in the gifted programs are given the opportunity to take the equivalent of advanced high school classes. This program is in one school, and students are selected from gifted classes city-wide. It also has its own dedicated teaching staff. When i was in it, it was the AEP (Acceleration and Enrichment Program). Aside from the quality of coursework, and teachers who strove to challenge their students, it was also very diverse.

Posted on: 2008/2/16 17:22
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Gifted Children in JC Public Schools?
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I know a local family who currently home schools their first grader. He is advanced for his age in math and reading skills. They are considering enrolling him in a JC public school. Is there a local gifted and talented program for advanced second graders? They heard that because JC is an Abbott district, the gifted programs don't start until the fourth grade. They are concerned that their son will flounder if he's not challenged in an academically appropriate environment.

Does anyone have experience with a "gifted" child in the public school system in Jersey City (other than in LCCC which is impossible to get into)?

Thanks for your input.

Posted on: 2008/2/16 0:34
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