Monday, August 26, 2019

One thing that I really like about Smarty's school is its flexibility. Students can try many subjects regardless of their official grade - as long as there is space. This year, at least half of the kids who were with Smarty in middle school last year are taking chemistry and US history, and some are also taking British literature. The school has a new kid this year who is a Davidson Young Scholar (an organization supporting profoundly gifted kids in the US). He is 11, but he is taking Precalculus online and chemistry while still staying in middle school for PE and English. Younger students are considered to be auditing classes, and they need to get at least a B for a class to count towards their graduation credit once they officially cross over to the high school.
It's really the best of both worlds for many gifted students coming to this school. They can be challenged academically and still hang out with other kids their own age. I wish a similar model existed for bigger schools - after all, every year only so many classes can be available in Smarty's tiny school. It still makes me wonder what happens a couple of years down the road when she (and other "gifties") exhaust available science and math offerings. I definitely see Smarty taking some classes in the community college before she graduates. In the meantime, I am really grateful for this flexibility and I am encouraged to see more local families discovering this hidden gem in the heart of Silicon Valley.

2 comments:

Joyful Learner said...

Larger middle public schools do accommodate accelerated kids if there is a nearby high school or college nearby. There is also middle college option. I noticed even kids in gifted private schools switching to public high schools when they are of age. I know there are a handful of really bright students in K’s middle school. They do projects outside of school with the free time they have.

Ticia said...

A friend of mine in Oklahoma's daughter went to the local high school for some classes when she was in junior high. It was pretty cool, but it was limited on what she could do in the classes, and it was very high stress for her.