Evaluate Your School's Gifted and Talented Program
"Good schools will be supportive of all students' needs and provide adequate staff and procedures to embrace the distinct learning environments and special needs of the gifted child. Students should not be expected to totally conform to the teaching style of teachers, rather, teachers should also learn to conform to the learning style of students." Great schools will reach beyond that which is required and inspire students to reach beyond expectations." Brenda Martin, NEKAGE President.
The more of these criteria a school meets, the better it will be for your child.
'Here are some guidelines to help you to evaluate schools in addition to various test scores.
Make a judgment about the overall quality of the school. You don't need to go strictly by the numbers you rate the school in each category, and you can also consider other factors, such as the level of student achievement and the physical condition of the school. Select a rating that reflects your bottom-line evaluation of how the school is meeting the needs of your child and how it is serving the community.
Great principals, those who merit a rating of 5, create and maintain a culture of achievement and support throughout the school. They establish high expectations for academics and behavior, and do everything possible to attract, develop and support high-quality teachers. Great principals ensure that teachers have specific plans for student learning and ways to assess student progress. They have the courage and stamina to set ambitious goals for the school, and hold themselves and staff members accountable for showing progress toward these goals. In addition, they are accessible to parents and other members of the school community and respond to their concerns.Teacher quality
Consider the overall quality of the teaching staff, not just your own child's teachers. Good teachers establish high expectations for academics and behavior. They are well organized and have a clear plan for what students should be learning on a daily, monthly and yearly basis. They know their subject matter, and they use multiple teaching strategies to reach students who come to school with varying skills and interests. They give regular feedback to students and challenge them to achieve their personal best. At the same time, they go to great lengths to care for and support students personally. They communicate openly and clearly with parents and work well with their colleagues.Extracurricular activities
Consider the variety and quality of activities at the school. A highly rated school involves a large number of students in a variety of extracurricular activities, including sports, the arts, and intellectual and cultural interests. Teachers and coaches who supervise extracurricular programs pay attention to character development, as well as the level of performance and commitment to the activity. Scholarships are available for activities that require a fee.Parent involvement
Evaluate the quantity and quality of parent involvement. In a highly rated school, parents play important leadership roles on the school site council, PTA and in other organizations. A school with strong parent involvement attracts a large percentage of parents to school functions. The school offers a variety of opportunities for parent participation, such as school events, classroom projects and schoolwide committees. Parents are respectful of teachers and the principal, and the teachers and principal seek out and value input from parents.Safety and discipline
In a school that merits a 5, the staff and parents work together to create and maintain high expectations for student behavior. Discipline procedures are clear and are carried out consistently. Bullying, gang activities and oppressive behavior, such as sexism and racism, are not tolerated. Students feel safe when they are dropped off at school, the campus is tidy, the restrooms and cafeteria are kept clean. The playground equipment meets safety codes, and recesses are well supervised. Schools that pay attention to safety do not provide easy access to strangers.
(Excerpt from Greatschools.com.