Classes for gifted students

By From page A6 | March 06, 2013

I was saddened to see the school board’s conclusion to the discussion of GATE classes in Davis.

Some students must have a differentiated curriculum due to being “severely intellectually gifted.” In years past, these students fell under the responsibility of the Office for Handicapped Students as their needs often are a handicap in the standard classroom.
Often, they are not successful in school due to their special needs.

When a teacher has more than 30 students, all of whom have different needs, it may be too much to expect that even the best teacher can cope with the needs of these children when faced with the testing requirements, etc.

As a teacher at Davis High School (I taught “programming” — computer science and other computer classes), I saw many of these students. Some began as “special” students with me while in junior high. While truly brilliant in logic and problem-solving, a number of them did not graduate and others barely graduated. Those who had had their needs met in classes at an appropriate level generally were much more successful. A lottery does not assist in the effort to provide these students with the resources they need.

Although there seems to be some concern about lawsuits due to the way the district currently manages the program, all parents have the right to require an appropriate education for their students — and that includes all “special needs” students, including these.

Jan Meizel

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