SCHOOL CHOICE: CRITERIA TO CONSIDER
The following criteria determine whether a school is a good choice for gifted children. They should be taken into account for each individual student:
- Does the school have a positive attitude towards gifted students?
- How much and what kind of experience does the school have with giftedness?
- Is there a person who is responsible and available for the family and the student for communication and coordination?
- Does the school offer a regular exchange between parents and school staff?
- What is the quality of (extracurricular) supporting offers/ activities?
- Do they have quantitative as well as qualitative aspects?
- Do they facilitate the acquisition of organization and structuring skills?
- Do they cover subject-related as well as social areas?
- Are they offered in class or as an extracurricular activity?
- Do they provide networking opportunities for students and parents?
- Do they correspond to the student’s interests?
- Is it actually a support of giftedness, or rather high performance?
(cf. Giftedness vs. High Performance and Supporting Giftedness)
- Are there networking opportunities for gifted students?
- How extensive is the school’s network and who are they connected to?
- How does the school view the importance of social skills and how are these supported?
Even schools and boarding schools that are explicitly for gifted students should be judged by these criteria.
Some alternatives would be schools with distinct gifted classes, fast classes, multilingual schools and, as a last resort, private education.
I recommend against relying on websites and marketing material when choosing your school. Rather, seek personal contact with the school and find out about the criteria that are particularly important to you (cf. conflicts with the education system).
© Frauke Niehues