Frequently Asked Questions
Why are there special classes for gifted students?
You've probably heard about special education programs for students with learning disabilities, second-language learners, etc. Like all learners, students that are gifted need to have their educational needs met appropriately. Arizona State Law requires that special services be provided for students scoring at or above the 97th percentile on a state approved test. The goal of education is to help every child make educational gains, and gifted children need to be challenged in order for this to happen.
Why does Chandler use a Self-Contained model for servicing gifted students?
While there are many different ways to meet the needs of gifted learners, having an all day, all-academic-areas program is the chosen method for Chandler's intermediate gifted students. Gifted students in a self-contained classroom spend their entire academic instruction time with other students who are their academic peers, providing them with an environment that allows them to excel. There is opportunity for continuous contact with both age and ability peers, and the exposure to a curriculum that challenges students in every area. Being among intellectual peers, students are stimulated to demonstrate how much they know instead of hiding their talents in order to be accepted as part of the norm. In a gifted classroom heightened curiosity, intellectual pursuit, and unique thinking become the norm.
What if my child only qualified in one of the three areas?
Although all of the students in a self-contained gifted classroom have been identified as gifted, the makeup of the class is a heterogeneous one. Each student in a self-contained gifted class has scored at or above the 97th percentile on an abilities (not achievement) test in at least one of the three areas - quantitative, verbal, or spatial. Some students may have qualified in one area, while others may have qualified in all three areas. The makeup of the gifted class therefore, is usually a highly diverse group. Because the test is one that measures the child's thinking abilities, and not necessarily school achievement, grade level skills are still taught, but the emphasis for all of the students is on the higher-level thinking skills and problem-solving integrated within the content areas. The teacher has the opportunity to use the strengths and gifts of the students to build on the areas that are not as strong.