Hoover High School

December 2012 Gifted Newsletter

It's hard to believe that second semester is approaching! After winter break, your student will be enrolling in new courses and possibly meeting new teachers. I'm reprinting the "Tips for Parents of the Gifted" as a reminder to how you can help advocate for the needs of your student. Together we can work together to help your child be successful inside and outside of the classroom!!

Tips for Parents of the Gifted

  1. Be firm, but be kind. Stand up for your child without putting the teacher or the administration on the defensive. This is not you vs. them. This is simply a matter of you securing the best education possible for your child.
  2. Be educated and informed. If you want the school to do more for your child, be prepared to tell them exactly what programs and opportunities will be of the most benefit, and be prepared to explain why. You must be able to support your position.
  3. Remember that poor grades are not necessarily the teacher’s fault. While it’s true that some students underachieve because they are bored in class or because they haven’t been challenged enough, it’s also true that some gifted students will receive poor grades when they enter a classroom that finally does challenge their abilities.
  4. Band together with other parents of gifted children to form a support group. This group will not only be able to provide emotional support and encouragement, but it will strengthen your ability to ensure adequate educational opportunities for your children.
  5. Be willing to make sacrifices of your time and energy to help out at the school or to supplement your child’s education. You can’t expect the teachers to do everything. This is your responsibility as well. Oftentimes, gifted programs are understaffed and under-funded. Volunteers are needed. This also demonstrates to the school the value you place on the gifted programs.
  6. Do not be afraid to stand alone. Your child may often feel as though he is standing alone, and he will need your example.
  7. Remember that you are the person ultimately responsible for the well-being and education of your child. Nobody else can advocate for your child like you can. You are your child’s champion.

“Working with Schools to Meet the Needs of Gifted Students,” © 2006 Karen L. J. Isaacson

Summer Programs: Benefits

Summer programs provide additional educational opportunities for students outside of school. According to Olszewski-Kubilius, there are several identified benefits for enrolling students in special programs:

  • Increased social support for learning and achievement due to grouping with gifted students and support from teachers and counselors
  • Positive feelings resulting from a match between the students' intellectual abilities and the rigor of the course
  • Development of study and living skills
  • Increased knowledge about university programs and college life
  • Raised expectations and aspirations for educational achievement
  • Increased risk taking
  • Greater acceptance of others, knowledge of different cultures, and an enhanced world view
  • Increased awareness of a student's abilities due to testing and program evaluations

Olszewski-Kubilius, P. (2003). Special summer and saturday programs for gifted students. In N. Colangelo & G.A. Davis (Eds.), Handbook of Gifted Education (2nd ed, pp 219-228) Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Summer Programs: Concerns

Although there are many benefits, there are also a few concerns or issues regarding enrollment in special summer programs. Possible solutions are included below.

  • There is often a disconnect between the summer program and the student's in-school course of study. Prior to enrolling your student in the course, check with the guidance counselor to see how it will fit in your student's future course of study. It may not be beneficial to enroll your student in the course if they'll have to retake it next year.
  • Access to special programs is another challenge many students face. If affordability is an issue, check into scholarships or grants that may help cover the cost. If transportation is an issue, contact the program to see if any other students from your area are attending.
  • Program types is another concern associated with special programs. Programs vary in their style, approach, content, and purpose. Get informed on what your student's program offers to ensure it matches the academic abilities and interests of your student.

Olszewski-Kubilius, P. (2003). Special summer and saturday programs for gifted students. In N. Colangelo & G.A. Davis (Eds.), Handbook of Gifted Education (2nd ed, pp 219-228) Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Summer Programs: The Belin-Blank Center

Registration dates are approaching!

Blank Summer Institute

-grades 7 & 8

-June 23-28, 2013

Junior Scholars Institute

-grades 6-8

-June 16-21, 2013

National Scholars Institute

-grades 9-11

-July 7-12 & 14-19, 2013

Secondary Student Training Program

-grades 9-11

-June 16-July 26, 2013


Hoover Mission

In a safe, caring atmosphere of teaching and learning, Hoover will provide each student with opportunities to develop exemplary character and achieve personal excellence through a rigorous and relevant curriculum.