SCPS Gifted Education

Thoughts lead to Voice...

Welcome !

Dear Parents, Welcome to the 2020-2021 school year!

As we enter the school year, many of our gifted and talented students struggle with the new school environment and learning virtually. However, this is an opportunity for gifted students to learn coping strategies when facing new or challenging settings.

To support gifted and talented students' families, we would like to share with you three articles from Davidson Institute's gifted web page.

In the first article, "Tips for Parents: Anxiety, Sensitivity, and Social Struggle among Profoundly Gifted Students," Dr. Foley Nicpay offers strategies to help your child deal with social-emotional needs.

  1. How to recognize the benefits of professional help.

  2. How to accept that sensitivities may be out of your child's control.

  3. How to praise children when they take educational risks.

  4. How to model "letting go" and facing fears.

The second article, “Tips for Parents: Coping with Fear”, by Dr. Marueen Neihart provides ways for parents to support their children in coping with fear.

In “Tips for Parents: Managing Frustration and Difficult Feelings in Gifted Children,” Dr. Dale Stewart also provides support with guiding gifted students on how to deal with difficult feelings. Specifically, he looks at three ways for parents to support their gifted children.

  1. Building children's capabilities to observe themselves while experiencing complicated feelings.

  2. Form a story or narrative about the children's experience(s) of a feeling or situation.

  3. How to make conscious choices about their behavior and how to express their feelings.

This year has been a year like no other, many times triggering new fears. We are here to help. As a dedicated, gifted team, our goal is to support your gifted learners academically, socially, and emotionally. Please encourage your child to attend gifted office hours and ask for support. Our families are our top priority!


What does it mean to be gifted?

Social-Emotional Learning

Social - Emotional: Easy or Smart

Too many times students are told they are smart when they complete their work rather easily-easy becomes synonymous with smart. But what happens when the work is no longer easy and is more challenging. “Smart” becomes a burden to students and they often feel like they have to be “smart” all the time, free of mistakes.

Sometimes students experience an identity crisis because they can no longer “be smart” due to the increased challenges that high school brings. It is difficult for many gifted students to ask for help. Gifted students react differently to this new identity crisis. Some students tackle this new challenge with ease and take on the new workload without complaints, while others may fail on purpose and use the excuse, “I didn’t try” rather than have to admit they were afraid to fail.

Still others will burn the candle on both ends in order to continue to make “smart” look easy. In her article, “Listening for What Gifted Children Don’t Say,” Sylvia Rimm explains that students do not always voice their worries but instead use defense mechanisms and bend the truth about their fragile self-concepts. In order to guide and support students as they develop confidence and resilience, Rimm suggests parents and teachers listen to what students say, as well as what they may allude to but avoid saying.

Too many times, students know what their parents or teachers do and do not want to hear, so students avoid telling them their fears. Gifted students can be afraid of no longer being “smart” when they see their grades start to dip, so lets be sure to stop and listen to what our students are really saying.

And they are gifted?

“How can she be so smart and forget to turn in her schoolwork?”

“His homework is always correct, but it takes him forever to get started!”

“Her work is excellent, but I don’t know how she can find it in that mess of a desk!”

Sound familiar?

That's the world of Executive Function Deficiencies!

It isn’t uncommon for high-ability learners to struggle with executive functions. Sometimes it may be a result of asynchronous development. Other times, students who skate through school develop bad habits that then become executive functioning deficits when the rubber hits the road in older grades. Some gifted kids may have a very fast processing speed, leading their brains to rapidly move from one topic to another, and leaving basic skills in their dust.

Sometimes referred to as cognitive controls, executive functions are mental processes that allow for the control of behavior; such as:

  • concentration
  • self-control
  • working memory
  • higher-order executive: planning, organization, & fluid intelligence. National Association for Gifted Children

Gifted Instructional Team

Kevin Bouffard (BPHS)

Feli Cardenas (NSHS)

Susan Easter (CFHS)

Kali Hamill (MVHS)

Helga Purnell (SHS)

Stephenie Fellinger (SCPS Gifted Facilitator)