Gifted students are often under served, some say

Tanieya Lewis
Tanieya Lewis

TOLEDO -- They are considered the brightest and the best, but they're often the most under served students in a community, according to the Lucas County Educational Services Center, reports News 11's Tanieya Lewis in this Assignment Education report.

Some say the "No child left behind" policy is to blame by funneling resources to students with challenges. Teachers of gifted students, however, have a different story to tell.

"They are so unique and have higher IQs than the general population, so at times, gifted kids are the ones that are going to feel really isolated because they feel that nobody can relate to them," says Brenda Wilson, a teacher with the Learning Enrichment Accelerated Program (LEAP), Springfield Local Schools' program for gifted students.

"They're so individual in their abilities. We have some students that are high math, some students that are very creative, some high language arts ability. They're all so different. I kind of cater to all of them," Wilson says.

However, funding needed to run programs like LEAP is tight, which leaves the district with two certified LEAP teachers to serve 140 third through sixth graders.

"We do need more teachers. It'd be nice to have a LEAP teacher in every school," Wilson acknowledges.

To fill the teacher void, some kids take advanced placement courses or skip a grade. The district hunts for other sources of funding so their most talented students aren't forgotten.

"We always welcome more funding for programs," says Kathryn Hott, Springfield Schools assistant superintendent. "We've been very fortunate that our school board and community support a really strong gifted program through grants, through donations -- and our school board is very dedicated."

Posted by KO