Challenges for gifted students in Florida schools

On Behalf of | Jan 8, 2024 | Special Education Law

Parents of really smart students often face problems when trying to get the right education for their children in Florida’s schools. Even with programs like the Florida Gifted Education Program to help high-ability students, some parents still find it hard to make sure their child gets an education that supports their unique talents.

Parents have to speak up and ask for what their gifted kids need.

Why do parents struggle?

One big problem parents deal with is that schools do not always understand what makes some kids gifted. Smart kids might be really good at some things but struggle with others, like emotions or making friends. This might make teachers miss what these students really need, which can lead to them not doing well in school or feeling upset.

Parents can have a tough time getting their kids tested for giftedness. The complicated process has tricky steps and sometimes unclear information. Not everyone is aware of how the testing works. Also, differences in resources and testing rules between school districts add to the difficulties parents face in making sure their children get identified and get the right support in school.

Why do gifted students need accommodations?

Regular classrooms do not always give smart kids the kind of learning they need. Smart students do better when they get harder work, but many classes do not have that. This can make smart kids feel bored, not interested in school and not want to learn.

Gifted children, like their special needs counterparts, share similarities in requiring educational adaptations. Both groups exhibit unique learning needs that may fall outside the standard curriculum. While special needs students often require additional support, gifted kids benefit from advanced, challenging materials.

What does Florida’s gifted program provide?

Florida had 587,628 exceptional students during the 2022-23 school year. This number included gifted children and those with qualifying disabilities.

Florida’s Gifted Education Program offers specialized support and educational opportunities for high-ability students. Designed to meet the unique needs of gifted learners, the GEP provides enriched and challenging curriculum options.

These programs aim to foster intellectual growth, critical thinking skills and creative development. Through differentiated instruction and targeted interventions, the GEP aims to create an environment where gifted students can thrive and reach their full academic potential.