You spent hours investing in the intelligence of your little genius. You read to them while they were swooshing around in your belly. You played classical music (Bach or OutKAst – whichever your tastes prefer) and you talked them so much that now you swear they are a little talking head following you around while you cook dinner and desperately try to binge watch House of Cards.
So, it’s the beginning of the school year. You are sure they are ready for kindergarten. In fact now that the school year has started you think they are too ready. Oh-oh.
What to do? Can you get your little genius to skip a grade? Well my parenting friends it depends on the state in which you live to figure this out. Some states have what they call an acceleration policy, whereby parents can request that their child skip a grade. If that’s the case, great. Find out the school districts acceleration policy which will let you know what steps you need to take. If you live in a state with no or an unclear acceleration policy, get ready to get real learned in the skipping a grade process.
Know that the acceleration process, especially at younger grades, won’t be as simple as going in during your lunch break to sign a form. Not even. Some states you will have to fight for this and for good reason. Just because your little Johnny can say the Nation Anthem backward and forward in English and Spanish and maybe even in Swahili doesn’t mean that the state will think that they are ready to skip a grade. So what to do? If the teacher hasn’t already come to you telling you that little Johnny is correcting her grammar in class, then it will be up to you to start the process. That’s step number one, out of like one hundred.
If a school does have an acceleration policy it will more than likely also include:
- Test scores in some shape or form – your little genius will need to score in the 95th percentile or higher.
- Testing 75th percentile or higher on grade level work you want them to skip to.
- Meeting with a committee that may include: you, the parent (of course), a teacher, an administrator, a gifted and talented teacher and psychologist (the psychologist will/can/may administer the test or at the very least review scores)
Keep in mind schools usually test for gifted and talented at certain grade levels (where I live they normally start around second grade) and certain times of the year which could not be until the springtime. If you can’t or simply won’t wait that long then you may have to start the acceleration process yourself. Meaning you’ve got to find a psychologist to test your little genius. No worries. You can:
- See if the local parent gifted and talented organization can point you in the right direction of a qualified psychologist trained in gifted and talented testing.
- Call the district office for a list of qualified psychologists or see if the psychologist on staff has a private practice.
- See if the local university’s psychology department offers gifted and talented testing/endorsement.
One last thing… if your little genius has taken a state standardized test already and they have scored in the 95th percentile or higher on one or more of those tests and no one has contacted you…you need to schedule a meeting with somebody. Good luck!!