Wizard's composite score was close to the threshhold level for further gifted testing, so Mrs. E recommended we pursue further gifted testing for Wizard. One of her comments to me was, "He has quite a vocabulary, doesn't he." Uh, yeah . . . he reads and understands college-level texts. But, I digress. After Wizard finished the test, Mrs. E invited me back into her office to discuss the process.
- First, I signed a preliminary consent form authorizing the school to do the KBIT testing, based on Wizard's instructional needs. I also filled out a registration form for the school district so they could issue an identification number for Wizard.
- Second, Mrs. E needs to forward Wizard's scores and registration information to the school's data entry operator, who was not available at the time, for her to prepare a full consent for the full battery of gifted testing.
- The school psychologist then has ninety (90) school days within which to perform the complete evaluation. She will use either WISC (Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children) or RIAS (Reynolds Intellectual Assessment Scales).
- During this time, the public school will ask for Wizard's teacher to complete a Gifted Characteristic Checklist. When I mentioned to Mrs. E that Wizard has several teachers, she looked stunned. I explained that the private school transitions its students in 4th Grade to individual teachers in subject-specific classes. I suspect we'll ask the Language Arts teacher to draft the checklist and consult with the other teachers for their input.
- Once the school psychologist has all the scores in hand, she will then review the results with me and WineGuy. After that, the entire team – school psych., parents, ESE coordinator – will meet to decide Wizard's eligibility.
More than that, in my heart of hearts I know Wizard belongs in the private school. It challenges him academically. The teachers strive to connect with him on his level, and they keep tabs on him. As such, he has matured and become far more responsible than his peers. I am really proud of him. Moving him into the large and wild public middle school, even into its gifted program, would be immersing an already hormonal pre-teen into an environment for which he is not ready. He could handle it, but it would inhibit him. Wizard has reached the point where he loves school, loves his teachers, loves learning, and desires to do well for himself. His study skills are greatly improved, as is his self-discipline. I do not see how public middle school can foster that growth. Maybe I'm prejudiced; maybe I'm blind.
In the end, he does not want to leave the private school. He will do what we ask because he is a good boy. I do not want to ask this of him. I want him to revel in his intelligence and enjoy his achievements. I want him to be emotionally and socially stable. He will have all of this if we stay connected to him and he stays connected to his community.
So, I ask my friends who are educators, psychologists, and more experienced than I: what do you think? What would you do if you were in my shoes? How do I convince WineGuy that Wizard needs to stay where he is for three more years? Thank you for reading yet another missive.