Advocating for Gifted Programs in Your Local Schools

1. Establish a rationale

Administrators and community members do not always know that advanced learners need something more than they are receiving in the regular classroom.  Explaining why gifted students need continuous challenge to be successful in the classroom today and in the high school and college classes to come will be your first task.

2. Know what you want to happen

In order to build support to retain or develop a program for gifted learners, it is important that you are aware of what the state and district currently offers for gifted students and how learners access these programs and services.
The NAGC Pre-K-Grade 12 Gifted Programming Standards will help you map out what the leading experts in the field view as exemplary practices as well as the bare essentials that are needed in a school to meet the needs of gifted students. This is a nationally recognized and accepted document.

3. Build a bridge for administrators

School administrators are deeply concerned about ensuring educational excellence for all of their students; however, many are unaware of the unique needs of advanced learners.  Because these administrators are very busy, your plan must be both artful and efficient. Start by sharing an article and eventually invite them to a weekend event for advanced students or to a school event if your program is already in place so they can see the possibilities firsthand.

4. Reach out to the community and network, network, network

There are many different groups of people in your school and community that would be willing to lend support for high-ability students, but they need to understand the issue and what role they can play. There are many positive, active ways to meet like-minded individuals and begin an open dialogue in your community. You can:

  • become an active participant in local school groups like the PTO or booster club,
  • offer to provide a speaker for local service organizations (e.g., Lions Club, Chamber of Commerce, etc.) about your gifted program and its ties to the community,
  • volunteer to serve on school committees involved with strategic planning, accountability, or program evaluation and planning,
  • start a parent group
  • get to know the education reporters for your local media outlet.

Download brochure on How to Start a Parent Group
Download a series of articles from Parenting for High Potential, Effective Advocacy.

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