Back in February, LJ tested for our district's full-time gifted and talented program, Spectrum. We were hopeful that she would get in, but knew the chances weren't great. There were 129 kids testing, and only 27 available spots. Now, if LJ had been competing against regular 'ole 2nd graders, we wouldn't have worried much, but that was not the case. She was testing along with the other students that scored within the top 10% of the end-of-level tests last year, as well as students referred to the program because "normal" curriculum wasn't challenging enough. Basically, she was testing with the other super-smarty-pants kids from the entire district.
Walking into that room with all the other parents and students was very intimidating. LJ didn't seem to notice. She completed her test early (not always a good sign) and we went home with a promise that we would hear about placement in April. Well, April came and went and we didn't hear anything. DH's aunt just happens to be the principal at the Spectrum school, so we even tried to get answers out of her, but with no luck. Even she didn't know yet who had made the cut (she doesn't have a say.)
Yesterday, at the tail end of LJ's Mother's Day program, DH called me. I couldn't hear him well because of all of the commotion in the classroom. I hung up, and he texted me instead. "Should I open the Spectrum packet?" I told LJ that it had arrived, and her teacher gave us special permission to leave early to go open the packet. Her teacher was just as excited as we were!
On the way home, LJ asked if I would read it first and then tell her what the letter said. I could tell she was about to combust with excitement. When I got home, DH was standing at the front door, dangling the envelope in front of us. I tore through the paper, and read the first line. I calmly handed LJ the letter, and waited while she read:
Congratulations! We are pleased to offer your child placement in the _________
__________ School District Full-Time Spectrum Gifted/Talented Program at
________ Elementary, 3rd grade for the 2010-2011 school year...
Her face was priceless. Here eyes got huge and her jaw dropped. She threw both arms in the air and started the BEST happy dance I had ever seen while yelling a string of "YESSSSS!"s and "WOO-HOO!"s Okay, in all fairness all three of us were dancing up a storm. It was pretty exciting.
Once we had calmed down a bit, I started reading the rest of the paperwork. Her test scores were included with the acceptance letter. In the summary it stated, "Your child performed better than 97 percent of children testing nationally." ** Also, her math and language criterion-referenced tests were both at 100%.
My LJ is amazing. We are so proud of her! And what's even better is that she is proud of herself! She set a goal, and attained it. I couldn't be more happy for her. This will be a great opportunity for her. Spectrum is geared for kids who learn quickly and can adapt to a more complex workload. She will have the opportunity to participate in a drama program, learn a foreign language, as well as go on more field trips. Overall, it is a program filled with opportunity. We are so grateful that she has been given this chance.
The future is a bright, bright thing.
**LJ was tested with the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test, as well as the Stanford Diagnostic Reading Test. Google will be happy to explain these tests. I'm still trying to figure it all out! =)