Thursday, March 8, 2012

We Spawned a Smarty!

When we first moved to Utah, I talked to Mason's teacher about getting him into the elementary gifted and talented program. Because the school year had already started, the program was full. It is run very differently down here than the equivalent program in Idaho is run. It's a much more extensive selection process, so we couldn't just ask that Mason be put in the program, just because he was in an advanced program in Idaho. Here, the program isn't run by the school. It is through the district (which is larger than several districts in Idaho combined). We were disappointed, but when Mason began to struggle at the beginning of the school year, it seemed to be a blessing in disguise. It appeared that he needed the time to adjust to the move before we added anything extra onto his plate.

As the year progressed and Mason returned to his usual self, we were thrilled when he came home and said his teacher was recommending he test for gifted and talented. He would need to register and take a 4-hour test, administered to all interested students in the district. After the test, he had to have his teacher fill out a referral and recommendation for him, and submit it to the district. Once that process was completed, the district would look over the results of students from all of the schools, select the students they feel would be most successful in the program, and send the letters of acceptance. Selected students attend a magnet school where the program is based and attend classes with the other ACAD students. Prior to him testing, I was told that it was very hard to get into. I prepared him for that, hoping he wouldn't be too disappointed if he wasn't chosen, although I knew he had the potential to do very, very well. I explained that he was competing against kids from other schools as well and there were only a limited number of openings.

About a month or so after testing, I went to get the mail. I saw a letter from the district, addressed 'To the parents of Mason Miller'. As I opened it, my heart sank. In big black letters, I saw "enrollment declined". I (as usual) got a little teary and then opened the letter to read it. Imagine my surprise when I read that he had indeed been chosen! The portion of the letter I had seen first was a different paper, that you, as a parent use, if you choose to decline the invitation to be a part of the program. Then I got REALLY teary! I don't remember ever feeling more proud of Mason. I sat there in my car, crying and beaming with pride. I drove home and presented him with the letter. The look on his face was priceless. I could see that he too, was proud of himself.

 We have always stressed the importance of academics to our children. It means so much to us as parents, that he has learned the value of hard work and dedication to something that will benefit him greatly throughout his entire life. We can't wait to see all that he is capable of as he grows into the amazing young man we know he will be.

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