20 Palm Beach County Elementary Schools To Get New Gifted Centers

20 Palm Beach County Elementary Schools To Get New Gifted Centers

Twenty new elementary school gifted centers will open in Palm Beach County next year in an effort to stop the brain drain that has prevented some neighborhood schools from achieving “A” ratings.

Almost 60 out of 107 elementary schools will now have full-time gifted centers, in which the most advanced students spend the whole day with their gifted peers and an instructor certified to teach the accelerated curriculum.

Almost 7,000 out of 88,000 elementary school students in the county have been identified as gifted, usually defined as having an IQ of 130 or higher and meeting a checklist of qualifications, including reading at an early age, using complex sentences and having a sense of curiosity and a love for learning.

For years, most of them had to travel to regional centers for their education if they wanted full-time enrichment, which often includes more hands-on learning, projects, advanced reading and math assignments and problem-solving.

By offering more students the chance to stay at their neighborhood schools, the district wants to allow the smartest kids to improve the quality of their home schools with their superior intellectual skills and enthusiasm for learning.

Most of the new programs are in school rated “B” or “C” by the state last year. Keith Oswald, the school district’s chief academic officer, said the new centers were chosen based on which schools could easily create a gifted class for each grade with a certified teacher.

“It’s not realistic at this time to have a gifted program in every school, but we are going to continue to expand to give parents more options,” Oswald said.

The school district hopes its new gifted additions help evenly distribute programs throughout the county, including more centers at schools where students receive free or reduced-price lunches, an indicator of poverty. Among the 20 new schools, most have high poverty rates. Several of these schools screened their second-graders in May to see if they qualified for the accelerated curriculum, Oswald said.

Parents have long wrestled with whether to send their kids to gifted centers far from their homes.

Colleen Modzelewski, who lives in West Boca, decided not to send her daughter to Banyan Creek’s gifted center in Delray Beach because it was at least a 20-minute bus ride each way. She said she would have sent her daughter to Calusa, their neighborhood school, if it had a full-time program six years ago, when her daughter started kindergarten.

Calusa, which had a part-time program, has since gotten a full-time program.

Elementaries with new full-time gifted progams


Allamanda, Palm Beach Gardens;

Crosspointe, Boynton Beach;

Crystal Lakes, Boynton Beach;

DD Eisenhower, Palm Beach Gardens;

Egret Lake, West Palm Beach;

Equestrian Trails, Wellington;

Gove, Belle Glade;

Hagen Road, Boynton Beach;

Hidden Oaks, Lake Worth;

Indian Pines, Lake Worth;

Jupiter;

Manatee, Lake Worth;

Northboro, West Palm Beach;

Pahokee;

Palm Springs;

Palmetto, West Palm Beach;

Pine Jog, West Palm Beach;

Rolling Green, Boynton Beach;

The Conservatory @ North Palm Beach;

Washington, Riviera Beach

By Lois K. Solomon Contact Reporter


Margarita Zhemukhova Headshot
Author:
Phone: 561-207-1834
Dated: May 5th 2018
Views: 191
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