So, you want to advocate for your child? Why? The reason why you want to advocate will dictate what approach you should take. Here are just a few reasons that parents advocate for their highly capable children. Take a look, and see if any of these reasons match yours:

Behavior problems includes both acting out and refusing to act or 'checking out'.

Behavior Problems

If your child is bored in class, due to lack of challenge, you’ll likely see a sharp drop in grades as the child disconnects and mentally ‘checks out’. Alternatively, you may hear from the teacher that your child has become a class clown or disruptive influences in the class. This behavior is especially common among boys as they seek alternate ways to keep themselves stimulated.

Both of these need immediate intervention, but the intervention should focus on a cure, not the behavior.  As a general rule, if a gifted child is given something with challenge and novelty, the behavior problems will go away on their own.

Every program can be improved. Some just need more improvement than others.

Program Improvements

This one is hard to accomplish independently. That’s why we created PATH!

Reach out to one of our officers (find our contact info here) about how you can get involved. A key part of PATH’s mission is to facilitate dialogue with the district.

Here are some additional district advocacy ideas from NAGC:

Every program can be improved. Some just need more improvement than others.

Hasn’t been tested

To receive highly capable services in Tahoma, the district requires that your child go through a formal identification process. This includes testing, parent and teacher recommendation forms, and review by a committee. Tahoma screens every second grader for highly capable designation, so if that’s where you are, just wait for your email from the district.

For every other grade other than second, there is a nomination period open in November of every year. Find more information here:

Once a child is identified as gifted, that status should follow her wherever she goes.

Gifted Elsewhere

Your child has been identified by another district as being highly capable, but you just moved here.

Here’s the statement from Tahoma’s website:

“Students identified as highly capable in their previous school district in Washington State will continue to be identified and served as Highly Capable. The service model will depend on student qualification and space availability.”

Find the forms you need here: