School for the gifted — Montreal, Quebec

It takes a lot of time, money, and energy to found a new school.

I’m an educator, and have expertise in the area of gifted education. I have thought about trying to found a private school for the gifted, or lobbying the school boards to create programs. But I’m busy with my work, and I don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars to invest in a new project of this scale.

But someone needs to do it. And quickly. Ideally, the EMSB, Lester Pearson School Board, and French school boards will consider creating magnet schools for the gifted, or pull-out programs to serve their gifted students. By addressing the special needs of gifted learners in Quebec, they can still follow the Quebec Education Plan but structure it in thematic ways and enrich it to meet the needs of gifted students in Quebec.

Surely, educators in this province must realize that a highly or profoundly gifted student may not be recognized as gifted, or even as academically competent, because they learned — early on — that school is boring, and tuned out.

It’s a truism of giftedness studies that the bright student who receives A’s, follows the classroom directions, and is organized is much more likely to be recognized as an able student than are some gifted students, who may display more divergent and creative behaviour that is not appreciated in the classroom because it disrupts the orderly routine.

And, as the articles I’ve posted previously demonstrate, such gifted students are at high risk of alienation from school, and dropout. Which is, I’m sure most educators would agree, a waste of talent.

Someone, anyone, please consider schools or programs for the gifted in Quebec! Consult with schools in Alberta (Westmount Charter School) and Ontario (e.g., PACE) who have done so, and create havens where gifted minds can flourish, not flop!

And if you’re out there and are considering this, or are in the process of doing so, please post an update or two here.

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12 comments on “School for the gifted — Montreal, Quebec
  1. Quebec:
    I can’t find a school that will accomodate my daughter. I am told that she must travel with her age group. They will not even allow her to attend a higher grade level because, they say, this will negatively impact her social function at school. At the same time, they will not diversify the program for her within the grade level they insist she attend. May daughter is five years old. Surely there must be something out there for these kids.

    • Did you e-mail me back in 2011, Laura? I’m actually able to tend to this blog more often now, so feel free to drop by! :) How is your daughter doing now? Yes, Quebec does seem to ignore giftedness issues and focus on the socialization when in fact, simply not being with ‘true peers’ can cause social issues on its own. Are things any better?

  2. Help, I think my child is gifted! My 5 yrs old (1st child) has always been precocious. I always assumed she just learned a little earlier than other kids. I always taught this is normal. I don’t have any other children to compare her with (my 2nd child is only 6 mths old). She is going to start Maternelle this September and we were both excited about this. Until I started talking to other parents about what her age level is supposed to learn in Maternelle. She seems to be capable of more advanced curriculum than what they can provide in Maternelle. I have no worries about maternelle but I am seriously considering homeschooling by grade 1.I think she is already surpassing grade 1 level, and will find it boring by the time she gets there. I want her to go to maternelle purely for the socialization aspect. Is there a group in Montreal for gifted Homeschoolers?

    Please feel free to e-mail me because I really need all the help I can get.

    • Hi, Angelita. Sorry it’s taken me a few months to get to a reply.

      How is maternelle working out so far. If you’re still interested in homeschooling in Montrael, there is a good list on this page:

      I don’t have any experience with any of the groups, but I do know that there are more and more families who are opting for home schooling due to a lack of fit between their children and conventional schools — whether due to giftedness or other issues. Please keep me posted!

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