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.