Every Tuesday, a group of Liberty students take a bus to Pittsburgh Gifted Center (a.k.a. Greenway), a school campus in the West End, to participate in what's known as Gifted and Talented Education Services. Per their website, the overall aim is to provide educational opportunities and experiences to help high-achieving students extend their learning, develop individual potential, enhance their self-concept, and become life-long, independent learners. “PPS is committed to providing differentiated activities and opportunities,” the site states, "through which students can discover and develop their unique and individual needs, interests, talents and abilities.” In addition to the instruction students receive at Greenway, students also receive gifted services at Liberty through differentiation in their classes.
What is “gifted?” In this context, it means higher-than-average IQ. If average is within the of 85 to 110 range, gifted is 115, 120, 130, and so on. (For perspective: Einstein was 147!)
Some signs that your child may be gifted: The child is a quick study and absorbs new knowledge fast. The child just somehow knows things, and you wonder, “When did she learn that?” The child might be bored at school.There are misconceptions surrounding IQ: It’s important to keep in mind that itis absolutely possible to have a learning disability and a higher-than-average IQ. And sometimes, the reason a child is misbehaving is because she or he is bored—and truly could benefit from the gifted program.
If a child is not admitted to gifted services, it is by all means not the end of the world! The reason the service is run by the Department of Special Education is because it’s an exceptionality. These kids need more services (they do have IEP plans).
In recent years, media outlets and education advocates have raised important questions and dialogue about racial bias in gifted services:
Visit the Pittsburgh Public Schools gifted services website: https://www.pghschools.org/giftedandtalented