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The NYC Gifted & Talented Symposium

Authored By: 
Maren Holmen, Director of The Tutoring School

The 2016 NYC Gifted & Talented Symposium (hosted by PALNYC) convened on Saturday, March 12.  It was a day for parents and educators to learn more about different teaching techniques and education options for students who fit into the gifted and talented or accelerated learning category.  I was representing The Beekman School in a curated exhibitors area, along with programs from all over the city that offer opportunities for these accelerated learners.  In hearing some of the panel topics and speaking with the parents, it was apparent that the common thread was, “I’m looking for more to help my child.  Where do I find it?”

I was asked to speak on a panel at the symposium at the end of the day.  This panel, “What to do When It’s Not the Right Fit: Options for a DIY Education,” featured speakers from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives: moderator Elizabeth Perelstein, founder of School Choice International; Erika Rossa, Heidi Saltalamacchia, Jen Seron, and Maverick Scott, parents who had all explored different options (whether within private schools, public schools, or homeschooling); and me.  These parents spoke from personal experience to a room of fellow parents; they had all come to the conclusion that the schools where their children had started were not a good fit for them.  Those who came were looking for the answer to, “How do you find the right fit?”

Of course, there is no one answer.  All children are different, and just because your child is gifted in one area doesn’t necessarily mean that he/she is gifted in all areas.  And, as parent and Gifted & Talented Symposium organizer Angelique LeDoux noted, “Having a good fit doesn’t mean that there isn’t a better fit.”

The Beekman School has long been the answer for families whose previous school or educational experience hasn’t been the “right fit.”  We are able to work with students who are looking for:

  • flexible scheduling (a need for an early release or a late start, or students who need to take a leave of absence due to pre-professional or health-related reasons);
  • a different number of classes (1 or 2 classes all the way up to 7 or 8 academic courses);
  • a different class size (one-to-one education through The Tutoring School or classes averaging 7 students in The Beekman School);
  • flexible pacing (our Tutoring School can accelerate or slow the pace of a course based on an individual student’s abilities);
  • advanced options (students in our school are not restricted from taking advanced courses by their age or grade level);
  • specialized courses or curricula (we can teach foreign language classes, IB- or AP-level courses, engaging electives, or follow another school’s curriculum for students who are on an extended leave);
  • an embracing community with quality teachers;
  • a variety of partnering abilities (our students can take non-core courses outside of Beekman for credit, and we welcome students who are enrolled at other schools or who are homeschooled to take courses at our school);
  • a new school at any point during the year (The Beekman School has a rolling admissions policy);
  • a different location (The Tutoring School can teach students at our school, off-site at a student’s home or other suitable location, or via the Internet with face-to-face instruction, not software-driven learning);
  • or a program with an different structure (whether the current program/school is too easy, too rigid, or too unstructured, The Beekman School, in tandem with its Tutoring School program, can create an education program that works for the individual).

Contact The Beekman School to learn more about how we can be the better fit for your child!