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Dear Parents

If you are considering our school, then you have probably noticed that your child is a bit different than others of his/her peer age. You have probably been told that your child is “talented or gifted.” What does this mean?

Oftentimes, the gifted child has completed his/her work ahead of the other students in a regular classroom setting and has been asked to run a quick errand for a teacher or to assist in helping another student to catch up. Is this really fair to the gifted child?

What sets gifted children apart from other students? It is primarily the ability to absorb abstract concepts, organize them more effectively, and apply them more appropriately.

When people think “gifted children,” many misconceptions come to mind: that they are all nerds and that they are going to succeed anyway and do not need any help or guidance. Some feel that they are already “smart enough” and should be patient while the others catch up. This is far from true. Gifted students require, like any other students with special needs, instructors who have special training.

Gifted students are at risk of becoming bored in a regular classroom setting, and are often extremely sensitive to others’ perceptions and expectations of them. If surrounded by students who perform at a much lower level, they may spend a large amount of time feeling guilty for their achievements.

High expectations of the gifted may further fuel the tendency for them to become overachievers and idealistic perfectionists whose self-worth is directly tied to their grades or accomplishments; they may perceive themselves as failures if they do not reach certain expectations. Gifted students need instructors who have training in addressing such issues. Furthermore, all gifted students are not equally advanced in all areas.  Their levels of social, intellectual, physical, and emotional development may be completely different from each other. Many gifted students have skipped grades.

Gifted students can become quite competitive and anxious when in an academic setting that includes other gifted students. Great care must be given to reduce anxiety and provide an environment that becomes a learning community. Our instructors have both the education and experience to create this setting.

Instruction at The Dinoff School is designed to challenge students, both as a group and individually, in a range of academic disciplines while developing their higher level thinking skills and problem-solving abilities. We seek to “engage” each student with critical and creative thinking.

The Dinoff School has a special purpose to provide gifted education.Thank you for considering The Dinoff School. I promise to do everything in my power to provide the most enriching environment possible for our children.

Sincerely,

Dr. Lesley Dinoff

Headmaster: mother of a gifted child