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Student’s giftedness is a measure of their outstanding ability, which allows them to interact freely with their environment leading to high levels of achievement, performance, and/or creativity.
Although many people view giftedness as largely dependent on inherent and inborn factors playing a focal role in success of the gifted students, others still view success as something that does not come easily but requires motivation and commitment to achieve a relatively difficult task.
Other than the outstanding abilities of gifted students, they have the capability to higher academic performance and therefore, require distinguished educational curricula beyond those provided by regular education for full realization of their potentials. To safeguard the gifted students, the incorporation of the specialized curricula needs participation of their parents in the decision-making concerning their children.
This facilitates the identification of the student’s need and taking of appropriate action. However, it is important for parents and professionals to understand the procedural safeguards of gifted students in order to help them fully achieve their potentials for self and society benefit.
Procedural safeguards for gifted students
The safeguards entail the processes involved in the development and integration of the differentiated educational curricula for the gifted students after the identification and evaluation of such students by a qualified professional.
The students identified as gifted show an increased ability and potential in general intelligence, creativity, productive reasoning, psychomotor ability, and leadership ability among others (Clark, 2002, p. 4). It therefore becomes of necessity to inform the parents of the affected students, through a legal process, to safeguard the rights of the students and parents in relation to notice, consent, education evaluation and hearing.
It is important to notify the parents of the gifted students of any changes in educational programs aimed at suiting their requirements as talented students and the notices require proper communication using native language understood by all; therefore, it calls for formal communication in written form. The notification bears a detailed description of the actions taken after the identification of the needs of the gifted students.
The essence of the prior notification is to facilitate rational decision making by the parents about whether to adopt the actions taken or to reject them, as it seems fit for their students (Ashbridge, Mckee, & Sanders, 2005, p. 34).
For parents with little or no knowledge on written communication, the notice requires translation into verbal communication using the native language but the written notice kept as a record. Full description of the provisions of the safeguards as stipulated by the rule provides an understanding of the safeguards by the parents before making their final decision concerning their gifted children.
Before making their final consent on the decision reached concerning their gifted children, parents need to have adequate information relevant to the action taken after the identification of the specific needs of their gifted children. This ensures that the parents consent to an action they clearly know and helps to alleviate any future doubts and criticisms of an action taken.
Furthermore, parental consent helps to affirm the appropriateness of an action adopted and integrated in the curricula of exceptional gifted students (Clark, 2002, p. 5).
Inculcation of the special programs in the educational course content shields the gifted student from under utilization of their potentials and creative ability. Parental consent protects the school institutions from any possible negative outcomes after the integration of the differentiated education programs to carter for the gifted children.
Educational records inspection
In accordance to the Florida laws and statutes, the parents of students identified as gifted are allowed to examine their children’s educational records. The inspection of the educational documents and records of one’s child extends to the inspection of the child’s educational placement.
Prior inspection of the educational records by the parents provides a good understanding of the student’s potentials and abilities necessary in developing educational plan.
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The statutes also allow parents to participate in meetings and contribute in the planning of the education programs relating to gifted students all focusing in protecting the students from under development of their naturally endowed potentials and capabilities (Ashbridge, Mckee, & Sanders, 2005, p. 35).
Decisions made based on prior knowledge of the student’s educational performance bears a positive influence in the subsequent performances of the students and thus safeguards the students from spending time in unnecessary educational courses.
In cases where the parents of the concerned student have a complaint, the laws provide for a procedure through which the complaint is heard and determined. The laws allow for the solution of allegations by parents towards schools violating the requirements and regulations concerning education of gifted students.
In line with the legal requirement, the department of education takes a maximum of ninety calendar days from the date of reporting the case to do investigations and allows the complainant to give further information concerning the case before giving a written decision concerning the issue raised (Ashbridge, Mckee, & Sanders, 2005, p.45).
This act safeguards the parents from having their children getting unworthy education. Moreover, it provides a participatory framework through which the parents can monitor the quality of education given to their children and through the department of education; it ensures the implementation of the education plan as proposed by the affected parents.
The Florida statues on education for the gifted students provide for the due process of hearing of all the complaints presented by the parents of the gifted students on their evaluation, identification, and placement. During the hearing process, the parents may opt to propose a change in the criteria of identification, evaluation, or educational placement of their children or may choose to refuse any changes (Clark, 2002, p. 6).
The hearing process requires a judge to conduct the proceedings. The judge ensures that all parties involved get fair and impartial hearing. After hearing the complaints presented by the parents of the gifted students, the judge makes the final decision in writing details of the facts, findings, and the decision made.
This safeguards the parents, students, and the learning institutions, as there is maintenance of a record of the education program agreed upon by the parents and the school administration offered to the gifted students.
In the pursuit of understanding the difference between the gifted students and the normal students, one would require to consider diverse aspects of the students’ behaviors, intelligence, social orientation, and educational performance. The identification of these students necessitates the quest for the meeting of their differentiated educational requirement, which is usually more specialized than the normal ordinary education program.
The specialized form of education for the gifted justifies the necessity for both parents and professionals to understand the procedural safeguards in meeting the needs of the gifted students for their own benefit and for the benefit of the community at large.
Ashbridge, S., Mckee, C., & Sanders, P. (2005). Nature and needs of gifted students. New York: Clearing house information centre.
Clark, B. (2002). Growing Up Gifted. New York: Merrill Prentice Hall