Parents Pleased “Gifted And Talented” Program Changes On Hold

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Parents of some Columbus City Schools students were relieved to hear quick changes wouldn't overhaul the gifted and talented program this coming year, but they know changes are coming and it could leave their kids in a new school.

The school district spokesperson says these looming changes are the result of major budget cuts and changes in the state's standards, so CCS was planning to consolidate the program.

CCS sent out a note, which gave parents only about a week to decide the future of their child, and some say that came as too much of a shock.

"My mom doesn't send me to school every day for me to just for me to make friends. Yeah, I make friends, but I go to school for a reason and that's to learn," said 4th grader, Tryphena Awuah.

It doesn't take much to see there's something special about this bright-eyed child.

"Most of my gifted areas are reading and math," said Awuah, who studies at Avalon Elementary on the city's north side.

Until Tuesday evening, she thought she might end up at a different school next year.

"To go to gifted classes, I just feel really special because some things we do in our classroom," said Awuah.

She says she is ok with changes, if need be, but parents like Samantha Fisher are not pleased.

"The school that was assigned to us in that initial letter was not one I was comfortable sending my child to. It's not in the best neighborhood. It's farther from home," said Fisher.

She wants her son to stay at Binns Elementary, rather than the school suggested in her letter.

"I think that was the part that most parents, me included, were not happy with. It's go to this school or get no services," said Fisher.

Parents learned these changes were put on hold to allow for a more thorough discussion between the school and parents, on what's best for these gifted and talented students.

"Those kids deserve to do their best. They deserve to be engaged and interested," said parent Cathy Fagan.

Parents say they are glad to have more time to provide feedback, before changes are made.

The CCS spokesperson tells 10TV changes to the gifted and talented program won't come until the 2015-16 school year.