In Trenton, where applications have begun to be accepted, excited parents and students gathered for an introduction to the program and to find our more about the application process.
Since the district has not had a gifted and talented program for over ten years, the selection process is expected to be highly competitive. There are more than 12,000 students in the district. Enrollment is limited to 50 or fewer students.
The Donald O. Shelton Sr. Visual and Performing Arts Gifted and Talented program will be open to middle school students and will be located at the Joyce Kilmer Middle School.
Parents who attended the information meeting said they were very excited for their children to have the opportunity to showcase their talents and be challenged in class to a much higher level.
Wilma Woodward said she hopes her daughter, Ayanda Tillman, 12, is one of the lucky ones.
“She is not being offered what she needs at school right now,” Woodward said.
Students who met the standards for applying to the program were invited to last night’s session, along with their parents, and school officials said they were surprised by the large turnout. More than 50 parents and students came for the introduction.
The selection committee will take into account more than test scores when choosing the 30 to 50 students who will participate in the program, said Norberto Diaz, the district’s supervisor of visual and performing arts and gifted and talented. The students will have to meet at least three of seven criteria for admission. Those include grades, a demonstration of student talent or ability, student-made products or projects, intelligence test results, principal and teacher recommendations, and parent and student recommendations.