Wake Ed

Group to discuss how to help Knightdale’s academically gifted students

Concerns about the strength of programs for academically gifted students in Knightdale’s schools will be a focus of Tuesday night’s meeting of the Knightdale Area Education Work Group.

While Knightdale’s high-poverty schools are often doing a better job than the Wake County school system in educating harder-to-reach groups such as poor kids, the opposite is happening for the academically gifted students. AIG performance in the town’s schools have lagged behind the district’s performance for those children.

During the meeting, school administrators will present an overview of the district’s AIG program. From there, the work group will split up into smaller groups to discuss the data and come up with recommendations for addressing the AIG issues in Knightdale.

The discussion is occurring as the school board is preparing to vote next week on a new plan for improving the district’s AIG services.

Part of the AIO gap may be attributable to higher-performing Knightdale students opting out of the town’s schools for magnet programs and other alternatives.

“A common theme seems to be that parents of students who are performing well have the perception that their students will have more choices and better opportunity at other schools,” said school board member Tom Benton at the group’s Nov. 12 meeting.

As shown in this recent Eastern Wake News article by Mechelle Hankerson, Benton has proposed creating a special program, possibly a magnet, at Knightdale High to encourage more students to stay in town. There’s talk about having a feeder for that progrma into the younger grades.