Differentiated learning for advanced students in public schools?

Our daughter is not getting academic direction or opportunities geared to her skill level or interests in the Berkeley public schools. Do you have examples or experiences where academic advanced students received support and opportunities in the Albany public schools? I am especially interested in the elementary grades.

Thank you!

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I have experience with AUSD and I would say that you're not going to get anything outside of the basic curriculum. Sorry!

Albany school district has the same format. Has your daughter been assessed for any learning issues? ( honestly I hate that sediment). She may need to Have an assessment to see if needs an IEP 

I would also take a look at Montessori schools where kids can learn at their own pace. I’m not sure how to explain it but worth your time to look into it. 

My daughter is in 5th at one of Albany elementary schools. There's really no differentiation. A bulk of the teacher's attention goes towards those students that are struggling.

Public schools simply do not have the resources to differentiate learning for advanced learners in CA. We were in OUSD and the school psychologist told us that there is no program for gifted children unless they have also been identified as having learning difference, or  sensory or mental health issues that are negatively impacting the child’s achievement at the grade level. In other words, if a child is performing at the grade level, we were told that areas that have been identified as different won’t help our child get a special program. In fact, we have friends who have had to hire an advocate to get IEPs and other accommodations made for their kids. The entire system is designed to bring up the students to the state standards. If your child is at or above grade level, the teacher doesn’t have time and resources to differentiate to help them advance. Once in a while, you may encounter exceptional teachers who can differentiate but it’s rare.

We ended up moving to a private school. If your child is profoundly gifted, you may need a special school for the gifted. Our friend whose profoundly gifted child was in Albany school district ended up leaving the district. The teachers told them there was nothing they could do for the child. My child who is highly creative /artistic and is about 2 grade level ahead was also told that there was nothing the teacher could do. We asked the teacher if they could let her work ahead and the teacher said “no, not in school, but she can work ahead at home”. After the teacher told us that she knew our child was bored in class but she still expected our child to do the same work as everyone else and our child can draw in class while waiting for others to finish their work, we left the public school system.

Berkeley and Albany are thought to be a better public school system than Oakland but they are all CA schools. You may want to look into charter schools or private schools. Good luck!

Thank you so much for posting this question and to the anonymous commentor who gave such insightful info on gifted learners and lack of differentiation from public schools.  To the anonymous commentator, I would love to hear what private schools you have found that offer gifted learners more academic challenge/differentiation.  We are doing that search right now.  We are in the Piedmont school system and it is not any better here, it's exactly as the anonymous commentor described.  Even for families with an IEP it's a fight.  We loved Albany and lived in Albany before our kids were school aged so we always wondered if it was a mistake we left.  But from the comments here I think our question is answered.  Thank you for the insight.