Districts that do a good job with kids who are Gifted/2E and Delayed/IEP

We are in SF, and it's becoming clear we need to move to a district with more appropriate schools for our two kids.

Kid #1 is 8, has some learning challenges/delays though no label yet, but we are in neuropsych testing. He is in the regular 2nd grade classroom with an aide. His school is decent, and his IEP is strong, but he has consistently been a year or so behind since he started school. I'm having him repeat 2nd grade next year because he's so far behind they would have to adapt all his materials if he moves on to 3rd. It's important to me that he stay in the regular classroom as long as possible. He doesn't really have any disruptive behaviors at school, he's just behind. He can stay at his current school for a while longer, but I need to move him before 4th when the class size jumps.

Kid #2 is 6, neuropsych testing shows profoundly gifted and anxiety/perfectionist, in kinder at Catholic school. He functions at a 2nd/3rd grade level in most areas except in handwriting/scissors skills which are at age level. Catholic school has him working on penmanship and sitting up straight. It's a nice school, but not the right fit. Academics are very lockstep, and they don't accelerate. He's gets bored and acts silly in class, and he tells me he isn't learning new things at school which makes him sad. The first grade teacher next year is an elderly lady who very old school and strict - I am concerned it will be a terrible fit for my kiddo. I'm waiting until I get the full neuropsych report to sit down with the school to see if it makes sense to reenroll for the fall.

Are there any districts in the east bay that could accommodate my two diverse learners? I'd prefer public for elementary, but could consider a private school. Ideally I'd love both my kids to attend the same school. 

I would greatly appreciate your feedback. 

Thank you! 

Parent Replies

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Hands down the Piedmont School District is the one I'd recommend.

Hmmm. I also have a 8 yo with an IEP (mine is in 3rd grade) and a very bright 6 yo, who we accelerated, in public school (WCCUSD). ["Profoundly" gifted refers to kids who are ready for college at age 8.] And yet, I don't quite know what to tell you, other than all the gifted-kids websites say try very hard to accelerate because that is the most likely way to address your kid on his/her level overall, but do not accelerate to the point where s/he'd be in the same grade as a sibling. I am amazed and impressed by the current school that gave you an IEP and an aide without a label for your son's issues; although if he hasn't come close to grade level over the course of a year, it seems like something isn't working in terms of addressing his academic challenges. I think this child will probably need to stay in public school as there they are guaranteed FAPE, but there needs to be some doubling-down on the services he is receiving. Perhaps move kid #2 to public for first grade and start working right away on accelerating to 2nd grade midyear- they do beginning-of-the-year assessments within the first few weeks, you can ask to get those results and if they support your sense that he needs to be promoted, you can make your case to the principal. (In CA, acceleration is entirely at the principal's discretion in public school.) However, then both kids are in 2nd so that feels like a disaster for your older child. Unless they go to different schools...? Which is a logistical nightmare for years. I think stats to look at when you are considering schools is # kids with IEPs - you don't want your son to be the only one, and # staff providing pullout services on site. I'm talking myself around here to the point where I'd suggest focusing on the kid with the current, bigger problem, and that's the one who's at risk of not passing the grade, not the one who's bored right now. You can always, always supplement at home for the bright kid, starting with Khan Academy classes.

Feel the Orinda Unified District (Public) Elementary level does an excellent job across diverse learners in a class.  I'd help out occasionally in class and was astounded at the variety of abilities in class.  No grades...just below/at standard (or above) Initially felt it was not enough...later decided it was a great thing to let the kids learn w/o pressure of grades. Quality will vary depending on teacher but we were quite happy.  Parent community has nice level of involvement.

The local HSs are good but I've read they do better with achievers. Mine classified as "gifted" but there were no obvious programs, there's just freedom to adjust curriculum.


I too would be interested in the information you receive about your question. I have one kid who is 4 and has been diagnosed with mild ASD.


You should look into Montessori.