Parent Guide

"Parent Guide to High Ability Education and Advocacy"



You can refer to Section III of the Parent Guide also listed on this page or use the
following quick links to aid you in your advocacy efforts.

~ Contact your state and federal legislators to voice your support for funding high
ability education. Not sure who your legislators are?
Go here and type in your address to
receive a listing of federal, state, and local legislators. Web sites and addresses are
included. You can often submit a brief email right online.

~ Or, if you would like to address a legislator in person,
here are some tips on
what you can share with them.

~ For tips on advocating for your child at school,
click here.

Reading Material

1. "Genius Denied" by Jan and Bob Davidson
"Parenting Gifted Kids" by James R. Delisle
"Helping Gifted Children Soar" by Carol A. Strip
“Gifted Kidsʼ Survival Guide For Ages 10 and Under” Judy Galbraith
“The Survival Guide For Parents Of Gifted Kids” (older kids) Sally Yahnke Walker
“Light Up Your Childʼs Mind” Sally Reis and Joseph Renzulli
7. Do searches on Amazon or Google for topics like:
Parenting Gifted Children,
Intensities of Gifted Children, Twice-Exceptional, Advocating For Your Gifted Child,
Raising Gifted Kids
8. For more resources, please see the resource pages in the Parent Guide, also
listed on the Parent Resource Center page.

High Ability vs. Gifted

The state of Indiana has gone to using the term “high ability” almost exclusively instead of “gifted”. The terms are intended to be mostly synonymous though the phrase
“high ability” may be a bit more broad. For some thoughts on this topic, view this article

by Carol Bainbridge.

High Ability Education Policy


In July of 2007, the State of Indiana mandated services for all high ability

Effective July 1, 2007, Indiana schools shall identify students with high ability in the
general intellectual and specific academic domains and provide them with appropriately
differentiated curriculum and instruction in core content areas, K-12 (refer to IC-
The Indiana Code defines a student with high abilities as one who:

1. performs at, or shows the potential for performing at, an outstanding level of
accomplishment in at least one domain when compared to other students of the
same age, experience, or environment; and:

2. is characterized by exceptional gifts, talents, motivation, or interests (IC

For more information regarding state policies and legislation, see: (Indiana DOE High Ability Page)
Indiana Code for High Ability Programs

Schooling Options for High-Ability Students

Public Charter Schools
Under the federal Public Charter Schools Program Indiana began authorizing these
schools in 2002. They provide small-scale educational programs managed by governing
boards comprised of teachers, parents, and community members, and offer a range of
educational programs and enhanced parent-teacher communication.

Indiana Academy
Founded in 1988 by the Indiana General Assembly, the Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities has two purposes that are central to its mission. First, the Indiana Academy serves as a residential high school for approximately 300 gifted and talented juniors and seniors from across the state of Indiana. Second, through various Outreach programs, the Indiana Academy strives to stimulate and enable vitality in educational programs for academically gifted students and teachers.
The Indiana Academy is located on the Ball State University campus and is accredited by the Indiana Department of Education and by the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges through the University Schools. It is a member of the National Association of College Admission Counseling and complies with the NACAC "Statement of Principles of Good Practice."The Academy has been nationally recognized as a premier educational institution for gifted and talented students.

The Open Enrollment Program provides interdistrict and intradistrict enrollment options
for students on a space-available basis in order to improve academic achievement and
reduce racial, ethnic, and economic isolation. Parents have the choice to move their
child to another school corporation as long as they are willing to abide by the cash
transfer policies of the accepting school district.

Private/Non-Public Schools
For non-public schools who want to be accredited, the Indiana State Board of Education
has established a performance-based accreditation system. The standards for
accreditation are the same standards required of all public schools.
Independent Schools Association of the Central States


Stay up to date on current national education policy and reform. There is
currently no national mandate regarding high ability education. The Elementary and
Secondary Education Act of 1965, reauthorized as the No Child Left Behind Act in 2001,
“has been the most far-reaching federal legislation affecting education ever passed by
Congress” according to Wikipedia
. It was again revised in May of 2010
under President Obama. Click here for more about this Act.
(You will note that there is no specific language in the
document regarding high ability education.)

A bill has been proposed in Congress that would allow for some government
funding of high ability programs nationwide. This is known as the TALENT Act and has
been introduced in Congress and has gone to committee. Below you will find links
regarding this Act.

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