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State Sees Drop In Gifted Program Enrollment

Junior Ashley Thacker, reading a book on poetry, is currently still an active member of the PACE program which is sponsored by Beth Andersen.

Through the years there has been a significant drop in student involvement in Gifted Programs across the state.

This data visualization shows the drop in student participation grades kindergarten through 12th grade.

The sponsor for the high school’s gifted program, Beth Andersen, explained the factors that go into determining the qualifications for the gifted program and reasons why some students decide to drop out.

“We look for students who, for example, pick up on information very quickly and understand the nuance of language more readily,” Andersen said. “If a student is gifted his or her academic needs aren’t necessarily being met entirely in the classroom, or that kid may just have additional needs to his or her best and greatest potential.”

Junior Ashley Thacker joined PACE in 3rd grade after being recommended by her teacher. Thacker is still a member of the gifted program, participating in any events she is eligible to be involved in.

“At the junior high we [pace students] were with Mrs. Sebra and we did a project with a greenhouse,” Thacker said. “But in 9th grade we didn’t have a project to be active in.”

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