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Class Notes: States gifted program gets update
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Gifted students who do not perform well in general education classrooms will no longer be booted from the gifted program under an update to the state program’s procedures. It’s the first update to the state-mandated program since 1998.

Students now will be safe unless they underachieve in the gifted program.

Merrianne Dyer, superintendent of Gainesville City Schools, said some students who test into the gifted program through one quality, verbal for example, may do poorly in another, like math.

“We will revise our procedures that we have and put those new rules in our procedures,” she said.

Another update parents of gifted children may notice is more information going home, something set forth by the new rules.

“There will be better communication,” Dyer said.

The changes go into effect this fall.

Gainesville schools receive favorable technology report

Gainesville hosts 7,153 students in 415 classrooms and the technology the school system provides them, according to the annual district report, is on point.

“We’re doing very well,” Dyer said.

The schools boast 2.19 students per instructional computers, which total 3,267.

The national average is more than three students per computer.

More than 1,700 of those computers are less than 5 years old.

Dyer noted a few areas of improvement from last year, including an increased bandwidth and equipping 100 percent of classrooms with wireless Internet access.

“We had an outside consultant do a complete analysis one year ago,” Dyer said. “That included an analysis of our teachers’ use of technology. We not only worked on our infrastructure, but we did a lot of professional learning as well.”

Lee Johnson covers education issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with him:

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