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Suggestions for a Better G&T Information Session

As promised, here are my top 10 suggestions for the Department of Education’s future gifted and talented information sessions:

  1. There should be a “first come, first seated” policy on seating. When it’s full don’t allow anyone else into the session.
  2. Make sure the facility doesn’t get too hot. Parents are already on edge to begin with so the heat during the Manhattan session last week just added to anxiety levels.
  3. Start the gifted and talented information sessions later than 6:30 p.m. Many people work until 6 or 7 p.m. so getting to the school in time for the G&T information session by 6:30 p.m. could be difficult for some.
  4. Present additional information about the gifted and talented program that people wouldn’t be able to get online.
  5. Distribute FAQs at the beginning of the meeting so parents can review those questions and answers during the presentation.
  6. Hold audience Q&A at the end and have people line up on the side for their questions. There should be a microphone to speak into so everyone can hear the questions instead of the presenter shouting and repeating the question to the audience.
  7. For any answers available online refer parents to online instead of addressing those questions.
  8. Conduct more gifted and talented information sessions in Manhattan and other boroughs.
  9. Allow parents who have gone through the gifted and talented testing process with their children give a presentation to the audience.
  10. Have the information session as a live webcast or taped webinar. Many people have small children at home and can’t find babysitters during weekdays.

If you attended one of these sessions (or even if you did not), I am interested to know what you think: How could these sessions be improved?

About our First Person series:

First Person is where Chalkbeat features personal essays by educators, students, parents, and others trying to improve public education. Read our submission guidelines here.

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