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'I Already Learned This': The Challenge Of Teaching TAG Students


Anna and Johnathan sit at a table together in the classroom they visit once every two weeks, as part of the David Douglas School District program for students identified as Talented And Gifted.

Anna and Johnathan sit at a table together in the classroom they visit once every two weeks, as part of the David Douglas School District program for students identified as Talented And Gifted.

Roxy De La Torre/OPB

Oregon leaders are working toward a perfect graduation rate by the year 2025. Right now, Oregon doesn’t come close — and doesn’t even hit 100 percent for the state’s brightest students.

High schoolers designated as “Talented And Gifted” have a graduation rate of more than 90 percent, but these exceptional students experience bumps along their educational journeys, too. Teachers say one of the biggest difficulties is keeping these smart learners engaged and feeling challenged.

The question is, how can schools serve both TAG students and classmates who may take longer to learn new material?

OPB’s “Class of 2025” podcast continues with a story about Anna and Johnathan, two TAG students OPB has been following since kindergarten.

Class of 2025 student Johnathan grabs his backpack.

Class of 2025 student Johnathan grabs his backpack.

Roxy De La Torre/OPB

They spend most of their time in a regular neighborhood school but leave their home campus once every two weeks for a “pull-out” program for TAG kids at another elementary school. The students appreciate the challenge yet struggle with the social dynamics of being part of two different school environments. So we’ll compare and contrast that with a visit to a school that’s just for TAG kids, all-day, every day.

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