Silverleaf School is especially suited to meet the needs of talented and gifted learners.

While it’s true that gifted children have a increased capacity for concepts beyond that of their same-aged peers, these precocious children often have developmental differences from other children.  They perceive and interact with the world differently from other children.


Being gifted does not mean being an “overachiever” or a “smart person”.  While all children have unique gifts and talents, not all meet the definition of “talented and gifted.”  According to the National Association for Gifted Children, children are gifted when their ability is significantly above the norm for their age.

Giftedness may manifest in one or more domains such as; intellectual, creative, artistic, leadership, or in a specific academic field such as language arts, mathematics or science.  Children can be gifted in athletics, music, art, reading, writing, mathematics, science, leadership…each child is unique and each has special gifts.

Not all gifted children look or act alike. Giftedness exists in every demographic group and personality type. It is important that adults look hard to discover potential and support gifted children as they reach for their personal best.

Gifted children differ from smart kids in that they have a disparity or asynchrony in their development.  They may have ability significantly above the norm in one area while having normal aptitude or even a deficit in another area.  Some research suggests the greater the disparity, the higher the level of giftedness.

Some children are gifted in one area may experience a disability in another area which is commonly referred to as twice-exceptional.  While Silverleaf understands twice-exceptionality and can often provide supports other schools cannot, Silverleaf does not provide the additional resources required to support students with behavioral deficits.  For this reason, Silverleaf is unable to enroll students whose behavior requires substantial teacher and staff attention and/or intervention.


Gifted children have a hunger for knowledge and a passion for learning.  They require differentiation such as acceleration and compacting curriculum in some subject areas and not in others.  There are levels of giftedness and the higher the level, the more asynchronous the development of the student–the larger the gap or mismatch among areas of development.  There may be between three and five talented and gifted students in each classroom of a public school while some teachers will never come across or recognize a level four gifted learner.  Some characteristics of highly gifted children include:

  • Learns Rapidly and Independently

  • Advanced Reasoning Skills

  • Excellent Memory

  • Perfectionistic

  • Mature Judgement

  • Sensitive and Intuitive

  • Avid Reader/Interest in Books

  • Passion and Perseverance for Learning

  • Complex Vocabulary

  • Vivid Imagination

  • Wide Range of Interests

  • Intense Curiosity

  • Terrific Sense of Humor

  • Strong sense of Justice and Fairness

  • Tends to Question Authority

  • Compassionate

  • Wide Range of Interests

  • Complexity in Play