Seth wants an education
Organized by: Stacey Buccella
We are reaching out on behalf of our 10 year old son, Seth. As soon as Seth was born, we knew he was different. He is extremely bright, loves learning and actually seeks out new things to learn in his free time. Most people say that we are lucky to have such a smart child. Indeed we are, but Seth is the one that is not lucky. New York State and our local public school system have failed him and unfortunately, we do not earn enough money to send him to the type of school he needs.
We have been inquiring about acceleration for him since he entered Pre-K. We also have been looking since then for a program or school that would better suit his needs, allow him to be challenged, and let him satisfy his need for learning. We have been very diligent in our efforts, but we keep ending up at the same place.
Seth has the type of mind that could lead him to do great things. Despite our greatest efforts, Seth has never been challenged the way he should be through our local public and private schools. Through NYS's increasing focus on state assessments our local public school not only wasn't able to challenge Seth, they were going to make him re-take the little bit that he had been accelerated in the past. With this being completely unacceptable to us, we started looking more seriously for alternatives. We found a private school that allowed us on a trail basis to jump him straight from 4th grade to 7th. Though he has enjoyed the experience, is excelling academically, and was just inducted into the National Junior Honor Society, the level of instruction and environment still does not nurture his level of intelligence.
With all the emphasis on education, it should not be this hard to get a brilliant child an education he deserves! It would be a disgrace to have this extraordinary mind whither on the vine via boredom through an ordinary education. All of the focus and funds are given to those children who are struggling and below grade level. We understand the need to give these children help, but not at the expense of my child and children like him getting the education they need. There is no good reason why children should have to be tested and taught at their chronological age. Why don't schools want to challenge and nurture intelligent children? Why do they wait until they are in middle school before they even think about accelerating them? They love learning now and want to learn now! If they continue to bore them in classes that are not challenging and refuse to offer them anything to stimulate their need for knowledge, that yearning will disappear and they have just wasted a mind that could have done something great like curing cancer or otherwise advancing society.
There is a new school opening in our area that we believe would be a perfect place for Seth to grow and help him reach his potential. The Academy Buffalo has abandoned the concept of "grade levels" altogether. They offer one-on-one lessons based on each child's interests, strengths, and learning style, as well as weekly field trips to apply and reinforce that week's instruction. We recently were notified that Seth was chosen for a full tuition scholarship for one year to The Academy Buffalo. Although this is wonderful news, Seth is only 10 and as brilliant as he is, it is unlikely he will be ready to graduate high school at 11.
Buffalo has another wonderful school that is closer to what Seth needs than where he currently attends, but again it is extremely expensive. Seth has been accepted to Nichols School and we are just waiting to see what kind of financial aid they can offer. Part of their application process included an entrance test. They use the Otis-Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT) as part of that testing. According to information I have found regarding the OLSAT, most frequently, the term "gifted" is assigned to a student whose score falls 2 or more standard deviations above the mean. For the OLSAT, this translates into a score of 132 or higher. Seth scored a 144, out of a maximum of 150.
We feel that Seth would really thrive in one of these school or a school like them. We would be happy to drive any distance each day to get Seth the education he craves but The Academy Buffalo is about $22,000 per year and Nichols School is between $19,725 and $21,175 depending on the grade of the student. We are both veterans of the U.S. Navy but our combined income is only $35,000 per year.
Seth has so much to offer and he should not suffer because we are not wealthy. Therefore, we humbly ask that you consider sponsoring Seth's education.
Thank you very much for your time and consideration.
Stacey & Frank Buccella