Posted by: ladybughugs | June 19, 2008

Our Johns Hopkins Scholar

Last week I walked Scout into school one morning because he was carrying (in addition to his backpack, lunch box, and current Harry Potter book) goodies for his birthday celebration in class that afternoon (it’s not his birthday, but kids with summer birthdays get to pick a day to celebrate in school). Some goodies needed to go into the freezer, some the refrigerator, and the rest to the classroom. Someone also needed to let the wonderful Mrs. T know that there were goodies and that he’d like to celebrate his birthday today, if that’s okay, please? Because Scout failed to mention it to her every day for the last two weeks! Of course she said yes, because she is wonderful.

She had something to return to me so we talked for a few minutes and then she had to get to the children who were in the gym and I was running late and had to get Lil’bug to daycare and myself to work. I stopped, just for a moment, in the gym to hear what the principal was talking to the children about and she mentioned this year’s winners of the John’s Hopkins Scholar awards, grades 2-8, top 5%. That’s all I got. I was at one end of the gym, she was at the other. There were only 18 recipients in the school (which is actually about 20% of the school) which, I think, included all of the second grade.

Then, when she got to the fourth grade, the most amazing thing happened…she called Scout’s name! So now I gotta know, what is this John’s Hopkins Scholar award?!


Later that day (letter from school)…

Dear Scout’s Mom & Dad:


We are pleased to inform you…eligible to participate in the 2008 CTY Talent Search, sponsored by the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth. …identify, assess, and recognize the academic abilities of highly able students.

…must score in the 95th percentile…reasoning section of a national-normed test. Students with state test results…highest levels of performance (…advanced, distinguished, exceeds, honors) … eligible to participate.

Qualified students…apply to the Talent Search…receive test registration materials…SCAT test (grades 2-6)…College Board SAT and the ACT (7-8). These tests are given as above-grade-level tests to better assess the mathematical and verbal reasoning abilities of highly able students. The Talent Search offers a variety of services and opportunities for students after they test; (reference to enclosed brochure that was not enclosed). Website. Decision about participation strictly up to parents; notifying you of your child’s eligibility…policy to inform parents about programs that may help meet the special educational needs of their children.

Brochures TK from Johns Hopkins, will forward.


I’m in over my head here. I don’t know what to do with this! I’m debating, is he too young? should I just let him be a kid and enjoy his summer or should I push him? should I have him take the test just to see? He REALLY LIKES math.

We’re getting a new principal who is bringing in a new, computerized math program that will pace the kids based on their abilities. Do I wait and see how that goes? On the last day of school he brought home a packet of math from the new principal that is to be completed and turned in the first week of school. It’s designed to keep their skills sharp so they’ll need less refresher in September. Should I let it go at that?

My fear is that this could be the difference between public high school (a good school) and a scholarship to a private school and if we don’t act on it we might regret it.

I don’t think his current school has the resources for AP math. So, if he tests as highly-abled I’m not sure where that would get us.

And so the questions keep swirling around and around in my head. I think I need chocolate.



  1. Definitely go for the scholarship! I think he can handle it and it goes a LONG way towards the future. If nothing else, it looks good for a college transcript. C-boo did something similar and she loved it! Also, both C-boo and N-boo are taking summer science camp this year at University of Alabama in Birmingham. C-boo was recommended to the program by her 7th grade science teacher since she had a 97 average in honors science this year. Her camps are chemistry-based. . N-boo just loves the outdoors and both her grade camps are outdoor and environmental in nature. Call if you want to talk it out, but my vote is to go for it!!!

  2. Hi – I found you through Fox and Maus and I was just poking through your blog.

    My oldest daughter (13) received a similar award from Duke University. She was required to take the SAT and gain a certain score to make it into the actual program. That part is considerably harder. Even if they do make the program, it’s very expensive, but it sounds cool.

    When you are blessed with bright children the struggle every day is to not push too hard. I sympathize with you. Do what your heart tells you and try to check your ego at the door. You’ll make the right decision.

    (And yikes, kids are still in school? Ours were out on May 23rd. But we never have snow days to make up.)

  3. I somehow came upon this blog entry while doing a google search for something else. I know you posted this about half a year ago, but you sound really worried so I thought I would give you a bit of advice.

    I qualified for the Johns Hopkins CTY when I was 12 (I scored very well on the qualifying test), but didn’t go to the summer program. Ironically, I ended up attending Johns Hopkins for college on a very nice scholarship package. During the summer I would see the little kids in the program running around campus. =)

    Anyway, my advice to you is that whether or not your son attends the Center of Talented Youth is no big deal. It could be a nice bullet point on his college application, but it’s highly, highly unlikely that it’ll make any difference in his future. Hope that helps!

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