FHS Gifted Department

  Fontainebleau High School - Mandeville, LA


This is where you can find answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Gifted at FHS.  If you don't see your question/answer here, you may submit your question to: [email protected] and it will be added to the list.

If you have a question specific to your student, you can email [email protected] and request a phone conference.

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Why does the Spring schedule have so many changes?

Posted by Lenora on August 11, 2015 at 8:30 AM

When the Fall schedules are created, JPams has certain requirements that sometimes cause random classes and shuffling to occur on the Spring schedules.  In December before the Christmas Break, each student will receive a NEW Spring schedule that the counselors have adjusted to match Honors/Gifted/elective concerns. At that time, students will have a chance to turn in a schedule change request if they are missing a class or don’t have gifted, etc. Some students may end up with a few new teachers based on how their courses fit with the Master Schedule.  If your student has any trouble with scheduling a Gifted course, have them go by and see Mrs. Nelson in room 514.


Who do I contact about my student's IEP?

Posted by Lenora on March 10, 2015 at 12:10 AM

You can send a message from the Contact page in the menu above and it will be sent to the department chair, me.  OR You can email me directly at [email protected]

IEPs that will expire before May each year, will be completed by the Junior High gifted teachers.  Any that are due in May will be completed by the High School teachers.  You should have received paperwork to fill out and as May approaches, a high school gifted teacher will contact you.  If your student's IEP is due in the FALL, the gifted teacher may wait to contact you in August depending on the actual IEP date.  IEP changes in the Fall due to scheduling changes will be done by me and sent home for signatures.

Should my student take ALL Gifted classes? Will this interfere with extracurricular activities?

Posted by Lenora on March 9, 2015 at 11:55 AM

ALL Gifted classes:  If your student's strength is math and not English (ELA) or social studies, then he/she should only take Gifted Math.  From my observations over the years, students that consistently score Mastery/Advanced in a given subject will do well in that Gifted Subject.  Of course there are the exceptions of students that score high on LEAP and are underperforming (not reaching their potential) and some students excel in the classroom, but struggle with standardized tests.  So if your student scored a Basic, but excels in the gifted classroom, he/she will most likely continue to excel in the gifted classroom.

Gifted + Extracurricular:  While high school is more demanding than junior high, if your student was able to balance extracurricular activities at the junior high level, he/she will most likely still be able to balance extracurricular at the high school level.  I have found that the Gifted teachers with the smaller class sizes (10-25) tend to get to know the students better and are more willing to work with due dates and be flexible.  With the gifted students all usually in the same classes, it is easier for teachers to ask what other projects are ongoing at the time.  There will be weeks when your student may have multiple tests all on the same day.  However, they are never a surprise and if students use their planners wisely and study a little each day it doesn't become overwhelming.  I have noticed that our gifted students who are also highly involved generally become better at time management and organization.  Colleges also like to see students that are involved in extracurricular activities.

What is the benefit of taking harder classes (Gifted/AP) in regard to GPA/Scholarships?

Posted by Lenora on March 9, 2015 at 11:45 AM

Colleges like to see that a student is taking on difficult classes.  While a 3.0 unweighted GPA is good, a 3.0 unweighted GPA that includes Gifted/AP/Honors classes is more valuable.  Placing two students side by side and all things being equal except the rigor of classes, colleges will choose the candidate that took the more difficult courses.  However, if your student is lack-luster about school and performs in the D/C range, you may want to consider not placing him/her in Gifted as a "D/F", no matter the rigor, does not look good on a transcript.  Within the first week of school, you and your student will have a good idea if the Gifted class is going to be too much for him/her.  At that time a schedule change can be made or at the Semester break.

How do Gifted vs. Honors classes affect GPA?

Posted by Lenora on March 9, 2015 at 11:35 AM

Both the Gifted and the Honors classes earn a quality point (for grades above D), meaning an A is worth 5pts rather than 4pts.  This affects the GPA by having a "weighted GPA" that can be over 4.0.  While colleges want "unweighted GPAs" to be high, they do make considerations for students that have taken harder classes (Gifted/AP) but performed in the B/C range.  I have personally written letters for students in this situation and they were then admitted to the college of their choice.

There has been some discussion from the state about making Honors and Gifted separate "weights" for TOPS (no decision has been made on this).

How does the pace of the Gifted Class compare to Honors?

Posted by Lenora on March 6, 2015 at 3:00 PM

Gifted Math: In addition to going in-depth we also cover advanced topics not routinely covered in the Honors classroom.  Once school is underway, we are generally about 2-3 weeks ahead of the Honors classes.  In Algebra II and Precalculus this pace is used to include extensive ACT review in the Spring Semester.

Gifted English: At times the pace is slightly accelerated, but more importantly, the difference between honors and gifted is the level of intellectual curiosity expected from the students.  Gifted students are expected to examine literature and respond to it with more depth and complexity, meaning that they should not only understand the work in terms of its importance in isolation, but they should make connections to other literature, real-life, and themselves through critical analysis and questioning.  Gifted students are expected to convey their ideas through both writing and discussion.

Gifted Social Studies:  The pace is generally about the same, but the teacher will go more in depth with the subject matter.

What Gifted classes are offered at FHS?

Posted by Lenora on March 6, 2015 at 2:05 PM

FHS offers Gifted:

English I, II, III, IV

Geometry, Algebra II, Precalculus

World Geography, Civics, American History, World History