Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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Do I have to become a member to sign up for classes?

Membership brings extra benefits, but no, you don’t need to be a member. We are a service program that is part of a nonprofit organization. As a member you have access to an online discussion group composed of other members, moderated by members of the Alumni Advisory Team. You qualify for free and low cost swag. You get priority registration for all activities.

Do we require a school recommendation in order to enroll?

These classes are designed for gifted, high achieving, creative-minded students whose learning style is different from the style taught in most school classrooms. A student who thrives on repetition and drill may be very uncomfortable in a classroom where “kangaroo leaps” are the norm. Parents know their child best; and may recognize their child’s gifts when school personnel do not. Parents can often point out the limitations of a standardized assessment that primarily highlights what the child cannot do. We strongly suggest that prior to enrolling you discuss our program with your child’s teacher or other professional to determine if it is appropriate.

My child is gifted and has a learning disability. Is this program appropriate?

Many gifted students with learning challenges have participated in programs like this in the past. Our teachers set the standards of behavior in their classroom, and all students are expected to conform to their teacher’s rules. Because of this, the level of structure and standards of behavior can vary from teacher to teacher and from class to class. We cannot guarantee that any individual teacher or staff member will have knowledge about how to work with any specific disability.

You should consider each class description carefully, including any “Special Skills Required” included at the end of each, to help determine whether that class is appropriate for your child.

Parent Participation

STEP is run by a small group committed to serving our exceptional children. We recommend that all parents make a commitment to their children by participating where possible. Classes are hands-on and held on a public campus, making parental presence and assistance a priority for the children’s success and safety. On the first day of classes, each parent is urged to sign up to volunteer for at least one day.

Publicity and Media Waiver

Periodically, members of the print and broadcast media may visit classes to obtain information for stories about our program. All students enrolled in the program and their parents automatically grant their permission for the use of any record of student activity (i.e. photos, movies, videotape) happening in the classroom and/or at the program site in general. Names will not be used without specific permission.