October 18, 2017
As public schools struggle with how to best serve special needs students in the midst of the standardization and state standards-focused era, Solid Rock Community School in Tarpon Springs is providing more support and opportunities for students who otherwise do not always fit into the typical school setting. Solid Rock is known for providing multi-age and project-based education for general K-12 education students as well as students with special needs. And this year they have invested in increasing their support for even more students by adding additional social-emotional skill-building support, additional support for high achieving students, and a wrap-around inclusion program for twice exceptional (students with learning disabilities and gifted traits,) and gifted learners too.
This year, Solid Rock added a new position of “director of gifted education” to their repertoire, and hired gifted education specialist, Kathleen Casper, J.D., who formerly held the position of the state gifted education specialist in Tallahassee at the Florida Department of Education. Ms. Casper currently is also the president of the Florida Association for the Gifted, the author of many articles on gifted education topics, a consultant to schools across the state, and an attorney and foster parent, whose interest is in developing programs that support the whole gifted child.
“At SRCS we know that giftedness is not just about what a child can do, it’s who they are. And gifted and twice exceptional children are welcomed and supported here.” (Solid Rock Community School website)
“It is important that we focus on increasing support for all of our gifted students, not only our highest performers. We have many gifted students who no longer want to play the game of school because they are not being supported adequately or they have poor academic habits from years of being able to skate by on their ability to memorize or mask other challenges. But at Solid Rock we will be identifying and supporting our out-of-the-box thinkers with gifted traits, and helping them achieve amazing things,” Ms. Casper states.
The gifted services at Solid Rock are much more than plopping students into a ‘program’ and hoping they can keep up with high performers. At Solid Rock, each student is evaluated on a regular basis to ensure the academic program fits, and they are wrapped with support and understanding by staff who appreciate and care about gifted children and their unique needs, and they are surrounded by peers who understand and enjoy them.
Solid Rock Community School is a 501c3 non-profit, tax-exempt, co-educational, skill level based, K-12 private school. Solid Rock Community School caters to a diverse group of students including those who are typical, gifted, or struggle with academic delays, emotional and social differences, autism or other disabilities. Many students who do not fit in the box of traditional education excel at Solid Rock Community School.
To find out more information, visit or call (727) 934-0909.
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