Opportunities for gifted students in West Orange

If gifted students want to challenge their minds, they have a variety of after-school programs available in West Orange

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  • | 3:45 p.m. August 10, 2016
  • West Orange Times & Observer
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When Ashley Moore was 15, she had a job as a graphic designer, where she excelled. But when she was at school, she noticed her peers bullied her often. 

“I just didn’t fit in, but as soon as I would leave school and use these coding and design skills, people would treat me like I had a magical power,” Moore said. “So they gave me a lot of respect and it was very easy to make friends.”

Moore now owns Codeteachers, a company that teaches students how to code and use technology skills. The company also teaches the students how to avoid being bullied — or being  a bully — and seeks to raise confidence in students.

If your child is a gifted student like Ashley, there are several options to look into to challenge your child’s mind. 


WEBSITE: codeteachers. com EMAIL: Ashley Moore, [email protected] 

Depending on the evening, Codeteachers classes meet at ScribbleSpace in Summerport Village or at Hub 925 in Dr. Phillips. 

Younger children can start in more basic classes such as STEAM and from there go into Intro to Coding. Codeteachers also offers classes such as game design and coding. 

Currently, Moore is offering different levels of gifted coding classes throughout the week as well. 

Students in the gifted coding classes get to learn more advanced coding concepts. 

Ultimately, the students are learning advanced skills, so Moore wants to teach them more than just coding. 

“They’re going to learn more than sometimes their parents know,” Moore said. “We want to make sure that they don’t use those (skills) for hacking or something like that. We really want them to feel that this for them to do good for the world and also to teach it to someone else.”

This year, Codeteachers is putting after-school programs in 20 to 25 schools in Orange County.


13848 Tilden Road, Suite 172, Winter Garden (Winter Garden); 7536 Dr Phillips Blvd., Orlando (Dr. Phillips)

PHONE: (321) 236-2842 (Winter Garden); (407) 243-6284 (Dr. Phillips)

WEBSITE: mathnasium. com 

Mathnasium caters to all students who want to improve their math skills — whether they are gifted or behind in the subject.

Locally, Mathnasium has two locations, Winter Garden and Dr. Phillips. 

When students enter, they take an assessment to see where they are and what they need to work on. From there, the director makes a personalized plan for each student. 

“My main focus is making sure kids have confidence,” said  Sue LaPointe, director of education and owner of the Winter Garden location. 

After students have a curriculum plan, Mathnasium operates like a gym, LaPointe said. Students pay a monthly fee and come as often or as little as they choose. When they come in, students lower than algebra spend 60 minutes there, while students taking algebra and above spend 90 minutes there — to get about 45 minutes of homework help and 45 minutes of the Mathnasium curriculum. 

While at Mathnasium, there are one to three students for each instructor so the instructor can allow the student to work out problems in-between receiving help. Instructors usually are college students in fields such as math and engineering. The instructors must score an 85% on a difficult math examination in order to become a teacher there. 

Mathnasium also offers students a chance to participate in competitions. This fall, local Mathnasiums will come together, competing in areas like mental math.

Gifted University

13848 Tilden Road, Suite 200, Winter Garden PHONE: (407) 877-4438

WEBSITE: gifteduniversity. org 

Gifted University has a variety of options available for gifted students.

This school year marks the opening of TAG Academy, also known as the Academy for the Talented and Gifted. It is a hybrid homeschool, which makes it ideal for students who need a flexible school schedule, especially student athletes. 

The school has a partnership with Florida Virtual School, and teachers are on-site at TAG to work with the students on understanding and completing the assignments. 

Students also take electives in the arts and can take physical education courses if they are not already involved in a sport.

“We’re here to support the academics and infuse the arts,” said Shelly Webster, an owner of Gifted University. 

But Gifted University also offers programs for students who are just looking for additional enrichment after school. The Gifted Club allows students to go from two to five days a week after school, to receive homework help, computer lab time and a different specialty class each day. Course choices range from learning a foreign language to a musical instrument. The club also has a strong acting and theater program. 

The Gifted Club schedule tries to stay as close to Orange County Public Schools’ schedule as possible. The club provides transportation for students at several elementary and middle schools in the Horizon West area.

Contact Jennifer Nesslar at [email protected].


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