Monday, April 2, 2018

Come celebrate Friday the 13th with other gifted kiddos from around the district!

Come have a good time!  Choose your activity!  Make new friends!

·        The monthly public star party of the East Valley Astronomy Club.  View the night sky through members’ telescopes, weather permitting, on the second Friday of each month.
·        Astronomical lecture at 7:30 PM inside the library. A lecture on a general Astronomy or Space Science topic is given in the meeting room of the Southeast Regional Library at 7:30 PM. Please use the side entrance (not the main entrance) for access.  Donations are accepted to attend the lecture.
·        Gilbert Rotary Centennial Observatory – Is open each Friday and Saturday from dark until 9:30 pm.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

AAGT - Legislative Update!

A Message from AAGT's Advocacy Committee
A Step By Step Guide to making your voice heard 

Help us cross the finish line! 

We are nearing the end of the legislative session! The good news is that we have gotten further than we ever have before in the fight to restore funding for gifted programs. Both of our bills passed (nearly unanimously) in every committee, and both were amended on the floor to increase the proposed funding to $2.9 million in the first year and $3.4 million in subsequent years. This is good news! 

The bad news is that, like all bills that include expenditures, these bills will not reach the Governor for signature. Instead, these bills will have to become part of the budget process and WE NEED YOUR HELP. As legislators are negotiating, we need gifted education to be on their minds. Will you help us keep gifted programs on their legislative radar?

It is simple and takes less than two minutes. 

STEP ONE: Paste the following list of Senators and Representatives into your bcc: box. 

STEP TWO: Come up with a subject line that mentions “Gifted.” You need not include the bill numbers. I like :“Make this the year for Gifted Education.”

STEP THREE: Write a quick note about why gifted education matters. Even a short personal note makes more of an impact than a form letter. 

That being said, here is what I am sending: “Thank you for your leadership this year to restore funding for gifted education. 89,000 gifted students and their families are counting on you. As the parent of three gifted kids, I can tell you that the programs, identification, and teacher training have suffered since the funding was eliminated in 2009. These high potential students need our support and I hope that you will support restored funding for gifted education in the budget.”

STEP FOUR: Hit send and feel a sense of satisfaction of having your voice heard. 

Bonus Points: Do you know who really needs hear about gifted education? The Governor’s Office. Year after year, restoration of gifted funding has not been included in the Governor’s Executive Budget (his list of budget priorities). A short note to the Governor would go a long way. The office contact information is here.

Thanks for all you do for gifted education! 
Your AAGT Advocacy Committee

Friday, February 16, 2018

2018 Legislative Action: Gifted Education Funding

The 2018 session of the Arizona Legislature is in full swing!  We want to keep you informed of AAGT's efforts to advocate for the restoration of funding for gifted education.  Currently gifted education is an unfunded state mandate.  The state has not funded gifted education since 2009.

This year House Bill (HB) 2112, sponsored by Rep. Heather Carter, has passed the House Education Committee and the House Appropriations Committee. (Click here to view the video of amazing testimony given at the House Appropriations Committee.)  It continues to move forward in the process!

Mirror bill, Senate Bill (SB) 1161, sponsored by Sen. Kate Brophy McGee, has passed the Senate Education Committee.  This year there is a new chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and he has agreed to put SB 1161 on Tuesday's agenda, February 20th.  Last year the former chair did not permit our bill to be placed on an agenda, so this year we are already making progress!

Gilbert's Gifted Education Parent Council (GEPC) is working with AAGT to spread the word on these legislative efforts and how you can help.  The GEPC is asking that all stakeholders (parents, grandparents, educators, etc.) send an email to members of the Senate Appropriations Committee.  Many thanks to the GEPC for preparing the sample email below.  Please try to email these Senators by Monday evening.

Sample email to Chairman Kavanagh and Vice Chair Petersen ...

Subject line:  SB1161 - Support for Gifted Education Funding

My name is  (your name here) and I am a (parent, educator, gifted student, administrator). I understand you will be hearing SB1161 on February 20th. This bill addresses Gifted Education funding. I am writing in support of SB1161, that helps restore funding for gifted education, assessments, and support needed to meet gifted students’ needs.

Arizona has a mandate stating that all public school districts must both identify gifted learners and provide appropriate educational programs and services for these students, yet there is no funding allocated specifically to gifted programming. Gifted allocations were defunded in 2010 due to fiscal budget cuts. Parents like me hope that there can be some effort made to help restore funding to gifted programming.

Gifted education is important to me (because...)

Thank you for your time,
(your name and contact info) Vice-Chairman

Thursday, January 25, 2018

GTC: Winter Newsletter & Important Dates

GPS Junior High Gifted Program

The GTC Winter Newsletter has been published to the GPS website.  

Highlights include:
  • Individual Educational Plans with student set SMART goals
  • Gifted Girls (GiGis) lunches
  • Visit from the Society of Women Engineers
  • Student written hi-lights

2018 Important Dates

  • GTC OPEN HOUSE: February 20, 2018 at 7pm in the library at Highland Junior High School. This event will allow for families to meet the teachers, view the campus and understand the curriculum.
  • GTC APPLICATION WINDOW FOR 2018-19 SCHOOL YEAR: March 7- March 30th. The application will be available in March on the GTC page of the GPS website.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

ASU Barrett Summer Scholars

From the ASU website: 

The Barrett Summer Scholars (BSS) program provides students with the opportunity to experience college firsthand and prepare for enrollment and success at Arizona State University and Barrett, the Honors College. The program is designed for academically-talented and motivated students entering the 8th, 9th, and 10th grade in fall 2018. Our residential program invites students to live on campus, engage in college-level coursework, and participate in a community of peers from across the state.

Click here to visit the ASU Barrett Summer Scholars website for more information.

Application deadline is March 5, 2018.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Local STEM Event

DATE:  March 3 - 4, 2018
TIME:  8 am - 6 pm
LOCATION:  Mesquite High School

Go For Launch! is a 2-day program (10 hours each day) that uses Space Exploration as a platform to launch student involvement in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), STEAM (Art), teamwork, communication and leadership. This program is created and presented by Higher Orbits, a non-profit, and was developed to reach high school-aged students.

Students are immersed in the wonder of Human Spaceflight through a variety of talks delivered by experts in the fields of space & STEM: such speakers have included an astronaut, former International Space Station (ISS) and Space Shuttle Flight Controllers, Astronaut Instructors, scientists, and engineers. Students get insight and feedback from experienced space and STEM professionals whose goals are to illustrate the numerous possibilities that exist in the world of STEM. A unique facet of Go For Launch! is that the students will work with an astronaut for during their time at the event.

Broken into teams, students will work together for the entire event. Nearly every talk features collaborative activity, before or after, where team members must work together to complete tasks for daily awards. These tasks are designed to build leadership and teamwork skills, as well as enhance team communication. The culminating exercise is a design project. Each team must define and design a space experiment. At the conclusion of each program, the teams will present their ideas to a panel of judges from the Space & STEM fields, who will then choose a winner from each Go For Launch! event. Depending on funding, the experiment will either launch, or it will be in competition with a handful of other projects from the same division and the division winner will have their experiment launched to the International Space Station.

One winning team will be selected from each individual Go For Launch! event. Winners within each division will compete for the division title and the winners of each division will have their experiments launched to space!