Monday, October 22, 2018

Passing the Torch

As of the 2018-19 school year, the Gilbert Supporters of the Gifted mission
will be carried out by Gilbert's ​Gifted Education Parent Council (GEPC).

Follow on Facebook:

The Arizona Association for Gifted & Talented (AAGT) at

Monday, October 15, 2018

AAGT Parent Institute: October 20th!

Many parents of gifted kids are anxious about the transition of their gifted student from elementary to junior high or junior high to high school or high school to college.  Parental concerns cover the spectrum from social emotional development to helping teachers understand their gifted child's learning differences.  At the October 20th AAGT Parent Institute classes will be offered to support advocacy skills.   

Guest speaker Deb Douglas of GT Carpe Diem will be sharing the keynote address "Letting Go While Holding On: Supporting Our Children's Self-Advocacy."  This will help parents develop mindfulness in their own parenting efforts.  Deb will then lead attending teens in a self-discovery and empowerment workshop to support them in developing their self-advocacy skills.  Additional parent classes on various aspects of giftedness will be available throughout the day.  Spanish translation will be provided.

Empowering gifted teens to take charge of their own learning is critical to their growth.  To this end, AAGT has decided that the teen GT Carpe Diem workshop will be FREE.  Seating is limited.  Please help us spread the word about this event! 

See you October 20th at Parent Institute!

"The goal in teaching self-advocacy is not to assure Success, but to give each learner the information he or she needs to make wise decisions that contribute to the ultimate Success - a rich, reflective and self-fulfilling life." ~ Deb Douglas, GT Carpe Diem 

"I would wish for each child at least one adult who helps the child find the voice of self-advocacy and the courage to use it." ~ Carol Ann Tomlinson

WHAT:  AAGT Annual Parent Institute
DATE: Saturday, Oct 20th
TIME: 9am -3pm
LOCATION:  Gilbert Classical Academy

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Tips for requesting next year's teacher for your gifted child

Spring has sprung!  While you are enjoying the warm spring of Arizona and dreading the blazing heat of summer, you also may be concerned about how to request next year's teacher for your gifted child.  How do you articulate your child's intensities?  How do you articulate your child's fear of failure?  Her intense emotions that can pop out unexpectedly?  His struggle with boredom in class?

Schools today have veered away from "Teacher Request Forms" and now usually provide "Environmental Request Forms."  This can be to the parent's benefit since it is hard for parents to know what resources are available on campus and what training teachers have had.

As parents of gifted students, we often identify emotionally with our child's needs before we are able to articulate them.  On the Gilbert Supporters of the Gifted website's Advocacy page are tips to organize information on your child, including the articulating and organizing of your parental instincts and observations.  Once this is done, you will have tools to express the needs of your child.

  • Organizing data:  Also known as gathering "Objective Assessments" and includes any test scores that have identified your child as gifted.  See "Objective Assessments" on the GSG Advocacy page.
  • Organizing opinions and observations:  Also known as gathering "Subjective Assessments" and includes parent observations.  See "Subjective Assessments" on the GSG Advocacy page.  
    • GSG provides three informal surveys for parents on the GSG Advocacy page to help articulate your observations of your gifted child. Once you complete these simple surveys, phrases such as the ones listed below will likely help you complete your school's Environmental Request Form.
  • My gifted child has emotional and sensual gifted intensity(s) and will do best at school if he/she has a teacher who is trained in and has experience with gifted education strategies for working with gifted intensities and uses a firm, yet not overly loud voice for discipline and class management.
  • My gifted child has a strong love of truth, equity and fair play but struggles with being practical in its application.  My gifted child is also creative and inventive and may wish to do things out of step.  My child will do best at school if he/she has a teacher who is trained in and has experience with gifted education strategies to support both the strengths and challenges of gifted students.
  • My gifted child scored in the 99th percentile in quantitative reasoning on the CogAT.  He will experience growth and do best with a teacher who is trained in and has experience with gifted education teaching strategies who will allow him to have subject pre-assessments and support him in learning at his own pace.
  • My gifted child scored in the 98th percentile in non-verbal reasoning (visual-spatial learning style) on the CogAT.  My child will experience growth with a teacher who is trained in and has experience with gifted education teaching strategies for visual-spatial learners and who actively supports and provides opportunities for creative expression.

Notice the common themes in the samples above:

  • State your gifted child's need(s) and a struggle (subjective data).  State that your child will do best/experience growth with a teacher trained in and has experience with gifted education teaching strategies.
  • State your child's CogAT score (objective data) and what you hope a gifted trained teacher will do to support the need.  
We cannot guarantee your child will receive a teacher who is the "perfect" fit, but we hope a "good fit" is likely with the above descriptors. Also, as a parent you will be empowered and educated on how to advocate for your child in a positive way.  Knowing positive advocacy is more likely to help you build bridges with your school and teachers than anything else.

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!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

ASU Open Door 2018

Please join in the fun at ASU Open Door @ Polytechnic on Jan. 26, from 4-9 p.m. on the ASU Polytechnic campus!
ASU Open Door @ Polytechnic offers a behind the scenes look into ASU’s state-of-the-art labs and learning environments. Come experience flight simulators, air traffic control simulators, the wonders of algae, new-age cars, play classic video games, and enjoy dance and theater performances.