Monday, February 8, 2016

GPS Gifted Academy Proposal to School Board at Work Study - 2/9/16

This Tuesday, February 9th, at 6:30pm, the GPS Gifted Academy Committee will present its proposal to the GPS school board.  If you are able to come, your presence of support would be appreciated.   To attend in person: 
·         Board meetings are located at the district offices at SW corner of Gilbert Rd & Elliot - 140 South Gilbert Road, building A. 
·         The evening entrance is the set of doors to the right of the main doors, it’s marked with a sign.

The agenda for the work study is now posted on the district website and there are only three agenda items, the first two having to deal with junior high schools, #2 being the gifted academy proposal.  Presentations of this nature are usually about 30-45 minutes each, allowing for Q&A from board members.  Remaining at the meeting for agenda item #3 is not necessary as it deals with GPS employee benefits.

Links to watch via Livestream from home on your desk top computer are found in our previous blog post - http://gilbertgifted.blogspot.com/2016/02/gps-junior-high-gifted-academy-update.html.

View the work study agenda here:  http://www.boarddocs.com/az/gpsaz/Board.nsf/Public

Once you locate the agenda for February 9th:
·         Click on agenda item #2 and you will see there is an icon that looks like sheets of paper.  This icon indicates there are files attached.  Click this icon.
·         Now you will see links to view the proposal (power point slide presentation) and the in-depth report

Again, if you are able to come, your presence of visible support would be appreciated.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

GPS Junior High Gifted Academy Update

This Tuesday, February 9th, at 6:30pm, the GPS Gifted Academy Committee will present its proposal to the GPS school board.  You are invited to attend in person to show your support or watch via Livestream from home on your desk top computer.
Brief information about the proposal is found on the GPS website:  Proposed GPS Junior High Gifted Academy
Helpful information:
·         Public comment is not available at GPS School Board work study sessions
·         The agenda for the work study will contain the slides for each presentation given.  You can view the agenda by Monday and access the presentation slides by clicking GPS Board Docs
·         Click here to view the schedule of GPS board meetings
·         If you have questions or comments for GPS school board members you may email all board members at:  Board@gilbertschools.net

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE READ - Gifted Legislation TODAY at 2:00pm

ISSUE AT HAND

Today at 2:00pm the Arizona House will hear about House Bill (HB) 2356 which proposes that Gifted Funding in the state budget be moved from Group A to Group B.  This means that for the first time since the 2009 - 2010 school year that a dollar amount will be allocated for the education of each gifted child.

Click on this link to see a previous post that has a brief synopsis of gifted education funding history in Arizona.

Click here to see the text of HB 2356.

Click here to see a brief explanation of current funding law.

Gilbert Supporters of the Gifted (GSG) AND Arizona Association for Gifted and Talented (AAGT) are in support of HB 2356.

Please note that an amendment has also been proposed that will LIMIT this funding to only those students who are identified as being in the 97th percentile or above.  (Click here to see an explanation of percentile rankings.)

According to Arizona State Statute 15-7790.1 "School districts may identify any number of pupils as gifted but shall identify as gifted at least those pupils who score at or above the ninety-seventh percentile, based on national norms, on a test adopted by the state board of education."  

This state statute allows school districts to take into account that gifted students from disadvantaged backgrounds (socio-economic, etc.) may not score into the 97th percentile.  It also recognizes that gifted children may not test well using a particular state approved test.  If a gifted child scored in the 96th percentile on one of the state approved tests (i.e.: the most common district administered test is the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT)), they would most likely receive a 97th percentile or above on an expensive, much more thorough IQ test.  This state statute leaves the decision with local control, to those who know their community best.

This amendment does not recognize gifted children who do not test well with less expensive tests, nor the gifted children coming from disadvantaged backgrounds.  This would hurt Title 1 schools.  This amendment takes away local control from those who know their communities best.

GSG and AAGT are opposed to the amendment on HB 2356.


WHAT YOU CAN DO:  ACT NOW!

  1. Email your Representative.  Click here to obtain the name and email address of your Legislator.  Once at the list of rosters, the House Representative roster is the second one listed. 
    1. Cut and paste the following paragraph into your email:  
Dear Representative (INSERT NAME),

Today before the House you will be reviewing HB 2356 regarding Gifted Education Funding.  As a member of Gilbert Supporters of the Gifted, I am in favor of this bill to provide much needed funding for our gifted students.  Gifted students need quality trained teachers who understand their unique developmental needs.  Gifted students grow and develop differently than typical students.  Gifted students need programs that allow flexibility which will foster student growth. They have their unique struggles and challenges and need teachers who understand them.  Please support HB 2356 in its original form.  

I oppose any amendment that limits gifted funding to a certain percentile ranking.  Such limitations will not allow gifted students in disadvantaged socio-economic groups to be serviced.  This will hurt the gifted students attending Title 1 schools.  This does not allow local control over these funds.  I ask that you oppose such an amendment, letting those at the local level, who know their community best, to serve their gifted students.

As the parent of a gifted child, I thank you for working to restore Arizona gifted funding which has been lost since 2010.

Sincerely,
SIGN NAME


Are you registered for the "Request to Speak System"?  If so, ACT NOW, BEFORE 2:00PM, by going to this link: 

After you've logged in, 
  1. Click on "New Request" on the left hand column 
  2. Search by the bill number:  HB 2356
  3. When you see the bill listed, make sure to click "Add Request" to be able to leave your comment.   (Example:  "As a member of Gilbert Supporters of the Gifted I am in FAVOR of this bill to provide much needed funding for our gifted students.  However, I am OPPOSED to any amendment that restricts funding based on percentile groupings as it limits local control")
    1. Register your position
    2. If you don't actually want to testify in person, select "No" 
    3. Leave a comment in the box. 
  4. Click here for a visual step-by-step on using the system
  5. Do not forget to list yourself as a school board member, parent, or constituent when leaving your comment!
Share with your friends!

The "Request to Speak System" allows you to electronically share your position and comments on a bill without actually being present at the state capital.  Want to sign up so you may comment on future gifted education issues?  You may do so by filling out the form at this link, then emailing it to the email address on the form:  http://azsba.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/ALISFillableForm.pdf


2/3/2016 8:00pm UPDATE:

This afternoon, the House Education Committee met and reviewed various bills.   Below is the committee's vote after reviewing and hearing comments on HB 2356.
  • HB 2356 (gifted pupils; group B weight) passed on a 6-0-1 vote. This bill removes gifted students from Group A weights and establishes a separate Group B weight for gifted students at 0.115 and requires a withholding of the full Group B weight (rather than the current 7% of the Group A weight), if a district fails to submit the scope and sequence for gifted students or if it is not fully approved. The bill also includes a conditional enactment that the bill does not take effect unless Prop. 123 is successfully passed. An amendment was adopted that requires a student to score at or above the 97th percentile on a statewide assessment to be eligible for Group B monies. 
Now HB 2356 goes to the House for review.






Sunday, January 24, 2016

Article: "I Have a Gifted Kid and I Will No Longer Be Ashamed"

Here's a great article that we found on another website:



Yes, I have gifted children—born, not made. And I will no longer be ashamed to say my kids are gifted. …

… Here’s the deal. The word gifted does trigger thoughts of privilege and advantage, but it is the clinical term psychologists, doctors, and education professionals have used for years to identify and label children who were born with distinct cognitive differences—these differences can be good AND bad. It’s the way their brain was wired.
How can being gifted be a bad thing?

It can be a burden because too many in our society think gifted kids are the stereotypical straight-A, well-behaved students who get chosen to participate in those special, elite gifted programs at school and then graduate as valedictorians.

But, nope, not always.

Gilbert Public Schools - Junior High Gifted Academy?

Beginning last school year, Gilbert Public Schools assembled a committee composed of teachers, administrators, directors, coordinators and parents to research the viability of opening a Junior High Gifted Academy. This committee was tasked with researching, planning, and preparing information for the implementation of a Junior High Gifted Academy.

The Gifted Academy Committee narrowed its focus to consider :
  • Starting small, with 2 classes of gifted 7th graders and 2 classes of gifted 8th graders.
  • Housing the Academy in one centralized location.
  • Ensuring the 4 core subject teachers are trained in gifted education.
  • Setting the Student qualification criteria to include a score of 97+ in one of the three areas of giftedness, or a score of 95+ in two of the three areas of giftedness, or an IQ  score of 128. 
 
The committee will present information to the Governing Board at a Work Study meeting on February 9, 2016.  This information will include the committee's research and proposal.  Board members will have the opportunity to ask questions of the committee concerning their research, proposal, and recommendations. At a subsequent Governing Board meeting, Board members will determine if and when Gilbert Public Schools will open a Gifted Academy.  Both the Work Study and the Governing Board meeting will be available for public viewing either in person at the district office or online

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Which lecture topics interest you?


We would love to know which topics are of interest to you for future Gilbert Supporters of the Gifted lectures.

Please click on the following link to take a quick survey.  And when we say, quick, it only has one question!  You can also add another topic if we don't have it listed and we can consider that too.

Thanks!

CLICK HERE TO TAKE SURVEY