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Illinois Association for Gifted Children
Scott Peters says:
Let’s face it. Most gifted and talented coordinators or teachers of advanced learners don’t get a lot of personal fulfillment out of student identification. It’s often controversial, involves a lot of data and numbers, and can cause many of sleepless nights over concerns of some student going mis-identified. Luckily for all of us, the Illinois Association for Gifted Children’s 2019 conference will include two outstanding sessions on gifted and talented student identification. I know because they’re mine and I can guarantee that they will be the best sessions by someone named Scott on the topic of identification in the Friday 9:30 am and 1:15 pm slots!
At 9:30am I’ll offer a session on how to create the ideal gifted screening phase. In most schools, universally evaluating all students for gifted service eligibility is time and cost prohibitive. Because of this, schools need to decide who we should actually put through the full process and on what criteria such decisions should be made. This two-phase system of screening followed by formal consideration can save a lot of time and money, but if done poorly, can cause the majority of gifted students to be missed. My session on Friday morning will show you how to select the right criteria for a screening phase in order to 1) miss as few students as possible while also 2) spending as little money as possible. We’ll also consider how two-phase systems influence disproportionality and student underrepresentation and how they can be utilized to help address this important issue.
My second session, on Friday afternoon, addresses the criteria for a “good” gifted identification process. The goal of this session is to get everyone thinking about what they should be measuring in their identification systems based on what services will be provided to those identified. Methods for evaluating this identification system – service alignment will be shared with considerations for resources, disproportionality, and overall system accuracy. We’ll also consider where racial, ethnic, home language, gender, and socioeconomic diversity and proportionality fit in the considerations for system quality and how to balance these priorities with correctly locating students who have unmet, advanced learning needs. It should be a good time.
Come hear from a presenter whose class was once described as “not nearly as terrible as I was expecting it to be”.
When it comes to meeting the needs of gifted students in the classrooms, teachers are the first responders. Many times they are tugged and pulled in various directions from providing meaningful content and application to classroom management to getting students to participate in discussion --and even giving career advice. School counselors come with a different skill set that can help teachers support their gifted students. David, Carol, Susannah and Erin have all been school counselors. We now teach and train upcoming counselors and have research interests and clinical experiences in working with gifted youth. We hope to bring our unique toolkit to IAGC. Our presentations focus on tips to facilitate small groups, work with parents, and engage in some classroom-based activities that can help students connect their academic and persona lives to their future.
Introduction to Gifted Education
Julia Link Roberts
Tracy Ford Inman
Jennifer H. Robins
This is a new (2018) publication of Prufrock Academic Press (www.prufrock.com). The book is a comprehensive survey of the field—“soup to nuts”. Chapters focus on the history of gifted education, conceptual models, characteristics of gifted learners, curriculum and the design of learning environments, instructional approaches, program models, diverse learners, and professional development. A strength of the book is the section on diverse learners, which consists of six chapters addressing the needs of LGBTQ, low income, rural, culturally and linguistically diverse, and twice exceptional gifted learners. This book is a good resource for any professional library and could be used in whole or in part as part of a professional development program.
Explore the awards and scholarships available through the Illinois Association for Gifted Children (IAGC). Two scholarships, up to $1,000 each, are available for students grades 1 through 12. Opportunities for educators and parents include scholarships to attend the annual conference, funding for projects that support gifted students, and recognition awards for distinguished service and leadership.
Information about the various opportunities is online at iagcgifted.org/Awards-and-Scholarships.
Deadlines are in November. Apply or share information with colleagues and students! Questions? Contact IAGC at Director@IAGCgifted.org.
Meeting the needs of high-ability students requires looking beyond the traditional "gifted identification" protocol. In this blog post, Patricia Steinmeyer shares ideas about how schools and teachers can help all learners to reach their potential. https://pslearns.com/2018/07/31/the-gifted-identification-trap/
ABC NewsChannel 20 covered the new acceleration law last night:
"District 186's Gifted Program continues to help former student thrive"
And again tonight:
"Law requiring schools to create gifted student policies takes effect"
If you are interested in joining us, please follow this link and register so that we know how many are coming and can plan appropriately.
If you have questions or comments, please contact the organizer: Jenny Nilsen.
The new report Is There a Gifted Gap? by the Fordham Institute shines a glaring light on how unevenly and unfairly services for high-ability students are distributed throughout the state of Illinois and how out of step we are with the rest of the country.
A few important statistics from the report underscore just how far behind Illinois is in providing equitable access to gifted services:
The Illinois Association for Gifted Children has been a voice for disadvantaged high-ability children, arguing that the steep drop in the number of Illinois’ elementary and middle school districts that offer gifted programs – from over 80% in 2003 (the last year that the state provided funding to districts for their gifted programs) to 27% as of 2016 – has had a disparate impact on black, Hispanic, and low-income students.
The State Board of Education, legislators, and the Governor heard our message and supported the passage of the Accelerated Placement Act this past year, which requires all Illinois districts to create policies allowing early entrance to Kindergarten and 1st grade, whole grade acceleration, and single subject acceleration. This is a great step forward in providing advanced students with appropriately challenging learning opportunities, but we have more work to do to close opportunity and excellence gaps, and to ensure that we identify and nurture talent equitably throughout Illinois.
The Gifted Gap report helps emphasize how critical it is that Illinois continue to strengthen its policy support for advanced students, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Visit our Policy & Advocacy webpages and contact the co-chairs, Carolyn Welch (carolynEwelch@comcast.net) and Eric Calvert (firstname.lastname@example.org), to get involved!
One of the featured speakers at the annual conference of the Illinois Association for Gifted Children is Dr. Sally Krisel. Sally has been a strong and vocal leader in the field of gifted education and is currently the president of the National Association for Gifted Children. She strongly believes that gifted education practices are best practices for transforming education. Sally asks, “What if gifted education turned out to be our country’s secret weapon in total school improvement? What if the best way to improve education for ALL children is to focus on ways to engage and challenge those who are gifted?” Sally enacted her beliefs about the value and effectiveness of gifted education practices in the design of a special school in Hall County, Georgia. Educators at DaVinci Academy implement personalized programming with a problem based curriculum, enabling students to create projects and showcase their work to authentic audiences. Sally’s sessions at the conference will help teachers understand how they might also use gifted education practices to recognize and develop the abilities of many students and impact their schools.
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The Illinois Association for Gifted Children is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
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