Gifted Education Family Network
Newsletter • Spring 2020
Stay home & reach out!
Help grow our network of gifted families
Please consider asking friends and family across Texas to join our Gifted Education Family Network. It’s new, it’s free, and its purpose is to advocate for strong, vibrant, and appropriately challenging education programs for students with exceptional potential.
The broader our reach, the more GT families can connect across Texas, and the better we can all support GT learning in our schools and at home. Learn more about the GEFN mission and vision.
RESOURCES: GT IN THE TIME OF COVID-19
Our new website features a curated list of possible ways to support gifted children during our global crisis:
Actively help others. Volunteering to make a positive difference can help gifted kids cope with the suffering they see. Check out our running list of ideas. If your family has found a unique way to serve others during this time of crisis and isolation — please email us about it. We plan to share selected ideas on our website and social media.
Accelerate learning. Acceleration and flexible pacing are effective and important strategies for meeting the needs of gifted students. We have a guide to acceleration resources, including official Texas public school Credit by Exam opportunities.
Take time for enrichment. GT families in our network have curated a list of our favorite online enrichment opportunities to challenge and inspire.
Thank you, school districts
We applaud districts that have launched a learning at home model to sustain our children during this time of school closure. That connection with the school community has provided our families with some normalcy in a turbulent time. Announced on April 17 by Executive order of the Governor, Texas schools are closed for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year.
We wish the very best of health and well-being for every family in our network. To those GEFN families on the front lines of providing essential services to our community: our deepest thanks. Please take very good care.
EYE ON THE TEXAS LEGISLATURE
Watching the Texas Senate Education Committee
As of May 2019, Texas law does not require public school districts to spend a specific dollar amount on gifted education. The Texas Senate Education Committee scheduled a hearing for March 11, 2020 (postponed due to statewide closures for coronavirus) at which “monitoring gifted services” was on the agenda. ACTION ITEM: When future testimony is needed to advocate for GT services, would you or your family members be willing to represent gifted families by testifying? Get in touch and we will put you in contact with parents and students who have experience testifying!
YOUR CORNER OF TEXAS
Events near you
Is your local GT parent support group hosting a public event or virtual meetup? Or … are you feeling like the only GT family in town? Please let us know about it. GEFN wants to connect gifted families in your area. Get in touch and we’ll try to help advertise events, meetups or even “gifted family seeks other gifted families in Anytown, Texas” to help connect gifted families in Texas.
Noticing any changes to gifted ed in your school?
In Texas public school districts, we depend on local school boards to fund programs that help gifted learners thrive. Services can vary greatly from district to district. Are you noticing changes in gifted services? Please let us know what you’re hearing in your area. Email us, or use our web contact form, to share your feedback.
Supporting twice-exceptional students
Gifted Education Review Issue #5 (free PDF) includes articles about gifted students with ADHD, strengths-based instruction for 2e learners, and subject acceleration experiences of 2e students.
RECAP: 2020 BAYLOR GT PARENT CONFERENCE
Super sessions & networking opportunities galore at Baylor U’s Gifted Parent Conference
We loved meeting all the parents who attended this spring’s GT Parent Conference hosted by the Baylor Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development, at Baylor University in Waco. Around 70 Texas parents attended. A huge thank you to Dr. Jennifer H. Robins and Dr. Todd Kettler with the Baylor School of Education, and thanks to the incredible presenters: keynote speaker Justin Vawter of NuMinds Enrichment, Dr. Laila Sanguras, Dr. Cheryl Taliaferro, Dr. Tracey Sulak, Dr. Julia Hejduk, Dr. James Bishop, Tracy Fisher, Cole Sussman, Kailey Farris, and parent group leader panelists from six districts.
Save the date for the next GT Parent Conference on January 30, 2021 at Baylor University.
What’s next? If your organization is hosting an inexpensive opportunity for parent learning, please let us know!
BEHIND THE SCENES
Startup status: Green light!
The Gifted Education Family Network is finalizing our Executive Board and confirming professional advisors and business & community sponsors. We’re seeking families (including parents and students) and professionals to join us in our mission. Sign up for the network here.
Ready to network? Here’s how.
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“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”— John Muir