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Archive for the ‘Enrichment Opportunities’ Category

Services for Highly Capable students are a required part of basic education.

As the new school year begins, OSPI has begun implementation of the revised WAC for Highly Capable Programs and regards the 2013-2014 school year as transitional, one in which districts are to design their HC Programs for the following year. You can find the WAC at http://apps.leg.wa.gov/WAC/default.aspx?cite=392-170

As part of this transition, the Educational Support Districts are scheduling training for administrators and teachers on the identification and needs of gifted students and sessions on differentiation and critical and creative thinking skills.

If you are a teacher in the area of an ESD with training scheduled, you may wish to check on this. If you are a parent, you may wish to check with your district to see if they are sending teachers for the training.

Each ESD makes its own schedule and these are the ones we know of right now. Contact your ESD for more information on when, where, costs, etc.

ESD 101 in Spokane

Sept. 25, October 22 and January 16

http://www.esd101.net/site/Default.aspx?PageID=258

ESD 105 in Yakima

9/18; 10/16; 10/30; 11/12

https://www.escweb.net/wa_esd105/catalog/session.aspx?session_id=105192

ESD 112, Vancouver

October 24 Overview for Administrators
November 7 Nature and Needs of Highly Capable learners
November 21 Developing your Hi-Cap Program
January 23 Screening and Identification Workshop
April 24 Differentiation for HC learners
http://www.escweb.net/wa_esd112/default.aspx?search=highly%20capable

Capital Region ESD 113, Tumwater

No dates listed but go to http://www.esd113.org/Page/1012 for contact information to get details.

Olympic ESD 114, Bremerton

October 9 9:00 amNature and Needs of Highly Capable Students
October 9 1:00 pm Creating a Quality Program for Highly Capable Students
November 16 Differentiating Instruction for HC students Part A
January 11 Differentiating Instruction for HC Students Part B
http://www.oesd.wednet.edu/site/Default.aspx?PageID=71

ESD 123 in Pasco

10/17 Nature & Needs of Highly Capable Students
11/7, 12/5, 1/16 Differentiation for Highly Capable Learners
2/19, 3/6 Critical & Creative Thinking Skills
http://www.esd123.org/images/teachinglearning/Professional%20Development/PD-calendar-7.24.13.pdf

North Central ESD 171, Wenatchee

October 11, Nature and Needs of HC students
January 20, Differentiation
February 14 Integrating Critical and Creative Thinking in the HCP curriculum
http://www.escweb.net/wa_ncesd/Default.aspx?1673nav=%7c&nodeid=61

ESD 189 in Anacortes

November 2 Nature and Needs of HC students

https://www.nwesd.org/calendar-event

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In 2009, Washington State passed legislation that made highly capable programming part of the state’s definition of basic education.  The change was part of a package of reforms that were to be phased in between 2009 and 2018.  In 2011, the highly capable programming reforms took effect.  Many districts were unsure of how they were to proceed, however, because the regulations governing highly capable programming had not yet been updated.

Members of the State Gifted Advisory committee worked with OSPI to revise those regulations, and in early April of 2013, the revisions to the Washington Administrative Codes (WACs) took effect.  All districts will now be required to have a highly capable program, and that program is expected to offer a continuum of services for students from K-12.  OSPI has made available a webinar and a slideshow to explain some of the most important implications of these changes.  You can access both through the Highly Capable page on OSPI’s website at  http://k12.wa.HighlyCapable.

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A number of Legislative positions (in the 17th and, possibly, the 47th Legislative districts) will not be decided until recounts are concluded in early December. Otherwise the makeup of the Legislature is pretty well settled. If you want to check it out, go to www.vote.wa.gov  and click on election returns.

The Quality Education Council (QEC) and the Joint Task Force on Education Funding (JTF) are getting close to finalizing their recommendations to the Legislature. The Coalition has made presentations to both groups at their public meetings and submitted a position statement to them on Highly Capable funding.

Based on the most recent revenue forecast, it appears there will not be sufficient revenue to fund the increase in basic education funding necessary to meet the requirements of the McCleary decision. Governor Gregoire will be submitting her proposed budget in December (as required by law) and Governor-elect Inslee will submit his proposal after he takes office in January. No doubt there will be several budget proposals floated in the Legislature from both houses and both parties. All of this is going to make for a most difficult session. There are unverified rumors that some parts of basic education may be suspended for a year or two. I do not know if this is possible; the Coalition will do its best to keep you informed as to what is happening and to let you know when you need to contact your Legislators about HCP funding or other vital issues. Look for our regular messages and follow us on Facebook.  http://www.facebook.com/wagifted 

Gifted Education Day on March 19th is going to be an important piece of our advocacy efforts. Please plan to join us in Olympia. An XXL turn-out is vital to our chances to get a new, more equitable, funding formula for HCP into the budget.

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We invite you to join us at our general meeting on Friday, November 30 at the Burien Community Center, 14700 6th Avenue SW, Burien, beginning at 10 am. We will be planning our strategy for the legislative session and begin organizing for Gifted Education Day. If you live in the Puget Sound area, please join us. Everyone is welcome!

On the agenda are (1) HCP funding issues, (2) The McCleary Decision and what it means for HCP, (3) Strategy for the upcoming legislative session, (4) Reports from observers at the QEC and JTF meetings, (5) Discussion on continuing to offer the Joint Membership with WAETAG and NWGCA, (6) Planning for Gifted Education Day.

If you plan to attend, please RSVP to wagifted@earthlink.net so we know how many to plan for.

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Opportunity for Training.

The League of Education Voters is holding their 3rd advocacy training session in January. For more information go to the LEV Website.

More opportunities to learn about gifted.

SENG will hold its 2013 Annual Conference in Orlando from July 19-21.  More details are on SENG’s website.

The World Council for Gifted and Talented Children will hold its biennial 2013 conference August 10 through 14, 2013 in Louisville Kentucky. For more information, go to http://www.worldgifted2013.org/

Last, and certainly not least, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!  We are thankful for your support.

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If you’re reading this, you are a key advocate for gifted education in Washington State. Your active advocacy is greatly needed during this upcoming campaign season. For the sake of your gifted children and the other 100,000 gifted children in Washington, please plan to undertake the activities we describe here.

Primary and General Elections are Coming Up

If you take a look at the list of candidates for state legislature, governor and superintendent of public instruction (https://wei.sos.wa.gov/agency/osos/en/Pages/CandidateFilings.aspx or this attached pdf file) you will notice there are a lot of open seats due to retirements and redistricting. As well as a new governor, there will be many new legislators in the next session so it is vital that we start the work of educating them about highly capable NOW and not wait until January.

Please attend candidate forums and presentations for both the primary and the general election and ask key questions about the candidate’s support for Highly Capable Programs. As HB 2261, Sec. 708 stated: for highly capable students, access to accelerated learning and enhanced instruction is access to a basic education.

The following are some key points to be made when questioning candidates.

Washington is on the cutting edge in establishing a quality education for Highly Capable students. We are the first state to make it a part of basic education.

To retain the educated business community and their families, we need to provide a high quality education system for children who will be our future leaders.  Support for Highly Capable Programs is an opportunity to move forward in raising standards and promoting economic growth in Washington.

Three important pieces are now in place:

1.  Effective with the school year 2012-2013, Highly Capable Programs are part of basic education for students in K – 12.

2.  Highly Capable Program Technical Work Group was given the mission to recommend changes to standardize state-level procedures, including definition, identification, and criteria for programs. This task is completed.

3.  Special Endorsement – Washington State now offers educators a special endorsement in gifted education.

The challenge is to insure that districts have the support needed to implement highly capable programs K-12.

Tell candidates that we need them to:

Support legislation or policies that provide educators with access to appropriate training and/or professional development in identifying highly capable learners and serving their divergent educational needs.

Support data collection and out of level testing to help measure growth for these students and to assist in determining success of programs.

Summary

Advocacy for maintaining highly capable programs is about giving highly capable learners an appropriate education. As HB 2261, Sec. 708 stated: for highly capable students, access to accelerated learning and enhanced instruction is access to a basic education.

Highly Capable students are found in all populations – rural, urban, socio-economic levels, ethnic groups.  Approximately 50,000 students receive services but another 50,000 will be able to have these services with K-12 implementation.

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Dr. Nancy Hertzog, Director of the Robinson Center for Young Scholars at the University of Washington, will be teaching a new course this fall for educators of highly capable students.  The course will be offered on Saturdays to make it more accessible.  For more details, including dates and times of the class, see the attached flyer.

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The Robinson Center will be offering both mathematics and writing courses for young students in grades K-11 this Spring. These classes are intended to provide intellectually ambitious students with challenge, inspiration, and fun, in a collaborative, supportive learning environment. The math classes are not intended to move students ahead in the standard curriculum but rather to explore areas of math not usually covered in the K-12 classroom. The writing classes focus on expanding students’ writing and editing skills but also on creative expression across genres.  For more information, see their flyer.

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This message has five sections.

1. A reminder that the Coalition leadership group and those wishing to become more active in the Coalition will meet on Tuesday, October 25, at the Burien Community Center, 14700 6th Ave. SW, Burien. We will be “open for business” at 11:00 and available to talk with you before the meeting proper begins at noon. We anticipate being done by 2 pm. Please join us!

As you know, on October 24th the Governor is scheduled to present  her proposals for a supplemental budget to be considered by the Legislature in their special session scheduled for November 28. It is anticipated that this will be a major topic of discussion.

2. Highly Capable Programs have acquired several strong endorsements and some publicity in recent weeks.

A. The Washington State School Directors Association reaffirmed their long standing position on HCP services at their September Legislative Assembly.

7.1.7 Education for Gifted

The WSSDA shall initiate and/or support legislation which would assure funding for the education of gifted students at a level of 10 percent of the student population, place that funding within the basic education allocation system and set a minimum number of students to be funded in small school districts. (Adopted 1987; Amended 2005)

Their number one priority for the coming legislative session is

1. Full Funding of Basic Education

WSSDA shall initiate and/or support legislation that fully funds and implements all aspects of Washington’s redefined program of Basic Education as outlined in ESHB 2261. (Chapter 548, Laws of 2009)
and since HCP is now a part of basic education, that includes HCP funding.

B. KIRO radio in Seattle broadcast a piece on HCP and the transcribed version is available at http://mynorthwest.com/11/560022/Above-average-students-need-help-too. WSSDA included it in their daily eClippings, which go electronically to all members and others statewide who have signed up to receive them.

C. At their Legislative Assembly last weekend, the Washington State PTA voted unanimously for the following proposition, which also scored highly in their recent on-line survey:

HIGHLY CAPABLE: The Washington State PTA shall initiate and/or support legislation or policies that ensure highly capable children (K-12) receive an appropriate basic education, which includes access to highly capable programs (K-12).

The Washington State PTA recommends that the Legislature and Quality Education Council build on the work of the Highly Capable Program Technical Work Group. This shall include, but not be limited to:

Advocating for a standard definition of highly capable and working to ensure students who are both highly capable and students of color, who are poor, or who have disabilities, have equitable access to the state’s highly capable program.

Further, Washington State PTA supports the recommendation that districts that do not currently offer highly capable programs refer to the guidelines set forth in the report of Highly Capable Program Technical Work Group.

3. Don’t forget the WAETAG State Conference at the Convention Center in Wenatchee on October 28 and 29.  More information is available on their website at http://www.waetag.net.   There will be sessions for parents.

4. You can help us gather some much needed information. What services does your district provide for students who are gifted in one area but not another, i.e. strong in writing/reading, but not strong enough in math to qualify for whatever program the district offers. We know some districts provide enrichment and/or acceleration in the domain of strength while others do not. What does your district do?

Please send your responses to wagifted@earthlink.net. Thank you.

5. Don’t forget to renew or become a member of the Coalition or the Joint Membership. All three groups need your financial support. As you can see by the items above, we still have lots of work to do!

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