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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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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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Welcome back to another year of advocacy. We expect it to be busy. The recent revenue forecast is bleak, as is usual these days, and rumors are that there may need to be a special session this fall for a supplemental budget. Brrr!

If you are not following the Coalition on Facebook, you may have missed these two important articles:

You can follow us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/wagifted.

Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG) is a great organization and they have made available their booklet “The Joy and the Challenge of Parenting Gifted Children: Readings and Resources.”  If you don’t have a Kindle, you can also download a free Kindle reader to access this amazing collection.

The Washington State PTA will hold its annual legislative assembly on October 14th and 15th.  A proposal regarding support for highly capable is among the issues up for debate this year.  You can view the proposal here.

Our next message will be concerned with Coalition finances, with a Treasurer’s Report for our fiscal year ending August 31, 2011, and reminders about memberships. Look for it the middle of the month.

We have a lot of hard work ahead of us this coming school year and need both your financial support and participation in advocacy activities. Meantime, thank you to those who have recently renewed their memberships for the year 2011-2012.

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Received from Amy Price, Executive Director of SENG:

Dear Seattle Friends,
 
In a few days, SENG is travelling to Seattle to train 25 new facilitators who will become certified to lead SENG Model Parent Groups.  We have an opportunity on Thursday evening, January 13th, for a limited number of parents of gifted children to experience an informative one-evening sample session.  This is going to be a great way to learn, bond with others parents of gifted children, and become familiar with resources that are available to all.  Please forward the attached flyer to your parent contacts.  Registration is absolutely free but is required, and we do currently have space in this parent program.
 
What’s more, we will thank the first 40 parents that register for and attend the program on Thursday evening.  Each will receive access to a complimentary copy of the SENGinar Living in the Gifted Family, presented by Arlene DeVries. 
 
Thank you for helping spread the word!  We look forward to continuing to support your efforts for gifted children throughout Washington State.

We’ve attached a flyer with more details, including registration information.

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The Seattle Public Schools Advanced Learning Office and the non-profit organization Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG) are sponsoring a free lecture on gifted children.
 
Speaking will be visiting author Lisa Rivero, (A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Teens, The Smart Teens’ Guide to Living  with Intensity, and other books and articles.)
 
Intensity Through the Ages, Celebrating our Children’s Passion, Creativity, & Excitability
Thursday, January 13
7:00-8:30pm
at the JSCEE Auditorium (school district headquarters)
2445 3rd. Ave. S.
 
Parents, teachers, and all interested are encouraged to attend this free event.
 
See the linked flyer for more information.

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