Archive for the ‘WAETAG’ Category

We’ve attached our testimony to the Senate Ways and Means Committee. Also testifying in favor of SB 5354 was Austina De Bonte, President of Northwest Gifted Child Association. Other supporters submitted written testimony directly to the Committee members.

WCGE SB5354 Ways and Means Testimony

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We’ve attached our testimony to the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee. Also testifying in favor of SB 5354 were Senator Ann Rivers, the Prime Sponsor of SB 5354; Jennifer Flo, Vice-President, Washington Association for the Education of the Talented and Gifted; Charlotte Akin, M.Ed., WCGE Executive Board, Past President WAETAG; Austina De Bonte, President, Northwest Gifted Child Association; Dr. Michelle Reid, Superintendent, Northshore School District.

WCGE SB5354 Testimony

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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


ESD 105 in Yakima

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


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

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

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

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

ESD 189 in Anacortes

November 2 Nature and Needs of HC students


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Effective September 1, 2011, highly capable programming became a part of Washington State’s definition of basic education.  The changes to the Revised Code of Washington (RCWs) were passed by the legislature, and signed into law by Governor Gregoire.  To make those changes to the RCWs meaningful, there also needed to be changes to the Washington Administrative Codes (WACs).

Members of the Washington Coalition for Gifted Education, Northwest Gifted Child Association, the Washington Association of Educators of the Talented and Gifted and many other groups concerned with the education of highly capable students in Washington State were involved in the process of revising the WACs.  Working with the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and the Washington State Gifted Advisory Committee, suggested changes to the WACs were drafted and submitted for a public hearing.  The proposed changes can be viewed on OSPI’s website.

The hearing is to take place on November 28th, and written comment is due by November 19th.  More information is available on the Highly Capable page of OSPI’s website.

The WCGE was very pleased with the changes that resulted from this process, though there was one area of concern.  Together with the Presidents of WAETAG and NWGCA, we have submitted the following letter regarding our concerns:

The leadership of WAETAG, NWGCA and the Coalition are concerned about the wording in WAC, section 392-270-012. With Highly Capable Program services an integral part of basic education, basic education funds should be spent on Highly Capable Program services. We are concerned that the proposed wording of the section (may access basic education funds*) can be misunderstood or misinterpreted.

In viewing the wording of this section, it is necessary to remember that in: Sec. 2 (2) of 2776 reads as follows:

The distribution formula under this section shall be for allocation purposes only. Except as may be required under chapter 28A.155, 28A.165, 28A.180, or 28A.185 RCW, or federal laws and regulations, nothing in this section requires school districts to use basic education instructional funds to implement a particular instructional approach or service.

The proposed revision to the WAC is misleading when it says that “districts may access basic education funds and highly capable categorical funds.” Since RCW 28A.185 is the section on Highly Capable Programs, it is exempted from this section of the law. Therefore, districts can and should be expected to use basic education funds for Highly Capable Programs.

We suggest that the second sentence of the new section be changed to read:

“School districts may access highly capable categorical funds in addition to basic education funds to provide appropriate highly capable student programs and services”.

This will clarify for districts that they are to use basic ed funds for HCP services.

We find all the other proposed revisions to be in line with the RCW 28A.185.

Irene Greve, President
Washington Coalition For Gifted Education

Charlotte Akin, President
Washington Association of Educators of the Talented and Gifted

Marcia Holland, President
Northwest Gifted Child Association

* WAC 392-170-012 Funds. For highly capable students, access to accelerated learning and enhanced instruction is
access to a basic education. School districts may access basic education funds and highly capable categorical funds
to provide appropriate highly capable student programs and services.

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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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It’s time to considering renewing your membership in the Coalition, or becoming a member for the first time.

We also offer the Joint Membership in all three gifted organizations, NWGCA, WAETAG and the Coalition, at a savings of $15 over individual memberships.

Since we are a state-chartered political advocacy group, the Coalition is the only one of the three groups which can hire a lobbyist to represent all of us in Olympia. More than 95% of our revenue goes toward the retainer for our lobbyist. The remainder goes for operating expenses and the costs of Gifted Eduction Day.

Linked are three pdf files: a Treasurer’s Report for the fiscal year which ended on August 31, 2011, a membership form for the Coalition and a joint membership form.


A quick review of the Treasurer’s Report shows we have a substantial balance on hand compared to prior years. This is due to a one-time-only contribution from WAETAG when we were in danger of running out of funds during the year. It is our plan to continue to pay current costs out of current income and to reserve the WAETAG contribution for special expenses and as a cushion for the future. Therefore, despite what you see on the report, we do need your membership this year.

Aside from our lobbyist, all the work of the Coalition is done by unpaid volunteers such as yourself. In addition to the work many of you do for your local parent support and advocacy groups, you answer our calls for contacts with Legislators by phone, letter or e-mail; to testify before committees in Olympia; and to make a big showing at Gifted Education Day. In the last two years, attendance at GEDay has exceed that at Legislative Action day of the state PTA – which, when considering the relative size of the two groups, says a lot about our devotion to our cause.

We invite all of you to join us in this important work on behalf of our children. Become a supporting or contributing member of the Coalition and/or participate in our legislative advocacy activities. Above all, plan to join us for Gifted Education Day, January 23, 2012.

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The Governor has convened a special session of the Legislature beginning November 28th to address the most recent, dismal revenue forecast. With the necessity for a supplemental budget we feel that it will be vital to muster a show of strength and commitment. The details of the various proposals to be considered by the Legislature will determine what actions we need to take. For a first take on possibilities, see Ross Hunter’s blog.

While HCPs are now a part of basic education, and are thus somewhat protected against budget cuts, funding at the state level is not truly secure in these difficult financial times for our state. We anticipate having to mount a strong effort with Legislators to retain our status and funding. Details as they become available.


The annual WAETAG Conference is scheduled for October 28 (special session for administrators) and October 29 at the Convention Center in Wenatchee. More information can be found on the WAETAG web site.


Gifted Education Day is scheduled for Monday, January 23, 2012.We hope all of you will joint us in the Columbia Room in the state capitol building. We’ve just begun to plan so details will be available later. If you plan to bring a student group, you need to start work now to get the necessary permissions, etc.


If you are interested in joining the Coalition leadership group and taking part in our discussions and decisions, we invite you to attend our meetings. The October meeting will be especially important as we begin planning for the special session of the Legislature. At the December 7 meeting we will review our options based on what has happened in the special session and make plans for Gifted Education Day.

Tuesday, October 25, 11 am to 2 pm
Wednesday, December 7, 4 pm to 8 pm
At the Burien Community Center, 14700  6th Ave. SW, Burien.

We hope the evening session will allow more of you to attend and participate. For more information contact us at wagifted@earthlink.net.

We hope to see you there!

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