Association for Bright Children

NOVEMBER 2016

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

November 5: Let's Talk Science for ABC London 3:30 - 5:00, ages 8-11

November 7: TVDSB Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) meeting

November 12: Let's Talk Science for ABC London 3:30- 5:00, ages 10+

November 15: LCDSB Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) meeting

November 22-December 6: Gifted Screening in TVDSB

December 3: ABC London parent meeting

December 3: Book and Games Exchange (bring one, take one) and board game play for ABC kids.


Throughout November, the following ABC groups continue to meet:

First Lego League (ages 9-13)

First Lego League Jr (ages 6-9)

Art classes (ages 5-10)


Our FLL and FLL Jr teams will be competing or presenting their work at the regional expo on November 26 at Western University. This is a free event that is open to the public. We hope you will come to see the accomplishments of our teams, cheer on our kids, and explore the amazing creations from groups from all over the city.


We are working to organize multi-week gatherings for children and parents in the winter (January/February) and the spring (March/April) on Saturday afternoons. If there is something that you would really like to see offered, please let us know at abclondon@abcontario.ca or join the discussion on Slack (see below).

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Let's SLACK off together!

ABC London has used email and telephone, our website and Facebook page to communicate for so long BUT there's something that was missing. We wanted you to have something better.


We wanted to have an place where ALL parents could communicate so that the experience would be multi-directional - a place where you can go to ask questions, share ideas, look for help, or just chat with ALL ABC parents, not just the executive members. Thanks to one of our parent volunteers, Shachar Weis, we now have that place!


ABC London is THRILLED to announce that we now have a Slack community. Slack is a modern & sleek communication tool that allows you to chat in real-time, share media and documents, and much more. You can use it from a web browser or via the app. We want you to join us there so you can be free to connect with the entire ABC London community. It's going to be awesome!


To join, open this link, enter your email, and you'll get an invitation sent to your inbox:
https://abclondon.stamplayapp.com/


We know many parents want to talk about the upcoming screening in TVDSB which is used in the process of identifying gifted children in grade 4. If you want to talk about this or other topics, come on over to Slack.


We look forward to connecting with you there!

SEAC Meetings / Contact Your Rep

TVDSB and LCDSB hold meetings throughout the year to receive community input on the development and implementation of special education plans and policies. ABC Ontario is the only recognized group that sits on the Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC), required by all school boards, to represent the needs of gifted learners. Below are the upcoming public meeting dates and times as well as the contact information for the SEAC representative in each board. Please contact them if you have any questions or concerns about your school-aged child's needs.


Your child does not need to have been already identified as gifted in order for you to get advice and support.


TVDSB:

Monday, November 7 @ 6:30-8:30, London Room, TVDSB Education Centre

Tuesday, January 10 @ 12:15 - 3:00, London Room, TVDSB Education Centre


Representatives: Christine Thammavongsa (thammavo@execulink.com) and Shachar Weis (shacharweis@gmail.com)


LCDSB:

Tuesday, November 15 @ 6:00-8:30, LCDSB Education Centre

Tuesday, December 20 @ 6:00-8:30, LCDSB Education Centre


Representative: Kathleen Keane (keane.kathleen.f@gmail.com)



ABC London is very happy to share that Shachar Weis (pictured below) was formally approved by the trustees of TVDSB as the SEAC alternate representative for ABC London on October 31. Shachar has been attending the SEAC meetings in an informal capacity since last year and has been present at several ABC London meetings this past year. He has two children who attend school in TVDSB and is one of your voices at the SEAC table in TVDSB. Welcome to your official role, Shachar!

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Gifted Testing in Thames Valley THIS month

Grade 4 students in TVDSB will participate in board-wide screening (testing) between November 22 and December 6. This DVD based, multiple-choice, group-administered test is used to identify candidates for gifted identification who will then be eligible for special education services in TVDSB including learning in a self-contained classroom, gifted cluster sessions, or a modified program offered by a regular classroom teacher.


Parents sign a permission form for this test to be administered and can ask for the results to be shared with them on that same form. We recommend that you do.


If you have a child who may have difficulties completing a DVD-based, multiple-choice bubble test with a group of children, you should speak to your child's teacher and the learning support teacher at your school to express your concerns so that they can consider what accommodations they can make before administering the test.


If you have questions about the nature of this test or how it is used to determine services offered to your child, we encourage you to speak to the school. You are welcome to contact ABC London should you require support or if you have additional questions.


Please remember that you do not need to wait until 4th grade to advocate for your child's needs and that a designation of gifted can be given before grade 4. Additionally the needs of children entering the board after this screening process should also be met and services explored in partnership with the school if there are markers of giftedness.

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Let's Talk Science (ages 8-11) : Super Science Challenges

Saturday, Nov. 5th, 3:30-5pm

3200 Wonderland Road South

London, ON

Meet like-minded kids! Children work together in teams to design, create and test a variety of items; everyday materials are used to solve challenging science and engineering problems. This is a FREE event for children ages 8-11 years old. Register your child here.

Let's Talk Science (ages 10+): Biotechnology

Saturday, Nov. 12th, 3:30-5pm

3200 Wonderland Road South

London, ON

Meet like-minded kids! Final details of this offering will be listed when we receive them. We have requested the biotechnology workshop, exploring DNA and electrophoresis. You can read about the event and register here.

ABC London Parent Meeting

Saturday, Dec. 3rd, 3:30-5:30pm

3200 Wonderland Road South

London, ON

Join other parents of bright and gifted children an experienced members of ABC London's board to share your experiences and learn from other parents living your reality. The focus of this meeting will be sharing resources parents have found helpful to them on their journey so far.


Register for this free event at abclondon.ca.

Book and Game Exchange

Saturday, Dec. 3rd, 3:15-5pm

3200 Wonderland Road South

London, ON

The premise of this gathering is simple! Bring a book (or more) that you have enjoyed that you would recommend to another avid reader. Leave the book on our exchange table and take a book (or as many as you brought) home to enjoy yourself.


You can also bring board games your family has enjoyed and swap at our board game exchange table.


Use your new game to invite a new friend to play in the main library or bring a favourite from home to share for an hour. It's a great way to pass a Saturday afternoon!


This is a free event hosted by ABC London. All are welcome! RSVP here.

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Recommended Reading

In each newsletter, we like to include something that we have read that we think is valuable enough to pass along to all parents of ABC London. You can search past newsletters here, or see what we post regularly on Facebook here.


In this newsletter, we'd like to offer you a work by Dr. Gordon Neufeld and Dr. Gabor Maté called "Hold on to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers". From the publisher:


In Hold On to Your Kids, Dr. Neufeld and Dr. Maté explore the phenomenon of peer orientation: the troubling tendency of children and youth to look to their peers for direction--for a sense of right and wrong, for values, identity and codes of behaviour. But peer orientation undermines family cohesion, poisons the school atmosphere, and fosters an aggressively hostile and sexualized youth culture. It provides a powerful explanation for schoolyard bullying and youth violence; it is an escalating trend that has never been adequately described or contested until Hold On to Your Kids. Once understood, it becomes self-evident--as do the solutions.


This is not a book about gifted children or how to accommodate their needs. Rather, it is a book about all children and examines the bonds we share with them. As parents on this adventure or raising asynchronous children, this book may offer insights about our children viewed through a different lens.


Dr. Neufeld also has two speaking engagements in London this month. You can find a link to them in our "Community Calendar" section.

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Community Calendar

The international Caribou Math Contests continues this month. This is a series of 6 online math tests that are administered throughout the school year for children who enjoy math challenges. Cash prizes are awarded for top scorers. The competition is free for children in grades 3-4 or $15 for all tests for children in grades 5-12. Schools may have a license for this competition. The contests this month are on


Math Challenge @ Western meets once a month throughout the school year, beginning in October. This is aimed at grades 5-12, though they welcome children who wish to participate at levels that are higher than their age would suggest if they require more of a challenge. Participation fee is $40 for as many sessions at as many levels as a child wishes.


Original Kids Theatre Company's winter session for children 5-6 and 7-8 is now open for registration. Registration information for this program as well as ticketing for shows preformed by the main cast are available at this link.


Fridays, 4:00-5:30: All levels are welcome to play chess at Masonville Public Library. Free drop-in.


Fridays 5:00-8:00: Free admission to the London Children's Museum.


November 9, 4:00-6:30: TVDSB, LCDSB and Thames Valley Children's Centre are hosting Passages Transitions Fair, which will focus on supporting students with special needs through transitions between elementary and secondary school and secondary and post-secondary school. ABC London will be at this event to share how we can support families of gifted children.


November 12: TVDSB Parent Involvement Committee is hosting a full day conference, "Building Parent Engagement Together". Click the link for more information about this free event.


November 22-December 31: The Wizard of Oz plays at The Grand Theatre.


November 24: Dr. Gordon Neufeld, author of "Hold on to Your Kids" speaks at King's University. Information and tickets available here.


Other ABC parents recommend:


  • The KidsWorks program for children in grades 1-5 on Tuesdays from 6:15-8:15. There is a session running from January 31- March 7.
  • Coding for Kids (8-12) hosted by UnLondon at Cherryhill Public Library on November 5 from 10:00-11:30 (free program).
  • 3D printing demonstration with The Makerbus at Byron Library on January 28 from 10:00 - 12:00.
  • Explore VegFest on Saturday, November 12 at the Progress Building at Western Fair from 10:00-6:00.
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