SCPS High School Gifted Education

Trick or Treat Edition

"And all at once, summer collapsed into fall" – Oscar Wilde

Fall, harvest, pumpkins, apple cider, cool nights, football games, bonfires, trail hikes, autumn... words that whisper magic's on the way, from gorgeous foliage to 🎃. Welcome, fall!

October's newsletter has plenty of tricks and treats for students and parents. With the first quarter of the school year nearly completed, it's time to master tricks that will encourage and support our students throughout the year. Fall also brings a variety of treats, or opportunities, for our students to grow in many ways. Please read on for a few tricks and treats all the while having a spooky good time. We wish you a boo-tiful autumn and spook-tacular Halloween.

Happy fall! 🍂

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FREE TREAT...THE PSAT is October 13!

On October 13 all SCPS 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students will take the PSAT (9th and 10th graders) and the PSAT/NMSQT (11th graders) at their high schools.

For all students, the PSAT:

  • provides students, parents, and teachers with the chance to check in on progress toward college and career readiness
  • helps families and school counselors identify student strengths, such as science or math, which helps with recommending high school programs and courses such as STEM, AP, IB, or STAT; helps students schedule the right courses
  • provides a report to students, parents, and teachers with what students need to work on to graduate from high school and be successful in their future
  • measures critical reading, writing skills, and math problem-solving skills
  • assesses a student's ability to reason with facts and concepts rather than the ability to recall and recite them
  • is a "no penalty" assessment, which means students receive points for correct answers only
  • connects to Khan Academy, which offers FREE personalized activities and lessons that empower learners to work on strengthening skills for future careers and college

The NMSQT of the PSAT/NMSQT is the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. 11th grade students taking this test are asked if they want to participate in the College Board's Student Search Service. If a test taker opts in, the College Board shares limited information about the test taker with colleges and scholarship programs looking for such students. Many colleges and universities use PSAT scores to identify students they think may make a good addition to their student body and who may be deserving of scholarships.

For more information, please contact your high school's Test Coordinator or Gifted Education Resource teacher. Also, parents may sign up to receive newsletters from College Board. Please click on the link below to access College Board for parents and guardians.

College Fair Night is October 20 at Spotsylvania Mall

Wednesday, Oct. 20th, 6:30-8:30pm

137 Spotsylvania Mall Drive

Fredericksburg, VA


Auburn University

Shenandoah University

Christopher Newport University

University of Alabama

Coastal Carolina University

University of Lynchburg

George Mason University

University of Mary Washington

Hampden-Sydney College

University of South Carolina

High Point University

University of Virginia

James Madison University

Liberty University

Virginia Military Institute

Marshall University

Virginia Tech

Virginia Commonwealth University

Old Dominion University

Radford University

Washington and Jefferson College

and many, many more!

Screen Time Tricks for the Whole Family

Most, if not all, of us know screens can be a source of entertainment and social connection for children. For the past year or so, screens have even been a major tool in educating our children. And let's confess, we adults enjoy our screen time, too. However, limiting screen time can allow opportunities for families to chill together with healthy activities for the mind and body.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends:

No screen time for children under 2.

One hour each day for children 2 to 12.

Two hours each day for teens and adults.

Here are a few tricks (tips) to help trim screen time in your family:

1. Be accountable. Set expectations and goals to reduce screen time.

2. Be realistic. Start by setting smaller goals, such as cutting screen time by 25% and then increase the time slowly instead of jumping to the recommended 1 to 2 hours each day.

3. Be engaged. After school or work, spend time each day talking face-to-face while giving full attention.

4. There are times and moments to put hand-held devices away. Out of sight, out of mind.

5. Create phone-free zones in your home. Start by making family meals a phone-free zone.

6. Go outside. This time of year is a wonderful time for outdoor activities. Take a family walk or hike to increase your endorphins to provide that happy feeling, boost your mood, and improve physical health.

Source: Mayo Clinic Health System

Cell Phone Addiction | Tanner Welton | TEDxLangleyED

Coming Soon, a Real Treat...the application process for Summer Residential Governor's School (SRGS)

Current sophomores and juniors will soon be able to apply for a wonderful treat: the 2022 Summer Residential Governor's School (SRGS) program. Summer Residential Governor’s Schools provide gifted high school rising juniors and seniors with intensive educational experiences in visual and performing arts; humanities; mathematics, science, and technology; or through mentorships in marine science, medicine and health sciences, or engineering.

Each Summer Residential Governor’s School focuses on one special area of interest. Students live on a college or university campus for up to four weeks each summer. During this time, students are involved in classroom and laboratory work, field studies, research, individual and group projects and performances, and seminars with noted scholars, visiting artists, and other professionals. In the three mentorships, students are selected to work side-by-side with research scientists, physicians, and a variety of other professionals. A director and a student-life staff provide supervision of students 24 hours a day, throughout the program.

Nominations may be made by teachers, school counselors, peers, or by the students themselves. A school or division selection committee chooses the nominees from each school or division and forwards the nominees to a state committee. Consideration is given to students’ academic records, test scores, extra-curricular activities, honors, and awards, creativity, original essays, and teacher recommendations. Students applying for the Visual and Performing Arts Summer Residential Governor’s School participate in a statewide adjudication where they audition or present portfolios for review before a pair of professionals in the specific arts field. Because of the limited number of residential placements available, not all students who are nominated by their schools can be accepted for participation.

Source: Virginia Department of Education

Expected date of application release is October 8. For more information, please see your Gifted Resource teacher, or visit the VDOE website, which is listed below. The website is not yet updated for 2022, but please keep checking back.

What’s in Your Bag?

As a student, nothing made me happier that browsing through the school supply aisles and filling my cart with the newest gadgets and supplies for school. I wanted the pink calculator to do my calculations while looking for the coolest key chains to accessorize my backpack. My, have times changed. Today, students must maximize space for items like their laptops, laptop chargers, headphones or earbuds (for virtual classes), water bottles, hand sanitizers, and even an extra mask. Students are filling their backpacks with more and more essentials to help get through their school day.

It all starts the night before. In order to ensure a successful day, encourage students to prepare their backpacks ahead of time. Make sure laptops are charged because schools may not have extra computers or chargers to lend students for the day. Make sure folders and homework are safely packed inside backpacks to be ready to hand in, if not already electronically submitted. Pencil pouches with pens, pencils, and highlighters are also needed for study skill strategies. Don’t forget notebook paper-yes, some classes still require notebook paper! Staying organized is one strategy for success!

The morning of, pack lunches or snacks or both. It is difficult to concentrate when your stomach is growling, so students should pack something that will help get them through the morning and then the afternoon hunger pangs. And don’t forget a water bottle. Studies show that drinking water may increase your academic performance. Your brain is roughly composed of 75% water. If you are hydrated, you will be able to think more clearly and your ability to focus increases.

Other items students consider essential include lip balm, tissues, a phone charger, a widget, and hair accessories to keep students looking neat. You do not want to carry unnecessary items that only add extra weight. You have to carry your bag all day, and it can get heavy by the end of the day. Put some thought into what goes into your backpack. Whatever you choose to put in your backpack is a personal choice. Make your choices wisely. Choose items that are absolutely essential and will help you be successful in your studies. So what essential treats will help you be the best student-What’s in your bag?

Family Fun: October is a great month for treats!

Contact Information

Kevin Bouffard (BPHS)

Feli Cardenas (NSHS)

Susan Easter (CFHS)

Kali Hamill (MVHS)

Helga Purnell (SHS)

Dr. Stephenie Fellinger (SCPS Gifted Facilitator)