Aspire Higher


Volume 2, December 2018

Wishing you and yours a wondrous holiday season!

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Indiana Association for the Gifted Conference 2018: Gifted Cornerstones

YOU are the gifted cornerstones, building strong foundations for new heights in high ability education. How incredible and invigorating for nearly 1,000 high ability teachers, parents, and administrators from across the state to come together to share insight, learn, and collaborate!

Snow Much Fun Unwrapping the Gift of Wonder!

Educators and administrators had a BALL at IAG sharing their ideas about questioning while learning how to unwrap the gift of wonder: the gift that keeps on giving! Be PRESENT to your questioning style, your students' responses, and actively engage and empower them to lead lives of inquiry. Enjoy the PowerPoint as a PDF found below.
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New Grant Amendment Process

Are you wondering if you need to make an amendment?

You only need to submit an amendment if you significantly want to change the scope of the grant or desire to make a change greater than 10%.

The new process is very easy!

1. Fill out the Jotform: Amendment Form, 2018-2019

2. Provide a rationale for the change in the designated box

3. Enter your new revised budget

4. Wait for approval via email from Cindy Schuler

5. Re-submit your cash request form, if needed: High Ability Cash Request Form

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Twice Exceptional Students~ Strategies to Help Solve the Puzzle and Paradox

Do you have high ability students who seem to struggle with some learning activities? High ability students with disabilities are hard to identify and serve because their strengths are often masked by their challenges. Since their learning profiles are so uneven, basic strategies that maximize their assets and minimize their deficits are critical. Please enjoy Mary Beth Coleman's article, Academic Strategies That Work for Gifted Students With Learning Disabilities , which provides theories and insight as to how to best serve these bright, yet complex students.

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Join the High Ability English Learner Committee!

●Join the team that is piloting a framework for serving English learners who have high potential and who are gifted.

●The goal of this framework is that it will serve as a basis on which to develop research-based training.

●This framework is being shared with EL and High Ability educators in IN to gather their input.

Please contact Dr. Donna Albrecht if you are interested:

Here are two great resources for identification tips and strategies to best serve our English learners:

Link to resource: EL/High Ability Strategies

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Empower Your Staff & Students: Design the IDOE High Ability LOGO!

The Indiana Department of Education’s High Ability Department is seeking your insight, creativity, and input! Have you noticed all of the amazing new logos at the IDOE? There is such incredible talent in Indiana, and now it is the field’s turn to design the next IDOE logo, the High Ability Logo.

Official Rules: The purpose of this contest is to design the High Ability logo which will be an easily recognizable and reproducible design to communicate the essence of Indiana High Ability education. This logo will become the official visual representation of High Ability education in Indiana. It may be used in all media, including online, print, and other visual formats.

All current Indiana high ability students, teachers, and administrators, grades K-12, are eligible.

  • Only one entry permissible per individual or team.
  • Work submission must be the original work of the artist(s), not based on any pre-existing design.
  • All entries will become the property of the IDOE.
  • The IDOE will hold the exclusive right to use the winning logo.
  • The individual or team submitting the logo design understands that at the time of submission to the Selection Committee they relinquish all personal, professional, and ownership rights to the design.
  • The individual or team submitting the logo design also understands that after submission they no longer retain any rights to use, modify, alter, replicate, reuse in the future or borrow, any previous/current version of their submitted logo.
  • IDOE reserves the right to modify the winning logo, if necessary.
  • The relinquishment of rights to the logo also includes a relinquishment to any possible variations made to the winning logo by the IDOE at a later time.
  • All decisions of the Logo Contest Selection Committee will be final.

How to Enter:

To enter the High Ability Logo Design Contest, eligible participants must:

Complete the Official Entry Form found at: Official High Ability Logo Contest Entry form by Monday, December 31, 2018.

Selection Criteria:

A Selection Committee comprised of IDOE staff members will evaluate all entries based on originality, quality, and dynamic visual message.


  • Does the design align with Indiana’s High Ability education ideals?
  • Is the logo creative, original, and aesthetically pleasing?
  • Is the logo distinctive, leaving a lasting positive impression?
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Advanced Placement and PSAT NEWS


College Board & the Indiana Department of Education are pleased to invite you to the 2019 Indiana PSAT/NMSQT & PSAT 8/9 Data & Report

These 2-hour workshops will enable educators to effectively understand the use of grade-appropriate assessments and discuss how to measure student progress over time, allowing teachers to accelerate students according to their levels of achievement. The workshops will also engage participants in accessing the Online Score Reporting Portal and provide an understanding of how to navigate and use the features of the portal to effectively utilize the data and reports. In addition, information on the enhancements to the Official SAT Practice with the new Coaching Feature for educators will be discussed.

Dates and Locations

1/22/2019 Hobart High School; Hobart, IN

TBD New Albany High School; New Albany, IN

1/23/2019 Fort Wayne Family and Community Engagement Center; Fort Wayne, IN

1/24/2019 Kokomo High School; Kokomo, IN

1/25/2019 Indiana University - South Bend; South Bend, IN

1/28/2019 Ivy Tech Community College Conference Center, Indianapolis; Indianapolis, IN

1/29/2019 Ivy Tech Community College-Richmond; Richmond, IN

1/30/2019 Ivy Tech Community College - Evansville; Evansville, IN

To register, please click here:

NEW! Amazing new Advanced Placement Curriculum being released for 2019-2020:

FREE Training dates will be released soon!

Meet the Social Emotional Needs of High Ability Students

FREE Professional Development: SENG Facilitator Training Offered

For more information: SENG Flyer

Space is Limited; Register by March 8!

SENG, April 10th: April 10 SENG Training, Fort Wayne, Region 8

SENG, April 11th: April 11, SENG, Indianapolis, CIESC

SENG, April 12th: April 12, SENG, Jasper, SIESC

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K-12 ELA curriculum units and math resources

Grades K-10 Indiana High Ability ELA Curriculum Units

Since 2007, Indiana Code has required Indiana school corporations to identify and serve students with high ability in the general intellectual and specific academic domains, K-12. To help better support students and staff, the Indiana Department of Education funded a high ability language arts curriculum project wherein the IDOE contracted with Dr. Joyce VanTassel-Baska to lead Indiana teachers in writing Indiana ELA Curriculum units.

Using the National Association for Gifted Students’ Standards for Curriculum and Assessment, a team of teachers worked under Dr. VanTassel-Baska to develop language arts curriculum unit for each grade level, K-10, that emphasizes both the Common Core Standards and 21st Century Skills. By so doing, the project is designed to address all aspects of state requirements, differentiation issues for the gifted, and future needs of students in preparing for the world of the professions.

Curriculum Professional Development Offered on March 6, 2019 at SIEC. Register now!

Curriculum unit training, SIEC

Click here to be directed to MOODLE for ELA unit and K-5 Math Resources access:

Congratulations, Award Winners!

Indiana Service Center Region One Spotlight

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Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation is Aspiring Higher!


This was a summer session for our HA teachers that would be in our cluster model schools. We are using "Teaching Gifted Kids in Today's Classroom" by Susan Winebrenner as a resource. One of the big takeaway for our teachers in this session was small/easy ways to differentiate the work for our HA students.

Mock Trial

This PD was provided by the Indiana Bar Foundation (Collin Gruver); it was for teachers in the EVSC and surrounding area that may want to participate in the competition. This will be the first year that there will be a regional competition in Evansville, and we wanted to make sure the teachers had a clear understanding of the competition and the prep. Collin Gruver is a great resource for all things Indiana Bar Foundation; he is the educational program director. I am sure he would be happy to share resources and PD opportunities for areas that wanted to join the competition.

Academy for Law and Justice

High School Options Fair

A special thank you to Meredith Rueger, Director of Humanities and High Ability, for this submission!

Washington Community Schools are Aspiring Higher!

An activity that we would highlight from our district is a one week STEM camp we do with our high ability students the first full week we are not in school in May/June. We have conducted such a camp for the past 5 years. This camp serves up to 60 of our identified 3rd through 6th graders. Projects the past few years have included EV3 Robots, Makey Makey's, 3D Printing, Lego Robotics, Knex building, and hands-on maker space creations. We usually have a theme such as Superhero, Titanic, and etc to give the kids an idea of what we will do for the week.

A special thank you to Kevin Frank, Assistant Superintendent/Curriculum Director of Washington Community Schools for this submission.

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High Ability Summer Camp

Students had to create a floating vehicle and compete to see which could hold the most weight. We partnered with our city pool for this activity.

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Helpful High Ability Resources

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Holiday Stress: What Parents of Gifted Children Need to Know

Parents of high ability students often experience some unique challenges during the holiday season. Due to many gifted children's heightened sensitivities, stressful situations may arise.

Here are some great tips and strategies to help parents better serve their children over the holidays.

Multi-Media in the High Ability Classroom

Are you wanting to spark students' creativity and passion by providing meaningful ways to integrate technology, inquiry, conceptual thinking, and interdisciplinary connections?

Lesson templates, rubrics, projects, products, and perspectives are included in the link below:

Visual Writing Prompts~ Unlock Thought-Provoking and Reflective Writing

Visual writing prompts are thought-provoking, encourage higher level thinking, and reflective writing.

Help bring your students' thinking to the next level with this strategy:

Math in the High Ability Class

“How can Rubik’s Cubes be used in education? Utilize these amazing tools to teach students the importance of productive struggle in the classroom!

This link provides resources and ideas on how you can push your high ability students to work through challenging tasks and also learn some great math connections using the Rubik’s Cube!

Rubik's Cube Math:

High Ability Coordinator Handbook

More IAG Fun and Collaboration!

Meet Indiana's High Ability and Advanced Placement Coordinator: Cindy Schuler

Do you need help with identification, services, program evaluation or have student learning experiences that you would love to share?

Please call or email me to schedule some time to meet. I am here for you and look forward to coming out and visiting with your district!

Keep Aspiring Higher~ Indiana is Going Places!

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