Issue #7 April 2021
From the Board
Hello NAGT Community,
I want to thank everyone who came to our zoom meeting on acceleration options for our district. It was a great event. If you missed it feel free to watch the recording on our Facebook page. It is full of useful information on acceleration, scholarship opportunities and the new program at Steele. For those of you who are new, I want to take a minute to explain NAGT (Northwest Association of Gifted and Talented). A membership in this community is also a membership in the TAGT (Texas Association of Gifted and Talented) community. As we approach our “new normal,” our group hopes to have many more opportunities for in-person events. This includes educational panels, book studies, opportunities to listen to speakers/authors educated in G/T education and most importantly a place of support and understanding with parents of other gifted learners. In my three years as part of this community, I have gained valuable knowledge and support. It has been so great to know that there are other parents out there who face the same struggles as my family. It is also a place to celebrate our wins and come together on legislation that will benefit our children. Thank you for being a member of this community, we are glad you are here with us.
Tips for Pandemic & Post-Pandemic Advocacy for Gifted Children (April 6)
TAGT will host a free webinar to offer tips on advocating for gifted children on Tuesday April 6 at 6:30 p.m. Click here for more information about the event.
New to G/T Service (April 29)
This seminar is designed to introduce parents of (new) G/T students to the G/T service/programs in NISD. Please register for the event via this link.
NAGT was proud to host a Zoom panel discussion with G/T specialists from our district on October 26, 2020. Thank you to NISD gifted specialists Caitlin Andrews, Kelly Barrett, Kirstie Cooper, Lisa Degnan, Shelly Moses, Stacy Pickett, Marissa Randolph, and Kristy Schluter for sharing their expertise in educating our gifted students. They provided great insight into our kids. If you missed the discussion, the recording was posted on the NAGT Facebook page. Thank you also to the parents who joined and shared comments and questions!
We kicked off our fall virtual book study on October 5, 2020. The book we selected is "When Gifted Kids Don't Have All the Answers" by Judy Galbraith, M.A. and Jim Delisle, Ph.D. We had a great conversation and discussed the first chapter of the book at the kick off. We discussed chapters 2-4 of the book on November 4. During the discussion, we talked about identifying gifted kids and the emotional side of giftedness. Our third book discussion of the season on November 16 covered chapters 5-7 of the book. Our last discussion was on December 7 when the last chapter of the book was discussed. If you missed the discussion and would like to hear our discussion, you can watch our recording. You can also purchase the book on Amazon via NAGT website so that NAGT can get a little money back to invest in projects that benefit our GATES community.
We also held our Halloween Drawing & Writing contest in late October and sent out
12 Days of Gifted Guides, a fun and helpful email series featuring fun activities, gift ideas and resources, in December.
In February 2021, NAGT invited all gifted students to write a valentine to their gifted mind on Valentine's Day. You can check out what our gifted learners love and appreciate about their gifted mind here.
On March 25, NAGT organized an Zoom information session that explained the acceleration options offered by NISD. If you miss the session but want to learn about it, here is the recording.
TAGT Highlights: G/T Awareness Week
TAGT's G/T awareness week (April 6-10) is coming up. During the week, parents, educators, and advocates come together to celebrate giftedness via online discussion and social media posts. The event is also designed to increase awareness and encourage support of gifted education in Texas by dispelling myths and providing a deeper understanding of the purpose of gifted education.
NAGT invite you to show the entire state of Texas how great our G/T programs are in NISD. Submit your story on #whyGT matters to you to TAGT and then share it on NAGT Facebook page! Making the budget conversation about more than numbers is a great way to keep the focus on our learners.
Gifted to Gifted
Every month, NAGT will ask a GT Specialist and some gifted students to share their advice, insight, or recommendations with other gifted learners on a selected topic.
Topic of This Month:
What summer programs/courses/activities do you recommend to G/T students?
Brendan, 5th grade, Lakeview Elementary, "I would recommend Camp Therman. It is really fun and it is in the woods."
Zoe, 5th grade, Samuel Beck Elementary, "I would recommend Camp Invention, Elm Fork Explorers Summer Camp at the University of North Texas, and College for Kids at Tarrant County College."
Caitlin Andrews, GT specialist at Lakeview Elementary, "My most favorite summer program (and I am a little biased) is Camp Invention! Every year, Northwest hosts this summer program at a few of our campuses and it is an absolute blast! Spark your kid’s creativity and confidence with our new Camp Invention® program, Recharge! At Lakeview (June 7-10) or Schluter from (June 14-17), campers in grades K-6 will team up to take on fun, hands-on STEM challenges. From taking apart their own microphone to exploring solar-powered crickets and creating duck-launching devices, each activity is designed to give your young innovator an unforgettable summer experience. Visit this webpage to secure your spot! If you are uncomfortable with an in-person camp, I highly recommend signing up for the virtual version of Camp Invention (held June 14-17)—you receive all materials on your doorstep and kids can connect with other campers as they navigate the modules!
I am a big proponent of finding camps and programs that your child is most interested in… do you have a kid with a flair for the dramatic? Check out a theater camp like these ones. Do you have kids who love sports? Check out Northwest ISD’s various athletic camps hosted by each high school. No matter what your child’s interest, there is something to keep them engaged this summer!"
Additional summer opportunities can be found on this Smore document put together by our G/T coordinator Audra Rowell.
Things are continuing to move along in our legislative update. Within Northwest ISD, the May elections are coming quickly. Please use this link to follow up with all things NISD.
At the state level, below are the timeline for this legislation session and bills that specifically affect our G/T kids!
87th Legislative Session Timeline
May 31, 2021: Adjournment sine die (Texas Constitution, Article III, Section 24(b))
June 20, 2021: Post-Session 20-day deadline for Governor to sign or veto (Texas Constitution, Article IV, Section 14)
August 30, 2021: Effective date (91st day after adjournment) (Texas Constitution, Article III, Section 39)
The Texas Legislative session is officially past the halfway mark. Things at the Capitol seem to be getting back to normal hustle and bustle. There have been bills heard on the floor and things are moving.
Chairman Guillen’s staff has reported that the two bills we are tracking (HB 1302 and 1303) will be included in a larger bill as a committee substitute. More to come!
Finally, contact your state representative and ask them to sign on as a co-author to HCR 27: Gifted and Talented Students Week introduced by Guillen! This Concurrent Resolution calls for the first week of April to be dedicated to Gifted and Talented Education for 10 years.
You can find your representative here.
Representative [last name],
My name is [YOUR NAME], and I am a [resident, parent, educator, student] in YOUR TOWN. I am [writing/calling] to invite you to support HCR 27 as a co-author, designating the first full week in April as Gifted and Talented Students week. We believe all students should be provided an array of learning opportunities that are commensurate with their abilities every day. This week of recognition will bring attention and awareness to this unique student population.
I appreciate your time and your service to your district’s constituents.
YOUR SIGNATURE AND NAME
The Legislative Officer
NAGT is going to organize a fun and school-focused fundraising event this spring. Keep an eye out.
If you or someone you know has the resources to provide a Corporate Sponsorship for one of our annual costs or programs, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See the attached files for an opportunity to support NAGT by opening an account with our bank BBVA.