Issue #5 February 2021
From the Board
Hello NAGT Community,
It’s hard to believe that we are entering the second month of 2021! I look back at where we were last spring and even at the start of this school year and think most of us were really hoping (and expecting) that the world would look a little different than it does right now.
When my kids started back to school in August, it was with a bit of apprehension on my part as to how we would all handle schooling in this “new normal.” I was not sure what to expect with the virtual start and delayed in-person return. But in those first few days of virtual learning, I listened as three elementary school teachers and seven middle school teachers balanced meeting their new students over Zoom and I knew this year would be one for the books. I have listened as the teachers in my graduate courses have talked about the challenges they have faced this year, balancing in-person, remote, and hybrid teaching.
Meeting the needs of gifted kids this year has added a whole new challenge. I have had the privilege of serving on-campus in a gifted ELA classroom as a long-term guest educator since September. I have seen firsthand how hard our district is working to meet the needs of every student in this unprecedented time. As an educator, I could not be prouder of the work that they are doing.
But as a parent, I have missed my Friday lunch dates with my kids in their cafeterias, and I have missed getting to know volunteers in their classrooms. More than that, I have missed the opportunity to get to know each one of their teachers face-to-face. I have struggled with how to get answers to questions and how to be involved in this new era. I know that I am not alone in those struggles as a parent no matter how hard our educators are working. It is something we are all still getting used to!
So while we are looking forward to the day of face to face meetings and outings, we want you to know that we are still here supporting you. If there is anything you would like to see available to you as a GT parent either at one of our campuses or virtually, we would love to hear from you! We are in this together and want to help you in any way that we can!
Here’s to 2021 and making sure we are all successful together!
The Community Officer
Navigating Advanced Academics in High School
The parents and students of middle or high schools are invited to attend one of the Zoom sessions, “Navigating Advanced Academics in High School.” Event dates and time:
February 11, 2021 @ 6:30 PM Register Here
February 12, 2021 @ 10:00 AM Register Here
A Valentine to your gifted mind
NAGT invites all gifted students to write a Valentine to their gifted mind this month. Please see the Gifted to Gifted session of this newsletter for more details.
NAGT is committed to advocating for gifted and talented students in Northwest ISD. As a part of the advocacy effort, in the upcoming weeks, we will be asking NISD families to share their stories of #WhyGT matters! Please think about what it means to be a gifted learner or the parent of a gifted learner and consider sharing your story. Details are coming soon!
NAGT was proud to host a Zoom panel discussion with GT 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 will be 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.
"As we reflect on 2020 and what we hope for in 2021, these words come to mind: courageous…tenacious…heroes. These words describe you, educators and parents, who have risen to a challenge none of us saw coming. Heroes who have taught and parented, or parented and taught, through crazy conditions, through screens and masks and partitions and space, to ensure that your students continue to grow and learn something new every day."
Please read the full statement from TAGT Leadership and watch the TAGT 2020 Annual Report.
1st Vice President
Gifted to Gifted: Valentine' Day Special Edition
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:
A Valentine from gifted students to their gifted mind
NAGT is creating an opportunity in February for students to share about themselves. We have created a padlet where students can create a Valentine to their mind. They can be as creative as they would like to be. We want students to recognize all the positive things their own brain does for them and celebrate that! They can create a handmade valentine, write a note or create a digital one. Once they have created it, they can upload it to the specific column for their high school feeder pattern that their school belongs to. When students create their post, please ask them only put their first name, school, and grade level in the title of their padlet and then upload their creation.
We hope that your students will enjoy creating these. We cannot wait to see what all amazing things students share. Here is the Padlet link: https://padlet.com/NISDGT/NAGT
The Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented has an awesome legislative resource at https://www.txgifted.org/advocacy. This is my go-to site to help me stay on top of information for our GT community. I especially like the blog.
Another great resource as we continue in the 87th Texas legislature season is here at Texas Legislature Online.
Feel free to check out these resources and I will keep you updated as we know more.
The Legislative Officer
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.