Gifted in Paradise


Greetings, Parents of our Gifted Learners!

Welcome to the 2020 - 21 school year!

We are so pleased to welcome back our talented team of teachers and grateful to add many outstanding new members to our staff. We have an exceptional team of gifted teachers who share my passion for teaching and supporting our gifted learners.

Thank you for your support and patience as we navigate through this unusual start to the school year. Change is never easy but please know we remain steadfast in providing your children with consistent engagement, critical thinking opportunities, and a rigorous curriculum.

As we continue in the distance teaching and learning, PVUSD Gifted learners are currently offered instruction in the following programs depending on their program qualifications and grade levels:

- In a gifted cluster class at your home school for students in grades K-4 (some schools also cluster group in grades 5 & 6);

- In a homeroom class with daily Content Replacement (Honors classes) in math and/or
reading with a gifted specialist at your home school;

- In Honors or AP classes for middle school and high school students;

- In self-contained gifted program classes (1-6) at one of our five elementary school

- In one of our two gifted preschool classes at North Ranch or Fireside (with Desert Trails
expected to open when school is in session face-to-face) *;

- In one of our four self-contained Kindergarten Program classes (at Desert Trails,
Fireside, North Ranch and Sonoran Sky)*;

- In one of our specialty middle school and high school programs, the Digital Learning
Center (Sunrise MS), the Journey Gifted Program (Mountain Trails MS), CREST (Paradise
Valley HS) and DAAPS (Shadow Mountain HS)*

*These self-contained gifted programs require applications that can be accessed through
our gifted website (

- In PVOnline, if PVConnect is not a viable option

You may be wondering what your programming options will be once students return to school

in person. The Gifted department is working with district administration to map out what your

options will be. Please know that we are working to accommodate all of our gifted learners. Gifted programming options for returning to school in person will be shared along with the district’s plans once those are determined. In the meantime, please feel free to reach out to us with your questions.


- for program placement questions

- for gifted testing schedules

- Your school’s Gifted Specialist with specific questions about your home school.

This fall I will continue to meet regularly and work closely with Melissa Schwartz our United

Parent Council (UPC) Gifted Parent Liaison. Melissa and I are planning several virtual gifted

parent events for this year and look forward to sharing those with you in the upcoming weeks.

You may access videos of our previously held gifted parent nights on the UPC website at

Thank you for your support,

Dr. Dina Brulles

Gifted Testing Update:

  • I planned to have my gifted child tested this spring. When will that testing take place?

Due to the current school closures. PVUSD gifted testing has been postponed until we resume in-person learning at the school sites. At this time, our yearly dates are still being made because there is no set date which we will return at this time. If you would like your child tested, please contact your school's gifted specialist and turn in a permission slip for testing.

We will contact families that were previously scheduled for gifted testing (at their school sites and/or at the district office) via email as soon as logistics are confirmed.

"We also accept psychological evaluations from district approved private providers. If you select outside testing, please refer to our list of approved outside testers.

This remains a quickly evolving situation, and we thank you for your patience and understanding. - Deanna Shahverdian, testing technician

PV Gifted in the News!

Gifted Specialist Peggy Woodard named 2020 Arizona Economic Teacher of the Year

Congratulations to Peggy Woodard who was named the 2020 Economic Education Teacher of the Year by the Arizona Council of Economic Education (ACEE). Mrs. Woodard was honored for her continuous improvement as a teacher through professional development, engaging students, and supporting peers in the teaching or learning of economics and financial literacy. Congratulations also to her 2020 Stock Market team which finished first this past Spring in the Arizona Stock Market Game also sponsored by the ACEE.

Four Gifted Specialists named 2020 Khan Academy Ambassadors

Gifted Specialists Kim Cox, Leslie Martin, Nancy Stanton, and ElizaBeth Warner were selected to the 2020-21 Khan Academy Ambassador cohort. As Ambassadors, they join a network of 1000 peers across the United States who are passionate about sharing their expertise and believe deeply in the mission to bring free, world-class education to all.

Supporting Your Gifted Child During COVID-19 Distance Learning

From National Association of Gifted Children

School is suddenly shut. Routines are disrupted. Family members may be sad, sick, or scared. Media coverage is continuous. Our children's worlds have become anything but normal.

During this world pandemic, gifted children may experience intense emotions or anxiety, especially if they react intensely or are considered twice-exceptional under normal circumstances. Most families are at home—perhaps huddled around their TVs or smartphones—so there is little escape for those with a predisposition for asynchrony, emotional intensity, or anxiety.

While gifted children may cognitively process information about COVID-19, it’s important to remember that, for some, other areas of development—such as their emotional or social skills—may not be as mature. They may exhibit intense feelings when fearing for their own family, or when realizing others have difficulty getting food, may be sick, and/or can't get tested. Emotions and sensitivities can quickly spiral to worst-case scenarios.

However, families with gifted children and teens can manage intensities and anxieties in a healthy way, and channel energies to support positivity in themselves and in the community.

Read on at

🖥️ Digital Calming Room

During difficult times it's especially important to take time to check in with our emotions. Here is a great website filled with activities to alleviate stress. This is a great resource for the whole family.

FROST Tutoring Now Available to PVSchools Students

Students needing extra help with homework and assignments can now access PVSchools Free Resources Online Student Tutoring (FROST) through Google Classroom.

FROST is a student-driven, online tutoring program that uses web-based tools to create a casual, easy to use learning environment for students who need extra assistance with their academic subjects.

Learn more about FROST tutoring at:

🖥️ PV United Parent Council

Look for upcoming events sponsored by the United Parent Council at this site.

🖥️ Arizona Association of Gifted & Talented

Here is the latest newsletter from the Arizona Association for Gifted and Talented.

🖥️ National Association of Gifted Children

Explore the parent resources provided at the NAGC website.