Ad. Learning Programs & Services

Gifted Services Update March/April 2021

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RECURRING: NAGC's "Supporting Your Gifted Child During Covid19"

The National Association for Gifted Children is dedicated to supporting professionals and families in the gifted community. Among their Parent TIP Sheets are resources to help families navigate their child's responses to Covid19. Here are two with one already in Spanish. We hope these resources provide some support for you.

Supporting Your Gifted Child During Covid19 - English

Supporting Your Gifted Child During Covid19 - Spanish

Managing Grief and Anxiety During Covid19

Advanced Learning Services Gifted SubCommittee Update

The Advanced Learning Services Gifted Subcommittee Action Groups held their first two meetings this month.

  • Academic Competitions: RISD will be working on a plan to implement new elementary GT offerings including UIL A+ as well as CTE-related, innovative competitions.
  • Profile of a Gifted Graduate: The profile is in draft stage and being "wordsmithed" through reflection and feedback.
  • Equity in Advanced Learning: Two priorities were identified to help mitigate secondary students choosing to take non-GT classes and to incorporate more depth and complexity in the general classroom.
  • We (still) hope to launch our new website soon.

Elementary GT Referrals and Testing Update

Parents of current virtual referred elementary students as well as 2nd or 6th graders were notified of the opportunity to be tested at the PDC in the next couple of weeks. Those who replied will receive a confirmation for the date and time soon.

Referred or 2nd/6th students who were virtual but who have returned to the campus in person will be tested on their home campus by the Advanced Learning Teacher.

If you have questions, please call 469-593-0898.

Secondary GT Referrals and Testing Update

Parents and Staff of students in grades 7-11 may refer students for gifted services by completing ONE of the following links.

Parent referral links:



RISD Staff referral link:

The links will remain open until the start of school. Test scheduling will occur in late July and early August to identify students who qualify for courses before the 2021-2022 school year begins. All testing will occur centrally at the Professional Developmental Center.

Students who qualify for services will be served in their areas of strength as related to our core content courses in GT ELAR, GT Social Studies and/or GT Science.

RISD Advanced Learning Makes the Dallas Morning News

Richardson's Advanced Learning was featured in a recent article in the Dallas Morning News. That article was shared out through multiple other mediums from sources such as NAGC and TAGT as well as other news outlets. We are so proud of our progress and excited to continue the work. You can find the article HERE.

Camp Invention

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Creative Academy

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Superintendent's Scholars Academy (SSA)

The following message was sent to qualifying students:

Hello from the Richardson ISD Advanced Learning Offices,

If you are receiving this email, it is because we have identified your child as a possible participant in Richardson ISD’s Superintendent’s Scholar Academy summer academic program. Each year, RISD identifies some of our most talented young people for the SSA program in hopes of providing them with a unique and engaging enrichment experience. SSA is designed to give students the option to pursue research on choice topics while under the tutelage of experienced educators all in an environment that fosters real-world skills like creativity, collaboration, critical-thinking, and communication.

The program has room for 140 current 7th and 8th graders, and students will be selected on a first-come, first-served basis. A wait list will be provided once the 140-student limit has been met.

Participating students will be sent a survey to determine their areas of interest and learning styles, which we will use to place them in groups of 4 students each. Our resources and our learning outcomes simply do not allow for a student to do this work with us on an individual basis, so good collaboration and communication is a must.

Over the course of the SSA program, students will be expected to actively participate in this virtual program from June 7-18, 1-5 p.m., Monday-Friday. Each day will conclude with a teacher check-in to ensure that the projects are moving forward in a satisfactory way and that the students are ready to present their work on the last day of the program (June 18th).

If this sounds like an opportunity that your child would like to pursue, more information about the program, dates, times, and registration can be found in the attached flyer. The link to register will open 8 AM on April 12 and to­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ access registration, you will need to provide your students first and last name as it is officially in their RISD records. (EX: Lauren Martinez-Sanchez cannot be entered as Laurie Sanchez)

We look forward to having your student join us this summer. If you have questions, please feel free to contact us.

RISD Advanced Learning Services

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From the desk of ... Jasmine Patel

Self-Care is not an indulgence. It is a responsibility.

Read that again: Self-Care is not an indulgence. It is a responsibility.

The Oxford Dictionary defines “self-care” as “the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during times of stress.” Okay. Got it. Take care of me.

But how often do we really DO that? How often do we make sure our children DO that? And if we as parents don’t DO that, how do we model that? That’s the responsibility part. ;)

I think we can all agree that one year later, our Pandemic Lifestyle has certain elements:

  • Working (whether employment or academic) from Home

  • Reduced social circles

  • Fewer organized group activities (if at all)

  • More screen time

  • Less travel (if at all)

The first one can blur the lines between work life and leisure. The rest are often some of the “escapes” we use to unplug, decompress, and recharge before returning to our work/responsibilities. Ironically, the removal of these options can actually cause stress. While we know how that applies to us….we must also realize that it applies to your children as well.

With summer break on the horizon, it’s a wonderful time to engage in some INTENTIONAL self-care to counteract such challenges:

  • Seek movement through sport, play, exercise, walks, etc.

  • Read more….from a real book (not a screen).

  • Learn a new skill or trade….something unrelated to anything mastered already. Set no expectations for willing to be bad at something new. (grit and growth are hidden bonuses here)

  • Sleep well….schedule it and create a routine to optimize it.

  • Develop a new healthy staying hydrated with water, eating more vegetables, reducing processed foods.

  • Practice mindfulness...through journaling, breathing exercises, meditation.

  • Stay positive….reframe negative thoughts into possibilities, practice gratitude.

It’s not an exhaustive list….but it’s a starting point. Do this for yourself, and invite your children to do it as well. Prioritizing self-care is a VALUABLE lesson worth sharing. Let’s normalize IT in the Pandemic Lifestyle! :)

Exec. Director of Advanced Learning Services

Elizabeth Swaner, M. Ed.

Advanced Learning Specialist

Dr. Joseph Russell, Ph.D.

Advanced Learning Specialist

Jasmine Patel, M. Ed.