Gifted Guardian - November 2016

Columbus City Schools Gifted & Talented Family Newsletter

Reaching Out

Welcome to the first edition of the quarterly newsletter for families of gifted learners in Columbus City Schools. We are excited to add a new way to reach out to families in support of their scholars in our district. Each quarter, we will share important announcements, events, review resources that may be of interest to families, and provide tips for raising your gifted child. If you have ideas for article topics, just let us know! Feel free to share the link to this newsletter with others. We will keep a list of the links on our website, as well.

Fighting Frustration and Fatigue

This is the time of year when our gifted learners may begin to experience some unfamiliar feelings: academic frustration and fatigue. Particularly for gifted learners in services for the first time, it can be a bit unnerving when faced with assignments or projects that do not come easily or require sustained attention. Many gifted learners enter school knowing much of what is being taught, and so, over the years, these young students begin to think a normal school experience is one where they already know the lesson or get the new knowledge or skill on the first try with minimal effort.


Eventually, and hopefully sooner rather than later, the day comes when a lesson is taught that is unknown to the student. It may take practice or the student may make a few mistakes along the way. It may require time to fully develop the work assigned or involve redoing parts to make them better. This can be scary for students if they have not experienced it before. For some, they may panic and ask to be removed to an easier class. Other may say they are "bored" hoping that will lead to a change in the task. Some students may just not complete the work at all, finding it more comforting to get a 0 on an assignment by choice rather than due to making a mistake.


Parents and family members always want to keep their children safe and happy. When faced with this situation, it is tempting to remove the student from gifted services, transfer them to an easier class, provide extra "help" on the assignment, or ask to have the child excused from the task altogether. These instincts come from a place of protection, but they can actually do more harm than good. Rather than helping the frustrated gifted learner, they reinforce the mistaken idea that school should always be easy. It can be a missed opportunity to help our children learn strategies for working through a challenge, demonstrating persistence, managing time, and real-life problem solving that will be required of them as they grow up and experience life.


Rather than help students avoid these struggles, seize them as learning opportunities. Work with the teacher to coach the child in those personal skills needed to prevail. It will be hard, but it gets a little easier each time your child is in that type of situation. You will have the peace of mind knowing that your student has developed the grit needed to survive the world even when you are not there to guide them through a challenge, and your scholar will have the satisfaction of true accomplishment.


For more on this topic, check out the following resources:


Resource Review: CCS Gifted & Talented Website

The Gifted & Talented department's website has a wealth of resources for families and teachers of gifted students. In addition to information about identification and services, you can find links to summer opportunities, organizations, books and magazines, online learning tools, and much, much more. Take a little time to explore what is listed. Visit the site at www.ccsoh.us/Resources.aspx

Summer's A' Comin'!

It isn't even winter yet, so talking about summer seems a little odd. But, the summer is a great time for scholars to take advantage of enrichment programs around our area to explore interests or try new things. You can find lists of opportunities at http://www.ccsoh.us/SummerOpportunities.aspx. These have not yet been updated for the new year, but they may spark ideas for opportunities to explore and have contact information for the programs listed. Columbus City Schools does not sponsor or endorse any programs; the lists are just a tool for families to begin their search. Most programs have application periods during January and February, so check them out now.


Families interested in pursuing financial assistance may also begin looking at Support for Talented Students and the Ohio Association for Gifted Children. Support for Talented Students (www.supportfortalentedstudents.org) helps match students to funds donated by community organizations specifically for the purpose of summer enrichment programs. The majority of the group's funds are earmarked for gifted learners in Columbus City Schools. Scholarships are need based, and families can visit the STS website now to check eligibility and submit an application for this summer. The Ohio Association for Gifted Children also offers scholarships for families of gifted learners across Ohio, which may be used for summer programs of other enrichment opportunities throughout the year. Visit their webpage (http://www.oagc.com/scholarship.asp) for application timelines and eligibility criteria.

College Credit Plus Information Meetings

Tuesday, Nov. 29th, 6:30-8pm

Columbus North International High School, 100 E. Arcadia Ave., Columbus OH 43202

The High School Guidance team will be holding three meetings to share information with families about the state's College Credit Plus (CCP) Program. CCP is open to students in grades 7 through 12 and is a way for college-ready students to take college courses for free before graduating high school. Most courses count for both high school and college credit. Participants are required to attend an annual information/counseling session, and attendance at one of these three meetings counts as that requirement. Topics include student prerequisites, taking college courses on district high school campus and at nearby college campuses, specialty dual enrollment programs, career technical program options, Advanced Placement programming, and the application process for all of these options. Meet with representatives from the district and these programs to get questions answered. Even if you do not think your scholar is in need of the program next year, this is useful information for families of all current students in grades 6 through 11 as you begin planning for options in the near future.


Additional Future Meeting Dates (families only need to attend 1):

  • Wednesday, January 11, East High School
  • Thursday, February 2, Northland High School

December PACE Meeting

Thursday, Dec. 1st, 6:30-8pm

417 South Weyant Avenue

Columbus, OH

The next PACE meeting will be a Selective Admissions Fair. Come learn about the selective admissions process for Columbus Alternative High School, Eastmoor Academy, Duxberry Park Elementary, Arts Impact Middle School, and Fort Hayes Arts & Academic High School. Representatives from each school will be on hand to share about their programs, and a representative from Central Enrollment will discuss the application process.

January PACE Meeting

Thursday, Jan. 26th 2017 at 6:30-8pm

TBD

January's PACE meeting will focus on Summer Opportunities. Representatives from various local programs will be on hand to share information about their offerings, and information will be shared about sources of financial assistance to offset the cost of enrichment programs for your scholars. Please visit the PACE website or Gifted & Talented website closer to the event for location information.

Gifted Organizations

Columbus PACE

PACE is a community of parents, grandparents, guardians, and families of gifted students in Columbus City Schools. This group meets approximately once a month to discuss advocacy issues at the state and local level and to provide educational and informational programming of parents of gifted students.

Ohio Association for Gifted Children

The Ohio Association for Gifted Children is a state level advocacy group of parents and guardians, families, educators, and interested community members to support the needs of gifted learners in school, at home, and throughout the state. The group holds educational conferences and events for members and others interested, offers scholarships in support of student interests, and works with state leaders to develop policy for gifted learners. Members also have access to online events sponsored by the National Association for Gifted Children.