Gifted High School Newsletter

Fall 2019

What's Going In Deer Valley's Gifted High School Programs?

Below is just a sampling of what is going on in our high school gifted programs this fall. Gifted services is already working with our schools to plan and expand our programs and services for the next school year. We hope you enjoy seeing this snippet of the great things going on!
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Goldwater Gifted Institute

During GOLD Days at Barry Goldwater High School, gifted students are invited to attend Gifted Self-Advocacy workshops, where they learn about themselves as gifted learners and how to appropriately advocate for their learning needs!

At the September workshop, students role played talking to their teachers about meeting their needs after reading the article, "Ten Tips for Talking to Teachers."

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Apex Gifted Program

AP US HISTORY
Gifted students in Mr.Donovan’s class recently completed an expert group activity in which they gave presentations to small groups. Students were grouped together and tasked with analyzing a primary source. Each student became an expert on a specific Federalist Paper or Anti Federalist Paper. Students then created posters that would aid them in their presentations that they gave to other students. This activity allowed students to learn from each other and to understand the debates between Federalist and Anti Federalist. These debates are critical in understanding our Constitution today!
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Skyhawk Gifted Program

Our first class of gifted Freshman are off to a great start! Many of the students share classes throughout the day, but they are all taking AP Human Geography. In AP Human Geography, they are having fascinating and high-level discussions. Some quick highlights so far: Students have been engaged in research projects on countries suffering from famine throughout the world. Many of the students now know every nation state in Africa. Last week, students watched a documentary on gendercide in India and China and conducted a university level Socratic discussion on the ramifications of this issue on a global level.



The freshman were also paired up with their teacher-mentor and will meet with them in the next week or two. These meetings throughout the year are meant to give students another adult/advocate on campus. And lastly, one of our counselors came in and worked with the AP Human Geography class this week. Each freshman was given a binder to keep all of their documentation for their high school years. This can include resumes, service hours, college/scholarships info, and more. We started with a checklist for freshman, an intelligence assessment, and community service documentation. This visit also included a review of email etiquette when emailing adults/coaches/teachers/counselors/employers/etc. We are so enjoying working with these exceptional students!

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The Gifted Cohort

ELA Gifted Honors:

Freshman: We are looking critically at how writer's create their craft. After reading the social commentary Fairy Tale "Once Upon a Time" by South African writer Nadine Gordimer, we will be composing our own fairy tales with a social message. This will blend issues student care about with the process of creative writing.


Sophomores: We are in the process of creating a Journalism product. Students are working in small groups or independently to create a product that addresses an issue that effects the world at a community/national/global level. Teams and individuals will pick the medium that best fits their topic (podcast, info graphic, TV spot, written communication). As products are developed, we will be examining how powerful stories are created, how to identify and effectively communicate to a target audience, the visual meaning behind communication (color theory/psychology), and how to complete technical editing.


AP World History Gifted:

We were working on MesoAmerican societies, such as the Olmecs and Mayans. Students, in small groups, read about a MesoAmerican culture given to them, and then had to create a flag that represented that culture based off of the SPICE elements in WHAP. They then had to create a "Wall Description" that explained the flag. Students then had to do a "gallery walk" of the flags, filling out a chart based on SPICE and then had to write an SAQ (Short Answer Question). So, they did collaborative work that was creative using content knowledge, and then applying that knowledge to the AP writing skills they've been taught so far in class.


Honors Biology Gifted:

With the adoption of new science standards, we are focusing on our first storyline, incorporating Crosscuttting Concepts, Science and Engineering Practices, as well as Core Ideas. Students are using problem based learning to learn about animal ecosystems, genetics, energy usage and diet. Here are some of the questions we are working on: Why do lions hunt together? What is the energy advantage to living in packs? How do you determine parentage of the cubs? What migration patterns do you see among the prides? How similar genetically are the different prides? How do organisms like lions, zebras, hedgehogs and baboons use energy? Students acted as zookeepers and planned a diet for the animals in their care. To review “the story so far”,students were asked to create a “One-Pager Summary” of what we know this far in the lessons.


Honors Chemistry Gifted:

In Chemistry we finished up our first unit on measurement and precision! Students had an engineering design project that required them to use a map of our area to design an "Uber Pool" route to get them and all of their group members to school. They then used dimensional analysis to calculate the total distance of their route along with the total time of their trip. We are now in our unit on the properties of matter! Students were given a mixture of sand, salt, iron, and pencil shavings and challenged to separate the mixture into its four components. In class right now they are designing experiments to separate their mixtures using physical properties of matter.

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The Gifted Academy

Here’s what’s happening in E210 Mrs. Spark's Gifted Honors ELA Course...

I am so enjoying working with this year’s amazing crop of young people. I look forward to spending time with them every day, and I’m grateful for each of their personalities. This semester, we are exploring what it means to “grow up” -- something each member of our class is in the thick of. From To Kill a Mockingbird to Great Expectations (and soon in The Odyssey), we’re taking a close look at what it means to change and grow through life’s experiences.


We’ve also teamed up to compete in our own “Hogwarts Grammar House Cup”. Our four teams (Slytherins, Hufflepuffs, Ravenclaws, and Gryffindors) are making their way through grammar skills game boards and competing to win the championship title in this year-long competition. Our upcoming writing focus will be narratives, with students implementing literary elements within their own prose.


Always, we’re diving into informational and nonfiction texts and making connections as we

improve our talents as readers and thoughtful consumers

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Visit Our Future Freshman Nights!

Barry Goldwater -

Thursday, November 14th

6:00 - 8:00 p.m.


Boulder Creek -

Wednesday, November 20th

6:00 - 7:30 p.m.


Deer Valley -

Thursday, November 21

5:30-6:30 A-L and 6:30-7:30 M-Z

We will start in the auditorium


Mountain Ridge -

November 13th from 6:00 - 8:30 p.m.

Presentation in Gym

(We also have a 6th and 7th grade night on 1/15)


Sandra Day O'Connor

Wednesday, November 6th

Time: 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.



Please visit school websites for more information

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Application Information for 2020-2021 School Year

Barry Goldwater -

No application needed


Boulder Creek -

No application needed


Deer Valley -

No application needed


Mountain Ridge -

Application posts: November 18th

Round One applications close on January 30th


Sandra Day O'Connor

Application information posting soon on: https://www.dvusd.org/Page/61188

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