Aspire Higher


Volume 1, November 2018, So thankful for YOU!

High Ability Coordinator Conference 2018

As the leaves change and a new season of High Ability and Advanced Placement unfolds, please know how grateful I am to be a part of such a collaborative and creative community. On Tuesday, October 30, over 200 leaders from across the state met at the High Ability Coordinator Conference to begin this joint journey. I want to thank all of the attendees and presenters for their enthusiasm, insight, and incredible comradery. Below are some highlights from the day and key points to remember.

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Stretch creative thinking with SCAMPER

SCAMPER is a wonderful tool to help foster creativity and flexible thinking. Here are some SCAMPER questions to use for the logo contest, but please know that it is a tool that can be used to generate questions and critical thinking to serve a multitude of purposes and functions.

· S: Substitute What materials or images can you substitute or swap to improve the logo/idea?

· C: Combine What would happen if you combined this idea with another, to create something new?

· A: Adapt How could you adapt or readjust this image to serve another purpose or maximize its message?

· M: Modify What could you emphasize or highlight to create more value?

· P: Put to a new use How would this image be enhanced in another setting?

· E: Eliminate What could you eliminate or streamline in your logo to create something more distinctive and powerful?

· R:Reverse What would happen if you reversed your image or sequenced things differently?

Share Your Ideas

What are some other ways that students in your districts are engaged in creative and critical thinking? Share your ideas with this community through this site:

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Identification and Underrepresented Populations

How do Indiana districts find the right high ability students to serve?

Here are some characteristics of High Ability English Learners according to Castellano, J.A. (2010). Identifying, assessing, and serving gifted English language learners.

  • Rapid acquisition of the second language (English) beyond norm of peer group

  • Quick grasp of newly introduced information

  • Intense interest and curiosity

  • Easily shares culture/cross-cultural flexibility/cultural sensitivity

  • Ability to “fit in” and to “make it” in the dominant culture

  • Creative thinking/problem solving

  • Ability to see connections

  • High mathematical ability

  • Exceptional talents in areas valued by their culture

  • Keen power of observation

  • Originality and imagination

  • Takes responsibility seriously (often home responsibilities)/strong family ties

  • Preference for collaboration – leads and works with others well

FREE Online CogAT Training~ Hurry and Enroll~ Seats are limited!

CogAT is an aptitude test which assists in identifying the correct high ability students based on aptitude. All kindergartners, second, and fifth grade students should be screened for high ability talent. IDOE, in conjunction with the Southern Indiana Education Center, is pleased to announce FREE online training sessions to support districts switching to the online platform. Seats are limited so hurry and complete the registration form, found below!

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Social Emotional Support

Once students are properly identified, social emotional support is key. Do you want to help parents understand and develop skills to nurture the development of their gifted, talented, and twice-exceptional children?

Become a SENG Model Parent Group Facilitator!

A SENG Model Parent Group (SMPG) brings together 10-20 parents of gifted, talented and twice-exceptional children to discuss such topics as stress management, motivation, discipline, and peer relationships.

The co-facilitators of the group, though they are knowledgeable about parenting and educating gifted, talented, and twice-exceptional children, do not attempt to give expert advice to families. Instead, their facilitation provides a non-judgmental and nurturing atmosphere.

The parents of high-ability children are themselves a rich resource for information; participants get fresh ideas from other parents and from A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children, around which the sessions are organized. Groups meet weekly for eight to 10 weeks.

JOIN Your Indiana Colleagues 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

November 29, at


3500 DePauw Blvd. Suite 2020

Pyramid 2, Second Floor

Indianapolis, IN 46268

OR November 30, at

Region 8 ESC

1027 W. Rudisill Blvd

Fort Wayne, IN 46807

Facilitator training includes:

• Objectives of SENG Model Parent Groups;

• Characteristics of parents in SMPGs;

• The role of SMPG Facilitators;

• Group facilitation techniques;

• Content learning session topic areas: characteristics, motivation, discipline, stress management, peer relations and sibling rivalry, and traditional breaking;

• Practice of facilitation techniques;

• Potential problems and solutions in SMPGs;

• How to organize a local SMPG; and become a volunteer facilitator, or earn income from organizing your own groups

A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children and Parent Groups: The SENG Model, 2nd Ed.

seng smpg training is specific to co-facilitators, so please register two district attendees.

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English Language Arts Curriculum Unit Themes

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Per Indiana Code, districts must be meeting student needs with High Ability curriculum and instruction.

Advanced Placement

Advanced Placement courses and professional development by College Board and AP TIP-IN ensure solid vertical articulation of high ability services and college and career ready skills. There are incredible new resources and supports being offered by College Board for Advanced Placement in 2019-2020. Additionally, there are Pre-AP courses being offered in 2020 to help build the foundation that ALL students need to be successful. Find out how your school can be one of the first to offer these amazing new courses at this link:

In addition, just as all classrooms need differentiation to help maximize the talents within, Advanced Placement courses need differentiated instruction. Come learn some new strategies and boost your students' success by attending FREE College Board Professional Development. The training sessions will be released soon!

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Congratulations, Speedway, AP TIP-IN Affiliate School of the Year!

It was my pleasure and privilege to celebrate the success of AP TIP-IN schools and teachers on Friday, November 2, at Notre Dame. The accolades revealed the tremendous growth and improvement in both Advanced Placement offerings and achievements, where Hoosier students are the true winners!

High Ability Coordinator Mentor Program

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High Ability Coordinator Mentor Program

In order to support the amazing efforts in the field of High Ability and build a collaborative spirit, the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) is starting a High Ability Coordinator Mentorship Program. The Department recognizes that there is a vast array of talent and dedication in the field of high ability education. To help maximize this incredible work and experience throughout our great state, we are offering the Coordinator Mentorship Program which encourages strong collegial relationships and best practices in High Ability education. Building capacity is a crucial pillar in our quest to aspire higher, allowing students to actualize their potential.

The IDOE High Ability Mentorship Program represents a bridge between experienced coordinators and newer coordinators, where both partners benefit. Mentors gain personal satisfaction, insight, and collaborative opportunities. Mentees glean insight, an increased awareness of High Ability education, and collaborative opportunities. The mentor-mentee relationship is designed to foster maximum support and guidance as new coordinators grow their district’s High Ability Program. The mentor-mentee relationships are dynamic, interactive, and are vital in taking high ability education to new heights!

Role of the Mentors:

  • Assist the mentees in adjusting to their new roles as coordinators
  • Share resources and support in the five required HA service areas:
  • Curriculum/Instruction
  • Professional Development
  • Affective Education
  • Program Evaluation
  • Multifaceted Assessment Plan
  • Establish a measureable goal for the year based on the mentee’s district’s needs
  • Check-in monthly with the mentee via preferred mode of communication
  • Share successes, challenges, and goals with IDOE (Jotform links will be sent.)
  • Celebrate the journey at the End of Year Celebration (Ten point PGP certificates will be awarded upon completion.)

Role of the Mentees:

  • Communicate regularly with the mentor, and seek help as needed
  • Seek guidance, share, and support in the five required HA service areas:
  • Curriculum/Instruction
  • Professional Development
  • Affective Education
  • Program Evaluation
  • Multifaceted Assessment Plan
  • Establish a measureable goal for the year based upon the district’s needs
  • Check-in monthly with the mentor via preferred mode of communication
  • Share successes, challenges, and goals with IDOE (Jotform links will be sent.)
  • Celebrate the journey at the End of Year Celebration (Ten point PGP certificates will be awarded upon completion.)

Starting Point:

To begin the Coordinator Mentee-Mentor journey together, please complete the following:

  • Share contact information and preferred mode of communication
  • Review the Advice to Coordinators document in the Handbook collaboratively, page 64
  • Agree upon a measurable goal for the year, based upon the district’s data and needs
  • Decide who will complete the goal Jotforms and submit them to the IDOE
  • Enjoy the collegial partnership as you work together to bring new heights to High Ability education!

Please contact Cindy Schuler, at the below contact information, if you are interested in participating.

Aspire Higher, Indiana!

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IMPOrtant Documents

Downloadable High Ability Coordinator Handbook found Below

Meet Indiana's High Ability and Advanced Placement Coordinator: Cindy Schuler