Clarke County Gifted News

Encourage, Inspire, Empower

Meet the Teacher

My name is Kathleen Dean, Elementary Gifted Teacher and I am so excited to start this year's adventure with you and your child. I have been in gifted education for the past eight years at Winchester Public Schools serving as the EXCEL Resource Teacher and then later as the ACE (Accelerated Curriculum through Enrichment) Teacher for third grade gifted students. I obtained my gifted endorsement coursework through University of Virginia and currently continue studies in gifted education through Liberty University as a lifelong learner. For me, some key components of a gifted program include building relationships with students and families through open communication, providing challenging and engaging projects based on student passion and empowering students to take charge of their learning by advocating and reflecting on what is needed to see a project through. It is my greatest joy to partner with students as a mentor and sounding board through 1:1 conferencing where personalized discussion and reflection take place in order for students to realize their full potential. I am so looking forward to meeting all of you personally at the August Open Houses. See you then!

New School Year: Building the Foundation

In beginning the new year, we will focus on out-of-the seat activities to learn about our strengths, developing growth mindsets and learning the roles/responsibilites of working in a small groups. These three goals for the beginning of the year will build a strong foundation for working in groups similar to how design or research teams work in the real-world. My goal is to build the behaviors and skills for teaching your students HOW to think and not WHAT to think. This may create some growing pains, particularly for gifted students who are familiar with concepts and ideas coming easily and where getting the one "right" answer is the norm . The activities will be designed to create a bit of a struggle which may feel uncomfortable for your student. There may not be one right answer but rather an answer supported by your student based on observations, data, background knowledge, research, design-builds, or a series of experiments or interviews with an expert in the field. One thing we will remind ourselves throughout the year is that we need to struggle every now and then in order to grow and learn. (Even I struggle, grow and learn as the field of gifted education evolves to include more research-based information to make learning for our students better.)

As we go through our activities we will take the time to reflect on what we experienced and how we can either be a "Rock Brain" or overcome by being a "Super Flex." These self-reflections, either through journaling or conferencing, allow students to make sense of what was learned and provides a checkpoint for me to ensure your student is receiving the instructional and emotional support needed to pursue their passions.

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Flexible Seating Wish List

Dear parents,

I am so excited to write to you all regarding flexible seating in our classroom! Students would have many different seating options throughout the day, and they decide which seat in our classroom will work best for their learning style. Students are not tied to sitting on a chair at a desk while they learn. Desks are still and option for those who prefer them. Currently, we are using yoga balls and carpet squares. I would love for you all to join in on the fun! You are welcome to provide additional seating options for your child if you would like to. I have listed examples of flexible seating in the SignUp Genius provided in an email. If you do not receive an email , feel free to contact me through the email listed below.

As a family, you may provide any of the seating options listed or partner with another family to donate an item. Please bring donations to the Open House on August 16th . I will store all items in our classrooms. Please let me know if you have any questions! I am more than happy to answer them. Thank you all for your support!

Your teacher,

Mrs. Dean

A Blank Slate

Our classrooms at Boyce and Cooley are a blank slate waiting for students to add their personal seating favorites to their learning environment!
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Open House

Thursday, Aug. 16th, 6-6:30pm

Boyce Elementary School, Boyce, VA, USA

Boyce, VA

I will be at Open House to meet and greet with students. Please stop on by!

Open House

Thursday, Aug. 16th, 6:45pm

D G Cooley Elementary School, Berryville, VA, USA

Stop on by and say hello in Room B142!

Contact Information

Boyce Elementary School: Monday, Tuesday

School Board Office: Wednesday

DG Cooley Elementary School: Thursday, Friday