Association for Bright Children

MAY 2016

Upcoming Events

May 7 - ABC Annual Conference

May 14 - Family Enrichment Day

May 25 - Registration opens for First Lego League (9-13)

May 30 - Thames Valley District School Board Budget Meeting (Important!)

June 4 - Family Enrichment Day

June 11 & 21 - Robotics Mini-Course

June 14 & 15 - Robotics Mini-Course

June - Registration will open for fall First Lego League Junior (6-9)


Read more below.

EVENT: Join Us Saturday, May 14 and June 4!

ABC is hosting an afternoon of socializing and learning on Saturday, May 14 from 2-4 pm. There will be activities for children ages 4+. Some activities included:


  • 3D selfie workshop
  • Life sciences - Are you a super taster?
  • Gym time for all ages (equipment provided)
  • Bring Your Own Games (BYOG) room



Parents will have the opportunity to participate in a presentation entitled "How to Talk to Your Kids About Their Giftedness".


Click the link below for details and registration information for our "GiftED" series., which includes our June family enrichment day as well.


Thank you to Sylvan Learning Centre and Let's Talk Science for volunteering and providing resources for our April event. We appreciate you!

UPDATE: Meeting the Needs of Bright and Gifted Children in London

If you need help, support, or advice about your bright child and his or her needs, we invite you to contact us at abclondon@abcontario.ca. We are a parent support network and we also have representatives that participate in the Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) for both TVDSB and LCDSB. We are finding that parents of children in primary grades and even younger are contacting us for help supporting the needs of their children, even though gifted identification in schools is typically done much later. If this sounds like you or if you would like to talk with us about an older child, your communication is most welcome.


Parents of children JK-3 may be interested in the Early Identification Procedures and Intervention Strategies document from TVDSB and how it can apply to advocating for your child's needs.


A reminder to parents of children who participated in the gifted screening (Insight) test in TVDSB this year that the results of those assessments have been shared with the school. We have been contacted by several parents asking questions or seeing advice about different circumstances and concerns. If you have any questions, concerns, or need support, please contact us at abclondon@abcontario.ca. The deadline to apply to the self-contained classes for grade 5 in TVDSB is May 16. Parents should contact ABC if they are unsure of the type of information they should share on this application.


Parents should anticipate that TVDSB schools will follow this process:


  1. Screening (Insight and/or other assessments)
  2. Appointment to meet scheduled with parents (PDT* and/or IPRC** meeting)
  3. At the meeting, results are shared and discussed
  4. At the meeting, identification as 'exceptional' is explained
  5. As followup, IPRC paperwork may be prepared for parents' signature agreeing to formal identification as exceptional (intellectually gifted) and deciding on the educational setting, know as the 'placement' for the student.
  6. As followup, an IEP*** may be prepared for parents to review outlining program modifications that will be made to address the student's individual learning strengths and needs.


Parents should not hesitate to ask school staff for clarification of any unfamiliar terminology and processes. It is the role and responsibility of the school staff to help parents understand the special education system. Parents SHOULD NOT SIGN any documents until they have all of the information they require and agree with the identification AND placement (regular classroom with no modifications, regular classroom with modifications + cluster sessions (4 sessions x 3 days this past year), or a full-time self-contained classroom).


*PDT: Program Development Team

**IPRC: Identification, Placement, and Review Committee (Ministry of Education IPRC document)

***IEP: Individual Education Plan (Ministry of Education IEP guide)


TVDSB's IPRC document

TVDSB's IEP document

TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE: ABC Annual Conference May 7

Tickets are still available for the ABC annual conference, held this year in Toronto, Ontario. The theme this year is "Do gifted children have special needs?" The conference begins by 9:00 and ends around 4:45.


The conference offers workshops for educators, workshops for parents, and activities for children and adolescents. Babysitting will alsol be available for children 4-5 years of age.



Some highlights:


  • Dr. Gordon Flett (keynote): perfectionism and anxiety.
  • Dr.Marion Porath: learning from the life trajectories of our most able students
  • Natalie Orenchuk: raising gifted children
  • Lynn Dare, acceleration and gifted children
  • workshop for educators offered by instructor of Gifted AQ (additional qualifications) course at Redeemer College
  • games and activities for children


Families can register online now at abcontario.ca.

UPDATE: LONDON LEGO LEAGUE GOES TO THE WORLD EXPO!

From April 27-30, the London Lego League (Brainstormers) team participated in the World Expo in St. Louis, Missouri. They did a fantastic job of representing themselves and Canada as the only Canadian team in their age category. We've shared some photos from the event, below. Opportunities to register for the 2016 challenge with ABC London will be posted in our June newsletter. Keep your eyes open - spaces are limited.
Big image

Team Development for First Lego League (ages 9-13)

Wednesday, May 25th, 8am

This is an online event.

In an earlier newsletter, we notified parents that we would be developing our FIRST program from First Lego League Junior to the next level, which is First Lego League (FLL).


If you are a parent who is interested and willing to coach a FLL team this year, please email abclondon@abcontario.ca. ABC is entirely volunteer run. The 5 FLL Jr teams are run by parent volunteers. If you are interested in creating an experience for your child for them to work with intellectual peers in an amazing program, then your volunteer time is required. Team registration opens on May 25 and, at that time, ABC London can register your team under our organization and be eligible to apply for grants to help with start up costs. Grants are not unlimited and applying at the opening of registration is critical to getting the necessary funding.


ABC London will support you by applying for the start up grants and helping to link you with high school FIRST teams that offer outreach in the form of assistant coaching in the city.


To read more about FIRST, pleas visit their international website.

EVENT: TVDSB SEAC 2016-17 Budget Meeting

Monday, May 30th, 6:30pm

1250 Dundas Street

London, ON

At this meeting, representatives of various organizations who sit on the SEAC (Special Education Advisory Committee) will give feedback on the proposed 2016-17 school board special education budget. This includes the resources provided for gifted itinerant teachers/cluster sessions, self-contained classrooms, school psychologists and psycho-educational assessments, professional development funding for educators, and anything else that directly impacts the learning of gifted children in schools. This is an incredibly important meeting for families with children who have special needs.


All SEAC meetings are open to the public.


We invite you to share your views about how TVDSB can support the needs of gifted learners by writing to abclondon@abcontario.ca so that they can be represented at the meeting. Please send any written submissions (your personal details will NOT be shared at the meeting) by Friday, May 20, so that submissions can be compiled in advance of the meeting.

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Recommended Reading

Teaching Gifted Kids in Today's Classroom by Susan Winebrenner. ABC London's library has a copy of this book as well if you would like to see it. In our opinion, this is a must-have for teachers working with bright and gifted children. Available online in hard copy. An older version is available through the London Public Library and can be found by searching the author's name.


Publisher's summary:

"Fully revised and updated for a new generation of educators, this is the definitive guide to meeting the learning needs of gifted students in the mixed-abilities classroom - seamlessly and effectively with minimal preparation time. For years, teachers have turned to this book daily to ensure their gifted students are getting the opportunities they need and deserve. Included are proven, practical, classroom-tested strategies and step-by-step instructions for how to use them. The new edition of Teaching Gifted Kids in Today's Classroom provides information on using technology for accelerated learning, managing cluster grouping, increasing curriculum rigor, improving assessments, boosting critical and creative thinking skills, and addressing gifted kids with special needs. Already a perennial best seller, this guide's third edition is sure to be welcomed with open arms by teachers everywhere."


Learning for All (2013) Online document which is the Ministry of Education's publication on how children's varied learning needs can be met in a classroom setting.

CONNECT: Get Involved With ABC London

Have you enjoyed the events we have planned this past year? Do you want more? We want to connect with you!


Since its beginnings in 1975, ABC has been an all-volunteer group of parents and community members advocating for bright and gifted children and their needs. Many hands make light work, as they say, and we invite you to commit to helping out in some way during the 2016-2017 school year. Some ways you can contribute:


  • be a parent greeter at a community event
  • work with our Events Coordinator to plan events for next year (maybe making some calls, making a poster, or distributing information in our community)
  • be the lead parent to host an event (the Events Coordinator supports you as you bring an event to life)
  • connect with the ABC London SEAC representatives and ask about representing gifted learners in TVDSB and LDCSB.
  • offer a hand when an upcoming event is advertised :-)
  • make a donation to support the outside programs we offer to our ABC London community



Sharing in the shaping of the presence of ABC in London and supporting your own and other gifted children is a rewarding experience. You'll be glad you volunteered some of your time.


We welcome high school students who would like to volunteer with ABC London to contact us about how they can help at upcoming events. We welcome volunteers at our upcoming April, May, and June events. Please email abclondon@abcontario.ca for more information. Be sure to include a contact number.

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CONNECT WITH US!

Do you have a question about your child? Looking for advice or support as you raise your child and navigate their education? Are you an educator with an interest in gifted children and want to learn more? Connect with us!