REACH PTA Representatives
Do you have questions? In general there are 2 REACH PTA Representatives per elementary and middle school available to assist. REACH Representative List
October 27th-Executive Function in the Gifted Population- The REACH PTA presents Founder and Director of the Center for Identity Potential, Andy Mahoney, Executive Function in the Gifted and the Role it Plays in Developing Potential, Thursday October 27th at 7pm at Sandburg Middle School Auditorium.
Andy Mahoney is a recognized expert and pioneer in the field of counseling the gifted and talented. His expertise spans 30 years as a counselor, family therapist, and trainer of mental health professionals. Andy's workshop will provide parents an overview and understanding of executive function as it relates to giftedness and the role executive functions play in developing potential. The executive functions are a set of processes that all have to do with managing oneself and one's resources in order to achieve a goal such as self-monitoring, task initiation, organization, planning and prioritizing. Andy will discuss practical means to address executive functioning issues for gifted children in a variety of social, emotional, and academic settings.
Middle School Gifted Student Executive Function Workshops (Nov 5th and Dec 3rd- Both are filled) The REACH PTA presents educational expert in the field of counseling, Scott Lutostanski, Executive Functioning Skill Development and Strategies for Improved Self-Directed Learning. Scott Lutostanski is a member of The Center for Identity Potential and an educational expert in the field of counseling. With masters degrees in both Education and Counseling, he combines his unique experiences in Special Education with the therapeutic techniques of counseling to foster relationships, developing executive functioning skills, and cultivating self-directed learning. His two-hour interactive workshop will provide students an introduction to the executive functions, skill development, and strategies, exercises, and interventions to improve these skills.
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Welcome to REACH PTA
REACH PTA is a parent group dedicated to supporting gifted and talented programs in District 205 and encouraging higher level educational opportunities for ALL District 205 students. Our area of focus includes:
- Providing parent and student resources for gifted and advanced learners
- Organizing advocacy at local and national levels
- Sponsoring and/or promoting academic-based extra-curricular activities that are accessible to all students
- Collaborating with REACH teachers to provide additional resources and student opportunities.
What is Gifted?
Illinois Definition of Gifted and Talented
Children/youth with outstanding talent who perform or show potential for performing at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared with other children/youth of their age, experience, and environment. A Child shall be considered gifted and talented in any area of aptitude, and specifically, in language arts and math, by scoring in the top 5% locally in the area of aptitude.
Illinois General Assembly, Illinois Compiled Statues Section 5, Public Act 094-0151, Article 14
Is My Child Gifted?
While some commonalities exist across giftedness, one size does not fit all. Gifted learners exhibit different characteristics, traits, and ways to express their giftedness. Various issues must be considered for identification:
- Giftedness is dynamic, not static. Identification needs to occur over time, with multiple opportunities to exhibit gifts.
- Giftedness is represented through all racial, ethnic, income levels, and exceptionality groups.
- Giftedness may be exhibited within a specific interest or category—and even a specific interest within that category.
- Early identification in school improves the likelihood that gifts will be developed into talents.
To get more information about identification, characteristics/traits of gifted, test assessments, and domain/level of giftedness please visit the National Association for Gifted Children Website.
In the News
Congress Includes Several Provisions to Support High-Ability & High-Potential Learners within ESEA Reauthorization-NAGC Press Release December 8, 2015
The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC), the nation’s leading voice for high-ability and high-potential learners, applauds Congress for including several provisions to support such learners within the Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also referred to as ESSA, the Every Student Succeeds Act.
- The ESEA Reauthorization marks the first time that Congress makes clear that Title I funds may be used to identify and serve gifted students, which will ensure that high-ability students from low-income families and other under-served populations receive the challenging instruction that they require to achieve their potential.
- ESEA requires states to say how they will use valuable training dollars to equip teachers in how to identify high-potential learners and to meet the academic needs of such high-performers, and it requires school districts that receive such funds to address the unique needs of gifted students.
- The law retains the authorization of the high-impact Jacob Javits Gifted Education Grant program, which has yielded numerous strategies to identify and serve academically talented students, particularly those from communities that have historically been under-represented in such programs.
See more at: hhttp://www.nagc.org/about-nagc/media/press-releases/nagc-heralds-inclusion-gifted-talented-provisions-esea
Advocacy is an important part of ensuring that your child is provided the best learning environment based on their learning abilities. The national organization, National Association for Gifted Children is an excellent advocacy resource for working with you teachers, school, administration and/or congressman.
The federal government plays a small role in gifted education policies and funding. Decisions are made at the state level, which then requires localities to follow the state’s guidelines on identification and programming or allows localities to make independent decisions about gifted education. Each state and, in some states, each district or school will have differing policies and practices related to advanced learners - The Illinois Association for Gifted Children has information on advocacy at the state level.
SENG (Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted) is dedicated to fostering environments in which gifted adults and children, in all their diversity, understand and accept themselves and are understood, valued, nurtured, and supported by their families, schools, workplaces and communities including webinars and information about starting parent groups. http://www.sengifted.org
The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) is an organization of parents, teachers,educators, other professionals, and community leaders who unite to address the unique needs of children and youth with demonstrated gifts and talents as well as those children who may be able to develop their talent potential with appropriate educational experiences. Parenting for High Potential is the quarterly magazine designed for parents who want to make a difference in their children's lives, who want to develop their children's gifts and talents, and who want to help them develop their potential to the fullest. http://www.nagc.org/
The Illinois Association for Gifted Children is an organization of parents, educators, and others committed to the education and development of children with diverse gifts and talents. We educate, support, and influence those who touch the lives of children and focus our energies to meet the needs of children with gifts and talents in Illinois. (Great section on advocacy.) http://iagcgifted.org/
Local Area Programs for Gifted and Talented Students
http://educate.dom.edu/academics/gifted-talented - Dominican University, River Forest
http://www.centerforgifted.org/ - Northern Illinois University, multiple locations
http://www.ctd.northwestern.edu/ - Northwestern University, multiple locations
Hoagies is the "All Things Gifted" resource for parents, educators, administrators, counselors,psychologists, and even gifted kids and teens themselves! Your kids will love it as much as you will. http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/
Kidsource has a host of links to articles on gifted and talented students ranked by depth and breath of information within them.
Prufrock Press offers award-winning products focused on gifted education, gifted children, advanced learning, and special needs learners. For more than 20 years, Prufrock has supported gifted children and their education and development. The company publishes more than 300 products that enhance the lives of gifted children and the teachers and parents who support them and contains blogs, newsletters, and articles. http://www.prufrock.com/
The Institute for Research and Policy on Acceleration (IRPA) is dedicated to the study and support of curricular acceleration for academically talented students. They serve educators, parents, students, administrators, policy makers...in short, anyone with an interest in learning more about why and how academic acceleration works for meeting the needs of high-ability students.
The Institute for Educational Advancement (IEA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting our nation's most talented young people in pursuing their full academic and personal potential. This is a wonderful searchable resource databases.
The Chicago Gifted Community Center is a volunteer-based, non-profit organization created by parents of gifted children. The mission of the Chicago Gifted Community Center is to facilitate educational and emotional support for gifted children and their families. This organization helps to unify different local organizations whose sole purpose is to serve directly the needs of local gifted families and to link them all together in a community. http://chicagogiftedcommunity.org
STEMDuPage has been developed as a resource for residents of our county and beyond, by the STEM Team at the DuPage Regional Office of Education in conjunction with the STEM Team Advisory Committee. There goals are to provide information, encourage connection and collaboration, and motivate learning and play in the areas of Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics: http://www.stemdupage.com/index.html
REACH Meeting Schedule
The REACH meetings are held at the Elmhurst Library in the Kossman Room at 9:15am with the exception of December's meeting which will be held in the Administrative Conference Room. All are welcome! Please note the November meeting date has been changed to November 15th at 9:15am.
September 9, 2016
October 14th, 2016
November 15, 2016
December 9, 2016
January 13, 2017
February 10, 2017
March 10, 2017
April 14, 2017
May 12, 2017
June 9, 2017
REACH PTA Goals and Objectives for 2016-2017
Please find a copy of the Goals and Objectives here: REACH PTA 2016-2017 Goals Final.docx
Identification and Placement of Gifted Students
In District 205, students are identified for gifted services based on a combination of assessments such as MAP performance, ability assessments, and teacher observations. For a detailed overview of identification and placement of students visit the District 205 REACH website.
REACH curriculum focuses on English and Math studies. REACH English focuses on either enrichment, extension of skills or above grade level studies. Math is focused on above grade level studies. For more details on the REACH curriculum, visit the District 205 REACH website.
Many of the organizations that focus on gifted students provide a recommended reading section or newsletters on their website that focuses on a variety of topics such as learning about gifted, social and emotional issues, and parenting the gifted. Check them out!
National Association for Gifted Children Library
Institute for Educational Advancement Library
Additional articles of interest
Existential Depression in Gifted Children Gifted and talented persons are more likely to experience a type of depression referred to as existential depression. Although an episode of existential depression may be precipitated in anyone by a major loss or the threat of a loss which highlights the transient nature of life, persons of higher intellectual ability are more prone to experience existential depression spontaneously.
Watch Carol Dweck's Speech: 'The Journey to a Growth Mindset' (Video) Carol Dweck, the Stanford University professor and author of "Mindset: The New Psychology of Success" is renowned for her research that shows individuals with a "growth mindset" — an understanding that their talent and abilities are not "fixed" and can be developed — are more likely to achieve. Her work has gained traction and led many educators to rethink the way they teach.
‘Impossible’ Homework Assignment? Let Your Child Do It
Educating an Original Thinker: How teachers and parents can identify and cultivate children who think creatively and unconventionally. In his new book, Originals:
How Non-Conformists Move the World, the writer, Wharton professor, Adam Grant explores the circumstances that give rise to truly original thinkers.
How to Raise a Creative Child. Step One: Back Off: Child prodigies rarely become adult geniuses who change the world. We assume that they must lack the social and emotional skills to function in society. When you look at the evidence, though, this explanation doesn’t suffice: Less than a quarter of gifted children suffer from social and emotional problems. A vast majority are well adjusted — as winning at a cocktail party as in the spelling bee.What holds them back is that they don’t learn to be original.
Best, Brightest — and Saddest? Between May 2009 and January 2010, five Palo Alto teenagers ended their lives by stepping in front of trains. And since October of last year, another three Palo Alto teenagers have killed themselves that way, prompting longer hours by more sentries along the tracks. The Palo Alto Weekly refers to the deaths as a “suicide contagion.”And while mental health professionals are rightly careful not to oversimplify or trivialize the psychic distress behind them by focusing on any one possible factor, the contagion has prompted an emotional debate about the kinds of pressures felt by high school students in epicenters of overachievement.
The Gift of Emotional Overexcitabilities: Recent vulnerability research by Brene Brown (Brown, 2010) has shown that the origin of all creativity, innovation, and authenticity is vulnerability. For many gifted individuals it is their emotional overexcitabilities that are the source of their greatest vulnerabilities. The discovery that these vulnerabilities are also the birthplace of their ability to use their gifts in creative and innovative ways serves as a wakeup call to reassess our perceptions on these overexcitabilities and how we address them in our young gifted.
Basic Recipe for Parent Advocates: As parents, we are our children’s first advocates* – their first voice. Most parents advocate for their children in some way, but for those of us with gifted children, we often come to that point quite by accident. arents seek ways to guarantee that their child’s needs are appropriately addressed.So how does a parent approach the teacher, principal or counselor and share concerns that affect their child within the confines of a classroom? This article is one basic recipe called for Homestyle Advocacy that the author hasfound successful.
Underachievers under-the-radar: How seemingly successful gifted students fall short of their potential Research has shown that many gifted children are underachievers who fail to reach their potential.Some mask their abilities so they can fit in with peers, some stop caring and receive barely passing grades, and some drop out altogether. Academic achievement becomes meaningless and their intrinsic love of learning seems to vanish. This article address 3 tips to help the underachieving gifted students.
Two Lessons on How to Support Gifted Kids. This article is written by By Steven Pfeiffer who has worked with high-ability kids for more than 35 years in a variety of capacities in his clinical practice as a psychologist.
Why I pulled my son out of a school for 'gifted' kids. One family's perspective on gifted schooling and why it is important to consider how they are learning and not just what they are learning.
How Parents Can Support Girls' Academic Success in STEM Helping our daughters recognize science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) in their daily lives, even in tasks like feeding the dog, baking a cake, or packing a suitcase, supports and encourages their STEM interests and abilities. Often young girls, even those who are very bright, aren’t accustomed to thinking of themselves as being good at science or math
Harnessing the Power of Productive Struggle Some teachers build in productive struggle into the student's educational experience. To ensure plenty of time for puzzling and reasoning, some start their lesson with independent work time, moving into the teacher-centered portion of the lesson only after students had been studying the problem, first independently and then in pairs, for more than half of their study block.Why would a teacher decide to structure a math lesson this way?
How parents of talented children hold the line between supporting and pushing How can well-meaning parents tell the difference between supporting and pushing? Writing a chapter in “How to Bring Up a Genius!,” psychologist Carol Bainbridge defines the difference this way: “Basically, nurturing is child-centered while pushing is adult-centered. When we nurture we follow the child’s lead, but when we push we want the child to follow us, to do what we want him or her to do.”