Welcome to REACH Parent Group
REACH PARENT GROUP
REACH Parent Group (formerly 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.
Q. Why is the REACH Parent Group a PTA but isn't any more?
A. Great question! The Illinois PTA requires PTA's to pay dues, have bylaws and elect officers, among other requirements. At the end of the 2017-18 school year we were asked if we wanted to become a PTA. We chose not to, at that time.
Q. Why do you have some "officers" but not others, like our local PTA?
A. See above. As a group within the PTA Council versus a standalone PTA, we are not required to have (nor elect) specific officers.
Q. If we're not a PTA, can we do whatever we want?
A. No. We operate very similarly as a PTA as we are a group within the PTA Council, which is comprised of all the presidents of D205 elementary and middle school (not high school) PTA's. We represent the REACH students and families just like SERG (Special Ed. Resource Group) represents their students and parents.
Q. Why the name REACH and is it an acronym?
A. We don't know the origin of the name. It is not an acronym. Expect it to be changed in the future.
Q. How are you funded?
A. We are organized and funded by the District 205 schools' PTAs. We have the ability to fundraise and/or seek funds elsewhere should it be deemed necessary.
Do you have a question (and answer) that you'd like to see here? Please let us know.
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.
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.