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Communication and Collaboration

September 1, 2008
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The three main goals of CGA’s Mission are to:

  • Promote awareness of and provide information about the educationand social/emotional needs of GT students
  • Support the CISD and its teachers in their efforts to meet the needsof GT students
  • Identify unmet needs and champion solutions to address them.

In an effort to collaborate with CISD Administration, last spring CGA representatives – the majority of whom were elementary campus reps – met with Sherrye Dotson, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction and Jean Boyd, Director of Elementary Curriculum. The topic was gifted education in our elementary schools. CGA shared parent survey results and feedback as well as personal anecdotes about our own children’s experiences.

The main points CGA wanted to convey were:

  1. Gifted students are gifted 24/7; therefore, the depth, complexity, and relevance of their studies should meet their specific needs regardless of the method of delivery.
  2. While the elementary pull-out program (Challenge) presents, in many cases, the only opportunity for gifted students to team up with their intellectual peers, it is not enough. Gifted students need and deserve to be treated and educated as gifted students all the time – not just for a few hours each week.
  3. All students, not just the identified gifted, should be allowed to take proficiency exams over a given topic and be given the opportunity to accelerate in areas of student strengths. This is a mandate under the Texas Education Agency State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented.
  4. Gifted students should be in classrooms with their academic peers.  Whether that looks like a cluster of 6 gifted students or a class composed entirely of gifted students is flexible. This point is undoubtedly the most controversial and therefore requires empirical research and input from experts in the field of gifted education.

As you attend Curriculum Night at your campus(es), please be informed about what gifted education experts promote as best practice. Also, read the pertinent sections of the State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented. Then be prepared to ask your GT Specialist and principal how your campus will meet your gifted child’s specific needs.

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