The Gifted Advisory Committee met on October 24, 2017.

Present at the meeting: Melissa Lloyd, Carolyn Stanley, Christy Bear, Francine Wiest, Julie Uyeda, Stephanie Justus, Lora McHugh, Desiree Ohrbeck, Jingjing Tan, Margaret Li, Loan Tong, Martha Natehuff

Action items:

  • Please let Carolyn Stanley know if you want to go to the AVID training at Kentridge HS
  • Carolyn will meet with Monica Davies about AVID in GESP
  • Christy Bear will look for a GHSP student who will update our website for volunteer hours
  • Please let Stephanie know if you would like to volunteer to be the liason for a particular school
  • Please let Stephanie know if you would like to take on a particular job (see below)
  • Melissa L will find out who “owns”


1. Integrating GAC and BGA:

Lora discussed how she wanted to have one gifted parent group, instead of two, and now that BGA is under the umbrella of PTSA’s Bellevue Council, it is possible to merge our two groups.

In merging these two groups, we decided to have two “large group” meetings a year, today and March 27, 2018.  At these two meetings, Lora will be present for the whole meeting.

BGA meets most months, the 4th Tuesday of the month, 9:30-11:30.  Any GAC representative is welcome to come to any BGA meeting.  The dates are at the end of this document.  At these “smaller” meetings, we usually meet at 9:30 for an hour to go through the agenda, and then Lora comes at 10:30 and we can briefly discuss our ideas with her.

2. History of BGA:

BGA was started (as PAGE) about 9 years ago when Enrichment (a subset of gifted at the time for elementary students) was listed as a program that may be cut by the district.  The first meeting had about 30 people from across the district and eventually became PAGE.  We changed our name to BGA a couple of years ago to be more inclusive of teachers, students instead of only parents.  We are now under Bellevue Council.

Expectations – this is not a group to complain, nor is it a group where we talk about our individual children.  If you have a complaint or issue with your individual child, please set up a meeting with Lora individually.  She is happy to discuss your issue with you in that setting.

BGA is committed to three main things. ACE – Advocacy, Community Building, Education. Issues we have successfully advocated for in the past include switching GATE testing from one day to two, so kids are not in testing for 6 hours in a single day as they try to test into the gifted program, as well as discussing teacher placement.  At present, we are supporting i-Connect at various schools for Community Building.  In the past we have hosted pizza nights, etc., but i-Connect is all we are doing at the present time.  Education includes the 2-3 Events we host each year as well as our eblasts.

We would like reps from GAC to fill the following positions:

  • *event planner – this person works with Melissa L and Francine to plan the Events.  Some Events will require more work than others (i.e. a student panel requires someone to find that panel, but finding a speaker generally takes less time.)
  • *represent each school (hoping to have 2 meetings/year at that school)
  • *website overseer – Christy is looking for a student to do this for volunteer hours
  • *complete the Welcome Guide – maybe merge with Jingjing’s parent resource link??
  • *2E issues – work with Carolyn – Desiree

3. State Legislature Meeting

Melissa and Carolyn went to the State Legislature meeting this past weekend in Tacoma.

  • The State is suggesting universal screening for gifted. There is currently bias in gifted tested among demographics (especially ethnicity and socioeconomic differences), and the state hopes this universal screening will remove some of this bias.  Bellevue is already doing universal screening—in 2nd grade as a pilot.  At our meeting today, we discussed the issue of tutoring into gifted.
  • There is federal money for kids with 504/IEP, but it is capped at 13%. Then WA State has to decide how many more they will pay for.
  • NorthShore District is going to test every student for the 4Ds, dyslexia (difficulty in learning to read or spell), dysgraphia (affects writing, which requires a complex set of motor and information processing skills), dyscalculia (disabilities involving math), and dyspraxia (an impairment or immaturity of the organization of movement).

Please see:

#WSPTALegAssembly #WSPTAProud

4. We discussed educating people about the differences between IB, Gifted IB and Gifted in home schools, in order to help kids see they don’t have to be in gifted IB in order to be successful.

5. Proposed event schedule for the balance of the year including January Event—scheduled for January 18 – geared toward middle school students, about how to decide which high school to attend. (not doing this topic this year—perhaps we will put the video of last year’s event on this topic on our website)

Melissa L has a new idea for January event…ACT, SAT, oh my!  A seminar on how to prepare for these standardized tests and to reduce test anxiety.

Spring Event—Scheduled for May 14 – Geared to parents (probably elementary parents).  Dr. Aisha Simon will talk about executive function issues.

Francine said she will do the paperwork to reserve the room for both events – in process—looking for available room on Jan 18 as WISC is not available

6. 2E role in BGA/AVID:

Gifted kids often need help with organization, etc., so if pieces of AVID were incorporated in GESP/GMSP, a little each year, it would help all gifted students.

We realize this is a bigger process than simply saying we would like to add this to the curriculum.  Let’s brainstorm about how best to attempt to accomplish this, perhaps using a gradual approach.

Carolyn, please update us on the feasibility of getting a copy of the AVID curriculum. Carolyn found out about a regional AVID training meeting:

  • Kentridge HS, Friday Oct 27, 3:30-7:00 or Saturday, Oct 28, 8:00-3:00

Please let Carolyn or me know if you would like to attend this meeting.

Also, Monica Davies, BSD AVID Curriculum Developer, will meet with Carolyn and Lora about the idea of including AVID strategies in GESP.