February 2009
             What's New in Gifted Education Davidson News |  Legislative & Policy News On the WebIn the News Events
   What's New in Gifted Education
          Reporting SAT Scores - A New Approach
The College Board is offering a new option for those taking the SAT test: Students who take the test on multiple occasions can now choose which scores they wish to send to colleges. The new reporting method, called Score Choice, is designed to relieve stress from students who feel pressure to score high and get into their preferred colleges. This could be a benefit to gifted and talented students attempting to gain entry into top universities. However, some colleges, such as Stanford and the University of Southern California, will not accept Score Choice.
Sources: U.S. News, The Press-Enterprise

          Early College Opportunities with a Unique Twist
More and more gifted high schoolers are taking advantage of an emerging trend – studying abroad while earning college credit at the same time. Organizations such as Learning Programs International allow high school students the opportunity to attend universities all over the world, presenting unique opportunities to learn new languages, experience unfamiliar cultures and explore new geographic areas. Other programs that offer this opportunity can be found at HighSchoolProgramsAbroad.com and StudyAbroad.com.  
Summer Innovation and Discovery
Are you interested in a summer experience filled with friends, lab learning, innovative experiences, entrepreneurship and excitement? The International Foundation for Entrepreneurship, Science and Technology in collaboration with the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Stanford University, is pleased to present the 1st annual International Innovation Camp, for students ready for graduate-level research. Please visit www.ifest.info for details on this great opportunity!  

   Davidson News
         The Davidson Academy of Nevada
2009-2010 Academy Application Final Deadline – April 1, 2009
Davidson Academy of NevadaThe final date to submit applications for The Davidson Academy's 2009-2010 school year is fast approaching! It is recommended that applicants take the SAT by March 14 or the Explore test by February 21 in order to meet the application deadline of April 1. Applications can be found on the How to Apply page and consist of three downloadable documents. The Davidson Academy of Nevada is specifically designed to meet the needs of profoundly gifted middle and high school students at the sixth grade level and beyond who score in the 99.9th percentile on IQ or college entrance tests, such as the SAT or ACT. Please review the Test Score Criteria page as these scores are mandatory for student eligibility. Visit the Application Review Process page to learn more about the admissions process.

Upcoming Tours for Prospective Students
Since the beginning of the school year, prospective students and their families have been visiting the Academy for informational monthly tours. Taking a tour provides the opportunity to ask specific questions, hear from current students and Academy parents, familiarize yourself with faculty and staff, and network with others. Visit theDavidson Academy of Nevada Academy for a tour on one of the following dates:

  • Thursday, Feb. 19, 2009
  • Thursday, March 26, 2009
  • Thursday, April 16, 2009
  • Friday, Aug. 14, 2009
RSVP is required for these tours. Prospective students interested in receiving email updates about the Academy can sign up for the free Explore The Davidson Academy eNewsletter by clicking here to subscribe.

Join the brand-new Davidson Academy of Nevada Discussion Forum
This forum is designed to be a “welcome wagon” for prospective parents considering the Academy for their children. Families of prospective Davidson Academy students and current Academy families will interact and discuss community, employment, housing, sibling issues and more. Join today!

THINK Summer InstituteTHINK Summer Institute
It isn't too early to begin thinking about your summer plans! Enjoy three weeks of challenging, college-level work while making new friends and living on the University of Nevada, Reno campus! If you will be 13 to 16 years old during the THINK Summer Institute, which runs July 11 through August 1, you can apply with test results that meet or exceed designated SAT or ACT scores listed at www.DavidsonGifted.org/Think.

THINKers have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the University campus where The Davidson Academy of Nevada is located, along with some of the professors who teach Academy students, and attend cultural events in the Reno-Lake Tahoe area. Tuition is $2,700 and includes course credits, room and board, and the cost of planned programs and activities. Financial assistance is available based on need. Applications will be accepted on a space-available basis until April 22, 2009. Apply today!

Davidson Fellows2009 Davidson Fellows Scholarship Applications
Applications for the 2009 Davidson Fellows scholarships are available online. Young people under the age of 18 have the opportunity to win a $50,000, $25,000 or $10,000 scholarship in recognition of a significant piece of work in the categories of Science, Technology, Mathematics, Music, Literature and Philosophy, or a project that represents Outside the Box thinking. The application deadline is March 4, 2009.


Davidson Young Scholars
The Davidson Young Scholars program supports profoundly intelligent students and their parents in the areas of educational advocacy, social and emotional development, talent development and peer connections. Apply today!

The first-ever cohort of the Young Scholar Ambassadors is finishing up their training this spring. These 12 Ambassadors-In-Training complete incredible community service projects that are sure to make a huge impact in their communities. The Ambassador Program is designed to encourage Young Scholars to become involved in their communities through the development and implementation of original community service projects. Accepted Young Scholars receive extensive online seminar training and one-on-one advisement from a member of the Davidson Institute's Ambassador Team. We look forward to expanding this opportunity to more and more Young Scholars in the future. Be sure to keep an eye out for young people doing amazing things in your community, they might just be a Young Scholar Ambassador!

Educators Guild
The Davidson Institute's Educators Guild is a free national service for active elementary, secondary and post-secondary educators, as well as other professionals who are committed to meeting the unique academic needs of gifted students. Become a member today and become a part of an online community of more than 1,000 professional educators and access free consulting services and Educators Guild publications.

2008 Year-End Summary
At the end of 2008, the Davidson Institute was providing direct support to 1,429 profoundly intelligent young people through the Davidson Young Scholars program, Davidson Fellows and the THINK Summer Institute; serving 1,387 members of the Educators Guild; and throughout the year, provided indirect support to 13,634 eNews-Update subscribers and 1,022,948 people who received indirect support via the Institute’s websites: www.DavidsonGifted.org, www.GeniusDenied.com and www.DavidsonGifted.org/db.
View the 2008 Annual Report

   Legislative & Policy News

Jacob Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Act Funding for Javits, the only federal source of funding for gifted and talented education, will remain at $7.5 million for Fiscal Year 2009. The Department of Education funded seven grants totaling $2,639,726 in 2008. View the 2008 Javits grantees listing.

CALIFORNIA – With lawmakers considering Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposal to give schools more flexibility, freeing them from spending money on specific state-required programs, a number of parents fear programs for gifted students will vanish. Read about their concerns in this San Francisco Chronicle article.

COLORADO – Highly gifted 4- and 5-year-olds in Grand Junction can start school a year early thanks to a new policy recently passed by the district’s Board of Education. These students must first pass a rigorous testing process to determine if they are ready to handle the rigors of school. Source: GJSentinel.com

FLORIDA – Pre-K through third grade gifted students could benefit from a new school due to open in August. United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) of Central Florida, a nonprofit agency specializing in childhood development, is breaking ground on a 32,000-square-foot East Orange/Bailes campus in Central Florida Research Park. The school is designed to help students learn at their own pace, with a teacher-student ratio of about 1-to-5, and provide individualized attention. Source: UCPeople

The Collier County School District recently made a number of changes to its gifted program, which are of concern to many area parents. The changes include placing gifted children in classrooms with students of all abilities. Source: Naples Daily News

INDIANA – A recent proposal would modify Flexible Opportunities that Change Us (FOCUS), an accelerated program for third- and fourth-graders in the Noblesville School District. The proposal would call for FOCUS to identify students as “high-ability,” potentially doubling the amount of students in the program. Also, services would expand to include language arts, math, science and social studies. Currently, FOCUS students are only offered reading and math. Source: Indy.com

KENTUCKY – Western Kentucky University recently received a $2 million federal grant as part of the Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Act. The program, known as GEMS (Gifted Education in Math and Science) is designed to identify and foster interest in these subjects among minority and low-income elementary students. Source: Bowling Green Daily News

MASSACHUSETTS – Due to budget constraints, new programs for Foxboro's gifted and talented students are unlikely next year. A local task force is currently searching for other options to improve student achievement in the district. Source: The Sun Chronicle

MARYLAND – The Montgomery County School District is proposing dropping the gifted label. Officials are considering abandoning the policy that sorts high-achieving second-grade students into classes labeled as “gifted.” Proponents of the plan say that it will help break the invisible wall between those labeled as “gifted” and other students, without changing instruction that high-achieving students receive. Some parents are worried that removal of the label could result in a decreased commitment to gifted education. Sources: Washington PostDec. 16, 2008, Dec. 22, 2008, The Gazette

MINNESOTA – A school for “exceptionally gifted” students has been proposed by the Minnetonka School District. After at least 50 students in grades 3-5 were identified as gifted (22 percent of the student population), the district saw a need to form a school with multi-age classrooms for students who demonstrate very high intelligence. The school board will likely vote on the proposal in February or March. Source: StarTribune.com. View the full proposal.

MISSOURI – Rep. Sara Lampe recently filed a bill that would progress the state of gifted education in Missouri. Currently, gifted programming is not mandated. Source: Springfield News-Leader

NEVADA Proposed budget cuts would eliminate the gifted and talented program in the Douglas County School District. Source: Nevada Appeal

The number of entry-level gifted and talented students in Staten Island dropped by more than half this school year, sparking anger from local legislators about the testing process. Source: Staten Island Advance

Last year, Gov. Ted Strickland employed the Seniors to Sophomores program, which allows Ohio high school seniors the opportunity to earn free college credit. Read how the program has recently benefitted one such student in this Ironton Tribune article.

PENNSYLVANIA – Recommendations to provide gifted children with more challenging individualized education plans have been proposed in the Allentown School District. The proposal also calls for earlier, better training on identifying gifted students. Source: The Morning Call

SOUTH CAROLINA – A new bill that would give school districts flexibility in spending state dollars has been proposed. House Bill 3352 is causing concern for some parents of gifted and talented children, who fear that the bill will put gifted programs at risk. Sources: The Beaufort Gazette, The Island Packet

The Special Education Department at Jasper Middle School is offering a “gifted” program for the first time. Source: Marion County Newspapers.

Davidson Institute Gifted State Policy Map

How gifted-friendly is your state? Find out at: Gifted Education Policies.  
If you know of new legislation, please contact the Communications Team.

   On the Web
         Gifted Exchange Blog
Read Laura Vanderkam's take on all things gifted, with recent posts including:
  • Gifted Education in the Time of Budget Cuts – This has been a year of dreary economic news. What does this mean for gifted education programs across the country?
  • Television and Kids – What are your household rules when it comes to television? Are any shows particularly worth the time for gifted kids?

 Join the discussion today!

         Davidson Gifted Database – Featured Resources
Discover the latest news, events, resources and developments in the field of twice-exceptionality in the 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter Blog. The 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter is a bi-monthly electronic publication for those who raise, educate, and counsel high-ability children with learning issues.

The Organized Student: Teaching Children the Skills for Success in School and Beyond provides parents hands-on strategies to help identify and teach organizational skills to children adjusting to the structure and order of middle school.

Located on the campus of Appalachian State University in North Carolina, Camp Broadstone is a fun, challenging and stimulating summer enrichment program for academically gifted youth. The goal of the program is to encourage intellectual, social and physical growth.

Do you know of a great gifted resource that could be featured in a future eNews-Update? Suggest a Resource.

   In the News                                  

Feb. 18, 2009 - Reno Gazette-Journal, Intel International Science Fair seeks volunteers (Lenita Powers)
Feb. 16, 2009 - Sammamish Review, Tales of a sixth-grade genius (Christopher Huber)
Feb. 16, 2009 - Washington Post, The Case for National Standards (Randi Weingarten)
Feb. 14, 2009 - Washington Post, Plan to Move Gifted Program Negated (Nelson Hernandez)
Feb. 13, 2009 -
The Daily Record, Madison teen knows practice is truly key (Matt Kadosh)
Feb. 12, 2009 - Detroit Metro Parent, Sacrifice for child's education personal, not selfish (Alyssa Martina)
Jan. 28, 2009 - Scientific American, Meet the whiz kids: Intel Science Talent Search (Laura Vanderkam)
Jan. 25, 2009 - St. Petersburg Times, Bright students still bored (Ron Matus)
Jan. 16, 2009 - Washington Post, Misguided Colleges Skewer SAT Score Choice
(Jay Mathews)
Jan. 15, 2009 - ScienceDaily.com, Education Professor Dispels Myths About Gifted Children (Staff)
Jan. 8, 2009 - Boston.com, Young inventor takes his responsibilities seriously (Megan McKee)
Dec. 10, 2008 - USA Today, Real kids, real research (Laura Vanderkam)
Dec. 8, 2008 - Scientific American, High Stakes High School Science: Competitions Net 6-Figure Prizes
(L. Vanderkam)
Dec. 1, 2008 - ScienceDaily, Using Challenging Concepts To Learn Promotes Understanding Of New Material (Staff)
Discuss these stories and more on the Gifted Issues Discussion Forum.

   Upcoming Events

Center for Gifted Education - National Curriculum Network Conference
Converse with fellow gifted education professionals on topics such as curriculum, instruction, and assessment for high-ability learners at the Center for Gifted Education’s 14th National Curriculum Network Conference, March 11-13, 2009 in Williamsburg, Va. The conference will focus on special materials, practices, and curriculum approaches that are responsive to the needs of gifted students.

Pennsylvania Association for Gifted Education Annual Conference - Cultivating Creative Minds and Forward Thinkers
Some of the most distinguished experts in gifted education will present at the 2009 PAGE Gifted Conference, April 16-18 in King of Prussia, Penn. Keynote presentations include “Creativity is the Most Important Thing We Can Teach Our Children in the New Millennium” and “The Ten Smartest Things We Already Know That Work for the Gifted: It’s Time to Use Them!”

States with Upcoming Gifted Conferences/Events

New Jersey
North Carolina
For more, see the Events Calendar on Davidson Gifted Database, your gateway to gifted resources!
   Closing Thought

"Our global society faces sharp problems which can only be solved by sharper minds."

~ Davidson Academy Parent, Detroit Metro Parent article  

If you have information to include in future eNews-Updates, please email our Communications Team.
If you have been forwarded this eNews-Update, and wish to receive future editions, sign-up here.

Davidson Institute for Talent Development
Supporting our nation's brightest young minds.

9665 Gateway Drive, Suite B, Reno, Nevada 89521
Phone: 775-852-3483 Fax: 775-852-2184
Email: administrator@davidsongifted.org     Web: www.DavidsonGifted.org
Request a Brochure online.

       Visit the Davidson Institute's eNews-Update archive page on Davidson Gifted Database.