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Davidson Institute January 2011

             What's New in Gifted Education | Davidson News | Legislative & Policy News | On the Web | In the News | In the Spotlight
   What's New in Gifted Education
  Davidson Academy of Nevada Spotlighted in EducationNext
EducationNextChallenging the Gifted, an article by June Kronholz about The Davidson Academy of Nevada in the Spring 2011 issue of EducationNext, describes how the Academy is meeting the needs of its students with a new model for educating profoundly gifted students. Numerous students and teachers are profiled, in addition to Academy founders, Bob and Jan Davidson, and several national gifted education experts. The EducationNext article was highlighted by the Reno Gazette-Journal
in this article, Reno's Davidson Academy lets gifted students reach full potential.

Challenging Summer Fun
It may be the middle of winter, but it's time to start thinking about summer program options (if you haven't already)! A great variety of summer programs for the gifted abound in states all over the country. Program themes range from science Gifted Summer Camps and mathematics to music and outdoor activities. See these Davidson Gifted Database articles for some excellent summer options: To browse the Davidson Gifted Database's entire list of summer programs, click here. Please note that 2011 application deadlines for certain summer programs may be approaching soon. If you know of a great summer program for academically gifted students not on these lists, please contact us.

THINK Summer InstituteAmong the most academically rigorous summer programs is the THINK Summer Institute, which runs July 9-30, 2011. Students can earn six college credits at this three-week residential summer program on the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno. To qualify, students must be 13 to 16 years old during the program and meet the minimum qualifying test scores. Space is limited, so hurry and apply today before the final application deadline of February 9, 2011!

Summer Institute for the GiftedSummer Institute for the Gifted (SIG), a program of the National Society for the Gifted and Talented (NSGT), has expanded their services to include students from 4 to 17 years of age. In addition to their long-standing residential summer programs, SIG will now also offer day and commuter summer programs as well as Saturday programs that run during the academic year. Additionally, SIG has expanded to a number of new locations, including Yale University and Sarah Lawrence College. Visit for the latest developments.

Center for Gifted Education – 16th Annual National Curriculum Network Conference
Center for Gifted EducationThe Center for Gifted Education’s National Curriculum Network Conference gives professionals from across the country the opportunity to share in discussions about curriculum, instruction, and assessment for high-ability and gifted learners. This year's conference will be held March 9-11 at the College of William & Mary. The conference features nationally recognized speakers such as Dr. Tracy L. Cross, Dr. Joyce VanTassel-Baska, Dr. Rena Subotnik, and Dr. Del Siegle, who will share their in-depth perspectives and research. Additionally, there is a one-day pre-conference workshop with session topics including Key Essentials of Curriculum Development for Gifted Students; The Social and Emotional Development of Students with Gifts and Talents; and more. For more information or to register, please visit the conference website or contact the center by phone at 757-221-6199 or by email at

World Council for Gifted and Talented Children Moves to Western Kentucky University
World Council for Gifted and Talented ChildrenThe World Council for Gifted and Talented Children (WCGTC) recently relocated its international headquarters from the University of Winnipeg in Canada to the campus of Western Kentucky University. Founded in 1975, WCGTC's purpose is to "focus world attention on gifted and talented children and ensure the realization of their valuable potential to the benefit of humankind." Sources: Bowling Green Daily News, University Parent Connection

World Council for Gifted and Talented ChildrenUSA Biology Olympiad
Registration for the USA Biology Olympiad (USABO), one of the top biology competitions for high school students in the United States, is currently open! Sponsored by The Center for Excellence in Education (CEE), the USABO annually enriches the life sciences education of nearly 10,000 gifted and talented students. It provides the motivation, curricular resources, and skills training to take these students beyond their classroom experience to the level of international competitiveness.

   Davidson News
  Davidson Fellows2011 Davidson Fellows Scholarship Applications
Listed on U.S.News & World Report’s 7 Prestigious Undergrad Scholarships, Davidson Fellows scholarships allow young people under the age of 18 to earn 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 of March 2 for the 2011 Davidson Fellows scholarships is fast-approaching - apply today!

The Davidson Academy of Nevada - 2011-2012 Application Available
Davidson Academy of NevadaA free public school, The Davidson Academy of Nevada encourages and supports the abilities, strengths, and interests of profoundly gifted middle and high school students. Visit the Academy's How to Apply page to find the application, which consists of three downloadable documents. Those who perform at an academic level of advanced middle school or higher in all subjects, and score in the 99.9th percentile on IQ or college entrance tests are encouraged to apply. Please review the Qualification Criteria page of our website as these scores are required for student eligibility. Also visit the Application Review Process for detailed information.

Upcoming Tours for Prospective Students
Prospective students and their families are encouraged to visit the Academy for an informational monthly tour! The tour provides an opportunity to hear from current Academy students and parents, meet faculty and staff, network with others, and ask specific questions. Upcoming tour dates are: Davidson Academy

  • Friday, Feb. 18, 2011
  • Friday, March 25, 2011
  • Friday, April 15, 2011
RSVPs are required and can be submitted online at

Prospective students interested in receiving email updates about the Academy can subscribe to the free Explore The Davidson Academy eNewsletter by clicking here.

Davidson Young Scholars  
Davidson Young Scholars
The Davidson Young Scholars program provides FREE services designed to nurture and support profoundly gifted young people and their families, including talent development and educational advocacy, an online community, annual get-togethers, and the Ambassador Program. Applications are due the 1st of each month. For more information, see the How to Apply and Qualification Criteria pages.

 Educators Guild
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. You can also become a member of their online community with access to free consulting services and Educators Guild publications by subscribing here.  If you would like more information on this opportunity, please email

2010 Year-End Summary
At the end of 2010, the Davidson Institute was providing direct support to an estimated 1,900 profoundly gifted young people and 1,364 educators, as well as indirect support to 13,347 eNews-Update subscribers, those who visited the Institute’s websites 845,883 times, and the 3,730 subscribers to our public discussion forum, Gifted Issues. View the 2010 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, has not yet been finalized for fiscal year 2011. With the 111th Congress having recently wrapped up its work as it transitioned to the new Congress, the current "continuing resolution" (CR) was extended through March 4, 2011. This means that the Javits program will continue operating at the 2010 spending level of $7.5 million until March. The new Congress will then determine the final funding levels for the Javits program through the end of the fiscal year, which is September 30, 2011. Source: NAGC Legislative Update page
Gifted Policy
HAWAII – Nā Pua No’eau, the Center for Gifted and Talented Native Hawaiian Children at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, will receive more than $1.2 million to conduct programs through the various centers on each of the islands. The programs include Super Saturdays, summer residential programs and more. Source: The University of Hawaii System

ILLINOIS – A recent proposal to eliminate all honors and Advanced Placement (AP) courses in the Rockford School District has been halted. The Rockford School Board restored high school honors and AP classes for the 2011-12 school year due to a backlash from parents, students and the community following their earlier decision to eliminate these courses. Source: Rockford Register Star

MINNESOTA – A “school within a school” for gifted and talented students that had recently been proposed at Sunset Terrace Elementary in Rochester has officially been approved. Open to all district students in grades 3 through 5, the program will start next fall. Source:

NEW HAMPSHIRE – Budget cuts continue to affect the state’s REACH (Recognizing Extraordinary Abilities in Children) program. Already eliminated at both the middle and high school level, REACH is now limited to students in grades 3 through 5. Source: Nashua Telegraph

NEW YORK – Clarkson University is offering five new $60,000 Clarkson School Presidential Scholarships for students who wish to participate in the university's early entrance college program. Source: North Country Now

The University at Buffalo's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and also the Honors College have announced the Presidential Scholarship/Doctoral Fellowship, which will provide full scholarships for intellectually gifted engineering students from freshman year through completion of their doctoral degrees. Source: UB News Center

NORTH CAROLINA – A new early college will open on North Carolina State University's campus next fall, following a study finding that these types of high schools have higher attendance and lower suspension rates than traditional high schools. The school, which will focus on science, technology, engineering and math, will allow students to earn college credit as they earn a high school diploma. Source:

TEXAS – The Richardson Independent School District is extending its gifted education model to all students in two elementary schools as part of a pilot program to better engage students. Students in the "schoolwide enrichment model" are grouped in clusters each week to work on educational projects tailored to their interests. This program is expected to expand to all elementary schools by the end of the school year. Source: Dallas Morning News

Gifted students in the Midland Independent School District will receive more than $7,450 from the Gifted & Talented Parents Association to fund programs and equipment at Midland High School. Source: Midland Reporter-Telegram

WASHINGTON – Because of revenue shortfalls, Washington is adjusting its budget for the current school year. The state gifted program called, Highly Capable Programs, is in the budget bill that has made its way through the House of Representatives with this program’s funding intact. The bill is currently in the Senate and will likely come to a vote shortly. See the Washington Coalition For Gifted Education website for more information.

WISCONSIN – The Madison School District will introduce 9th and 10th grade honors classes next fall. The courses are part of the district's talented-and-gifted plan, which calls for separate honors classes at all district high schools. Source: Wisconsin State Journal

Davidson Institute Gifted State Policy Map

How gifted-friendly is your state? Find out on the Davidson Gifted Database State Policy Map.  
If you know of new legislation, please contact the Communications Team.

   On the Web
  Gifted Exchange Blog
Gifted ExchangeRead Laura Vanderkam's take on all things gifted, with recent posts including:
  • The Indiana Academy, budget cuts and what we do with an education – Gifted education is best understood not as an investment in our future, but as an educational intervention in the here and now.
  • Chinese mothers, intelligence, and parenting – While I don't agree that motivational insults are a good idea (the world is not going to be a supportive place -- why shouldn't parents be kind?) accepting failure as the best the kid can do isn't a good idea either.
Join the discussion today!

Davidson Gifted DatabaseFeatured Articles and Resources
The Davidson Gifted Database at is a gateway to resources for and about gifted students.

TIPS for Parents articles are summaries of the online seminars held for the parents of Davidson Young Scholars. These articles are written by the facilitators of those seminar and cover topics from all over the gifted education spectrum. The TIPS can be accessed by anyone, regardless of whether or not they were a participant in that seminar. Recently added TIPS for Parents include: This article, titled Gifted programming for poor or minority urban students: Issues and lessons learned, takes a look at a number of methods of gifted programming for students in urban schools.

The Art of Learning Project seeks to reinvigorate the world’s belief in the power of education by supporting parents, educators, and coaches in igniting a life-long love of learning in children and young adults.

Suggest a Resource             Suggest an Article 

   In the News
January 19, 2011 - Chessbase News, Chess Prodigies and Mini-Grandmasters (Frederic Friedel)
January 2011 - Washington Park Profile, Koa Halpern: Fighting For A Fast Food Free World... At 12 (Susan Dugan)
Winter 2011 - EducationNext, All Together Now? (Michael Petrilli)
December 21, 2010 - Atlanta Journal Constitution, Next best thing to geniuses - “gifted” children (M. Downey)
December 18, 2010 - Big Government, Helping Bright Kids Succeed Should be a No-Brainer (Susan Berry)
December 15, 2010 - Wall Street Journal, A Box? Or a Spaceship? What Makes Kids Creative (Sue Shellenbarger)
December 14, 2010 - KPVI-TV, Using the Internet as a resource for your gifted student (Staff)
December 13, 2010 - Washington Post, Don't eliminate gifted programs in urban schools (Nancy Green)
December 9, 2010 - Washington Post, Why urban schools don't need gifted programs (Jay Mathews)
November 24, 2010 - NBC Action News, KC company makes puzzles to help Alzheimer's patients (John Batten)
November 22, 2010 - Psych. Today, Parenting Gifted: Self-Awareness, Dismantling, & Seeing Afresh (J. Cardillo)
November 21, 2010 - Washington Post, Let schools be creative with motivation (Jay Mathews)
November 17, 2010 - San Diego Reader, He Honestly Believes He's Smarter Than Everyone... (Elizabeth Salaam)
November 16, 2010 - Globe and Mail, What’s the secret to parenting a gifted child? (Staff)
November 15, 2010 - Globe and Mail, What it’s like: Parents and former gifted kids talk (Staff)
November 15, 2010 - Globe and Mail, Educator clears up misconceptions about gifted learning (Joanne Foster)
November 14, 2010 - Globe and Mail, The gifted child: three families, three educational options (D. Bascaramurty)
November 12, 2010 - Globe and Mail, ‘Gifted' – what is it good for? (Tralee Pearce)
November 11, 2010 - Globe and Mail, For your kids, is gifted a bad word? (Tralee Pearce)
November 7, 2010 - Education News, An Interview with Dr. Albert Ziegler: Talent Development (M. Shaughnessy)

Discuss these stories and more on the Gifted Issues Discussion Forum.

   In the Spotlightght

Elizabeth Hauser - A Davidson Young Scholar Making a Difference

What are some past and present projects you’ve worked on to help make a positive difference in the lives of others?
In the Spotlight
The school I go to is very philanthropically minded. Our class does dedicated service projects such as fundraising for a Nepalese youth to attend school, interacting with pre-school children that are from underserved backgrounds and helped at the Gathering Place, a day shelter for women and children.

When the Davidson Institute first created the Young Scholars Ambassador Program, I felt that the completion of a national service project was within my ability. I did not need to look far for inspiration for the project focus. When I lost my dog, there was not “kid friendly” information available to help me accept my loss. I thought that a video about pet loss from a kid’s perspective to help other children cope with their losses would be a helpful project.

What are some of your short-term and long-term plans?

I am excited to transition to high school next year. I would like to further develop my creative writing skills. The high school I will attend also supports the need to “give back” to others. I look forward to continuing to support those in need.

I will attend college but at this time I am unsure about career paths.

How has the Davidson Young Scholars program helped you to reach your goals and achieve your accomplishments?

The Ambassadors program provided the training necessary to complete my service project. I was unsure how to approach a project of this size. As I continued throughout the webinars, I began to understand how to break the large project into manageable pieces. I interviewed specialists in documentary making and grief counseling. These interviews provided the framework for the content of the DVD. With help from a grief counselor and a local veterinarian, I identified and interviewed children whose personal experiences with pet loss added great value to the finished project. A difficult aspect of this project was fundraising. Again, with help from the documentarian and from Erik Schwinger, my family consultant, I wrote grant proposals. It took two years to raise the needed capital for the project.

In October 2010, went live. This website hosts my project video, “A Hole in My Heart: A Child’s Guide to Pet Loss”. The link has been included on the Davidson Young Scholars pages, veterinary websites, pet loss websites, dog breeders websites and blogs (both domestically and in the U.K.). I am happy to have the link publicized, as it will increase the likelihood of children in need accessing the DVD.

Please describe your academic setting and some positive experiences with mentors.

I currently attend the Logan School for Creative Learning, an experiential based gifted school in Denver. Because of the philosophy, I am able to study specific topics in-depth which makes learning fun. The school tries to develop well-rounded people by increasing our awareness of our world and the role we play within the world: environmentally, socially and academically. I have had many supportive teachers at this school, including those who encouraged me to apply for the YS Ambassadors program. Once accepted, they continued to offer support.

   Closing Thought

"Tracy Cross and Nicholas Colangelo both told me they doubt that profoundly gifted students can be accommodated in the typical public school classroom: Like profoundly challenged children, they may need special classes, teachers, and even schools that adapt to their differences."

               ~ June Kronholz, EducationNext


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