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Davidson Institute January 2014  

             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
  Summer Program Options for Gifted Students
It may be the middle of winter, but it's time to start thinking about summer program options (if you haven't already)! Summer programs for gifted students are available across the country. Program themes range from science and mathematics to music and outdoor activities. See these Davidson Gifted Database articles for some excellent summer options: Gifted Summer Camps To browse the Davidson Gifted Database's entire list of summer programs, click here. Please note that 2014 application deadlines for certain summer programs may be approaching soon. If you know of a great summer program for academically gifted students not in our database, please contact us.

THINK Summer InstituteAmong the most academically rigorous summer programs is the THINK Summer Institute, which runs July 12 - August 2, 2014. Students can earn up to 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. Apply today - space is limited and the final application deadline is April 1, 2014!

EpsilonApplication season has begun for The Epsilon Camp, a two-week summer residential camp for exceptionally and profoundly gifted students ages 8-11 who love math. In 2014, the two-week summer residential camp will be held on the campus of Seattle Pacific University from July 27 through August 10. Epsilon Camp is an intellectually rigorous program for young students, taught by university professors of mathematics and directed by Dr. George Thomas, founder of MathPath and Canada/USA MathCamp. There is also a workshop designed to help parents build mathematical and social maturity in the EG/PG child. A unique feature of Epsilon Camp is apartment-style housing on campus for each family; at least one parent must attend with each child. Space is limited.

Epsilon Camp has also announced a new camp for similar students who are 6 and 7 years old. Called Delta Camp, it will admit only 12 students in 2014. Delta Camp will run concurrently with Epsilon Camp.

2013 US Physics TeamSummer Institute for the Gifted (SIG), a program of the National Society for the Gifted and Talented (NSGT), offers three-week academic summer camps for gifted and talented students ages 5 to 18. In addition to longstanding residential summer programs, SIG has expanded to day and commuter summer programs as well as SIG Beyond: Online programs that run during the academic year. Locations include Columbia University, Harvard University, the University of Chicago and more.

Study: Gifted Students Need Individualized Attention, Accelerated Curriculum
2013 US Physics TeamA recent longitudinal study of “profoundly gifted” students, those scoring in the top 0.01 percentile of the SAT, divulges that they are not receiving the kind of accelerated curriculum needed to be challenged during the school day. The study suggests these students are limited when they do not receive appropriate individual attention. Study co-author and Vanderbilt University professor David Lubinski discusses how gifted students should be allowed to skip grades or take classes at local community colleges in this video. The research, “Who Rises to the Top? Early Indicators,” followed 300 children with top verbal and mathematic scores from age 13 until they were 38. Sources: Medical Daily, Huffington Post

Upcoming Gifted Education Conferences
  • 2013 US Physics Team The nation’s leading researchers in gifted education will present their work at the Wallace Research & Policy Symposium on Talent Development, a major biennial conference for gifted education research. Co-sponsored by the National Association of Gifted Children (NAGC) and the Belin-Blank Center, the Symposium will be held in Washington, D.C. for the first time, March 22-25, 2014. Presenters include Nicholas Colangelo, Paula Olszewski-Kubilius, Rena Subotnik, Joyce VanTassel-Baska and more!
   Davidson News
  The Davidson AcademyThe Davidson Academy of Nevada
A free public school, The Davidson Academy of Nevada encourages and supports the abilities, strengths, and interests of profoundly gifted middle and high school students who score in the 99.9th percentile on IQ or college entrance tests, such as the SAT or ACT. If you are interested in applying to The Davidson Academy for the 2014-2015 school year, visit the How to Apply page to access the new online application system. Please visit the Qualification Criteria page and the Application Review Process page for more information.

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

Upcoming Tours for Prospective Students
Each month during the school year, The Davidson Academy hosts a tour for prospective students and their parents. At these tours, visitors meet current Academy students, parents, faculty and staff. Upcoming tours will be held on the following Fridays: Feb. 14 and March 14. RSVPs are required. For additional details and to RSVP, please visit the Tours page.

Davidson Fellows
2014 Davidson Fellows Scholarship
The 2014 Davidson Fellows Scholarship application is available online! Young people 18 and younger have the opportunity 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, Engineering, Mathematics, Music, Literature, Philosophy or Outside the Box. The application deadline is February 12, 2014.

THINK Summer InstituteDavidson 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 first of each month. For more information, see the How to Apply and Qualification Criteria pages.

THINK Summer InstituteEducators 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 become a member of this online community with access to free consulting services and Educators Guild publications by subscribing here. There is also an Educators Guild discussion group on Facebook - join today!

2013 Year-End Summary
At the end of 2013, the Davidson Institute was providing direct support to an estimated 2,938 profoundly gifted young people and 1,814 educators, as well as indirect support to 14,172 eNews-Update subscribers, 2,450,215 visitors to the Institute’s websites and 7,396 subscribers to our public discussion forum Gifted Issues. View the 2013 Annual Report.

   Legislative & Policy News
  Gifted Education State Policy Map Recently Updated
Gifted Education State PoliciesThe Davidson Institute's Gifted Education State Policy Map was recently updated to reflect much of the new information in the National Association for Gifted Children's (NAGC) latest State of the States in Gifted Education report. The color status of ten states changed: Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. Click on the map to visit the state database to view your state's definition of giftedness, key personnel, statistics and legislative information. More updates to the individual state pages will be made during the next few weeks.

ARIZONA – The Peoria Unified School District may soon expand programs for gifted students, in part due to the success of existing ones in the district. Source:

CONNECTICUT – The Connecticut Association for the Gifted has received a $10,000 grant from the Fairfield County Community Foundation. The grant is designed to help unrecognized high-potential students. Source: The Daily Voice

FLORIDA – The Orange County School Board in Florida is considering the creation of a district-wide gifted program. Currently, some Central Florida districts serve students who are gifted through pull-out programs or multi-grade classes taught by teachers certified in gifted education, but most programs focus only on elementary school students. Source: Orlando Sentinel

MARYLAND – Recent proposals to increase the number of seats in Talented and Gifted programs in Prince George’s County middle schools and elementary schools would reduce the hundreds of students currently on wait lists. Source:

MICHIGAN – In the 2014-2015 school year, Port Huron Area School District will start a gifted program for students in grades 3-5. Source: Port Huron Times Herald

NEW YORK – Newly-elected city councilman Robert E. Cornegy, Jr. is seeking the creation of a new gifted and talented program in Bedford–Stuyvesant, despite the phase-out of the neighborhood’s last gifted and talented program. Source: DNAinfo
THINK Summer Institute
NORTH CAROLINA – Gifted students will be able to take exams and get high school credit without having to enroll in some classes no later than spring 2015, changing a long-standing requirement in North Carolina’s public schools. Some school leaders feel the new program could let students “game the system” to raise their grade-point average and devalue the role of teachers in the learning process. Source: News & Observer

The Wake County school board approved a plan that calls for an increase in the representation of under-represented groups in gifted programs, including minority and low-income students. The plan will also stipulate that gifted students receive more instruction in the regular classrooms as opposed to being pulled out for specialized instruction. Source: News & Observer

PENNSYLVANIA – A report commissioned by the state House of Representatives suggests that teachers in gifted education programs should be certified to work with gifted students. Pennsylvania currently allows teachers to lead gifted education classes without being specifically trained in working with such students. Source: Meadville Tribune

VERMONT – High schools in the state may drop tracking, the practice of separating students into classes by achievement and ability. While supporters say eliminating such courses would reduce rigor for students preparing for college, opponents of tracking feel separation by ability penalizes struggling students. Source: Burlington Free Press

WISCONSIN – Due to disparities among the amount of students identified as gifted across schools in the Madison School District, board members are devising a policy that would create a more uniform process for identification, and ensure all schools provide the same level and quality of services for advanced students. Source: Wisconsin State Journal

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
Read Laura Vanderkam's take on all things gifted. One of her recent posts is, "Gifted sons, gifted daughters, and Google searches." Join the discussion today!

In the SpotlightGifted Chats on Twitter
Every Friday at 7 p.m. (EST), parents, teachers and gifted advocates worldwide gather on Twitter to take part in the global #gtchat, powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented (TAGT). This real-time forum allows participants to share resources, ideas, experiences and new ways of thinking about gifted issues. More than 1,000 tweets are now devoted to Global #gtchat every week. Click here for more information. To participate, enter #gtchat into the subject search box and then save that search. You’ll see a stream of all the tweets relating to #gtchat.

IMACS Releases New Online Math Course
The Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science (IMACS) has released Mappings, the fifth online course from the self-paced Elements of Mathematics: Foundations (EMF) series for gifted middle school students. EMF is designed to present mathematics as the study of a deep and intellectually interesting idea. New students save 25 percent by enrolling in 'EMF Course Pack 5' on or before January 31, 2014.

Featured Articles and Resources
The Davidson Gifted Database at is a gateway to resources for and about gifted students. See what's new!
Gifted Education
The article, Tips for Parents: Freeing Our Families from Perfectionism, is from a seminar hosted by Thomas Greenspon, who provides a wealth of advice related to perfectionism.

The article, Community Service Scholarships, Grants and Other Opportunities provides a comprehensive listing for young people interested in making a difference.

The article, Tips for Parents: Teachable Moments, is from a seminar hosted by Marybeth Hicks, who provides examples of the phrase “teachable moments,” which describes unforeseen and unexpected opportunities to veer away from a lesson plan in order to capitalize on something that sparks students’ interest.

The article, Tips for Parents: Promoting Achievement through a Growth Mindset, is from a seminar hosted by Del Siegle, who describes motivation and how it relates to achievement.

The Twice-Exceptional Newsletter, is the only publication aimed squarely at the intersection of giftedness and learning challenges. The current issue includes the article, "Equitably Identifying Potential in All Students" and more!

The Zooniverse is home to some of the Internet's largest, most popular and most successful citizen science projects. The primary motivation behind Zooniverse projects is to collect data on well-defined research questions, with thousands of people worldwide participating in these projects.
Suggest a Resource             Suggest an Article 

   In the News
January 27, 2014 -, Are 'gifted' students being hurt by a race to the middle? (Larry Mantle)
January 24, 2014 - Telemanagement, VIDEO: Away We Grow: Think Your Child is Gifted? (Staff)
January 21, 2014 - District Administration, Are gifted students slighted in schools? (Alison DeNisco)
January 21, 2014 - Babble, Come on America, Gifted Kids Need Help Too . . . (Sunny Chanel)
January 19, 2014 - New York Times, Google, Tell Me. Is My Son a Genius? (Seth Stephens-Davidowitz)
January 17, 2014 - Vanderbilt News, Education professor Donna Ford nominated for NAACP Award (J. Brasher)
January 16, 2014 - The Desert Sun, Question at Will: IQ tests not a measure of intelligence (Will Toren)
January 9, 2014 - The Tennessean, Gifted students need more attention (Camilla P. Benbow)
January 3, 2014 - Huffington Post, The Sky Is Not the Limit: Girding the Gifted . . . (P. Deards & C. Coulianos)
December 19, 2013 - The Atlantic, Do Gifted Programs Improve Learning? (Eleanor Barkhorn)
December 16, 2013 - New York Times, Should Gifted Students Get More Resources? (David Firestone)
December 14, 2013 - New York Times, Even Gifted Students Can’t Keep Up (Staff)
December 8, 2013 - Washington Post, How to stop worrying about college rejection (Jay Mathews)

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

   In the Spotlight

 Christine Fonseca
Author of the New Book, Quiet Kids: Help Your Introverted Child Succeed in an Extroverted World

In the SpotlightWhat inspired you to write the book, Quiet Kids: Help Your Introverted Child Succeed in an Extroverted World?
Prufrock Press approached me about writing a book related to temperament – something that could take the current research about introversion and extroversion and put it into an easier, parent-friendly format to help parents and children recognize and capitalize on the strength inherent in introversion. Quiet Kids was born from that conversation. The inspiration to see the project through came from the countless stories I have of families working with their bright, introverted children and struggling to understand why they seem so misunderstood. Not only did people miscue their intelligence, but the added introverted temperament resulted in a pathologizing of their children – something both inaccurate and potentially harmful. I wanted to write something that would change that; something that could redefine normal for these kids and their parents.

How do you know if your gifted child is an introvert?
Like any personality trait, each individual introvert is somewhat unique. In general, introversion refers to how a person uses energy - extroverted people tend to thrive on social situations, needing the energy from these situations in order to renew. Introverts, on the other hand, find the energy generated in highly social situations to be draining. They require solitude in order to renew.

It is the same with children. Some typical early signs to look for:
  • Hesitation in new situations
  • Appears to be "lost" inside of him or herself
  • Gets grouchy when around people for too long
  • Overly "shy"
  • Becomes agitated when there is a lot of sensory overload
  • Most comfortable by him or herself or with one or two friends
  • Needs "downtime" after school or highly social activities
What are the most challenging things facing parents of introverted children?
For the extroverted parent of an introvert, it is recognizing that their child does not NEED to be extroverted in order to be successful - there is strength, significant strength, in being introverted. For the introverted parent, it is making sure not to project any difficulties they had as children onto their own kids. Not all introverted children struggle related to their temperament.

What kind of feedback have you received about the book since it was published?
I’ve been very fortunate with Quiet Kids. Several excellent reviews have come in, including a Publisher’s Weekly review calling Quiet Kids “extremely useful for educators and parents.” Counseling Today stated that Quiet Kids “uses real-world examples and stories from introverts to show and help children develop resiliency and enhance the positive qualities of being an introvert.” In addition to the great reviews, I’ve had the opportunity for a few TV appearances, conferences and workshops. But the best thing that’s happened is hearing about psychologists and counselors sharing the information in Quiet Kids with their clients, parents, and educators. Together, lives are being changed for the better – and after all, that’s why I wrote the book to begin with!

Click here to read more about and purchase Quiet Kids: Help Your Introverted Child Succeed in an Extroverted World.

   Closing Thought

"We must provide opportunities for students to develop their potential at a pace that matches their abilities. Access to accelerated coursework is critical if we don’t want gifted students to become bored or turned off by school . . . We must cast a wide net to develop many kinds of talents among many types of students. Far too often, minority students are overlooked in
efforts to identify gifted students."

~ Camilla P. Benbow, Patricia and Rodes Hart Dean of Education and Human Development at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College, in The Tennessean op-ed,
Gifted students need more attention


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