Davidson Institute                                                                                          October 2009
             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
  2009 Davidson Fellows - Award Ceremony in D.C. 
Davidson FellowsOn Sept. 30, 2009, 19 young people were honored at the Davidson Fellows award ceremony for their work in Science, Literature, Technology, Music, Philosophy and the category of Outside the Box. Davidson Institute for Talent Development co-founders, Bob and Jan Davidson, presented the awards at the ninth annual ceremony held at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and sponsored by U.S. Senators Harry Reid (Nev.) and Chuck Grassley (Iowa). In recognition of their remarkable achievements, each of the 2009 Davidson Fellows received a $50,000, $25,000 or $10,000 scholarship. View the Washington D.C. photo gallery.

Summer Institute for the Gifted Now a Nonprofit
SIGThe Summer Institute for the Gifted (SIG) is now affiliated with the National Society for the Gifted and Talented (NSGT), allowing it to officially operate as a nonprofit organization. SIG hopes the newfound nonprofit status will allow them to expand their programs and services. With numerous residential and day programs throughout the U.S., SIG offers gifted students instruction in academic, arts and recreational courses.

Davidson Institute Co-Founder Jan Davidson to Present at TAGT ConferenceTAGT
Jan Davidson will provide the keynote address, Thinking Big About Gifted Education, at the Texas Association for the Gifted & Talented Conference, Dec. 2 through Dec. 4 in Houston. The conference will help attendees learn how to meet the unique needs of gifted and talented children, as well as network and exchange ideas. View the general session schedule and location information.

   Davidson News
  The Davidson Academy of Nevada
Davidson AcademyThe application for the 2010-2011 school year is now available! Visit The Davidson Academy How to Apply page to find the Academy application, which consists 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.

Upcoming Tours for Prospective Students
Have you considered The Davidson Academy as an option for your gifted student? Taking an informational tour of the Academy provides prospective students and their families the opportunity to hear from current students and Academy parents, become familiar with faculty and staff, Davidson Academynetwork with others, and ask specific questions. Visit the Academy for one of the following monthly tours:
  • Thursday, Nov. 12, 2009
  • Thursday, Dec. 10, 2009
  • Friday, Jan. 22, 2010
  • Thursday, Feb. 18, 2010
  • Thursday, March 25, 2010
  • Thursday, April 15, 2010

RSVPs are 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.

THINK Summer InstituteTHINK Summer Institute
Applications are available for the 2010 THINK Summer Institute, which will run July 10 through July 31. 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 THINK. The deadline for early acceptance is Jan. 14, 2010. Apply today!

Davidson Fellows2010 Davidson Fellows Scholarship Applications
Applications for the 2010 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 3, 2010.

   Legislative & Policy News
  CALIFORNIA – Some elementary schools in the San Diego Unified School District are implementing gifted teaching methods for students in grades K-2. The district hopes this will help motivate these students, as classes specifically for the gifted do not begin until third grade. Source: Voice of San Diego

FLORIDA – A new initiative is allowing for about 300 students in Florida's Pinellas County School District to participate in full-time gifted programs this year. The program, which was created for sixth-graders at three of the district's middle schools, will be expanded during the next two years to include seventh- and eighth-graders. Source: St. Petersburg Times

As part of a new ruling, gifted students in the Palm Beach County School District will be given the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of subject material, possibly allowing them to advance through state curriculum standards at their own pace. Sources: South Florida Sun-Sentinel, The Palm Beach Post (Fla.)

– Gifted programs in the state will remain under the umbrella of special education, protecting them from possible cuts by individual schools. Parents and local gifted advocates have been concerned due to recent announcements Gifted Legislationthat gifted programming could be removed from special education. Sources: The Daily Advertiser, 2TheAdvocate

A New Orleans area school district is moving forward with plans to convert a public elementary school into a magnet school for gifted students. The conversion must be approved by the federal judge overseeing the process. Source: The Times-Picayune – Sept. 2, Oct. 12

– The Brainerd School District is considering ways to improve K-12 gifted programs. District officials heard from a task force that recommended all students be screened for inclusion in gifted programs. Source: Brainerd Dispatch

– A new private school in New York City for gifted students will use special private-school admission test scores, reports from preschool teachers, and students' performance in simulated classes when considering candidates for admission. Currently, only students in grades K-2 are taking classes, but the goal is to increase enrollment to 324 K-8 students by 2015. Source: New York Times

– The Norman School District is launching the Advanced Placement Partners Program, which will match gifted students with local professionals who will act as mentors and tutors in fields such as engineering, medicine, writing and more. Source: NewsOK

– The state's Dual Enrollment program will be funded at $8 million for 2009-2010, a slight drop from the $10 million level in 2008-2009. Source: GantDaily.com

The Hollidaysburg Area School District is improving its gifted education program by offering students emotional support in addition to academic challenges. This year, teachers implemented differentiated learning for gifted students. Upcoming changes include a student-to-student mentoring program and increased support for gifted educators. Source: Altoona Mirror

– A dual-language program for gifted elementary school students in Brownsville is shrinking from six schools to just three this year. The program allows for gifted students who speak either language, English or Spanish, to be taught together on alternate days with the goal that all will be academically proficient in both languages by fifth grade. Source: Brownsville Herald

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:
  • A good idea out of India ... and the NAEP – The push to train more students in scientific methods is not just about broadening access. It's about using this broad access to identify top talent for future nurturing.
  • Is "a widening gap" always a problem? – In many of the analyzed cases in which the achievement gap is widening, it is not because disadvantaged students are falling behind. More advantaged students are making more progress. In other words, everyone is still doing better.
Join the discussion today! For links to gifted-related organizations' social networking pages and blogs, click here.
gifted education
Davidson Gifted Database – Featured Resources
In the article Differentiating curriculum for gifted students, author Sandra L. Berger discusses the need for gifted students to be provided an appropriately differentiated curriculum designed to address their individual characteristics, needs, abilities and interests. This is an excellent read for both parents and educators!

The website StudyStack.com provides students a number of tools, such as flashcards, games, study tables and more, serving as a study guide for numerous educational subjects.

Academic Earth is an organization that provides high quality academic opportunities to people all over the world. Access free video courses from leading universities such as Harvard, MIT, Princeton and more!
Suggest a Resource             Suggest an Article 

   In the News
Oct. 22, 2009 - Nashua Telegraph, Gifted, talented students often are overlooked (Michael Brindley)
Oct. 22, 2009 - Minneapolis Star Tribune, Federal rules leave gifted kids behind (Stephen J. Schroeder-Davis)
Oct. 22, 2009 - Rutgers News, Prodigies Find Challenging–Yet Welcoming–Environment at Rutgers (M.J. Patterson)
Oct. 14, 2009 - ABC News, Does High IQ Spell Success? (Radha Chitale)
Oct. 13, 2009 - BBC Berkshire, The problem with gifted children (Linda Serck)
Oct. 12, 2009 - Stamford Advocate, Whiz kid: Westport 13-year-old a student at UConn Stamford (Wynne Parry)
Oct. 10, 2009 - Daily Telegraph, Two-year-old with same IQ as Einstein (Chris Irvine)
Oct. 8, 2009 - Dallas Morning News, Don't leave gifted kids behind (Lisa M. Virgoe)
Oct. 8, 2009 - 6abc.com, Parenting Perspective: Is My Child Gifted? (Amy Buckman)
Oct. 5, 2009 - Washington Post, School Rules Stifle Gifted Student (Jay Mathews)
Sept. 28, 2009 - Anchorage Daily News, In a sense every child is home-schooled (Mary Kancewick)
Sept. 28, 2009 - The Week, Spanking and IQ loss (Staff)
Sept. 24, 2009 - The Wall Street Journal, Online High Schools Test Students' Social Skills (Paul Glader)
Sept. 21, 2009 - Lancaster Online, Pennsylvania graduate wins $50K grant (Enelly Betancourt)
Sept. 21, 2009 - Washington Post, Elite Schools Don't Make Elite People (Jay Mathews)
Sept. 20, 2009 - Boston Globe, Advocates, parents in Mass. say gifted students need attention (Taryn Plumb)
Sept. 20, 2009 - Washington Times, Home-schooling: Programs to suit needs of students (Michael Smith)
Sept. 4, 2009 - The Virginian-Pilot, Gifted student hops three grades to start college (Amy Jeter)
Sept. 2, 2009 - Connection Newspapers, Gifted students taught differently at public, private schools (J. O’Donoghue)

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

   In the Spotlight

Gifted Education Leaders Earn Accolades

Dr. CrossDr. Tracy Cross – Center for Gifted Education at the College of William & Mary
As he embarks on a new, prestigious opportunity beginning this fall – holding the position of endowed chair as the Jody and Layton Smith Professor of Psychology and Gifted Education at the College of William and Mary in Virginia – Dr. Tracy Cross recently received a well-deserved recognition: the Mensa Education & Research Foundation's Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dr. Cross was bestowed the award, designed for those who have "contributed a lifetime to scholarly pursuits in intelligence, giftedness or creativity," during a surprise presentation at a recent School of Education meeting. He is only the seventh individual to receive the award since its inception in 1999. Sources: Mensa Foundation, William & Mary

Dr. Joseph Renzulli
Neag Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development
Dr. Renzulli Dr. Joseph Renzulli was recently honored with the 2009 Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education for his work with gifted students. The award is given to those who are dedicated to enhancing learning in America and whose accomplishments help make a difference.

Dr. Renzulli is a Distinguished Professor at the University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education, the Neag Chair in Gifted Education and Talent Development, and the Director of the National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented. His Schoolwide Enrichment Model has been used in more than 2,500 schools nationwide. Sources: McGraw-Hill, The Daily Campus

Dr. KarnesDr. Frances Karnes
Frances Karnes Center for Gifted Studies
Dr. Frances Karnes, a professor of gifted education and director of the Frances Karnes Center for Gifted Studies, was one of four University of Southern Mississippi faculty members recognized as a University Distinguished Professor for 2009. Being named a University Distinguished Professor is the highest honor the professoriate at the school can receive.

Dr. Karnes founded the Center for Gifted Studies in 1979, helping thousands of gifted students through teaching, research and service, as well as academic and leadership enrichment programs. Under her leadership, the Center has secured five federal grants in the past five years. She has also served as an editor for numerous gifted publications. Source: Hattiesburg American

Congratulations to all for these remarkable accomplishments!

   Closing Thought

"For me, gifted education is a civil right. All it means is that gifted kids deserve an appropriate education, too."

                                                                                                           ~ Dr. Tracy Cross


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