Over the past few weeks, the CPA co-presidents have had meetings with Mary Freitas;
the emeritus CPA co-presidents; Tony Byrd, Asst. Superintendent; Kevin Allen, principal
of Brier Terrace Middle School, Kathy Ludgate, IB coordinator at Edmonds-Woodway
High School, and a telephone conversation with one of the co-presidents of BTMS PTSA.
In the interest of time, we are sending you recaps of those meetings before the Board
meeting. We already sent out notes from the meeting with Mary on Aug. 28 at 1:30 in
her office. If you have questions or discussion about any of the meetings, feel free to
bring them to our board meeting.
Kristin Merrill & Michelle Toshima: 09/02/09, Ginger's House
• Met with Mary monthly, emailed agenda prior and brought hard copy along
o cc Becky Cass, especially for calendar stuff. Keep everything in writing.
Becky should also have the list of parents who do not want their
children’s photos posted online.
• Middle School Task Force (MSTF) expanding its focus to look at the possibility of
ESD going to a grades 1-12 highly-capable program focus.
o Brier Terrace Middle School (BTMS):
Debbie & Sue are BTMS PTSA co-presidents.
Thought is to let highly-capable kids mingle and become part of
the middle school milieu.
mailings through Nancy Gilbertson for
o Gifted Education Day
o events off site from BTMS
• How CPA can be helpful with this new program:
o Provide PR for current 6th graders and their parents at Terrace Park.
• Met with Tony Byrd quarterly
o schedule through Sharon Rytter
o Topics included:
concern from parents re: his new role, the loss of Nancy
Cartwright, other parent concerns
o To find out:
is district paying for WAETAG this year?
Assessment and highly-capable identification process
Difficult to navigate to on district website.
Michelle Toshima is involved in helping to identify issues
surrounding demographics, multiculturalism and language
barriers for students and their families who possibly aren’t
being identified as candidates for Challenge testing.
• Attended some of School Board meetings
• Ideas and suggestions:
o Research every PTA in every school and have CPA reps go to their first
meetings to get the word out about Challenge program.
Make sure parents of previously identified highly-capable kids
who chose not to go to Terrace Park understand that their
students are eligible to attend the new program at BTMS.
o Pick one event to invite all the representatives to: talk to teachers to see
what they'll emphasize this year
o Keep PTA/CPA meeting separate- run too long otherwise
o Get business cards made and focus on driving traffic to the website.
o Make clear that every family is member by default, therefore no joining
or membership fees. Donations are tax deductible.
School Board Meeting: 09/08/09, Edmonds School District Board Room
We were the only two community members present at the meeting. There is a sign-in
sheet for members of the public who wish to address the board during the pubic
comment portion of the agenda. We introduced ourselves during the public comments
section but did not speak to any agenda. Meeting topics included:
o first day enrollment numbers and projected fourth day tally
o transportation change issues
o proposed changes to internet usage/ access
o informing parents regarding installation of video equipment on school buses
o management of newly state mandated concussion/head injury in sports policy
o Future topics/work for the board:
keeping the board's mission statement in forefront
suggestion to consider changes in district name and logo and develop
tag line that more accurately portrays the make-up of the district.
Starting a Professional Learning Community book / study club.
Tony Byrd: 09/09/09, District office
The district aim is to create students who are:
Powerful thinkers and communicators
Flexible and adaptable
Strong oral and written communicators
We thanked him for the district's support that enables teachers to attend WAETAG. He
said there was no real significant budget cut at state level for highly capable programs.
Therefore, the district was able to spend money on WAETAG registration fees from it’s
state allocated funds. $2,000.00 will remain in the budget after WAETAG expenses are
paid. He stated that it is critical to continue lobbying at the state level to maintain
funding for highly capable programming.
In order to strengthen our presence we direct efforts to connect and network
with local "Powerhouse" Parent communities:
Bellevue School District
Lake Washington School District
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Northshore School District
Mukilteo School District
He touts Maplewood School's infrastructure- great parent involvement, and
suggested contacting Michelle Mathis, principal, to get ideas about building
parent support base.
Check out www.TED.com, a conference site of riveting talks by remarkable
people, free to the world.
o Recommends finding Ken Robinson's talks about creative thoughts for
YouTube video: Did You Know?
Books to read for CPA parents:
o How Lincoln Learned to Read: Twelve Great Americans and the Educations
That Made Them by Daniel Wolff
o A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future by Daniel H.
o The Global Achievement Gap: Why Even Our Best Schools Don't Teach the
New Survival Skills Our Children Need--And What We Can Do About It by
He would like to be invited to our events and meetings and invited us to call his direct
line and meet with him often. We gave him the CPA card and he really loved it. We
invited him to check out the website. Later he sent an email stating he "perused it and it
looks great. What a nice way to keep things organized and proactive."
Kevin Allen, Principal: 09/10/09, Brier Terrace Middle School
Mr. Allen stated that he is happy that the new Middle School Challenge Program is
underway. He cautioned that this first year of the MS Challenge Program is a period of
transition and beginnings. The teachers have been trained but will be experiencing the
transition along with the students. He expressed that he hopes the parents will not be
expecting a perfect program this year. So far, the feedback that he has received from the
challenge teachers convey excitement and awe that the kids are so eager to participate
in their learning. He said that PTSA will be happy to know we wish to work with them in
whatever capacity they deem necessary. He will pass on our website and contact info to
the PTSA board, the Challenge teachers and he will also put a little blurb in his
newsletter so that anybody who might want to access our support network can feel free
to do so.
Kathy Ludgate, ESD International Baccalaureate Coordinator: 09/11/09, Edmonds-
Woodway High School
Kathy started by saying that the PR piece is important--to create a positive need in order
to insure this program exists and continues in this district. She lamented that parental
involvement at the high school level isn't as high as in the younger grades, and
especially by the 11th grade when the IB program officially begins for students. She
wants to challenge parents to stay involved and reminded us that research shows that
children whose parents are involved do better academically, although she acknowledged
that probably the "tapering off" of involvement relates to the need for students this age
to become more independent. The district hasn't been supportive of a separate IB parent
organization (current policy states only the PTSA and “booster clubs” are allowed for
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parents at the high school level) but in her opinion it would be very helpful for IB
program to have one. Parents are instrumental in saving IB funding.
IB is funded through district funds that are designated by the state for highly capable
education. However the funds are for both IB and AP (Advanced Placement). For the past
10 years, the funding amount has been the same, although the student participation in
IB has grown from approximately 20 students then to about 180 this year. This is money
very well spent. ESD has the most rigorous IB entrance requirements of all the schools in
western US region. It has been the most successful IB program in the Pacific Northwest
and ranked #141 out of 4000 schools as reported in June 2009 Newsweek. IB has no
minimum enrollment for a class offering to continue, however, schools can drop AP
classes with low enrollment. As IB coordinator, Kathy advocates for the Highly Capable
students, although the fact that they have been identified as gifted stays undisclosed in
their records until and if there is a reason to pull a student’s record when an issue is
raised by a teacher. She doesn't follow them too closely until they are in 11 th grade and
become official IB students. Between two-thirds and three-fourths of the IB Full Diploma
students are identified as highly capable students, and the IB program is very well
suited to gifted learners.
AP is also a wonderful option for highly capable learners and should always be
provided. AP classes tend to be geared toward the left-brained learners and IB toward
the right-brained learners. She stated that AP classes are not appropriate for 9 th grade
students. She believes that AP parents need to be vigilant in making sure that schools
are following through.
Kathy stated she would be happy to present information and answer parent questions
about IB for Challenge parents. She provides IB information nights (along with
representatives of the AP program) to the district’s 8th graders and their parents and
begins the application process at that point. Students living within the EWHS service
area can take IB classes but only students who are officially identified as highly capable
may apply to the program if they live within the district but outside the EWHS service
area. The CogAT test is administered for admission.
There is a community service component of the IB program beginning in 11 th grade. 150
hours are required. She would love to make available opportunities at Terrace Park for
Math Night, Science Fair, Young Author's day, etc. We will email dates and contacts for
She wants to link our website to hers, and would like to send us the PowerPoint
presentation about the program that some of the IB students created.
Superintendent’s Round Table Meeting: 09/16/09, Edmonds School District Board
This meeting was attended by Ginger, Sue, and Tina from CPA, Kristin Merrill, as well as
various district staff, parents from other schools, members of the community, and one
school board member. Dr. Brossoit gave an introduction and fielded a few questions
from attendees, primarily regarding the lawsuit pending against the state accusing it of
underfunding K-12 education. The attendees then broke up into groups and were given
lists of proposed round table topics for the rest of the school year (one compiled by
district staff and one comprising suggestions by last year’s round table attendees). The
groups were asked to determine which topics they wanted to discuss at which monthly
meetings and each group then posted their choices on a white board. A district staff
member will take that information and build the agendas for the 2009-10 round table
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meetings. The results will be posted at:
http://www.edmonds.wednet.edu/board/suprtcalendar.cfm. School board member Ann
McMurray joined the CPA parents and Kristin to form one group. Although highly-
capable as its own topic was not on our final list, we requested a round table meeting
regarding at-risk students with the belief that many gifted kids are at-risk for dropping
out, behavior and discipline issues, etc.
Debbie Dunne, Co-President, Brier Terrace Middle School PTSA: 09/22/09, via
Sue offered CPA’s support of the BTMS PTSA when able, perhaps even the possibility of
posting solicitations for help or event notifications on the website if appropriate.
Debbie thanked us and said that having multiple avenues for advertisement is always
helpful and that having the MS challenge parents join the PTSA is the biggest help at
this point. Sue will meet the presidents in person at the first BTMS PTSA meeting on
Maren Halvorsen, Ph.D.,Associate Director, Halbert & Nancy Robinson Center for
Young Scholars: 10/06/09, University of Washington campus
Ginger and Sue are scheduled to meet with Dr. Halvorsen regarding transitioning
students from high school to early college entrance. We are happy to bring questions to
her from board members.
Ginger Everhart and Sue Wilson-Schmitz
Challenge Parents Association
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