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GATE Parent Association Newsletter


									 GATE Parent Association Newsletter
                             First Quarter — 2007/2008 School Year

                                                       Your parent voice is fundamental in
Presidents Message                                 ensuring that gifted children have their
    Priorities and values have been the focus      educational needs met through public
over the past 2 years. Many parents have           education, in accordance with the Standards for
worked hard to determine our priorities through    Special Education. Your participation is
planning sessions both internally and with the     essential to the existence and continuous
broader community. Executive members have          improvement of the G.A.T.E. Program. Please
participated in School Council meetings,           make every effort to participate.
Calgary Board of Education Administrative             I have now concluded my two-year term as
meetings and a Community Stakeholders              President for the GATE Parent Association.
Group, spearheaded by the Centre for Gifted
Education at the University of Calgary.                It has been an outstanding opportunity to
                                                   work with each and every parent. I will now
    In addition your Association has worked        move into the position of Past President, which
hard to bring together parents from other          will involve supporting the new executive in
educational jurisdictions such as, charter         meeting their goals of Parent Education,
schools, private schools, the catholic board and   Communication, Advocacy and Fundraising
districts surrounding Calgary. The importance      through the next year.
of this is to share our knowledge and the
opportunity for parent education. Learning             It is with great pleasure that I introduce
together and bringing common understanding         Lloyd Hamshaw as your new President.
to meeting the needs of gifted children            Supporting him in his role is Kathy Stone as
promotes a more cohesive approach to               Vice-President. Both of these parents are
supporting quality education for gifted learners   dedicated to promoting quality education for
no matter where they are schooled. We              gifted students.
continue to work to create awareness among             Thank you for the wonderful opportunity of
parents, educators and community leaders           serving you in this very rewarding role.
regarding the importance of;
                                                          All the best in your journey,
    1. Identifying gifted special needs                   Mary Jo Pow
       students at the earliest possible time.            Past President,
    2. Professional educators trained to                  GATE Parent Association
       deliver truly differentiated learning.
    3. Learning environments that cater to
       gifted children’s social and emotional
    4. Organizational responsiveness that is
       timely and meaningful to meet the
       national and provincial Standards for
       Special Needs Education (2004).                                                       Page 1 of 5
 GATE Parent Association Newsletter
                             First Quarter — 2007/2008 School Year

Next Steps                                               Fundraising
    We will continue to evaluate priorities                  We now have funds resulting from the work
through our discussions with parents and                 of the May Casino. Thank you to all of the
stakeholders.                                            Volunteers who gave up their May long
                                                         weekend to provide support to this important
Communication                                            fundraising endeavour. These funds allow us to
                                                         provide schools with support to enhance the
    Our updated website will be launched in the          gifted program. The Association will be
near future. The site will provide parents with          determining how the $100,000 will be allocated
the ability to participate in polls and                  to address our priority areas. We will be
questionnaires to ensure that your opinions are          pursuing initiatives that support sustainable
heard. In the meantime, your input is important.         enhancements to the education of gifted in our
  Our current website is:                                community.
    If you have questions or comments, contact
us at:                                   You will find our slate of educational
                                                         sessions for parents and stakeholders in this
   You may also contact your school Site
                                                         Newsletter. We are fortunate to have the
                                                         support of the Centre for Gifted Education to
                                                         deliver an outstanding number of speakers who
                                                         are experts in the field of gifted. The education
    We have established an Advocacy                      sessions have been planned jointly between the
Committee who will undertake to meet with                GATE Parent Association and the Centre for
stakeholders, the ministry of education and              Gifted Education in order to coordinate efforts
community leaders to create further awareness            and provide consistent and ongoing education
and understanding of special needs gifted. We            sessions for families in all stages of their
will work toward achieving the Standards for             journey.
Special Education as outline by Alberta
Education. These can be viewed at: (under special

                                2007-2008 Board of Directors
                   POSITION                           NAME                   SCHOOL
     President                                     Lloyd Hamshaw           Nellie McClung
     Vice President                                  Kathy Stone           Nellie McClung
     Treasurer                                     Kerry Marincich         Nellie McClung
     Secretary                                         vacant                   vacant
     Casino Chair                                  Cathy Robertson         Dr. G. Higgins
     Advocacy Chair                                 Gail Monteith          Nellie McClung
     Newsletter Editor                              Blaine Marler        Queen Elizabeth Jr/Sr
     Web Site Reviewer                                Harry Luo
     Email Coordinator                               Yossi Suissa          Nellie McClung
     Book, Article and News Researcher             Wendy Mitchell            John Ware
     Past President                                 Mary Jo Pow              John Ware                                                              Page 2 of 5
 GATE Parent Association Newsletter
                              First Quarter — 2007/2008 School Year

                                    2007-2008 Site Directors
                     DIRECTOR                                  SCHOOL
          Vacant                                     Annie Foote Elementary
          Cathy Robertson                            Dr. Gordon Higgins Jr. High
          Vacant                                     Earl Grey Elementary
          Brenda Pernitsky                           Elboya Middle School
          Vacant                                     Forest Lawn High School
          Leslie Scherger                            Henry Wise Wood High School
          Heather Downes                             Hillhurst Elementary
          Vacant                                     John Ware Jr. High School
          Nicole Chernish                            Nellie McClung Elementary
          Shelly Gammafor                            Queen E. Jr. High School
          Kitty Jones                                Queen E. Sr. High School
          Brenda Boissonneault &                     Ranchlands Elementary
          Carmen Rouillard

Resources for Parents Regarding Individual Program Plans
This is 60 pages but don’t let that scare you –
it’s great information and it is provided by
Alberta Education on their website for parents
and all stakeholders of gifted to access.

Standards for Special
Needs Education
All parents should be familiar with this
legislation that applies to gifted children in all
Districts, urban, rural, catholic and public
boards. These standards were legislated in
2004 as a result of a Ministerial Order signed
by Dr. Lyle Oberg, Minister of Education at the
time. They arose out of a review on Special
Needs Education that was undertaken in 2001.

Great Web Site for
Parents & Children                                                                Page 3 of 5
  GATE Parent Association Newsletter
                                   First Quarter — 2007/2008 School Year

2007/2008 Remaining Schedule — GATE Parent Association
                                        Typical meeting schedule…
General Business Meeting (GBM)                                   You may attend all or any one part of the
       or                                                        evening.
Meet & Greet (with Past President, concurrent                    The Business meeting is open to parents with
to GBM for more specific questions and                           children in the GATE Program.
discussion)............................... 7:00 –7:30 pm
                                                                 The ‘Meet & Greet’ and ‘Parent Education
Break...................................... 7:30 – 7:45 pm       Sessions’ are open to all parents of gifted
Parents Education Session                                        children, from all school boards, from all
(FREE) ................................... 7:45 - 9:00 pm        schools (private, charter, home school) in
                                                                 Calgary and surrounding area.

    DATE                       LOCATION                                TOPIC                      SPEAKER
November            SAGE Conference                          See details at     Topics for parents
16-17               (Society for Advancement of                                               teachers &
                    Gifted Education) NAIT                                                    administrators
                    Campus, Edmonton Alberta
November 27         University of Calgary Rm 179             Assessing Children For           Dr. Pat Petrie
                    Education Block                          Giftedness                       Chartered
                    Maps of the campus are available         Why assess a child and when?     Psychologist
                    at             Who is qualified to assess for   Educational
                    The best Parking Lot is the Art          giftedness?                      Psychology Specialist
                    Parkade, or the Lot right in front       Understanding the assessment
                    of the Education Bldg.                   information?
                                                             What now?
January 29          As above                                 Meeting the Social-              Dr. Sal. Mendaglio
                                                             Emotional Needs of gifted.       Charter Psychologist
                                                             Practical applications for
                                                             meeting gifted children’s
February 26         As above                                 Student Forum                    TBA
                                                             What does it mean to be
April 29            As Above                                 What are the attributes of an    Dr. J. Frank
                                                             effective teacher for gifted     Consultant, Gifted
                                                             learners?                        Education, and
                                                             What qualifications do           experienced teacher,
                                                             teachers have?                   and Principal
                                                             What characteristics are best?
                                                             What does the research say
                                                             about most effective teachers
                                                             for gifted?
May 27              As above                                 Year End Meeting                 Dr. M. Pyryt
                                                             Understanding Special            Director, Centre for
                                                             Characteristics of Gifted        Gifted Education                                                                         Page 4 of 5
 GATE Parent Association Newsletter
                            First Quarter — 2007/2008 School Year

   The following are Volunteer Opportunities with the GATE Parent Association.
     The GATE Parent Association (GPA) is committed to supporting the existence and quality of the
GATE program and gifted education. The continued existence of this program depends on parent
support. Parents must support a constant awareness of the need for gifted education, both at the local
and provincial levels. The GPA needs volunteers to come forward to share their skills in the positions
listed below.

Site Representatives
    Each school can have up to two Site Representatives. Site Representatives liaise between the
school Principals, school council, and the GATE Parent Association. Site Representatives are required
to sit on the GPA Board that meets a few times per year and attend the GPA meetings 7 times per year.
   Check below if you are interested.
   ❏ Annie Foote
   ❏ Forest Lawn High School
   ❏ Earl Grey
   ❏ John Ware

Advocacy Committee Members
    In order to be effective, the GPA must have clear
objectives to support our vision. In order to be effective
in an advocacy role the GPA must be agile and proactive.
The person(s) in this position would advise on an
advocacy strategy and develop an Advocacy Framework.
   ❏ Yes, I would like to assist with advocacy.

Newsletter Editor
   Responsible for writing and preparing our Newsletter for distribution.
    ❏ Yes, I am interested in this position.
    If you are interested in any of the above positions, e-mail the following information to (or supply to your Site Director). An Executive Member will contact you.

________________________ ________________________________________
NAME (please print)      STUDENTS NAME & SCHOOL

________________________                ________________________________________
TELEPHONE #                              E-MAIL ADDRESS                                                           Page 5 of 5

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