GCABC President’s Report 2017-2018

by Lucila Saito

For those of you who missed the Annual General Meeting of the GCABC on Sep 19, 2018, the president’s report of the previous fiscal year can instead be read below.

GCABC Accomplishments
It was a productive year for the GCABC. Early on, the board decided to focus on bringing Dr. James Webb to BC for a multi-day conference in Vancouver. In addition, a priority has been to expand our communication channels, by starting Facebook and Twitter profiles.

The executive worked on the following tasks:

  • Events
    • Partnered with the Lower Mainland Gifted Contacts group (LMGC) to run the “Power Up Potential” conference with Dr. James Webb, leading the planning and organization of the three-day conference for educators, psychologists, counsellors, and parents – April 2018, Coquitlam (hosted by SD43), Vancouver (hosted by Adler University), and Surrey (hosted by SD36). Altogether, almost 300 people attended the 3 days of events!
    • Held the AGM – September 2018, Richmond (hosted by Choice School for the Gifted).
  • Advocacy
    • Participated in the on-going Public Education Funding Review, by meeting with Patricia Kovacs, Inclusive Education Director, submitting a written report, and speaking with the Independent Panel Chair about concerns and suggestions to better serve the gifted population.
    • Sent a written report about the status of gifted education in BC to the Canadian delegate for the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children (WCGTC).
    • Gave an interview about the status of gifted education in BC to TEACH magazine (national magazine for K-12 educators)
  • Website/Communication
    • Created a Facebook account “Gifted Children’s Association of BC- GCABC”
      • Followed by 246 people
      • Liked by 200 people
    • Created a Twitter account “@GiftedBC” (212 followers)
    • Published blog posts on the website (51 followers)
    • Sent newsletters (388 subscribers)
    • Published a list of psychologists in the Lower Mainland who can do psycho-educational assessments for giftedness
  • Constitution and By-Laws revisions have been completed in compliance with the revised BC Society Act, and this document will be presented for approval to the AGM in September 2018.

 

Goals for next year
Our goal for the 2018/2019 year is to create specific committees to work with the board while using a larger volunteer group that will help us increase our effectiveness in supporting families and allow us to expand our outreach beyond the Lower Mainland. The committees will focus on Advocacy, Outreach and Policy. We plan to continue expanding our website to bring relevant resources to parents, and sponsor or co-sponsor events that can inform and bring our gifted families together.

Annual General Meeting of the GCABC 2018

We are pleased to welcome all GCABC members to the upcoming 2018 Annual General Meeting (AGM)!

Whom: GCABC Members (see separate page for membership information)

Date: Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Registration & Networking: 6:30-7:00PM

Time: 7:00-9:00PM

Place: Choice School for the Gifted and Exceptional, 20451 Westminster Hwy, Richmond, BC

Cost: $35 per person.

The attendance price includes a one-year GCABC membership.

You sign up for the AGM with Eventbrite here.


Special Presentation: Acceleration for Gifted Students

by Debbie Clelland, PhD, RCC

Acceleration is more than grade skipping!  It can be a great option for many gifted students. Many parents don’t know that there is a lot of research support, and ways to set this up for success to include looking at social-emotional environments.  The presentation will briefly introduce the 20 forms of acceleration, why they might be a good choice for your child, and how Educational Policy in BC currently supports acceleration options.


At the AGM, you will have the opportunity to elect the board directors for 2018-2019.

The Call for Nominations of Directors is now closed. Please note that we still are looking for volunteers for our three new committees:

  • Advocacy & Awareness
  • Membership & Outreach
  • Policy

If you are interested in joining one of these committees, you can let us know on your membership application.

You can also email us should you be interested in a committee position.


Detailed program

6:30 – 7:00 Registration, Refreshments – Gym
7:00 – 7:30 Annual General Meeting of the Gifted Children’s Society of BC
7:30 – 8:45 Dr. Debbie Cleland presents, Acceleration for Gifted Students!
8:45 Closing Remarks

You can prepare for the meeting by downloading the:

Dr. James Webb is My Hero – Don’t miss seeing him in Canada!

By Debbie Clelland, Past-President of the Gifted Children’s Association of BC

As a parent of two gifted sons, I have been very fortunate over the years to be inspired and consoled by the resources created by Dr. James Webb.  That is why I am ecstatic that he is joining us here in Vancouver in April as a speaker for parents, educators and health care professionals! Since I realized that some of you may not really know about him, I wanted to jump up and down a bit about how rare and important an opportunity it is to hear him speak.

Back in 2003 when our oldest son was assessed as gifted, my partner and I turned to each other and said, “OK, now what?”  There were two things that really helped us: the GCABC and the resources created by James Webb.  We got a VHS tape out of our library of James Webb presenting to a group of parents about understanding giftedness, and then watched it several times.  It helped us see we were “normal” gifted parents experiencing “normal” things with our family. That was a huge relief, and so needed for us and our family to make sense of re-interpreting our experience over the previous 9 years with our sons.

James Webb (Jim) is a great humanitarian on a mission to help parents of gifted children, educators and mental health professionals understand giftedness and its many nuances.  When he discovered that parents and psychologists were struggling to understand the social-emotional aspects of giftedness, he created the organization Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG). Within SENG, he developed a way to train parents to lead support groups for other parents and created a new publishing house to get books out there as a support for gifted families. He even ended up writing several books on unique things like grand-parenting gifted children and the sometimes world weary existential depression experienced by some gifted people

I have had the pleasure of seeing Jim present at a few SENG summer conferences in various locations around the US, and have always found him to be an engaging speaker who really “gets it”. He speaks to the people in the room in a way that conveys his many years of learning as if we are sitting down at the kitchen table together to have a chat about these gifted folks we all care so much about.

I was over the moon when I learned that our own Maureen McDermid invited Jim to join us in Canada and that he accepted.  To my knowledge, this is the first time he has presented in our country.  I can’t say enough about how big a deal this is – come and join us!


Still not registered for the conference Power Up Potential 2018 with Dr. James Webb, and a number of other experts on giftedness? Sign up on the conference website before March 1 to take advantage of the Early Bird rate. 

<< Register for Power Up Potential Here!

Why Parenting a Gifted Child is Lonely

Gifted kids are more likely to flourish when they find like-minded peers who understand them and share the same passions. Similarly, the parents of gifted children may  benefit when they meet with other parents who face the same parenting issues, and with whom they can be honest about their children’s challenges and accomplishments without judgments.

The article “Why Parenting a Gifted Child is Lonely” by Medium.com blogger Amber Campbell discusses why so many parents of  gifted children can feel lonely and provides some ideas to assist them.

 

Website for Power Up Potential 2018 is launched

The website for the conference “Power Up Potential 2018” has been launched and the registration process is open for anyone who want to attend this exciting and interesting conference. The conference is organised by the GCABC in a joint effort with the Lower Mainland Gifted Contacts – a teacher network for teachers all working with gifted education.

Feature lecturer is Dr. James Webb, more known as  the psychologist who initiated the organisation Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted – SENG.

There will be four events during the three-day conference:

  • Event 1 – Thursday April 5, 2018, 9:00AM-11:30AM “Twelve Key Concerns of Parents of Gifted Children that Educators should know about”. With Featured Speaker Dr. James Webb. Target audience: Educational Leaders.
  • Event 2 – Thursday April 5, 2018, 4:00PM-8:00PM. “Motivation and Underachievement”. With Featured Speaker Dr. James Webb. Target audience: Teachers.
  • Event 3 – Friday, April 6, 2018, 9:00AM-11:30AM.  “Misdiagnoses and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children”. With Featured Speaker Dr. James Webb. Target audience: Health Care & Counselor Professionals.
  • Event 4 – Saturday, April 7, 2018, 9:00AM-3:00PM. “Power Up Potential 2018”. With Featured Speaker Dr. James Webb as well as 12 other experts on different aspects of gifted children. Target audience: Parents and other adult family members.

Please note that tickets are limited and are expected to sell out fast. Get your ticket today and experience the newest and hottest information on giftedness in BC!

A Gifted Student’s Reflection on her Academic Journey

Two programs offered by some school districts and one offered by a consortium of the Vancouver School Board (VSB), the Ministry of Education and the University of British Columbia (UBC) are providing opportunities to students with high ability to reach their intellectual and creative goals.

The Challenge Program in Surrey is offered to students in grades three through seven and includes “intense academic, intellectual and creative challenges.”

The Multi-Age Cluster Classes (MACC) in Surrey is offered to students in grades five through seven and provides “academic support and social-emotional support for highly gifted students.

Both Challenge and MACC are offered in other districts in similar format. You find more information about the challenge program MACC on the Surrey School District website.

The University Transition Program is an early college entrance program open to 10 VSB students and 10 from other districts in each of the two years.

Read Fannia Xu’s positive experience in the public school system in Surrey, BC, transitioning from Challenge Programs, into MACC and then the University Transition Program at the UBC.

The letter below is reprinted without edits.


Academic Transitions by Fannia Xu

I wasn’t the most popular kid in the fourth grade; my classmates often teased me for my love of academics. I had been hoping for some challenges academically since sometime around the first grade. For a long time, I’d always felt ashamed to admit that what I was learning in school was too easy for me; fellow students always said that I was just bragging and exaggerating the ease of the course materials. Because of this, I never felt very well-liked or at home in the school environment.

Before I was in MACC, I took part in the Challenge Program, which was where I was first introduced to the idea of being challenged in academics. I’d fell in love with the program, but it left me hoping for more in terms of challenge and acceleration. This, of course, led to my registration for the testing for the MACC program at Berkshire Park Elementary.

When I first joined the MACC program, everything we were learning had felt foreign and unknown. For once, I felt like I was in an environment where I was constantly given challenges. MACC wasn’t an accelerated program, and that much was obvious; however, the deeper looks at some plain and ordinary subjects opened my eyes up to new opportunities and also helped pave the way toward the future I chose. The fields of study we encountered in MACC were truly eye-opening. The students in the program were just the cherries on top; MACC was a place where I felt I could always be myself.

As a student in MACC, I’d always thought that that would be the limit on my academic life, that MACC would be the most accelerated program I would partake in, that I would leave MACC to attend my local secondary school like the majority of the other graduates had done. After my three years in MACC, I discovered this academic drive inside of me, telling myself that I had to push myself further and further with everything I learned. That was when I made the conscious decision to apply to the University Transition Program.

At first, I was reluctant to apply; the picture that my mind painted of Transition had always included intense workloads and a large amount of stress, combined with no free time. Though that much has been made true in Transition, I can also testify that not a single day goes by without having fun, and that fun comes within being a small, cohesive community. The only reason I’ve been able to survive in Transition so far is due to the massive support network that exists between each and every one of my classmates. This was something that was different from MACC; although we often worked together, we never quite functioned as a community. I didn’t receive such a large amount of support while I was in MACC, but I suppose it was not needed.

The big difference between Transition and MACC has always been the issue of accelerated vs. comprehensive learning. Though MACC was not an accelerated program, being a student in the MACC program definitely made the transition between elementary school and the Transition Program a lot easier. Today, I can safely say that I am content with my academic life, and none of that would be possible without the journey I’ve taken, through Challenge, MACC, and now University Transition.

“POWER UP POTENTIAL 2018” with Dr. James Webb, Leading Expert on Gifted Learners!

Spend time with Dr. James Webb, an internationally renowned expert on the unique profiles of children with high potential, at the conference “Power Up Potential 2018” (#PUP2018).

Where: Various locations in the Lower Mainland, BC,

When: April 5-7, 2018

What: Half, full-day, and evening sessions on topics of interest for teachers, parents, counselors, district staff, school psychologists, and medical professionals

Co-hosted by the Gifted Children’s Association of BC (GCABC) and the Lower Mainland Gifted Contacts (LMGC)

Watch the GCABC website for news about registration, prices and program details!

For further information, contact the organizing committee by email (commgcabc@gmail.com) or phone (+1 (604) 315-3158).