Is the public-school system working for kids with special needs? That was the question that CBC’s Anna Maria Tremonti of the show “The Current” asked people all across Canada on October 3, 2017. The entire program was devoted to exploring the question in a national, live, call-in format.
Giftedness, one of many special education designations, was mentioned but not part of the focus. To change the public perception about giftedness and twice exceptional students, the GCABC board would like to encourage all our followers to contact CBC and share your thoughts and the experiences of your child in Canadian school systems.
CALL TO ACTION!
Support our gifted learners by reminding educators and decision makers that gifted students are special needs learners, recognized as such for their unique and diverse profiles, and require consideration of and provision for, appropriate learning experiences.
Students with this designation are students who need accommodations in the depth, breadth and pace of their learning. They thrive in learning environments that accept their unique abilities, with teachers who recognize and respond to their learning needs. Increasingly, students with high potential are also recognized as having additional exceptionalities also requiring specific support. However, these students often go undetected as schools focus on behaviours arising out of frustration and their gifts remain unrecognized and unsupported.
Help build the picture and awareness of how our school systems are supporting Canadian children in this special needs category. Share your stories and experiences and raise awareness.
The new GCABC board, elected in May 2017, has this far already had two board meetings, as well as created a preliminary work schedule for 2017-2018.
Currently, the board is busy deciding on what activities should be prioritized. Among the planned activities are conferences, workshops and advocacy work. We would like to start the work by asking for YOUR feedback on what the priorities should be for the GCABC this coming year.
What matter is the most important and pressing one for gifted children in BC?
How can you get your kids to talk about what happened in school? Find out here.
By Maureen McDermid
Each day we send our children off to school and trust that they will have learned something of interest, been intrigued by something they heard, had an experience that gave them insight or just plain had a good day! The question for us as parents is, how can we find out about our children’s’ perceptions of their day if they don’t rush in the door shouting, “guess what we did today” or dominate the dinner table conversation with a run down of the day’s events?
If you are like my family, it is rare that the above event occurs, but I’d really like to have it happen more often. One thing I have learned is that asking the question, “What did you do today?” rarely elicits much response. As a result, I look for different ways to ask the question and found this post from an educational organization, Edutopia, that gave me some better alternatives. As an educator, I often visit this website and have found it helpful in many ways. So, have a read, try this out, and see what you can shake loose from your children! https://www.edutopia.org/blog/parents-fifteen-questions-replace-how-was-school-today-elena-aguilar?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=cpc
Lucila Saito shares information about Multi Age Clusters (MACC) – a special school model for gifted children in BC.
By Lucila Saito
The Multi-Age Cluster Class is a gifted program within the public school system, originated in the 90’s in Vancouver, and currently offered in slightly different format in Vancouver, Coquitlam, Surrey and Burnaby. The classes combine highly gifted kids in grades that can vary from 4 to 8. It is a choice program and children need to be referred by a teacher, principal or parent and go through a screening process that might include cognitive tests, interview and/or on-site experience, before offers of admission.
Debbie Clelland recommends membership in the organisation Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG).
By Debbie Clelland
This month we are sending you some information about one of my favourite resources for parents of gifted children: the organization Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG).
This organization is based in the US, but has a lot of very relevant and useful information for parents in Canada as well. They focus on the social and emotional aspects of giftedness, and their founders have a psychology background so the they offer a different perspective than many of the education-based organizations.
SENG does some great work in the gifted community, including:
* webinars offered by experts in the field of giftedness
* summer conference that includes a children’s program
* training facilitators of parent groups
* lots of resources on their website, including articles
One of my favourite articles is one that really helps parents understand overexcitabilities, and is written in a way that is easy to see how they play out in the classroom as well. And, rather than just telling what overexcitabilities are, there are some “strategies” offered that I have found very helpful. Sharon Lind is the author. It starts:
Overexcitability and the Gifted
by Sharon Lind
A small amount of definitive research and a great deal of naturalistic observation have led to the belief that intensity, sensitivity and overexcitability are primary characteristics of the highly gifted. These observations are supported by parents and teachers who notice distinct behavioral and constitutional differences between highly gifted children and their peers.
Betty-Jo Gillett explains how to foster a collaborative partnership with your child’s teacher.
By Betty-Jo Gillett
It’s the beginning of a new school year and depending on your previous years’ experience, you may feel anxiety, excitement, or even trepidation over the new challenges this year will bring for you and your ‘gifted’ child. What will their new teachers be like? Will they understand ‘gifted’ as a special need? Will the teacher be a partner or an adversary?
Parents play a vital role in the education of their children with special needs by working in partnership with educators and other service personnel.
Ministerial Order 150/89, the Special Needs Students Order, requires that parents be offered a consultation regarding the placement of their student with special needs.
Parents of students with special needs know a great deal about their children that can be helpful to school personnel in planning educational programs for them.