NEW FISD SAT Prep. Program!

FISD has a new SAT prep program! The objective of this class is to provide the opportunity for students to begin thinking about the SAT and get exposure to the test, its format, etc.

Attached is a flyer with everything you need to know! It’s open to any student entering seventh and eighth grade next year, not just GT students, so feel free to share this with others!

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Middle School SAT Program Flyer 2013


The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Audio

If you’re struggling to read the dialect in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, try listening while you read! Here are a couple of links!

Audio of Entire Book:

ISM Final Presentation Night

Centennial and Heritage High Schools invite you to attend the ISM Final Presentation Night at Heritage High School on Wednesday, May 22 from 6:30-8:30 PM. Please see the attached flyers for more information.

I will be attending, and I enthusiastically encourage you to bring your child for what will prove to be an inspiring evening!

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

ISM FPN Invitation 2013
ISM Program Description

To Attract More Girls to STEM, Bring More Storytelling to Science

To Attract More Girls to STEM, Bring More Storytelling to Science

By Anna Kuchment | April 16, 2013

Guest Post by Jonathan Olsen and Sarah Gross, teachers at High Technology High School in Lincroft, New Jersey

Women and girls are historically underrepresented in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields and much has been written lately about why girls in school seem disinterested in these areas.  As STEM becomes more important in our increasingly interconnected global society, it becomes even more imperative that educators find ways to encourage girls to participate in these fields.

A few weeks ago, researchers at the Universities of Pittsburgh and Michigan released the results of a study that reflected many girls’ antipathy toward all things STEM.  The study, published in the journal Psychological Science, tracked about 1500 college-bound students over a decade and found that more women had the highest scores on both the math and the verbal portion of the SAT test than their male counterparts.  These women were more likely to pursue non-STEM careers after graduation even though they excelled in those fields in school. As the principal researcher of the study, Ming-Te Wang, summarizes, “This highlights the need for educators and policy makers to shift the focus away from trying to strengthen girls’ STEM-related abilities and instead tap the potential of these girls who are highly skilled in both the math and verbal domains to go into STEM fields.”  We couldn’t agree more.

To read more, please visit

TAGT Legislative Update

The Texas Association for the Gifted & Talented (TAGT) connects and empowers educators and parents to meet the unique needs of gifted and talented learners through awareness, advocacy and action. With fewer than 40 days left in the 83rd Session of the Texas Legislature, TAGT is providing this update to highlight activity affecting education in general and gifted services, specifically.

What’s happening in Austin?

  • The House has passed House Bill 5 (HB 5), a major proposal that seeks to reduce high stakes testing and relax the 4×4 graduation requirements; it was sent to the Senate for their review.
  • BIG NEWS! One provision in HB 5 requires school districts to evaluate ”educational programs for gifted and talented students” as part of the section that looks at performance ratings for school districts. Gifted education would become an area that must be evaluated on each district campus when making these reports.
  • The Senate Education Committee held its hearing on HB 5, with a Senate-drafted substitute offered. It has much of the original content, but does incorporate parts of Senate Bill 3 and Senate Bill 1724, two education bills already passed by the Committee. The Senate version of HB 5 was passed out of committee and will be voted on by the entire Senate soon. The provision regarding evaluation of gifted and talented programs remained in the Senate version of the bill.
  • Both the House and Senate have agreed to separate budgets that could put a minimum of $3.5 billion back into public education, partially restoring last session’s budget reductions.
  • Lawmakers are considering many other education reforms, including legislation to remove the cap on the number of charter schools and to allow students to receive a voucher to attend private school. The former is more likely to pass than the latter, at this juncture.

Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted

You are invited to participate in a guided discussion group to learn about the social and emotional needs of bright/gifted/talented children, and the parenting issues related to those needs. The emphasis is on positive aspects of parenting, avoiding power struggles, and helping these children learn appropriate life skills while enhancing the parent/child relationship.

Topics will include: Identification/Characteristics, Parent Relationships, Sibling Relationships, Communication of Feelings, Stress Management, Depression, Motivation, Tradition Breaking, Peer Relationships, and Discipline.

For more information on SENG (Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted) see

Morning Session Facilitators: Deborah Vanderburg & Sandra Colston Thursdays, May 2nd ~ June 6th, 2013 9:30 to 11:30 AM Hunters Glen Baptist Church 4001 Custer Road Plano, TX 75023

Evening Session Facilitator:  Sandra Colston Tuesdays, April 23rd~ June 6th, 2013 6:30 to 8:30 PM Purefoy Elementary Library 11880 Teel Parkway, Frisco, TX

Cost: $50.00 (non-refundable) The cost covers the cost of the book “A Parents Guide to Gifted Children” by Webb, Gore, Ahmend, and Devries.


Register early; class size is limited. For more information and to register, contact: Mornings: Deborah Vanderburg 972-741-1125 Evenings: Sandra Colston 972-608-0282

Registration Form can be found at the following link:

The Misunderstood Face of Giftedness

“In K-12 classrooms everywhere are children at risk for being misunderstood, medically mislabeled, and educationally misplaced. Not limited to one gender, race, ethnicity or socioeconomic group, they could be the children of your neighbors, your friends, your siblings, and even yourself.

These at-risk children are gifted children.

Contrary to common stereotypes, giftedness is not synonymous with high academic achievement. The gifted student archetype, while expected to be a mature classroom leader, does not fit all gifted students. Some are the class clowns, the lonely awkward child in the back row, the troublemaker. Special needs classrooms are where a number of gifted children end up — their giftedness left unsupported.”


Paschal High science whiz, who will graduate at 16, mentors younger students

FORT WORTH — When Dominic J. Yurk was in kindergarten, his classmates were learning the alphabet but he could already read 100-page books and multiply numbers.

He went on to skip first and fifth grade, entering Paschal High School at age 12, and racking up titles and awards in science competitions across Texas. Now a 16-year-old senior, Dominic plans to attend the California Institute of Technology in the fall to study computer science and physics. He is ranked sixth in his graduating class.

And in addition to his own academic achievement, Dominic enjoys mentoring other students in the hope of sparking the same love of learning, he said.

“Throughout high school, I have pursued my passion to better my schools in return for the opportunities they have given me,” he said. “My goal is not only to mentor and excite younger students, but to create a culture of mentorship such that those students will support others in the future.”

2013 TAGT Area and State Awards

The Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented (TAGT) is seeking nominations for 2013 TAGT Area and State Awards.  TAGT recognizes outstanding service and support of gifted and talented education in Texas schools and communities in five categories: Teacher of the Gifted, Rising Star Teacher of the Gifted, Administrator of the Gifted, Advocate for the Gifted, Parent of the Gifted.  Don’t miss this opportunity to have outstanding service in your district or school highlighted by the largest state G/T organization in the nation.  Award nominations are being accepted until April 30.  Applications and more information are available at:

2013 Safer Texas Public Service Announcement Contest

2013 Safer Texas Public Service Announcement Contest

One of the goals of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) is to empower young people to make smart decisions while online or in the real world.  In 2013, the Texas Regional Office is holding the first ever Safer Texas Video Public Service Announcement (PSA) Contest for Texas high school students.  The contest is open to Texas high school students, ages 14 to 18, who wish to make our state a safer place.

2013 Theme:  “Communication is Key”

PSAs should use the theme to encourage parents, guardians, and other trusted adults to take time to talk to the children in their lives about safety.

Entries should focus on specific safety topics such as going to and from school, summer safety, or online safety as well as sticking to an overall look at why communication is a key component to keeping children safe.

  • Entries should be age appropriate for elementary, middle, and/or high school age students.

Possible questions to answer:  Why is it important to talk to children about safety? What are questions parents should ask their children?  How can teens talk to each other about safety? How can teens help middle and elementary students learn about safety?

The deadline for entries, which should be 28 seconds in length including credits, is April 5, 2013.

Please download the“Guidelines for Entry” to learn all official rules for the 2013 Safer Texas PSA Contest. Winning PSAs will be featured on NCMEC websites.  Prizes range from a $100 gift card (third place) to a $500 gift card (first place). Please direct questions to Shannon Posern, Program Manager, at (512) 465-2156 orSPosern@NCMEC.ORG.