2013-2014 GEAC Meeting Minutes 07

Gifted Advisory Council Meeting Minutes
Date: May 13, 2014
Start Time: 6:05 PM
End time: 7:50 PM
Place: Professional Development Room, Rosemont Center, 7000 West Tanners Creek Drive, Norfolk
Next meeting: June 10th at 6:00 PM in the Professional Development Room at Rosemont Center
Members: Tom Ambler, Tanya Bhasin, Dorie Banks, Karen Myers, Vicky Greco, Jessica Huntoon, Dr.
Gibson, Andrea Tate, Susan Goldman,
Guests: Dr. Tracy Cross, Bruce Brady, Rebecca Burley, Andrew Satsum, Lachelle Ward, Karin Roberts,
Latoya Tivers, Janice Swegan, Jessica Earley, Elena Leonardo, Spencer Jamison, Tameika Sawyer, Myra
Barnes, Joan Hughes, and Darren Everette
Chair, Tom Ambler called the meeting to order and a quorum was established. Mr. Ambler reviewed the
purpose of the GEAC. Ms. Dorie Banks welcomed the College of William and Mary teacher cohort for
gifted education who was in attendance. Council members and guests introduced themselves. Mr.
Ambler presented last month’s meeting minutes for approval. Ms. Karen Myers made a motion to
approve the meeting minutes, a second was made, and the motion passed.
Dr. Tracy Cross, Center for Gifted Education, College of William and Mary
Ms. Dorie Banks introduced Dr. Tracy Cross from the Center for Gifted Education at the College of
William and Mary (email contact information: [email protected]). Dr. Cross shared the many different
initiatives and programs taking place through William and Mary related to gifted education and how our
students, teachers, and families can and do benefit from their programs. Programs described include:
Camp Launch, Endorsement series (Doctoral cohort program), distance learning opportunities for
teachers, conferences for families and students such as Focusing on the Future, and summer enrichment
programs, to name a few. Overall, the Center for Gifted Education at William and Mary has provided an
outstanding, long term contribution to gifted education and aims to continue to do so. Dr. Cross asked
that Council members and others serve as recruiters and advisors, if applicable, to seek out venues for
gifted students to feel accepted. He emphasized the need to match offerings with demands of students
and families.
The Council discussed Camp Launch in greater detail. While Dr. Cross and Ms. Banks explained that
Camp Launch was designed specifically for impoverished gifted students, a Council member asked about
programs for kids who can afford to pay for them. Dr. Cross mentioned that there were several summer
residential programs in Virginia, including one at Christopher Newport University (CNU). The Council
also asked if William and Mary has considered a mixed income approach in regard to Camp Launch. Dr.
Cross explained that they are exploring other models as it relates to appropriate student populations for
the camps. He explained that historically, grouping kids based on shared experiences and backgrounds
has provided a “safe” place for the students to be themselves. However, he does understand that there
may be some benefits to mixed income populations as well. Dr. Cross further shared that, currently,
Camp Launch is funded by the Jack Kent Cooke and Davidson Foundations. Funding from the Davidson
Foundation is expected to end this year and they are looking for other funding sources to keep the
program viable.
In regard to Camp Launch, Ms. Banks shared that Norfolk has eleven spots. The gifted resource teachers
get the applications ready. Ms. Banks explained that getting the applications out is the easy part;
however, gathering all the information necessary is more difficult. Ms. Banks further shared that Norfolk
charters a bus to take students and parents/guardians to the Camp site so that they can be more
comfortable knowing where their kids will be staying and learning.
Dr. Cross shared the differences between the SEP and Camp Launch programs as observed in their
interviews for the programs. Basically, life experiences are vastly different suggesting the need for
greater sensitivity in programs.
Ms. Banks introduced the William and Mary cohort of teachers and shared the progress made by the
cohort thus far. She explained that the cohort has completed the first course of four required to obtain
their endorsement for gifted education. Ms. Banks also introduced Darnita Belcher, Senior Coordinator
of School Counseling. She shared that Ms. Belcher is overseeing Junior University, a summer enrichment
camp for 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. The camp will focus on academics and the college and career readiness
piece. The cost of the summer program is $150. Ms. Belcher also explained that one scholarship is
available at each elementary and middle school. Ms. Vicky Greco asked if PTA’s can sponsor students
and the answer was ‘yes’. It was further asked if the Norfolk PTA could sponsor the program. Ms. Banks
suggested that the question be directed to Dr. Charbonnet.
Advanced Placement Program: Mr. Bruce Brady
Mr. Bruce Brady shared the status of the Advanced Placement (AP) program. Currently, many students
and teachers are in the midst of advanced placement testing which should be wrapping up in a few days.
Mr. Brady stated that, this year, 3100 advanced placement tests were given. This number is tripled that
of past years. The results will be available in July.
Mr. Brady shared that teachers will be able to attend different training and professional development
programs this summer as it relates to advanced placement. The College Board has established 100
scholarships for teachers to take week long training at the College of William and Mary. Furthermore,
Norfolk will host an AP Summer Training Institute, June 24-27th in partnership with NIMSI, which will pay
for everything for 39 math and science teachers. The cost of doing this training is approximately
Senior Coordinator’s Report: Ms. Dorie Banks
Ms. Banks shared that, for the first time, NPS had three high schools (Norview, Maury, and Granby High
Schools) listed as top high schools according to a report in the Washington Post. Maury and Granby
High Schools were also cited as top high schools according to the U.S. News and World Report.
Ms. Banks shared with the Council that Mr. Brady was the recipient of the Administrator of the Year
award in NPS.
Ms. Banks turned over the discussion to Ms. Janice Swegan, teacher of the Young Scholars Program. Ms.
Swegan shared information about the Thomas Jefferson Lab’s National Accelerator Facility. She also
mentioned that the Lab has a program/resource, Jefferson Lab Science Activities for Teachers (JSAT),
where teachers can find activities for 5-8th grade students. Ms. Swegan demonstrated two of the
activities for the Council.
Ms. Banks provided updates for Camp Einstein, Young Scholars application and interviewing process,
first grade testing and processing, and evaluation of the gifted pull out model. Ms. Banks explained to
the group that the cost for Camp Einstein had to increase slightly from $175 to $210. She provided the
Council with the brochure, including course description and application.
Ms. Banks stated that the Department of Evaluation and Assessment does have plans to evaluate the
pull out program once full implementation has taken place. Discussions between NPS and the College of
William and Mary (Dr. Cross) will take place to determine if approval can be granted to have the
university partner with NPS to conduct the evaluation. Ms. Banks asked that Council members, including
the survey committee, direct any questions or concerns regarding the evaluation to Dr. Karren Bailey,
Executive Director of Evaluation and Assessment.
Mr. Ambler told the Council he plans to draft his annual letter to the School Board and will send it out to
the Council for further comment.
Nominating Committee
Ms. Myers stated that the Nominations Committee decided to send the nomination letter in September,
at the start of the school year. She mentioned that all parents/guardians who attended the lecture on
the socio-emotional needs of gifted students, presented by Dr. Cross, were emailed requesting them to
share their interest in participating on the Council, if so desired. Ms. Banks suggested that anytime there
is an event, the Council should consider having a table to increase its visibility and attract potential
members. Ms. Banks said she would order a table cloth that can be used.
Finally, the Council voted on the new slate of officers for the 2014-2015 school year. The officers are
Chair: Tom Ambler; Vice Chair: Tanya Bhasin; and Recording Secretary: Andrea Tate.
Ms. Myers made a motion to adjourn the meeting, a second was made, and the motion passed.
The meeting adjourned at 7:50PM