Wednesday, April 18, 2012

2012 PAGE Conference Full Schedule

Unwrapping Gifted Potential: everyday, everywhere, every school

Wyndham Garden Exton Valley Forge Hotel
815 North Pottstown Pike Exton, PA 19341

Half-Day Sessions, Thursday, May 3
(register for individual workshops)

A Model for Success: Using Cluster Grouping for Differentiation ~ Susan Winebrenner
Technology with Purpose: The Gifted Learner Connection ~ Dr. Brian Housand
Understanding Executive Functioning: Unlocking Potential for the Gifted Underachiever ~ Dr. Lori Lennon
Mentoring Young Mathematicians: How to Challenge the K-5 Gifted and Advanced Learner ~ Dr. Linda Sheffield
The Peak in the Middle: Developing Mathematically Gifted Students in the Middle Grades ~ Dr. Linda Sheffield

Mini-Conference, Thursday Evening, May 3
(register for the mini-conference; pre-selection of individual presentations is not necessary)


Pre-session: Basic Boot Camp for Gifted~ Jim LoGiudice and Dawn Settle


So Your Student is Gifted:  What’s Next? Effective Advocacy and Resources ~ Rebecca Coleman, Davidson Institute for Talent Development
Gifted Children and Adolescents: Social and Emotional Issues ~ Dr. Mary Ann Swiatek
PLEPs and GIEPs That Make Sense ~ Tanya Morret

(*included with the price of any full-day conference registration)

Friday, May 4th Conference Agenda
(register for the conference; pre-selection of individual presentations is not necessary.)

Session A (8-9 AM):

How to Successfully Advocate for Highly Gifted Students

Successful advocacy includes parents, educators, and students working collaboratively. Discover strategies and techniques for supporting and extending learning for these students through the experiences and work of the Davidson Institute. This nationally recognized institute has been a leader for more than a decade in addressing the unique and often neglected needs of this population.

Rebecca Coleman, Family Consultant at the Davidson Institute for Talent Development, Reno, Nevada

Goal Setting and the Gifted Student: Using Interdisciplinary Units to Address and Monitor Students’ GIEP Goals

Do your students understand their GIEP goals, actively work toward meeting these goals, and ultimately unlock their potential? This session will provide an overview of effective goal setting strategies that will enable teachers and students to identify and monitor GIEP goal progress. Participants will be provided with concrete examples of how to foster student ownership and monitor progress on harder to measure goals, through the use of interdisciplinary extension/enrichment units that can be used in pull-out, core, and seminar class settings.

Elizabeth Santucci, K-6 Gifted Department Coordinator, Susan Cattie, 7-12 Gifted Department Coordinator, and Kate Clark, 5-6 Gifted Specialist, Methacton School District, Eagleville, PA

Understanding Underachievement in Gifted Students

As parents and educators know, gifted ability does not ensure academic achievement.  Underachievement can be a real problem and, in some cases, can have far-reaching implications.  Unfortunately, it can be difficult to even define and recognize underachievement.  This presentation will start with these issues, then move on to identify possible causes and discuss ways to intervene.

Mary Ann Swiatek, PhD, Psychologist, Former PAGE Board Member, Author, PAGE Bulletin: Academic acceleration: An overview. Research bulletin published by the Pennsylvania Association for Gifted Education (PAGE).

RtII and the Gifted Student

Where does gifted education fit into the Response to Instruction and Intervention framework?  Everywhere. In this session, explore how a building or district can plan to meet the needs of their gifted and high ability students in a developed RtII framework. This session will describe how the components of RtII support the child find process for the gifted, as well as how tiered levels of support can be implemented for enrichment and acceleration.  This session will include a brief overview of the components of RtII and an overlay of how gifted fits into the framework.

Tanya Morret, Educational Consultant, Capital Area Intermediate Unit, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and Cheryl Everett, Christine Lay, Assistant Superintendent, Gettysburg Area School District, Pennsylvania

Why are There so Few Women in Science, Technology and Mathematics?

Girls and boys have separate, but equal intelligences. So, why is it that boys more often pursue STEM jobs?  Why do girls lose interest in these areas over time? The AAUW Research Report, “Why So Few?” highlights the issues that affect the involvement of girls and women in STEM. The report also notes recommendations for guiding girls and for changing the culture that influences their participation in STEM education and careers. Learn some of the truths about girls and women involved in STEM and what can be done to encourage them to pursue a role in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Colleen Smith, Outreach Coordinator, Penn State Electro-Optics Center, Freeport, Pennsylvania

Awards Presentation and Keynote Speaker, Susan Winebrenner:


Historically, our country has provided gifted education services in several ways. Separate full time classes served only a small percentage of gifted students. Pull-out programs were part time - with very little connection to what the students were experiencing in their regular classrooms. Cluster grouping solves those problems and represents a paradigm shift in making gifted education an integral part of the regular school programs. The Schoolwide Cluster Grouping Model is a cost-effective and highly successful method to deliver full time educational programs for gifted students without significant additional cost to the district. Included are strategies for compacting and differentiating both content that is unfamiliar to students, as well as content they have previously mastered.

Session B (10:40-11:40 AM):

Parenting and Teaching Strategies for Children’s Lifetime Success

Successful people are those who have learned the benefits of working hard to achieve short and long-term goals. This session will help you discover what can be done to encourage children to welcome challenges in school and life.  Parents and teachers will learn easy to implement strategies that will increase bright children’s’ willingness to take risks and engage in creative and challenging learning situations.

Susan Winebrenner, author, Teaching Gifted Kids in the Regular Classroom, San Diego, California

Battling the Myths of Gifted Education

Through an understanding of these myths and misinterpretation about the specialized educational needs of the gifted student, you can become a more informed and effective advocate for these students.

Rebecca Coleman, Family Consultant at the Davidson Institute for Talent Development, Reno, Nevada

Myths, Misconceptions, and Frequently Asked Questions about Academic Acceleration

While it is important to consider both pros and cons of any educational decision, many of the worries about acceleration are based on misinformation.  In this session, research findings will be used to answer common questions about acceleration, including those focused on academic issues, such as, "Will accelerated students have gaps in their knowledge?" and social/emotional issues, such as, "Will acceleration hurt gifted students' self-concept?"  Important factors to consider when making an acceleration decision will be summarized and the key resources available to make this decision will be noted. Also, information and guidelines for the development of district-wide acceleration policies will be shared.

Mary Ann Swiatek, PhD, Psychologist, Former PAGE Board Member, Author, PAGE Bulletin: Academic acceleration: An overview. Research bulletin published by the Pennsylvania Association for Gifted Education (PAGE).

Using the Classroom Diagnostic Tools (PDE) to Inform GIEP Planning

The Pennsylvania Department of Education has provided middle and high school level teachers with a valuable classroom diagnostic tool. This tool will potentially aid educators in determining a student’s instructional level in literacy, math, and some areas of science. This session will review how this tool fits into the Pennsylvania Standard Aligned System (SAS) of assessment, and how this particular tool can inform more precise present educational levels (PLEPs) in relation to grade level/course level standards.

Tanya Morret, Educational Consultant, Capital Area Intermediate Unit, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and Cheryl Everett, Science Staff Development Specialist and Gifted Education Liaison, Chester County Intermediate Unit, Downingtown, Pennsylvania

The Stewardship of Potential:  Helping Gifted Students Navigate the Social and Emotional Challenges They Face

Gifted students possess wonderful talents and perceptions, but they can also struggle with social and emotional problems that are directly related to their giftedness.  During this workshop, we will explore a number of the affective issues that gifted students may face and describe ways to help them work through these challenges in order to become happier and more successful people.

Peg Solitario, former state officer for the New Jersey Association for Gifted Children, a site director for the Summer Institute for the Gifted.

Session C (1:40-2:40 PM):

Differentiating for Gifted Students in Cluster Grouping Classes

This session will help you become more knowledgeable about the techniques that may be used to adapt grade level curriculum and standards to meet the learning needs of your most academically capable students in Cluster Grouping classes.  Included are strategies for compacting and differentiating content for both content that is unfamiliar to students, as well as content they have previously mastered.

Susan Winebrenner, author, Teaching Gifted Kids in the Regular Classroom, San Diego, California

Great Books for Growing Thinkers

This session is an exploration of outstanding literature, past and current, to engage and challenge the gifted reader. Dr. McGovern will introduce and comment about specific titles and strategies that can connect to both curriculum and high-level skill development. He will also share models of mentor text, both fiction and nonfiction, that may serve to improve student writing.

Dr. Jack McGovern, Former Teacher, Headmaster, and Professor, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Testing and Assessment of Gifted Children:  What Does it Mean?

We talk about testing gifted children, but what do the tests actually tell us? What are they assessing, achievement or intelligence, and does it matter?  YES! Learn about what various tests measure and how they inform decisions, how their results apply to the day-to-day reality of the gifted child in the classroom, and how they should be used to frame Present Levels and develop appropriate goals in the GIEP.

Carolyn Kottmeyer, Founder and Director of Hoagies’ Gifted Education Page, Downingtown, Pennsylvania

What Works at the High School for the Gifted: A Panel Presentation

This workshop session will describe a range of programs and options for challenging the gifted student in the high school, ones that may also meet Chapter 16 requirements for specially designed instruction. Learn about alternative and learning extensions that connect to student interests, and often go beyond classroom and school walls. Where do A.P courses, honors, dual enrollment, and accelerated courses fit - and what more challenge or gifted education programming is needed or not?  Not easy questions to answer, but let's try our best.

Jeff Bugenhagen, Upper Merion High School; Jane Ferris, Director University Scholars Program, PA Leadership Charter School; Maria Geffers, East Stroudsburg School District; Taryn S. Kilbert, Director of High School Experiential Learning-PA Virtual Scholars Academy; James LoGiudice, PAGE Past President and  former Board Member, Gifted Education Advisor and Panel Moderator; Karie Walaan, Gifted and Talented Coordinator, PA Cyber Charter School

Creativity:  The Much Needed Ingredient for Challenging the Gifted

Innovative, original thinking is a necessary tool for writing, mathematical problem solving, and scientific process skills. It is one proven way to increase the levels of engagement and achievement for the gifted. This session will help teachers understand creativity and the stages in the creative process to achieve it.

Linda Deal, Gifted Education Consultant, Adjunct Professor, Millersville University

Session D (2:50-3:50 PM):

Finding the Best College Fit for Gifted Students

Once, a meritocracy in which talented students were justly rewarded for their efforts, the college admission’s process has become a highly strategic and commercialized exercise. Institutions jockey for rankings and wrestle with meeting internal agendas. This workshop de-mystifies the college acceptance process by revealing those agendas, and interpreting the various admission and financial aid strategies used to attract students. Relevant tools to assist talented students in finding and gaining admission to colleges that fit them will be offered.

Peter Van Buskirk, President, The Admission Game, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Cultivating Gifted Enrichment Within the Community

The local community is often overlooked as a component and integral partner to school enrichment programs.  Alternative enrichments within the community provide gifted students with opportunities to exchange traditional school experiences for more authentic and hands-on learning. This awareness and application of investigative and other high level thinking skills is an effective way to connect learning for gifted students to their local environment.

Abby Alexander, Gifted Education Facilitator, School District of Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Paradox with Promise; The Gifted Child with Asperger Syndrome

This session will examine the Gifted Child on the Spectrum as a unique learner in both the gifted community and in the PDD community.  This student offers the world a new perspective while being challenged by the world they live in.  We will consider methods to help him reconcile their experience with the real world to create a better world for everyone.

Cheryle Radcliffe, Gifted Support Coordinator of Gifted Services K-12, Souderton High School, Lansdale, PA

Make Your Online Classroom “Bloom” With STEM!

In this session, participants will learn how to transform their classroom into an actual STEM lab! Learn how to reach out to organizations like NASA, Engineering Go for It, and PBS Design Squad to bring real world engineering problems into your online classroom, allowing gifted students to access higher order thinking skills and truly “Bloom.” This session is particularly useful for anyone looking to create a virtual STEM lab, but is equally as beneficial for any classroom teacher interested in creating a STEM lab in their school. 

Tara Park, Teacher, Cindy Wilts, Teacher, Amy Markle, Family Support Coordinator, Pennsylvania Virtual Charter School, Brookhaven, Pennsylvania

Current Legal Issues and Practical Tips About Gifted Education Law

This interactive session will focus on current decisions and trends in gifted education law in Pennsylvania, and other Chapter 16 implications. This presentation will include case studies based on recent hearing and appeals decisions, and offer some tips on how to minimize liability.

Gabrielle Sereni, Raffaele & Puppio Law Firm, practicing school attorney and PAGE Legal Advisor

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