School starts this week for most kids attending Albuquerque public and independent schools. Many kids are excited, some are not looking forward to it, and parents likely also have mixed feelings (teachers, too!). Best of luck to everyone!
This school year, AAGTS is already actively planning events for meet-ups for kids, families, and for teachers. We are planning our second Teacher Networking Event which will be held Sunday, September 16, 5 - 7 pm in a local park, location to be determined. We're planning a pizza and salad dinner and a time for teachers to reunite to discuss the upcoming school year including concerns and exciting events. Our end-of-year teacher networking event was a huge success, with over 30 teachers from across the city who planned to attend (actual turn out was just a little smaller). AAGTS was told that they really valued the opportunity to create a network and to talk to each other. Details will be forthcoming.
We have kid meet-ups planned through January at this point including an EMS demo in September, bugs and maggot art in October, cow eye dissection in November, and a tentatively planned tour of Q-Lab in January. If you have ideas and/or would like to host a meet-up event, please contact us (info at aagts.org). We aim to schedule events for the second Sunday of the month, 2-4 pm.
I also want to emphasize that AAGTS is an independent, not-for-profit organization that is not affiliated with any school system. We do try to stay on top of what is occurring in the Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) since a majority of our gifted children attend those schools; however, we also want to support families and teachers in the charter and independent schools. We value information about policies and procedures from all venues and hope you will keep us abreast of what is occurring in your school(s).
That said, we do continue to hear of decreasing access to gifted services in APS by means of under-identifying gifted students. I was told by one elementary teacher recently that their school did not identify a SINGLE new gifted student during the 2017-18 school year, something unprecedented at this particular school. I know for a fact that at least a couple of children from that school were subsequently privately tested and found to qualify in all areas of giftedness. There is clearly something wrong with the identification process and it needs to change. Parents must voice their concerns and demand change including that APS use proper tests to identify children's giftedness. We all know that gifted children are at increased risk for depression, substance abuse, and truancy and not providing an appropriate education for these kids increases these risks. We are gathering information and will continue to advocate for a free and appropriate education for our children.
If you know of a family struggling to either get their child(ren) tested for gifted services or are stuck in the SAT process, please have them contact us and we will do what we can to help.
Meanwhile, keep our page bookmarked and watch for updates about upcoming events!