The Most Pressing Concerns and Questions of Parents of Gifted Learners -SENGinar

Presented by Dr. Joanne Foster


In this session, we focus on THE MOST IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS for parents who seek to support and encourage gifted/high-ability learners. And, for those who wonder, “What matters most?” the answer is, “That which is central to, and has a bearing upon, children’s day-to-day well-being.” However, kids’ lives are like whirlwinds—busy, unpredictable, and demanding—and therefore lots of parents have serious concerns. Many also raise questions that warrant thoughtful address.

Dr. Joanne Foster reveals some of the most pressing concerns about children’s and teen’s well-being, and she discusses several of the most often-asked questions—in particular, those relating to eight areas of focus: 1) health and happiness, 2) productivity, 3) coping mechanisms, 4) academic strengths and weaknesses, 5) creative expression, 6) relationships, 7) emotional literacy, and 8) sense of self. Dr. Foster addresses each of these key areas in turn, drawing upon her expertise in child development, decades of professional experience working in the field of gifted education, research findings, and material in her award-winning books.

This SENGinar will inspire those who seek to better understand what’s most important for parenting gifted learners in today’s increasingly complex, changing, and tumultuous world. Dr. Foster offers information, reassurance, up-to-date resources, and practical strategies to help parents empower children to strengthen their capacities, overcome challenges, embrace possibilities, and thrive—as the new year unfolds, and throughout the months and years ahead.

Applications are Being Accepted for The University of Virginia Summer Camps for Grades 4-10

To learn more about Summer Enrichment camps at UVA,  click on the following link.

Link to 2019 Summer Enrichment Camps

Camp Dates and Course descriptions are available at the site listed above.

Application deadline:  February 15, 2019

Needs based financial aid help is available.


Career Exploration and Planning for K-12 Students

The resources listed below contain games, surveys, and data pages about a wide variety of careers.  The content is written to help students in grades K-8 explore a variety of career options.   The information is detailed enough to be helpful for high school students as well.

A link to the  Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook is included for high school students.

Link to Virginia Career Site for K-8 Students

Link to Student Interests Survey for 6th -12th grade students

Link to Information about Career Clusters for 6th-12th grade students

Link to Detailed Job Information for 6th-12th grade students

Link to Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook for 9th-12th grade students and adults

Gifted Referral Window Opens on January 3, 2019 for Students in Grades K-2, 6, and 9-12

The Gifted Identification Referral window for students in grades K-2, 6, and 9-12 opens on January 3, 2019.  HCPS identifies students in mathematics and/or language arts.  Contact the gifted education coordinator at your child’s school elementary school or the gifted resource teacher at your child’s middle school if you have questions about the referral process. Kevin Carr, Coordinator for Secondary Gifted Services, is the contact for all high school referrals.

All referrals for students in grades K,1, 2, and 6 must be submitted in writing to the gifted education coordinator (elementary level) or the gifted resource teacher (middle school level) between January 3, 2019 and January 18, 2019.

If you would like to refer a high school student, please contact Kevin Carr, Coordinator for Secondary Services. (

Referrals are accepted only during the referral window (January 3- January 18).

Student Panel Speaks at Gifted Advisory Meeting

Gifted Program Spotlight


   At the December 6th Gifted Education Advisory Council meeting, middle and high school students took part in a Student Panel where they were able to  discuss their personal views and perspectives on the HCPS Gifted Program.   The students provided insights into their experiences and offered suggestions for program improvement.   After their presentation, members of the student panel spent time answering questions from the council, community members, and HCPS staff.   


College Board Opportunity Scholarships

The College Board Opportunity Scholarships is a new program that guides students through the college planning process and offers them a chance to earn money for college while completing the key steps on their path to college.

The College Board is committing $5 million per year for the next five years to this new scholarship program.  Students across the United States starting with the class of 2020, will have the chance to earn scholarships ranging from $500 to $40,000.  The program focuses on recognizing students who take six college-going actions during their junior and senior years that research show is essential college preparation.

Participating students will complete these six steps:

  1.  Build their college list (600 scholarships worth $500).
  2.  Practice for the SAT (1,500 scholarships worth $1,000).
  3.  Improve their SAT scores (150 scholarships worth $2,000).
  4.  Strengthen their college list (400 scholarships worth $500).
  5.  Fill out the FAFSA (800 scholarships worth $1,000).
  6.  Apply to college (500 scholarships worth $1,000).

Students who complete all six scholarship steps are eligible for a $40,000 scholarship.  Twenty-five students will be selected for this scholarship each year.

The program is open to all students regardless of GPA, test scores, and family income.  Learn more about how you can connect your child to these scholarships.

To learn more — Link to Scholarship information


Davidson Institute for Talent Development Scholarships

2019 Davidson Fellows $50,000, $25,000 and $10,000 Scholarships

The Davidson Institute for Talent Development offers high-achieving young people across the country the opportunity to be named a 2019 Davidson Fellow, an honor accompanied by a $50,000, $25,000 or $10,000 scholarship in recognition of a significant piece of work in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Music, Literature, Philosophy or Outside the Box. Applicants must submit an original piece of work that is recognized as significant by experts in the field and that has the potential to make a positive contribution to society. The scholarship may be used at any accredited college or university. The deadline to apply is Feb. 13, 2019.

To learn more visit

Little Innovators (K-3) at the Math Science Center

Please check back for additional programs from the Mathematics and Science Innovation Center or check the Mathematics and Science Center site for upcoming classes and activities.


Students and adults together explore the world of STEM  through design-and-build activities,hands-on experiments, and engaging, problem-solving challenges. Although the program is not designed specifically for gifted students, the topics covered may be of interest to your child.

Course titles include:  Coding, Number Ninjas, Winter Wonderland, Power of Play and We Botics for K-1 students.

Second and third grade workshop titles include: Build a Bot, Little Coders, Lunar Landers, Electronic Switchers, and Roaming Robots.

Dates: Saturday, January 12 or January 19, 2019
Snow Date: February 2, 2019
Time: 9:30 AM to 12 PM
Locations: Gayton Elementary School, 12481 Church Road, Richmond, VA 23233 or the  MathScience Innovation Center, 2401 Hartman Street, Richmond, VA  23223
Cost: $15 per class (includes 1 student and 1 adult)

 Program Brochure 


How Parents Play a Role in Supporting the Development of Successful Habits of the Mind

The introduction to the Habits of the Mind Parent Resource by Art Costa, Ed.D, Professor Emeritus at California State University begins…

The purpose of this article is to help parents understand and foster positive learning habits in their children–habits that will produce success in school, work and life.

Considerable research demonstrates that successful people in most any walk of life display certain characteristics or dispositions. I call them Habits of Mind.They are patterns of thinking and behaving in intelligent ways and are displayed when confronted with life’s dilemmas and problems. We want our children to develop those habits that lead them to become lifelong
learners, effective problem solvers and decision makers, able to communicate with a diverse population and to understand how to live successfully in a rapidly changing, high tech world. In this article 12 of those habits will be described. Strategies for how you, as parents, can help your child develop these habits, and ways to observe whether your child is getting better at
them will be suggested. This list is not meant to be complete. As we learn more about success habits, we will discover additional indicators of growth in children’s thinking abilities.


Read the entire Habits of the Mind article by clicking here.

Google Training for Elementary Resource Teachers

Gifted Program Spotlight      

Elementary Gifted Resource Teachers visited the Math Science Innovation Center to participate in the workshop, Living the G-Suite Dream: Teaching Math with Google Apps.  The session focused on how to use Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms to enhance math instruction.  Specific sample lessons and activities were shared.  Having this information will be helpful as resource teachers collaborate with classroom teachers to help design projects that support math instruction.