Archive for May, 2011

Registration open for summer session of Saturday School at GSU

May 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Saturday School for Scholars and Leaders, a program of Georgia State University, has opened registration for its summer session of Saturday classes.

Children in grades K-8 can choose from classes in a variety of subjects, from art to public speaking, computers to sharks. The summer session begins on July 9 and will meet for four weeks, ending on July 30. Classes meet in the mornings on the downtown GSU campus.

The Saturday School web site says there are also a few spaces remaining for its one-week summer day camp, to be held next week.

Off topic: “Choking game” robs local family of their gifted son

May 17, 2011 1 comment

Forgive me for going off topic, but this is something I felt was too important not to share.

This week, a 5th-grade student at my child’s school died from playing “the choking game.” That’s where kids cut off the air to their brains to get a buzz.

You’d like to think smart kids would know better than to try something like this, but the child our school lost was incredibly bright and gifted. He loved to read, was an outstanding student, and was a talented musician and athlete. He was like any of our kids. Yet as smart as he was, he didn’t see the danger in what he was doing.

This boy’s family is hoping that in the wake of their loss, other parents will educate their children about this “game” that can kill. You can find more information through GASP, a non-profit organization.

Categories: Parenting

One month left to apply to Advanced Academy early college at UWG

May 16, 2011 Leave a comment

The Advanced Academy of Georgia, a residential program located at the University of West Georgia in Carrollton, is now accepting applications for Fall 2011.

The Academy mostly admits rising high-school juniors and seniors, although the school will consider younger students of exceptional ability.

Advanced Academy can be an ideal environment for students with both the intellect and social maturity to get an early start on their college experience, in an environment where they have like-minded peers.

Unlike some early college options, Advanced Academy is one of a handful of programs in the United States where a high-school student can learn in a college setting — including living on campus — while earning both high-school and college course credits. That means they begin earning credits for a college degree, while at the same time being able to fulfill the requirements for a high-school diploma.

The application deadline is June 15.

Categories: Beyond K-12

Summer University at Kennesaw State for grades 1-12

May 15, 2011 Leave a comment

Sorry I’m giving you this a little late in the summer camp searching season, but I just found it.

Kennesaw State University will host Summer University, a series of week-long day camps for kids rising into grades 1-12. Available classes cover a wide range of topics, including cooking, photography, LEGO robotics, science, writing and lots more.

The camps begin the week of June 6 and continue through late July. Each week is a separate camp, with fees ranging from $229 to $299 per week.

Categories: Summer programs

Legislative news: U.S. Congress now considering the TALENT Act to support gifted education

May 11, 2011 1 comment

Legislation that would establish new standards for gifted education has been introduced in both the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate.

The TALENT Act (To Aid Gifted and High-Ability Learners by Empowering the Nation’s Teachers Act) was introduced in both houses of Congress in recent weeks. Elements of the bill would:

  • require states, districts and schools to measure the academic growth and performance of high-ability students.
  • support research into teaching methods that are most effective with gifted students.
  • provide grants for teachers to learn new techniques to use with gifted students, with priority given to schools where high ability students are typically under-served.

The National Association of Gifted Children provides a summary of the bill on its web site, or you can read the full text of the House version or Senate version.

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), one of the sponsors in the Senate, concluded his remarks introducing the bill with this statement:

For too long, Federal education policy has been so focused on preventing failure that we have neglected to promote and encourage success. We can no longer afford to ignore the needs of our brightest students and thus squander their potential. My legislation will put our country on track to tap that potential which is so essential to the future happiness of the students and the future prosperity of our Nation.

(If you have a minute, Sen. Grassley’s moving and pointed statement is worth reading in its entirety.)

The TALENT Act is in the Senate as S.857 and in the House as H.R. 1674. In both houses, the bill has been referred to the committee that handles education matters.

This legislation is sorely needed to help our gifted and talented students achieve at their best. I encourage you to voice your support for the TALENT Act. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Contact our U.S. Senators, Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss, and ask them to cosponsor S.857, the TALENT Act. Sen. Isakson serves on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, which has the bill now, so it’s also appropriate to encourage him to work with the committee to return the bill to the full House with a favorable report as soon as possible.
  2. Contact your Representative in the U.S. House. (The “Find Your Representative” tool on the U.S. House web site makes it simple to locate and contact the right person.) Ask him or her to become a co-sponsor of H.R. 1674, the TALENT Act. No Representatives from Georgia are on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, which has the bill.

I will be keeping an eye on both of these bills and will keep you posted on their progress.

Categories: Advocacy and policy

Atlanta Public Schools Xanadu application is live!

May 10, 2011 Leave a comment

NOTE: This is information from 2011. For 2012 information, see the Xanadu / Summer Academy 2012 post on this blog.

* * *

Atlanta Public Schools has now posted the brochure and application for the 2011 Xanadu summer program.

The camp will be held June 6 – July 1 at Parkside Elementary School in Southeast Atlanta. Xanadu is open to children in rising K-5. Children do not have to attend APS schools to attend Xanadu; however, the fee for non-APS students is double — $500 for four weeks, as compared with $250 for APS students.

The Xanadu program is run by the Office of Gifted and Talented Services and is billed as an enrichment camp for scholars, leaders and high achievers, but children do not have to be gifted identified to attend.

The deadline to register is May 27 (or postmarked by May 25). Some class choices are bound to fill up ahead of that deadline, though.

Robotics camp for rising middle schoolers at Walton High School in Marietta

May 8, 2011 Leave a comment

From today’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Marietta’s Walton High School is now accepting applications for its 4-day Robotics Camp scheduled to be held June 13 through June 16 at the school’s campus at 1590 Bill Murdock Rd., Marietta. The camp is open to kids entering grades 6-8. Students will have a chance to build their own robots and compete with others to find out whose is best. The cost is $125. For an application and more information go to

The time is now to request transfers in Atlanta Public Schools

May 6, 2011 Leave a comment

Tomorrow will be the first of several days when parents can apply to Atlanta Public Schools for “general administrative transfers.” APS allows students to attend any school in the system, provided the school has spaces available.

Unfortunately, it looks like slim pickings at the elementary school level. None of the six elementary schools that use the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum are accepting transfers, and only one of the APS elementary schools that employs a full-time gifted instructor – Fickett Elementary – has spaces available.

Brown Middle School, which is home to an academy for gifted identified students, is accepting transfer applications.

There are also spaces available at North Atlanta High School, which offers the IB Diploma Programme. Students who earn an IB diploma will be given a year’s worth of college credit by many universities.

Also open for transfers is the early college program at Washington High School.

The school system has posted a complete list of schools that are accepting transfer requests.

You don’t need to break your neck trying to get to the school offices tomorrow. The system no longer grants spaces on a first-come, first-served basis. Instead, they will take applications between May 7 and June 4, and in any cases where the number of applications exceeds the number of open spaces, a lottery will be held to assign spaces.

Students from outside APS can apply to schools that have space available. If enrolled, they must pay tuition. For 2010-11, tuition was just over $10,000.

For complete information, see the APS Student Transfers page.

Atlanta Public Schools taking applications for gifted Summer Academy

May 6, 2011 Leave a comment

NOTE: This is information from 2011. For 2012 information, see the Xanadu / Summer Academy 2012 post on this blog.

May 5 has come and gone and the Atlanta Public Schools gifted office hasn’t yet posted its application for the Xanadu summer program for elementary school kids, which I know people are looking for.

On the bright side, APS has posted the brochure and application for its Summer Academy for middle- and high-school students. This program offers courses in a variety of disciplines, including photography, film making, engineering, history, fine arts and lots more.

The camp is held at the Woodruff Arts Center in midtown. Students can attend a two-week or four-week program, and the cost for APS students is very reasonable. (Students who don’t attend APS schools can also attend, but the fees are doubled.)

APS recommends you apply between May 10 and May 26. Courses are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Upcoming rocketry and astronomy events at Tellus

May 5, 2011 Leave a comment

The Tellus Museum in Cartersville has a number of space-related activities on its calendar in the coming month.

This Saturday, May 7, for National Astronomy Day, the museum will have its observatory open for solar viewing by day, and viewing of the moon and Saturn after dark. The museum also will host three lectures on astronomy.

On June 3 at 7 p.m.,  visitors to the museum can hear Charles Carter talk about his work on the Saturn V rocket. The next day, Saturday, June 4, Tellus will offer a model rocketry workshop, where you can build and launch a model rocket. This activity is open to ages 8 and up. There is a fee ($10 for members; $25 for non-members) and reservations are required. Call (770) 606-5700, ext. 417, to reserve a spot.

Categories: Enrichment