May 13, 2014: PGE Letter Facilities Plan & School Closures
By now, we hope you heard this past week about proposed and promoted changes to Rockford District 205’s facilities’ and student assignment plans including relocation of the Washington Renaissance Gifted Academy students to the current location of the Maria Montessori Program on N. Rockton Avenue and to Marshall Middle School on N. Rockton Avenue in Northwest Rockford. In the proposal, Washington Elementary students will be split between the two schools.
PGE has prepared a letter in response and to supply futher information for PGE parents and students. ClickHERE to view the complete letter in printable pdf format.
|The 2012-2013 Ruth Harris Scholarship Winners
The 2012-2013 Ruth Harris Scholarship senior award winners from Auburn High School were Jessica Beard and Jake Brekelbaum. We are honored to know these two students. Below are the remarks–regarding the achievements and character of our winners–made by PGE President Jeanne Westholder at the Auburn High School Senior Awards Night for Class of 2013:
In our first recipient’s application essay, he demonstrated that he embodies the spirit of this scholarship—the pursuit of knowledge itself—by mentioning that he appreciates the Renaissance Program’s “challenge to think outside my default schema” and how the program has “pushed those of us who were willing to go above and beyond what was required”. A teacher described how he “takes advantage of every opportunity to learn, whether or not it’s within his areas of strength and comfort.” Last summer, he pursued other educational experiences through an engineering internship with Austin Westran balancing this 24-hour per week commitment with summer homework, a part-time job, and church and youth group activities.
Additionally, he has shown commitment to the Auburn community: he is co-captain of the Golf and Baseball this year, and is involved in countless extracurricular activities here at Auburn. He credits his teachers who “have grown our minds by challenging us to reach conclusions on our own. This method and the rigorof the program have made us all better writers, readers, and thinkers.”
Our second recipient wrote that she has embraced the idea “the unexamined life is not worth living since childhood, when I would question everything (and occasionally break things open) just to understand the world around me.” She went on to say that, “I want to spend my life in a lab trying to work out the mysteries of chemistry.” One of her teachers explained that this recipient “is not just satisfied to meet the requirements of the subject. She always wants to probe deeper. She understands the commitment it takes to truly understand a subject and the time and energy needed to gain mastery.” Another teacher wrote, “she enjoys learning and will be a life-long learner because she looks for opportunities to learn new things and is willing to take risks to do so.” She wrote herself, “a variety of class –at Auburn—have allowed me to peer into many topics, and for each question I have answered I seem to find another dozen in its place . . . teachers have been willing to entertain my questions, and that has made all the difference in my life . . . I plan to carry on much the same way in college: leave no stone unturned and no club untried, and I have the Academy to thank for that approach to the world.”
The Ruth Harris Scholarship award is given by the Parents for Gifted Education in remembrance of Ruth Harris, -a dedicated administrator for the gifted program in the Rockford Public Schools for many years. She passed away while in the position of director of the gifted program.
In 1975, Ruth Harris began working for the Rockford Public Schools as the psychologist of its nascent gifted program. In the subsequent years, Ruth became the mainstay of the program, weathering many changes in district and school administrations, student populations, and definitions of “giftedness.” She showed a special sincere interest in keeping the gifted program strong.
Those who knew her well often have remarked how much she cared for the students. In her conversations she showed a special interest in students who showed a passion and energy for learning.
This scholarship is targeted towards those students who best embody the creativity, drive, intellectual intensity, and leadership the gifted program seeks to nurture in gifted students; but not singularly for success in a career, but more importantly for the joy in the pursuit of knowledge itself.
|Scholarship Opportunity for Auburn High School Seniors in
CAPA and/or Renaissance AcademiesPGE Ruth Harris Book Scholarship
Mon. March 31 – Fri. May 2, 2014 Parents for Gifted Education (PGE) is seeking applicants for the 2013-2014 PGE Ruth Harris Book Scholarship. Applicants must be Seniors at Auburn High School in the Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) or Renaissance Academies.Application forms and instructions are available via the document links on the PGE website, or in the Auburn High School counseling office (see Mrs. Nicole Joyner – Counselor, or Mrs. Canfield – Counseling Receptionist.)One or two $500 scholarships will be awarded to recipients at the Auburn High School Senior Awards night on Tuesday, May 20, 2014.Please share this information and opportunity with any senior that you know in one of our two Gifted academies at Auburn High School. Their time to act is now.Here are links to pdf files for Instructions and an Application:PGE Ruth Harris Scholarship ApplicationPGE Ruth Harris Scholarship Instructions
|SURVEY RESULTS PRESENTED AND DISCUSSED AT DECEMBER MEETING
Parents met December 12 to discuss the results of seperate surveys sent out to parents, teachers, and past and present students. The full results are presented as links below:
|PGE Survey Results
Click here to view some of the comments from the Proposal on Grades 7-12 to Auburn Freshman Campus Survey
|Subject: Gifted move analysis PGE
In order to help you discuss the gifted program more productively with the administration and with each other in your meetings, we have put some information together for you.
You can download the complete information here (ANALYSIS FOR MOVING GIFTED PROGRAM GRADES 7-12 TO AUBURN FRESHMAN CAMPUS) and here (Auburn AP Scores for School Year Ending 2010).
We also still have a public forum scheduled at Auburn this Thursday night to get more public input.
Since you have many issues to discuss at your board meeting tomorrow night, we hope that you will take advantage of this concise compiled information. Many parents from Washington will not be able to be at the board meeting tomorrow because of the music concert and three basketball games at the school tomorrow night.
Thank you for your public service and for taking the pro-active stance to ensure that the gifted program fulfills its valuable mission to the community.
|Download the PGE Survey
You can download the Parents for Gifted Education Survey:
|PGE To Sponsor Public Forums on Administration’s
Proposal to Move Gifted Program to Freshman CampusPublic Forums:
Tuesday, November 30, 6:00pm til 8:00pm, Washington Academy AuditoriumThursday, Dec. 9, 7:00pm- 8:30pm, Auburn Freshman Campus Auditorium
The superintendent, Lavonne Sheffield, has asked administrators to look into moving the gifted program grades 7 thru 12 to the Freshman Campus. Michele Beach, the administrator in charge of gifted curriculum, is looking for input from teachers, students, and parents as well as the general public.The genesis of this idea evidently comes from the superintendent’s interest in expanding the gifted program. Moving grades 6 thru 8 to Auburn Freshman Campus(AFC) opens up spots at Washington. Moving grades 10 through 12 to AFC also is intended to open up more spots at all higher grades as well.
In a meeting this week Michele Beach said this proposal is at its earliest stages with adequate analysis and input from all stakeholders required. With a large budget deficit facing the district, cost considerations are a large part of the analysis.We have been told that all input is welcome; including the time frame, costs, curriculum, arts offerings, foreign lanquages,class size considerations, staff needs, facility concerns (such as number of adequate labs and rooms, room for expansion, library and supplies needs),extracurriculars, sports teams(seperate or as part of Auburn) , safety, discipline, grading scales, measuring performance, commitment to adequate course offerings, gifted program growth, college placement, counseling, teacher selection, relationship to the Auburn main campus, forecasted student numbers in the first few years, displacement of current programs at AFC, teacher schedules and courses to teach, and effect on recruitment to the gifted program.
Come to the PGE Meetings to learn what is happening and to offer and listen to other’s input on this issue.Directories Have Been Delivered and Handed Out to StudentsIf you filled out a directory form at registration for a free directory and do not get a directory in the next few days, please notify us at firstname.lastname@example.org .If you want an extra directory or did not fill out a directory form, you can purchase one for $10.00. Just let us know of your interest.
|Visit and Bookmark Auburn’s New Web Site: Click here|
|U.S. News & World Report magazine names Auburn High School one of America’s best public high schools (2008)|
|PGE MEETING SCHEDULE
|June 13, 2006: Academy Word Paper Survey Results
Click here to view the results of a survey regarding the Word Paper assignment for Academy Junior English.
|December 2, 2005: Auburn Student Survey Results
The results of the Auburn Academy Student Survey regarding school workload are in and tallied. Click hereto see a spreadsheet summary of the results. Click here to see a complete summary of student comments.
Click here to read an updated version of a concise but thorough explanation of the benefits and advantages of choosing the Gifted Program for your child’s education. (pdf format)
|PGE Meeting Minutes for 2000-2002 are now available in the PGE Archives. Click the button or clickhere to go to the Archives Page.|
|Welcome to the web site for PGE. PGE is an organization dedicated to students in theRockford , Illinois public school system who have opted to participate in the differentiated Centralized Academic, Creative and Performing Arts Gifted Program of Rockford Public Schools District 205.
PGE has a printed newsletter covering the program as well as events and issues concerning gifted education outside of Rockford . Minutes from past meetings available.
Join PGE: Click here to download the Registration form for PGE (pdf format – click hereto learn about pdf files.) You can contact a PGE board member if you have any questions. Click here for contact information.
Click here or on the button marked State News to view information Terry James Mohaupt, Chairman, ILLINOIS ASSOCIATION FOR GIFTED CHILDREN Parent Affiliates; IAGC Liaison, and Past President, PARENTS FOR GIFTED EDUCATION.
Click here or the button marked Articles for articles and stories about Gifted Education.
Click here or the button marked FAQs for Frequently Asked Questions.
Click here or the button marked Contact / Links for Contact Information as well as a listing of useful links.
PGE Meeting Minutes Archive:
PGE Fall 2007 Newsletter (PDF*)
Spring 2007 PGE Newsletter (PDF*)
October 2004: Why is taking the PSAT a good idea?Here are some reasons from Mr. Allan Gibbs. (Auburn Counselor)