Superintendent Forum on Gifted Education Draws a Large Crowd

March 23, 2012

More than 400 people attended the March 22 forum;
Next forum is April 16 on special education

More than 400 people joined Superintendent of Schools Joshua P. Starr Thursday night for a discussion on gifted education. The event, held at Col. Zadok Magruder High School, was the second of four forums that Dr. Starr will hold throughout the spring.

“It was amazing to see the number of staff, parents and community members who turned out to have a spirited discussion on our efforts to educate and meet the needs of our gifted students,” Dr. Starr said. “This is just the beginning of the conversation and I look forward to delving deeper into this topic.”

A panel of experts highlighted national trends and ongoing MCPS initiatives to improve accelerated and enriched instruction. The panelists were Dr. Monique Felder, director of Accelerated and Enriched Instruction at MCPS; Ms. Michelle Gluck, parent and chair of the MCCPTA Subcommittee for the Gifted Child; Ms. Nancy Green, executive director of the National Association for Gifted Children; Dr. Donna Hollingshead, community superintendent at MCPS; Ms. Catherine Jasperse, principal of Rock Creek Valley Elementary School; and Ms. Maricel Keeter, first grade teacher at Rock Creek Valley Elementary School.

After the panel discussion, the 420 parents, community members and staff in attendance participated in small-group discussions to share thoughts, ideas and concerns. The discussions were facilitated by MCPS staff, and topics discussed were shared with the panelists at the end of the forum.

Among the topics addressed during the forum were the process for identifying gifted students, access to services, how to foster effective two-way communication, and teacher training.

Dr. Starr’s next forum, which will take place on Monday, April 16, at Seneca Valley High School, will focus on special education. The first forum, on the topic of English language learners, was held on March 12. More than 200 people were in attendance. Video and related material from the event are available on the MCPS website.

The dates, topics and locations for the remaining forums are:
- Monday, April 16, Seneca Valley High School—
Special Education 
- Thursday, May 10, Walt Whitman High School—
Social and Emotional Learning

Superintendent’s Spring Forum website.

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