Promoting childrens\' education

2017 President’s Address 0

January 27, 2017

Dear Members & Friends,

I hope 2017 is off to a good start and you’re not totally buried in snow! I want to keep you updated on the current state of gifted education in Idaho. It was so nice to see so many of you at Winter Edufest in Coeur d’Alene. There were many great presenters and excellent discussion about gifted kids. I heard many positive comments about programs across the state that are developing, continuing, and striving to meet the needs of gifted students. Good work is happening in districts all across Idaho!

ITAG/SAGE is ecstatic that direct funding for gifted education has been restored and we are grateful for the longtime members and supporters for their instrumental role in restoring this funding. The allocated funds from the 2016/2017 Education Budget are in the process of being disbursed to districts. The money will be made available to all districts that have completed and submitted a 3 Year Plan to the State Department of Education. This money can currently only be used for professional development, such as Edufest, and identification. This was a line item in the 2016/2017 budget.

The 2017 Legislature is currently in session. Education Week is wrapping up today.
Again, there is a line item in the proposed budget for gifted education this session. ITAG/SAGE would like to see the language of the bill revised to allow the funding to be used for more than just professional development and identification, such as curriculum, testing, and program development. We would also like to see additional accountability for districts through required reporting of how the funds were distributed. I encourage you to contact your legislators on the Education Committee (link) and express your appreciation for the line item and their continued support of gifted education.

The winner of the GEM Award for 2016 was Dianne Bevis, from the Boise School District. Dianne has been a tireless advocate for gifted students and ITAG/SAGE was extremely pleased to honor her with this deserving award. Dianne was nominated by colleagues and parents that witnessed the impact she had on gifted students. Congratulations to Dianne!

Please take the time to nominate a deserving educator for the Gifted Educator Milestone (GEM) Award. Visit our website for more information and to complete a nomination.

Looking ahead to Summer 2017, please save the date for the 21st Annual Summer Edufest in Boise. It will be held from July 24th through July 28th. It is Idaho’s foremost professional development conference. Last year, ITAG/SAGE awarded two full scholarships for Edufest, including room and board, to teachers in rural Idaho. We will offer these scholarships again this year. Stay connected with ITAG/SAGE through social media for updates on opportunities like this, such as mini-grants and events!

Thank you for all you do for gifted students and your continued support and membership in ITAG/SAGE.

Sincerely,
Ingrid Jungen
ITAG/SAGE President
ingrid.jungen@boiseschools.org

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