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North Idaho Gifted Facilitators’ Letter of Support for Restoration of Gifted Training Grant 0

9/26/13

Superintendent Luna, Chief of Staff Luci Willits, Deputy Chief Jason Hancock,

I am writing as a representative to North Idaho districts in support of the restoration of the Idaho Gifted Training Grant. I have been involved in gifted education in Idaho for the past 25 years. During the last few years I have witnessed an increased need for gifted services as classroom teachers concentrate instruction on bringing all students to a proficient level. The saddest piece to this story is this is that highly capable students have actually been losing ground. During this same period of time, school budgets have been cut and the G/T Training Grant to support gifted services in Idaho was eliminated.

The state of Idaho has mandated services to gifted students, yet programs all over the state, and particularly in our smaller districts are gone. Currently, whether gifted children’s abilities are noticed and developed depends largely on where they live and which school they attend. This is unacceptable. The original G/T Training Grant was very effective in providing a means to quality training for gifted facilitators as well as classroom teachers in support of the state mandate to educate gifted learners . Many of those teachers are retiring. It is crucial for our children that current teachers have the training and support they need to ensure that our most capable learners are actually learning.

I support ideas within both Proposal A and B of the Idaho Gifted Training Grant Restoration recommended by the Idaho Gifted Association (ITAG), as long as funds are granted equitably to all areas of the state. I would encourage you to adopt the wording in Proposal B if “Training Scholarships” are to be part of the grant. Proposal A limits the scholarships to just the Edufest Conference in Boise, while Proposal B is less exclusive and includes Edufest, Winter Edufest (which happens in Coeur d Alene), the CEC Conference or other quality gifted trainings. All of these conferences are excellent training opportunities and give teachers choices in locations and time of year they can participate in training.

Respectfully and ever advocating for gifted kids,

Marcia Wall

North Idaho Facilitators of Talented Youth

208-659-7259

mrwall2@hotmail.com

5571 N Pinegrove Drive

Coeur d Alene, ID 83815

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