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Originally delivered on 8/18/2022 11:46 pm

SUBJECT: An update from SAGE

Supporting and Advocating for YOU

SAGE wants to thank everyone who provided feedback regarding the changes to high school GT course offerings. Your input was shared at our executive board meeting this morning, and it guided our next steps. We are hosting a strategy meeting Friday, August 19, at Lifesong’s LifeStage Theatre at 4:30 pm to share what we decided to do as an organization and to hear the additional ideas you would like to see SAGE advocate for in order to provide a solution to this issue. We are aware that there is very little time between now and the meeting, so we encourage you to network and connect with someone who is able to attend. We will also communicate actions you can take to help us advocate for our gifted community.

LifeStage Theatre is located at 3105 Ira E Woods Avenue, Grapevine TX 76051

A Letter to the GCISD School Board

Date:        August 18, 2022

To:        Mr. Casey Ford, President of GCISD School Board and Dr. Robin Ryan, GCISD Superintendent of Schools

From:         Mrs. Jamie Weatherall, President of GC-SAGE

Re:         Changes to GT support

I’m writing to you as president of Grapevine-Colleyville Supporting and Advocating for Gifted Education (GC-SAGE), which was founded twelve years ago to support and advocate for all gifted and talented (GT) students in our area. We represent almost 2,400 GCISD families with a GT identified student as well as hundreds of educators who expertly implement the differentiated, accelerated, and advanced courses in our district.

We are concerned about the district’s recent and sudden change to gifted and talented support. To explain: This semester, GT courses at both primary high schools that were previously open only to students with a GT educational need are now “stacked” courses, an educational term meaning that the course is open to both GT and non-GT identified students. GCISD’s rigorous GT testing process is intended to allow the district to cluster students so that the pace and rigor of each class is finely tuned to maximize academic growth. Stacking the courses is not what SAGE and the GT community expect, and we are troubled at what this move may signal regarding the future of GT in GCISD.

The SAGE Executive Board makes the following requests:

  • A meeting with Dr. Schnautz, Dr. Leslie, and the leadership team to review the expectations of our families and determine the best way to preserve the culture of commitment to meeting the needs of all gifted learners 

  • For the fall semester, an explanation of how differentiation will occur in these “stacked” classes

  • For the spring semester, a consideration to rebuild the master schedule to reinstate the GT courses 

  • Assurances that the GT high school classes will continue to be offered in the future

Our board strongly believes that every child deserves a year’s worth of growth, and we look forward to partnering with you to meet the needs of gifted students, their families, and our educators. We assure you that SAGE will work to help parents understand the decision that is being made, and we trust that as a district we will remain true over the long run to the work of our district to serve gifted and talented students.

CC: Dr. Brad Schnautz, Deputy Superintendent and Dr. Julie Leslie, Director of Advanced Academics

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