HISTORY & MISSION

Purpose
Supporters of Talented And Gifted Education (STAGE) is a volunteer community that advocates for everyone interested in academic excellence and opportunity for children in Naperville Community Unit School District 203.

History
In 1987, the Naperville League of Women Voters formed a task force that evolved into a study of gifted education. The gifted education programs in twelve suburban area school districts were examined. As a result of the investigation, an action committee was created, which served as the catalyst for the formation of STAGE.

STAGE became a formal organization in February 1990.  In April of 1998, STAGE entered a formal community partnership with School District 203.

Mission
The partnership's mission is to combine resources and continue to support educational excellence for students by:
  • communicating the value of gifted programming;
  • supporting educational opportunities for children, parents, staff and administration in District 203 by raising awareness of the gifted population and serving as a District 203 liaison that provides feedback on program effectiveness; and providing a network of individuals to facilitate STAGE goals & objectives.

< > oing STAGE Activities
  • Publishing a monthly member email newsletter
  • Sponsoring speakers and social opportunities
  • Directing the Annual Resource Fair, which offers information on summer learning opportunities for children
  • Ensuring STAGE representation on committees that help determine District 203's future direction
  • Maintaining active membership in the Illinois Association of Gifted Children (IAGC)

MULTI-YEAR GOALS & ANNUAL OBJECTIVES

RAISE AWARENESS & COMMUNICATE THE VALUE OF GIFTED PROGRAMMING

Goal: Use Media Access to raise awareness for STAGE and excellence in education

·Objective: By (fiscal) school year 2005/2006, designate a media relations person to the STAGE board, and assign the person specific internal and external communications responsibilities related to the role.

Goal:  Create and maintain a STAGE website that is useful, informational and interactive.

·Objective: Beginning in June 2005, impose an annual review of STAGE's website and begin updating site information monthly. 


Goal: Raise Awareness regarding the impact of budget considerations on academic excellence.

·Objective: Beginning in 2005, STAGE will have a representative attend School Board meetings, report issues to the STAGE Board and, if necessary, report back to the School Board on issues concerning gifted education. 

Goal: Schedule regular face-to-face communication with administrators, including open discussions and topical presentations by STAGE members, administrators, etc.

·Objective: In preparation for the 2005/2006 year, establish a District advisory committee to meet with the STAGE Executive Board.  By June 2005, select four district advisors (one administrator and one representative from each educational level:  high school, junior high school and elementary) and develop a tentative meeting schedule that assures at least three meetings (August, November and March) for the upcoming school year.

SUPPORT EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES

Goal: Offer programs and services that meet the community's needs at each educational level - elementary, junior high and high school.

·Objective: Offer a mini grant opportunity to high school or junior high school students for  program(s) that furthers academic excellence in the 2005/2006 or 2006/2007 school year.

·Objective: Identify academic competitions and extracurricular programs for academic excellence (e.g., Future Problem Solvers, Battle of the Books, Science Olympiad, etc.) and offer grant money to coaches. This grant process furthers academic excellence and helps to promote the business partnership between STAGE and District 203.


Goal: Provide support for STAGE liaisons at each school in their efforts to improve communication with students, parents and teachers in their educational community.

·Objective: By September 2005, establish a STAGE position at each District 203 school and refine, document and communicate the annual and ongoing responsibilities for each STAGE liaison.

·Objective: Have STAGE be a formal reporting position for each Home & School and explore the role, if any, STAGE should play on General Home and School.

·Objective: By May 1, 2005, define dates for the 2005/2006 annual STAGE calendar

Goal: Support teachers in their efforts to provide a stimulating learning environment in the classroom.

·Objective: Secure one training opportunity specifically addressing K-3 enrichment for teachers and/or enrichment professionals within the first half of the school year (i.e., Summer 2005 through January 2006).  If the opportunity is designed for an individual, that individual must agree to share the information via a formal presentation to STAGE and his or her colleagues during the school year. 


DISTRICT LIAISON

Goal: Provide feedback to district personnel as to the effectiveness of programs for academically talented students:  K-3 Enrichment; advanced and accelerated math; Project Idea (PI); PI+; and high school enriched curriculum and counseling.

·Objective: Form study groups to evaluate the following District 203 programs:  (list). Conduct surveys to gauge parental awareness and interest and communicate results to District 203 staff. 

·Objective: Prepare a Best Practices report by September 2005.  Conduct a formal study that evaluates model programs for the gifted.  The study should include a comprehensive literature search on topical areas such as program structure, process, early identification and training.  Conclusions should be drawn between the best performing high school districts and the types of enrichment programs made available to their K-8 feeder schools. 

Goal: Make a sound, well-researched case for challenging those District 203 philosophies that cause concern for STAGE members, such as the timeliness of gifted identification and consistency in structure and process

·Objective:Formally identify District 203's commitment to gifted education by requesting formal position papers on (list specific areas of interest to STAGE members, including but not limited to dual exceptionalities and giftedness with learning issues). 

·Objective:  Although schools tailor their own gifted programming, some consistency could benefit parents, students and administrators.  Help achieve greater consistency across K-3 enrichment programs by advocating the following across the district's 14 schools:
  • Common enrichment criteria
  • Consistent parental notification
  • Consistent quantity and frequency of enrichment
  • Common identification of enrichment school work

·Objective: By year-end 2005, build a case for more appropriate assessment (e.g., earlier identification) through individual research and information received via the Best Practices study.

·Objective: By September 2005, develop an action plan for awareness.  The action plan should stress that giftedness is a learning profile like any other, with unique characteristics and teaching methods, and that all children benefit from differentiated instruction and parental enrichment, when it is possible and available.


Additional Areas of Interest

The following was proposed as an additional "theme of concern" to raise with District administration if and when formal dialog ensues as a result of the Advisory Council. 

District 203 identified staff turnover as an internal trend affecting critical goals, long-term objectives and near-term performance targets.  Evaluate the need for succession planning within District 203 and position STAGE to voice its concerns regarding potential staffing issues in gifted education.

The following was identified as a potential 2006 objective:

Post an Extracurricular Enrichment Guide that lists/describes extracurricular activities taking place in District 203 elementary schools. (Potential Source:  Home & School End of School Year Report)

The following was identified as a potential awareness seminar:

Become literate on testing efficacy and update the STAGE website to include testing information.

revised April 2005
GOALS AND MISSION STATEMENT
SUPPORTERS OF TALENTED AND GIFTED EDUCATION
partners with Naperville School District 203
IMPORTANT NEWS:

DIstrict 203 School Board will make a final decision about the enrichment aides at
the mid-May meeting.

Thanks to Dr. Leis
and Dr. Mitrovich for
meeting with parents
to discuss this issue!

April 21 Naperville
Sun article, "New
plan may save
District 203 jobs"

DISTRICT  203 ANNOUNCES
LAYOFFS OF K-3
ENRICHMENT AIDES
click here for story

SUMMER CAMPS & CLASSES FROM
OUR MARCH 16 SUMMER FAIR:
SEE THE
LINKS HERE!

SCIENCE CHICAGO: BECAUSE LIFE'S A LAB!  A YEAR-LONG CELEBRATION OF SCIENCE!