Past News Articles

January 15, 2017 Newsletter

Jeffco GT Parent Seminar - Several Breakout Sessions  January 31st
Understanding the CogAT 7 Assessment for Parents and Students  January 24th
Gifted Exchange Support Group  January 17th
How to Advocate for Your Gifted Child and Interpreting MAP Data
Resources for Families: Anxiety/Depression
Jeffco News - Article "Jeffco Schools Battle Teacher Shortage for Gifted Kids"
School Interest Nights (Showcases)
Summer Programs
GT Enrichment Corner - CSM STEM for Girls, Jeffco Writing Challenge, and Free Days at Museums
CDE ESSA Talking Points
Jeffco Early Access Testing for Entrance to Kindergarten or First Grade for the 2017-2018 School Year
BVGT Presents Jenny Hecht "I am Because We Are"  January 25th
Adams 12 GT Parents Group - Lisa Van Gemert Presents "Delicate Balance of Boundaries With the Gifted"  February 2nd
The Daniel L. Richie Endowed Chair in Gifted Education (formerly IDGE) Conference  February 8th-9th
DCAGT Presents an Educational Fit Panel Program  February 9th
BVGT Presents Ian Byrd "Creating 21st Century Innovators"  February 15th
CAGT Legislative Day  February 23rd
Beyond Giftedness Conference and Parent Mini-Conference  February 24th
Mackintosh Academy Presents Girls in Science & Design  February 25th
DCAGT Presents "Different by Design; Moving from Feeling Defective to Being Distinctive" with Sharon M. Barnes  March 9th
Colorado Teen Literature Conference   April 1st
DCAGT Presents College & Career Readiness by Barb Cousins  April 13th
Rocky Mountain STEAM Fest 2017  April 29th & 30th
Helpful Links
   SENG article "Thoughts on Friendship" by Wenda Sheard
   Gifted Education Communicator - Several articles on giftedness
   Douglas County Parent University Courses (there are often Gifted topics)
   SENG Newsletters
   Previously broadcast SENGinars can be purchased
   Davidson Institute Newsletters
   Gifted Education Press Quarterly Newsletter - Summer 2016
JAGC GT Ambassadors
How you can help JAGC

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Jeffco GT Parent Seminar - Several Breakout Sessions  January 31, 2017

Please join the Jeffco GT Department for several breakout session opportunities:
   - Navigating High School and College
   - Early Access for Kindergarten/1st Grade
   - Social-Emotional Needs of Gifted Learners
   - Twice Exceptional Students (Gifted with a Learning Disability)
   - Interpreting Student Achievement Data (Including interpreting MAP data)

         Tuesday, January 31, 2017
         6:30pm - 8:30pm 
         1829 Denver West Drive, Bldg. #27
         5th Floor Board Room
         Flyer

 Mark your calendars for the next Parent Seminars:
      Monday, February 27, 2017 - "Positive Advocacy for your Gifted Child's Needs" Presented by Dr. Jenny Ritchotte  Flyer 
      Tuesday, April 25, 2017 - GT Share Fair 6:30pm-8:00pm (Student projects from Destination Imagination, Tech Challenge, Service Learning, SPARKS, Passion Projects)

           Parent Seminars are typically held:
           6:30pm-8:30pm 
           1829 Denver West Drive, Bldg #27
           5th Floor Board Room

 More information about this school year's Parent Seminars can be found here. And find Jeffco GT Parent Resources here.

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Understanding the CogAT 7 Assessment for Parents and Students  January 24th

Jeffco Gifted & Talented Department Presents Understanding the CogAT 7 Assessment for Parents and Students. "The Cognitive Abilities Test or CogAT is used to assess students’ abilities in reasoning and problem solving using verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal (spatial) symbols. We will be discussing what these scores mean and how they can be better used to understand the learner."

      Tuesday, January 24, 2017
      6:30pm - 8:00pm
      Jeffco Education Center
      1829 Denver West Drive, Bldg. #27
      Room 4E
      Flyer 

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Gifted Exchange Support Group  January 17th

JAGC "Gifted Exchange" Support Group (3rd Tuesday of the month)
   Tuesday, January 17, 2017
   10:00am
   Bean Fosters Coffeehouse
   SE corner of 6th Avenue & Heritage Rd., across from Jeffco Courthouse
   720 Golden Ridge Road, Unit D, Golden, CO 80401

The group is a place to find support and get new ideas. We look forward to seeing you.  Come share how things are going for your family, ask questions, and share your experiences with others who "get it."  Please help JAGC volunteers plan their time and also reserve enough space.  RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , noting your name.  Your RSVP also allows you to be contacted in the event of a last minute cancellation.

JAGC recognizes that not everyone can make it to a mid-day meeting.  The evening meetings can resume if there is sufficient interest; email us This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Many thanks to Diane Yehle for being your friendly JAGC host at the support group every month.

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How to Advocate for Your Gifted Child and Interpreting MAP Data

Please see an article JAGC President, Susan Miller, wrote to help parents advocate for their gifted child, How to Advocate for Your Gifted Child - Updated 2017.

MAP Assessments - Hopefully you received your child's MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) assessment scores at the parent teacher conferences in October. Parents may have gotten varied detail on their child's MAP scores. Depending on your child's grade, different MAP tests were given. To help you understand the new assessment:
    - Jeffco MAP FAQs  
    - MAP Quick Reference  
    - Normative Data (Score Ranges) 2015 (latest) - Page 3 has the actual score ranges.  
    - MAP to Predicted ACT scores for grades 5-9 (if students stay on track) one pager and full study (page 12 has the ACT predictions). 
    - Parent Brochure for MAP - Aiken County Public Schools in South Carolina put together a nice brochure for parents. 

To help your child strengthen weak areas, Prepdog.org has some help. 

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Resources for Families: Anxiety/Depression

Blue Monday is set for January 16, 2017, according to The Star newspaper in London.  Why do we call this Blue Monday?  Well, the festivities of the holiday season are behind us, our bank accounts are a bit smaller than we would like, and we’re back into the pattern of every day life.  That can cause any of us to feel a bit blue.  But for most of us these feelings pass quickly.  Coloradans benefit from sun, blue skies and access to outdoor activities. 

For others however, depression is not a passing event.  It is a constant in their lives.  As parents, we are acutely aware of our children’s feelings and well-being. And we know that not only can our own children be impacted by depression, but we also know other students in our child’s classroom can have social/emotional issues as well.

Many of our students face stressful days, critical tests and papers are due. Friendships can be complex.  Relationships with parents, teachers, and coaches can be difficult. Anxiety, stress and depression are not uncommon in our advanced learner population. So we do what all parents do; we offer support, encourage our children to breathe and think through their challenges.  But sometimes there is need for greater support than we can provide.

Jeffco recognized the need for more social/emotional support for our children by adding additional dollars to fund more social workers, counselors and psychologists.  But these individuals have limited touch points with our children; they are present only during the school day hours. So it is helpful for us to be aware of other resources that are available to us.  We are including a number of resources for you to have at your fingertips, or up on the refrigerator as at least a guide.  It’s not exhaustive by any means, but it can be helpful to you and your child(ren).  The list is as follows:

From the non-profit Tools for Peace, A New Future to Stop, Breathe & Think
From Happi Habits, 5 Essential Skills to Manage Anxiety.  
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has a lot of resources. 
The mission of Rachel's Challenge: "Awakening individual transformation and promoting safer, more connected schools." 

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Jeffco News - Article "Jeffco Schools Battle Teacher Shortage for Gifted Kids"

Met Media: The Student Voice of Metropolitan State University of Denver article interviewing Jeffco GT Director Roger Dowd "Jeffco Schools Battle Teacher Shortage for Gifted Kids."

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School Interest Nights (Showcases)

School Interest Nights are when schools showcase their instructional programs and explain enrollment procedures. These Interest Nights are typically held late October through February, but can be anytime. For a list of schools offering showcases, check here

Gifted Center Specific Information Nights:
     Hackberry Hill Elementary    Wednesday, January 18, 2017  GT classroom visitations
     Kendrick Lakes Elementary    Thursday, January 19, 2017  6:30pm - 8:00pm
     North Arvada Middle School    Thursday, January 19, 2017  5:30pm - 7:30pm
     Parmalee Elementary School    Tuesday, May 2, 2017  4:00pm - 5:00pm   

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Summer Programs

List of 2017 summer programs. Jeffco SPARKS Summer Camp registration opens February 1st! Class descriptions and schedule should be available about a week before registration opens. Find an article from 2013 about the SPARKS program here. A few things have changed since then, but not the core program.

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GT Enrichment Corner - CSM STEM for Girls, Jeffco Writing Challenge, and Free Days at Museums

Colorado School of Mines - Discovering Technology for Girls in 3rd-8th Grade - Begins SOON - Register now for a spot. This after school enrichment is an opportunity for girls to be exposed to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) topics in a college setting, all taught by women. 3rd-4th graders start the week of January 30th, and 5th-6th graders start the week of February 6th. 7th-8th graders start the week of January 30th. Information for grades 3-6 and grades 7-8. More information on the CSM tech K-12 programs here.

The Jeffco Writing Challenge is open to all Jefferson County School students in K-12. Poetry, short stories, non-fiction or dramas (up to 500 words max) are all welcome. Deadline for submissions is February 20, 2017. Find information here.

2017 Free Days at Denver Zoo and Area Museums in the Scientific & Cultural Facilities District.

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CDE ESSA Talking Points

The Colorado Department of Education's Office of Gifted Education has developed ESSA Talking Points. Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is the new federal Act that replaces No Child Left Behind. The ESSA document is informational, it is not guidance. The final regulations just came out and the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) is in the development stage of the State Plan and specific guidance for local districts.

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Jeffco Early Access Testing for Entrance to Kindergarten or First Grade for the 2017-2018 School Year

Colorado House Bill 08-1021, Early Kindergarten and First Grade for Gifted Children, extend the definition of “gifted child” to include four year olds who may be able to access Kindergarten and five year olds who can access First Grade, and adds a new classification of “highly advanced gifted child.” Essentially, Early Access applies to children in the 98th percentile or above on standardized tests and functioning levels typically two years or more above peers.

For early entrance to kindergarten, a child must be 4 years old by October 1, 2017 and for early entrance to first grade, a child must be 5 years old by October 1, 2017.

How to apply (the cost is $250):
  1.  Fill out the online application, which will open in January 2017 through sometime in March 2017: 
  2.  Once the application is submitted, you will receive, in the mail, an Early Access Packet (with portfolio requirements) and Developmental History Form from the GT Office. 
  3.  The Early Access Packet, Developmental History Form, and portfolio submissions will be due in March 2017.
  4.  Parents will be contacted to schedule Cognitive Testing (DAS-II - Differential Ability Scales).  Testing is typically scheduled in late March or early April and takes approximately 2 hours.
  5.  If the child scores in the 98th percentile or higher on DAS-II, a second session will be scheduled to take TEMA-3 (Test of Early Math Ability), TERA-3 (Test of Early Reading Ability), and an observable play opportunity. This testing will be scheduled in early April 2017 and takes approximately 2 hours.
  6.  Notification of acceptance and non-acceptance is typically sent to parents late in April.

Part of the Early Access process is submitting a portfolio of evidence. This may include examples of art work, writing, photos or videos of things that have been built or auditions. It may be documentation of connections the child has made. It may be statements from preschool teachers. Any way you can show what were ‘wow’ moments for you. Things you noticed that seem advanced for a child of their age at the time.

If accepted, Jeffco has four elementary schools offering Early Access: Coronado, Hackberry Hill, Kendrick Lakes, and Parmalee. GT Early Access follows the Choice Enrollment process. Transportation is not provided to Early Access locations and is the responsibility of the parent.

Jeffco brochure for Early Access.
Jeffco web page for Early Access.

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BVGT Presents Jenny Hecht "I am Because We Are"  January 25th

Boulder Valley Gifted and Talented presents Jenny Hecht, “I am Because We Are: Cultivating Personal and Social Competencies.” "The development of personal competencies such as self-awareness, self-efficacy, confidence, and resilience in gifted youth is complicated by their social competencies, often compromised by both internal and external asynchrony."

     Wednesday, January 25, 2017
     7:00pm - 8:30pm
     Peak to Peak Charter School
     North Building - Counseling Center
     800 Merlin Dr., Lafayette

     More information and registration here.

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Adams 12 GT Parents Group - Parent's Meeting: Lisa Van Gemert Presents "Delicate Balance of Boundaries With the Gifted"  February 2nd

Lisa Van Gemert Presents "Delicate Balance of Boundaries With the Gifted"
"While gifted youth need more leeway and independence at earlier ages than do their typical learner peers, that doesn’t mean they need less parenting. Identifying and sustaining appropriate boundaries with peers, adult interaction, and even electronics can challenge the best and most dedicated of parents. Using a metaphor of fences, learn the key ideas parents need to find and maintain suitable guidelines for their children without dampening the child’s spirits or feeling like they’ve surrendered all control to their kids."

     Lisa Van Gemert Presents "Delicate Balance of Boundaries With the Gifted"
     Thursday, February 2, 2017
     6:00pm - 7:30pm
     Educational Support Center for Adams 12
     1500 East 128th Avenue, Thornton

     More Information and to RSVP.

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The Daniel L. Richie Endowed Chair in Gifted Education (formerly IDGE) Conference  February 8-9, 2017  Denver, CO

The Daniel L. Richie Endowed Chair in Gifted Education (formally The Institute for the Development of Gifted Education-IDGE) presents the Annual 2017 Gifted Education Conference, “Transformational Leadership: Inspirations and Issues in Gifted Education.” The policy symposium, "Policy and Practice: Inspirations and Issues in Gifted Education" will be held the afternoon of February 8th. Panelists include Dr. Del Siegle, Dr. Dorinda Carter Andrews, Dr. Susan Assouline, and Jacquelin Medina. The full-day conference begins on February 9th, 2017 at the University of Denver campus at the Morgridge College of Education. Keynote speaker Dr. Frank C. Worrell and this year’s Palmarium Award Recipient is Dr. James T. Webb. For more information and registration click here.

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DCAGT Presents an Educational Fit Panel Program  February 9th

Douglas County Association for Gifted and Talented is offering a panel program on educational fit. There will be a variety of educators including public school, private school and homeschool to discuss educational fit as it relates to gifted children, their intensities, and how their academic and social emotional needs may change over time.

  Thursday, February 9, 2017
  6:30 - 8:00pm
  Stonegate Village Community Center, 10326 Stonegate Pkwy, Parker, CO
  More information here.

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BVGT Presents Ian Byrd "Creating 21st Century Innovators"  February 15th

Boulder Valley Gifted and Talented presents Ian Byrd, “Creating 21st Century Innovators.” "21st-century technologies have opened up new paths for success. Gifted students’ curiosity and intense interests make them uniquely suited to blaze these new trails. At the same time, gifted characteristics such as perfectionism and impostor syndrome can hold them back. We will discuss how parents and teachers can support students, empowering them to become tomorrow’s innovators."

     Wednesday, February 15, 2017
     7:00pm - 8:30pm
     Manhattan School of Arts and Academics - Auditorium
     290 Manhattan Drive, Boulder

     More information and registration here.

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CAGT Legislative Day  February 23rd

Colorado Association for Gifted and Talented (CAGT) will be hosting their annual Legislative Day on Thursday, February 23, 2017.  This event allows students (grades 8–12) a unique opportunity to shadow a state legislator for the day. There is also an adult component to the day, where gifted advocates have an opportunity to learn about current legislative initiatives that affect our gifted children. Registration is now open and closes February 16, 2017, though there are various different deadlines (see here). Find more information and registration here.

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Beyond Giftedness Conference and Parent Mini-Conference February 24, 2017 Arvada, CO

Our Gifted will host a conference for educators and parents at the Arvada Center for the Arts on Friday, February 24, 2017 from 8am-4pm. The Parent Mini-conference will be a special parent focused event from 9:20am-1pm including sessions, lunch and keynote. Featured keynote speaker this year: Nadia E. Webb, PsyD., ABPdN, author of "Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults." Conference features include certificates for 7.5 hours of Professional Development and breakout sessions for teachers, counselors, administrators, and parents. Find registration, updates, and more information here.

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Mackintosh Academy Presents Girls in Science & Design  February 25th

Mackintosh Academy Presents Girls in Science & Design: Workshop & Discussion - For girls ages 9 -13 & their parents, this FREE event will offer hands-on workshops led by women scientists, and a panel to discuss how we can empower girls to maintain and grow their interest in science, design, innovation and exploration.

     Mackintosh Academy Littleton
     Saturday, February 25, 2017
     1:00pm - 4:00pm
     7018 S. Prince St., Littleton
     Please RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
     Information here.

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DCAGT Presents "Different by Design; Moving from Feeling Defective to Being Distinctive" with Sharon M. Barnes  March 9

Douglas County Association for Gifted and Talented presents "Different by Design; Moving from Feeling Defective to Being Distinctive" with Sharon M. Barnes, MSSW, LCSW. Gifted and 2E students often notice early on that they’re different than others. This can lead many GT/2E kids to draw a secret inner conclusion that there is something essentially wrong with themselves.  This can be the hidden link to many of the emotional and behavior problems common to gifted and 2E kids and teens - Emotional meltdowns, verbal outbursts, hitting, kicking, punching AKA violence, going silent, underachievement, discouragement and despair. In this session, you’ll learn four stages of discouragement; how to identify discouragement before it takes over; and four stages of overcoming discouragement. We’ll also share powerful tools to help parents and teachers help their GT and 2E students overcome their discouragement and develop their true distinctiveness and make their unique creative contributions.

  Thursday, March 9, 2017
  6:30 - 8:00pm
  Stonegate Village Community Center, 10326 Stonegate Pkwy, Parker, CO
  More information here.

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Colorado Teen Literature Conference  April 1, 2017  Denver, CO

Keynote authors Gail Carriger and Greg Neri.

     Saturday, April 1, 2017
     8:30am - 4:00pm
     Tivoli Center on Auraria Campus, Denver

Registration will open February 6th. Find more information here.

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DCAGT Presents College & Career Readiness by Barb Cousins  April 13th

Douglas County Association for Gifted and Talented is offering a presentation on college & career readiness by Barb Cousins.

     Thursday, April 13, 2017
     6:30pm - 8:00pm
     Stonegate Village Community Center, 10326 Stonegate Pkwy, Parker, CO
     More information here.

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Rocky Mountain STEAM Fest 2017  April 29th & 30th

"We are celebrating all things creative, imaginative and exploratory at a festival extraordinaire…  It’s Science, Technology, Entrepreneurship (invention!), Arts and Making.  STEAM Fest is an awe-filled, jaw-dropping chance to tinker, hack, build, crumble, fly, drive, drink, DO, dabble - PLAY!"

     Saturday, April 29th and Sunday, April 30th, 2017
     10:00am - 5:00pm both days
     Boulder County Fairgrounds
     9595 Nelson Road, Longmont
     More information here.

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Helpful Links
   SENG article "Thoughts on Friendship" by Wenda Sheard
   Gifted Education Communicator - Several articles on giftedness 
   Douglas County Parent University Courses - Often there are Gifted topics.
   SENG Newsletters 
   Previously broadcast SENGinars can be purchased here.
   Davidson Institute Newsletters  
   Gifted Education Press Quarterly Newsletter - Summer 2016 - Find all issues here

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JAGC GT Ambassadors

JAGC works in positive partnership with the Jeffco School District's Gifted & Talented Department to provide leadership by promoting information about the educational and social-emotional needs of gifted and talented (GT) students. JAGC's Ambassador Program extends this leadership from the district level into individual school buildings. JAGC Ambassadors are volunteers who receive training in how to serve GT students, parents, and staff at the articulation area and school building levels. If you are interested in volunteering as a family or community member to help JAGC locally support the local GT community, please think about advocating for Jeffco's GT students in this capacity. JAGC would like to have a GT Ambassador at ALL schools, so please let us know if you can help.

What's involved in being a GT Ambassador?  Find out here.  Click here for additional information about this important role or contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any questions and/or to volunteer.

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Call for Volunteers

Are You a JAGC Member?
The Jefferson County Association for Gifted Children (JAGC) is a non-profit group providing leadership and support to families and educators of gifted young people in Jefferson County, Colorado. Membership in JAGC includes joint membership in CAGT (Colorado Association for Gifted and Talented). Combined dues are $40 annually.

Although JAGC often works in partnership with Jeffco Public Schools' Office of Gifted and Talented, JAGC is a volunteer organization. JAGC provides its newsletter and seminars to everyone in the community but membership, donations, and volunteers are essential to providing these resources. Locally, through JAGC, your membership helps support things such as: seminars, presentations, and speakers; printed literature; this website (including the JAGC newsletter); JAGC on Facebook; local advocacy. Through CAGT, your membership helps support such things as: CAGT's annual conference, CAGT's annual Parent Institute, CAGT's website, monthly "Happenings" email, the quarterly Kaleidoscope e-newsletter, state level legislative advocacy for gifted learners, and online learning opportunities.

Become a Member
Membership in JAGC and CAGT runs concurrent to the school year. Both are valid from September until August of the following year.  Download JAGC Membership Form (PDF).

Donate
Your contributions make a difference. 100% of your tax-deductible donation to JAGC will directly support distribution of information and GT advocacy in Jefferson County. Click here to download JAGC Donation Form (PDF).
Amazon Smile - Through Amazon Smile part of your purchase price will be donated to JAGC. When you shop at Amazon, first go to https://smile.amazon.com/ and select "Jefferson County Association for Gifted Children" before making your purchase.

Volunteer
Your time and talents help JAGC run as a volunteer organization. We particularly would like to have at least one JAGC GT Ambassador at each school, to share information at the local level. Help in other areas is also welcome; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to volunteer your particular area of interest/skill.

Did you know that JAGC is on Facebook?
You can "Like" JAGC on Facebook and read GT and Jeffco-related information as part of your Facebook feed. JAGC also has a private Facebook group; JAGC Online for the purposes of discussion. To join "friend" Jeffco Gifted and send a FB message to request group membership or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information. A big thank you to Susan Carter-Ruskell for sharing great gifted content and managing JAGC's Facebook presence!

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Note: This newsletter is intended to provide a wide array of information that readers may find helpful. In an effort to bring breadth of information, JAGC does not necessarily endorse or support opinions presented. JAGC also does not endorse, approve for services, or recommend any specific program mentioned.