General Meeting Notes


Board Representation:

Jason Bair, President

Julie Hamilton, Vice President

I-Jung Chiang, Student Services

Kristi Ferguson, Communications

Kendra Hopkins, Recording Secretary

Elementary Campus Representation:

Anna Adams, Davis

Julie Hamilton, Neal

Jenny Box, Daulton

Melissa Allen, Morris

Leo Goranov, Tipps

*Richard Newton, Ponder

*Kendra Hopkins, Holt

Kristi Ferguson, Smith

Intermediate Campus Representation:

Beth Fortner, Low

I-Jung Chiang, Lillard

Kristi Ferguson, Lillard

*Kendra Hopkins, Cross Timbers

*Richard Newton, Orr


Middle School Campus Representation:

Jason Bair, Jones

Mindy Boles, Wester

Cheryl Edwardsen, Jobe

Amy Bilgere Campbell, Worley

Sandy Barton, Howard

High School Campus Representation:

Madeline Lupton, Timberview

Jessie Williams, Lake Ridge

Advanced Academics Representation:

Teresa Francis, Program Coordinator

Melanie Beckett, Instructional Coach (7-12)

Brigette Cardenas, Instructional Coach (K-6)

*Campus Rep for more than one campus

Update contact info – Representative list available to ensure contact information correct. 

Meeting Dates

Next meeting dates are Dec 4 and Jan 29

Both at 6:30pm in Room 2 at R.L. Anderson Complex

Decision was made to continue with meeting on Monday nights.

GT Field Trips scheduled, as reported by Campus Reps and Advanced Academics Team. Check with your GT Specialist for confirmation + details of your campus’ trip.

Jones – Mind Maze

Neal - Medieval Times

Lillard - UTA Planetarium Fall/Waco to NASA

Low – iFly

Boren – no FT

Davis w/ Harmon – Perot Museum coming to them

Holt – The Fab Lab at UTA

Orr – George W. Bush Presidential Library

Ponder – UTA Planetarium

Smith – Sci Tech Disc Center

Gideon - working on it

Daulton - Perot

Lake Ridge – AP Art History

Summit – AP Physics – Perot Museum

Wester – possible escape rooms

Perry – CR Smith Museum

Eisenhower – Spark creativity center

Shepard – MISD Ag Center

Spencer - Casa Manana

Shepard, Worley – Fab Lab & UTA Planetarium

Howard – motivational speech at district (already happened), other things coming

STEM Academy: Victoria Webster, Principal, was unable to attend so Teresa Francis filled in for her.

Seeking feedback from GT parents:

Any of your students there now?

If so, how’s it going?

Please provide feedback to Victoria Webster:

Anyone considering the STEM Academy is welcome to tour the campus. Please call the campus directly (817-299-5090) to schedule a time.

Ms. Webster would like everyone to know that they are finding this is the first time some kids have been challenged and/or are not successful the first time they’ve tried something. This is good - learning through failure.

Teresa Francis / Brigette Cardenas will check to see if “ghost” tours (follow kids during class) are permitted

Start-of-year Meet & Greet with Specialists: I-Jung Chiang

How do we help PAC reps stimulate their relationship with GT Specialists/campus?

Idea: Reps + GT Specialists meet and greet at beginning of next school year to spark conversation between campuses and reps. Set for September 24, 2018 at 6:00pm. Location: TBD

How to approach your campus:

Introduce yourself to GT Specialist

Schedule a time to sit down with GT Specialist

Ask what is planned for the year

Ask how can you support/get involved (field trip, pull-outs, etc.)

Let other parents on campus know – letter to parents can be sent out by GT Specialist or VP/P

Share GT PAC meeting notes (as is or in summary form) with GT Specialist + VP/P

Foster on-going relationship with VP/P – Administrative support on campus is key to success!

Idea: New Parent Packet with information about GT program. Try to get ready for Spring for all parents then hand out to new parents going forward as new students are identified. Anyone interested in helping put this together should contact I-Jung Chiang here:


Web site ideas – Kristi Ferguson

Website: (visit and share with other parents)

Many great resources on the site!

Continuing to update website with more information about who we are and what we do.

Send info you’d like to see on the website to Kristi here:

Good things on campus – Jason Bair

Have someone at each meeting to share good things going on at your campus – We’d like to highlight these on our website as well.

Jones 7th grade GT team doing cross-curriculum learning themes (one day per grading period?)

Neal GT kids each did a Reflection for PTA as part of their GT pull out + Neal is having their first field trip!

Daulton 3rd grade yoga project – Research yoga then pick a yoga position to teach to class. Includes physiology and math plus the community as local yoga instructors are sending educational materials to the class.

GT Destination Imagination team – Kendra Hopkins

DI is volunteer lead and many schools do not have a team (only 9 in the district). We’re considering the possibility of a team next school year (current year kick off has already begun) for GT students in the district. Brigette Cardenas/Teresa Francis will research to see what sponsors are needed (parent only or parent + school).

Spring Event: School transition discussions – I-Jung Chiang

What to expect when your child transitions to the next school?

Pull together GT parents who have already navigated the transition from school to school and offer panels (ES -> IS / IS -> MS / MS -> HS) as a resource night for parents who would like to know what to expect + ask questions. Kids invited to have game time during the panels.

Date/Location TBD (April, possibly at CPA)

Advanced Academics Coordinator – Teresa Francis

GT Audit (independent program audit, Dr. Johnson) – will be made public Jan/Feb when presented to the Board. Date TBD - we’ll encourage GT Reps and GT Parents to attend

AA going forward with implementation of results that can be done.

Have been talking to teachers about their training requirements considering the audit - 4 college credits for a GT endorsement. Texas plan requires advanced coursework or specialized training. Teresa and her team will be putting together specialized training for GT Specialist. This will give all Specialists in the district the same base training. First training is Jan 16!

Many content areas updated and available for teachers. ES differentiation pieces for advancement on their curriculum sheets; HS has separate documents for differentiation.

Science 1-6 Biology, Chemistry, Physics, IPC, Environmental Science, Astronomy

Math 5-6 Regular classes 5-7 Pre-AP classes

Social Studies all AP courses

Instructional Coaches’ Report

Brigette Cardenas (K-6)

GT testing to identify new GT students is now a computer based assessment which gives more data and faster results.

Observing campuses for differentiation in classes with GT students. Next, will begin meeting with teachers to see their lesson plans and proactively address differentiation. Then, will watch roll out of plan. We’re stressing Raft/Choice boards.

K-4 using Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) which is a questioning strategy when talking with GT student. Parents won’t really see this on paper since it’s verbal, however, Brigette looks for this during her class observations.

Melanie Beckett (7-12)

Working on depth and breadth of knowledge for the GT students. Those in Pre-AP and AP classes still get HOTS. However, it doesn’t happen as much at HS because Pre-AP and AP curriculum is already advanced. Also using Bloom’s taxonomy, a level of thinking that leads students to refine their thinking.

As Melanie is working with teachers on different strategies for their GT students, she’s seeing implementation happening quickly (many within a day).

Challenge is working with students on their writing skills as writing styles differ between standardized testing, grade levels and classes.

New brochure for college night developed (attached).

Melanie is also Literature and AP Language Coordinator. She will be writing English curriculum this next Spring.

Miscellaneous Topics / Notes

*Invited to participate in Duke – sign up as a 4th grader, can take PSAT (for 8/9 graders) in 4th-6th grade; must sign up with Duke and participate (take the test) to stay in program; 6th grade is a great year to take it

*Nov 4 and Jan 27 seminars for 7th graders to prep for SAT/ACT in MS, cost $40

*Every school is required to have something to present at the Spring Symposium this year