Download Here

GT PAC Minutes 9/23/2019
Michael Coyne, Wester
LaShanda Larry, Wester
Kathy Lee, Wester
Kendra Hopkins, Howard / Cross Timbers
Marcia Morris, Shepard
Steffanie Steelhammer, Shepard
Sara Valline, Lillard
Melissa Allen, Low
Jim Zmolek, Low
Kristi Ferguson, STEM
Julie Hamilton, STEM / Neal
Jennifer Patterson, Boren
Sabrina Evans, Gideon
Leo Goranov, Tipps
Lydia Price, Reid

Welcome by Kendra Hopkins, President. Special thank you to our GT Specialists for staying after their meeting to visit with us.

Parent reps met with school specialists to get to know each other plus some set up appointments, discussed field trip options and offered to help with the newsletters that will be put out by the GT Specialists each six weeks.

Board introduced themselves and shared their goal for this school year:

Mike Coyne, GT Services Chair, is researching schools/districts with good programs. His goal is to make recommendations to the PAC from his research.

Sara Valline, Communications Chair has created a Facebook page (public) and Facebook group (for MISD GT parents only). Reps should feel free to like/follow the page and join the group. These are avenues to share ideas and promote positive discussions. Sara has also submitted the TAGT membership application. Login information for reps will be shared as soon as she receives it. Our website will be kept updated and will work towards creating a new site with mobile capabilities by the end of the school year.
Page: Mansfield ISD GT Parent Advisory Council
Group: Mansfield ISD GT Parent Group
Website: Mansfield GT PAC

Kendra Hopkins (for Steffanie Steelhammer, Parental Support Chair): Steffanie will research resources for parents that can be shared in meetings and via our Facebook page/group. If you missed the Fall Symposium, the presentations are available on the MISD Advanced Academics Webpage. Preliminary ideas for an event in March are in the works. Attached you’ll find Guiding questions to help begin your conversation with your GT Specialist.

Melissa Allen, Vice President, will organize the GT PAC presence at MISD School Board Meetings / town halls and make recommendations.
The PAC reps voted to approve Board goals for the school year unanimously.

Kendra led a discussion regarding bylaw revisions. The update to the Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented Students prompted re-wording of the reference to the Plan. Various updates including formatting, changing the due date of yearly meeting dates and adding term limits to Board positions were presented. The PAC reps voted to by unanimous approval to approve revisions.

The Advanced Academics team shared information and their goals:
Teresa Francis, Advanced Academics Coordinator, shared that her goal is to implement state guidelines as smoothly as possible. Discussion of new state guidelines including Independent Studies and DLP’s followed. DLP’s are to be filled out by parents and students together and will include academic and social/emotional goals. These will be phased in beginning this year with grades 4, 6, 8, 12 (STEM 8th only) then more grades will be added next year.

MISD has 7 National Merit Semifinalists this year! Possibly most in District history. We offer PSAT 8/9, PSAT (10th), PSAT NSMQT (11th) and SAT (12th). SAT offered free of charge for every senior in the district this year!

Camp Invention (summer camp) to replace Camp Create for students entering 1st through 6th grades. Cost increase from $125 to $235 per week. Teresa is seeking out sponsors from the community to help cover costs for students in need. This year's theme is robotics coding and students will keep their robot. GT students will be offered first enrollment. Additional opportunities for students entering 7th through 9th grades as leaders in training will be available. Flier should be out by the end of October.

Brigette Cardenas, K-6 Instructional Coach, shared that her goal is to streamline GT identification and transfer process. She’s working with teachers on differentiation; focus on intermediate where AP does not equal GT.

Melanie Beckett, 7-12 Instructional Coach, shared that her goal is to implement changes in AP/ College Board processes. She’s working to implement Independent Studies so they are different work not more work for students. Melanie was pleased with the feedback received from the 7th grade conference on 9/17. Students had a keynote speaker and were able to choose breakout sessions to attend. Fun learning was had by all!

Reps call to action:

● Reps, please forward a copy of your campus GT newsletter to We will post on our website so you can see what is happening on all campuses.

● Email your GT Specialist and thank them for being available to meet with you.

● Meet with your GT Specialist (invite Principal as well) to learn more about the GT program on your campus. Be prepared to share what you learned at the next meeting. Guiding questions are attached.

Next meeting Oct 28 @ 6:30pm - 7:30pm
Remember that you can bring your school-aged children! This is an opportunity for GT kids to be around other GT kids. They gather in an adjacent room with a GT Specialist.

Future Meeting Dates: Dec 9, Feb 3, Apr 27