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Volume 2, Issue 2


The Benefits of Mentorship for High School Gifted & Talented Students One of the most valuable experiences a gifted high school student can have is exposure to mentorship opportunities in their chosen field of interest. When a mentor is paired with a GT student who continues to conduct in-depth research according to his/her passions, the possibilities are endless. The experience can transform lives, inspire innovation, create vision, cultivate new learning, and offer career opportunities for gifted students. Mentor relationships with dedicated scholars, scientists, businesspeople, and artists are highly suitable for gifted secondary students who have mastered the essentials of in-depth, independent research associated with the high school curriculum. Mentorship allows gifted high school students to bring new meaning to personal interests, offer opportunities for field contributions, and access to experts that can provide definition for long-term goals. Jamie Sookprasong, senior at Klein Oak High School, is one GT high school student that had the opportunity to experience the benefits of mentorship through a summer Hewlett-Packard (HP) internship in Klein ISD. “Learning by doing,” is how Sookprasong describes his time at HP because he was expected to problem-solve and produce solutions with minimal direction. This level of self-directed learning allowed him to brainstorm possible contributions to the field and navigate through challenges. As a result, Sookprasong was able to contribute an original idea for the design of a wireless charging invention for electronic devices that is currently under patent review. “In school, we are given problems that already have solutions, but with this internship, I had to find solutions to unanswered questions on a daily basis,” said Sookprasong. He described his mentorship experience as not only intellectually challenging, but one that has developed lifelong skills such as perseverance, task commitment, and constructively accepting criticism and/ or rejection. Through this experience, Sookprasong has been able to bring more definition to his engineering career aspirations, and plans to pursue a mechanical or electrical engineering degree in the future.

Texas Performance Standards Project Research Showcase: A Call for Parent & Business Community Volunteers Klein ISD will have its 1st annual Gifted and Talented Research Project Showcase in May, 2012. The showcase is an opportunity for Klein ISD identified gifted students to share with the community the in-depth independent research they conducted throughout the year. The Office of Advanced Academic Services is looking for volunteers to help with set up, refreshments, registration, publicity. Community business partners and professionals are needed to serve as panelists. Please email your interest to or

Inside this Issue Pre-assessment: Effective Instructional


DI: Volunteer and Appraiser information


GT Parent Expo


Academic Competitions


IB Informational Meetings Set


Dual Credit Important Dates


SAT & ACT Spring Information


AVID: AT&T Job Share Initiative


PATH: First Step


KlSD Advanced Academics Newsletter

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Pre-assessment: An Effective Instructional Tool to Meet the Needs of GT Learners Pre-assessments are critical to providing special instructional services to gifted students. Pre-assessment helps the instructor identify students’ strengths in a topic or unit of study and allows students that already know the information that is to be covered to move into more complex learning/inquiry or independent study. This strategy is a foundational component to gifted and talented instruction. The knowledge from pre-assessments helps teachers of the gifted to identify topics that can be addressed with greater depth/complexity, or perhaps need additional support, and direct teaching. (gleaned from Making Differentiation a Habit, Heacox, 2009). Contact your GT child’s teacher to learn more about what forms of pre-assessment are used in the classroom. Sample Pre-assessment Options: (Winebrenner, 2001) Journaling: Allows students who have extensive background knowledge on a subject to show mastery and depth in a topic through elaboration. A teacher gives students a content-related prompt that will be used to assess knowledge on the lesson or topic. All pre-assessment journaling occurs in class. Teacher then identifies which students have little or no knowledge of the topic, those with some knowledge, and those with significant background knowledge. This information will help identify readiness levels and complexity in order to meet or extend mastery. Most Difficult First: This strategy helps compact the amount of guided practice or direct instruction needed for a learner that doesn’t need the same amount of practice as other age peers. For a given class assignment of skill or practice work, the teacher begins by identifying the five most challenging items of the summative evaluation or end assignment. If students are able to get four out of the five problems correct, they move into other choice assignments that build depth within the curriculum concept or topic of interest. However, if they are unable to complete four out of the five successfully, this indicates that they need the practice and will continue to complete the regular problems assigned. Assessing by Critical Observation: This strategy can be used in whole group or in small-group discussions. When assessing without paper, a rubric that identifies measureable levels of understanding to help students know what qualifies for mastery through observations is used.

Additional examples of Pre-Assessment Options (Kingore, 2002) Checklists

Process Interviews

Interest Inventories

Student SelfEvaluations

Performance Tasks

Teacher-selected Reading Samples

Metacognitive Questioning

Writing Samples

Reading Logs/ Interactive Notebook

Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow. -Ronald E. Osborn

Gifted & Talented Parent Expo Find out information about GT summer programs in Texas and the nation. There will be a parent miniconference from 1:00-4:00 PM and information booths for grades 9-12. There will be student events for children aged 5-12 (for a small registration fee). Check the Klein ISD GT Parent page for updated information: Expo hosted by Lone Star College University Park January 28, 2012

Destination ImagiNation News Volunteer and Appraiser Opportunities If you are interested in being a part of the tournament as a volunteer or appraiser, please register on DI website for appraisers and volunteer registration: Volunteers: A volunteer commits for a 2-hour shift and can attend the challenges except during assigned times. Appraisers: An appraiser commits for the whole day, has to attend a training, and will not be able to view other team challenges other than the one they are judging.

Volume 2, Issue 2

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International Baccalaureate: Sharing A Worldly Perspective to Learning Recently, English II Pre-IB classes extended their study of world literature and culture to the Klein community by donating student-produced books to the library of Greenwood Forest Elementary School. The theme of the students’ books centered on the literal and figurative student interpretations of culture clashes and demonstrated their understanding of the theme in a variety of creative productions. In addition, to a curriculum that presents a global view on curricular content, opportunities for authentic interactions with students from different nationalities add to the educational experience of the IB program. Some of the countries represented in the Pre-IB English II class are Germany, Canada, Mexico, Vietnam, China, India, Iran, Denmark, and England. For more information on the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, please visit: default.aspx?name=ciadvac.ibdp.home

IB Informational Meetings Are Set!

Students & parents interested in learning more about the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program are invited to attend one of the following informational meetings to be held at Klein Oak HS in the 9th grade wing Multipurpose room from 7:00-8:30 PM. January 31, 2012 or February 2, 2012

Gifted and Talented Parent Organization Meetings Please visit the GT PO homepage for minutes from previous meetings and other information. name=cigt.po Meetings are on Wednesday at 6:00 PM in the Klein Instructional Center, Room 100 January 25th, February 8th, March 28th , April 25th

Destination ImagiNation Regional Tournament in Klein ISD! The DI North Harris Regional Tournament will be hosted at Klein Forest High School February 18, 2012

Regional Academic Decathlon All Klein ISD high schools will participate in the Regional Academic Decathlon Meet to be held at Porter High School in New Caney ISD January 20 and 21, 2012

Klein ISD Students Compete in Fall Academic Competitions Scholastic competitions were in full swing this fall with many Klein ISD students at all levels matching wits and intellect in spirited meets throughout the region. Academic Decathlon—A 10 event competition in the subjects of Mathematics, Art, Economics, Essay, Interview, Language and Literature, Music, Science, Social Science, and Speech. The KISD district scrimmage was held in November with all high schools participating. Texas Math League—Math Competition with problems that include advanced mathematical topics in geometry, algebra, trigonometry, and pre-calculus. Top winners are invited to participate in MathPath—a summer program for exceptional mathletes. Team Scramble—This is a 100-problem, 30-minute test in which a math team races to complete a single answer sheet, exercising collaborative and organizational skills in addition to mathematical skills in a variety of topics. Sponsored by the National Assessment of Testing. Rocket City Math League (RCML)—An annual math competition for motivated and talented middle and high school students from PreAlgebra through Calculus and beyond. Texas Math & Science Coaches Association (TMSCA)—A series of math competitions that prepare students for University Interscholastic League (UIL) math/science competition.

1st place (Academic Decathlon District Meet) 3rd place sweepstakes (Atascocita TMSCA) Klein Oak HS 9 individual awards (Atascocita TMSCA) 3rd place sweepstakes (Kingwood TMSCA) 11 individual awards (Kingwood TMSCA) Doerre 2nd place sweepstakes (Atascocita TMSCA) 1st place sweepstakes (KCHS TMSCA) Krimmel 6 individual awards (KCHS TMSCA) Ulrich 4 individual awards (KCHS TMSCA) Benignus 6 individual awards (KCHS TMSCA) Klein HS

“The field trip to AT&T gave my AVID family and I a closer insight on how the business side of America works. We gained knowledge on how to be responsible with our cell phones, all the way down to the do’s and don’ts of being interviewed for a job. This trip really meant a lot to us, so I would like to say thank you, again!”— Itaya White (AVID 10th grade student)

KlSD Advanced Academics Newsletter KIein AVID Students Participate in the AT&T Corporate Job Shadow Initiative AT&T and Junior Achievement Worldwide hosted the largest corporate job shadow initiative as a philanthropic commitment to improve high school success. This $5.5 million project allowed job shadow opportunities for 100,000 student in grades 9-12 across the U.S. Klein Forest High School’s AVID teacher, Mr. Rushing, took 44 students to this experience on December 5th, 2011. The AT&T trip was a unique experience for the high school students that allowed them make real world connections with career and life survival skills. Students were able to hear from managers, engineers, and CEO personnel about career opportunities and scholarship information. Students left the experience thrilled and excited about the opportunities that lay ahead for them after their high school careers.

College-Bound AVID Seniors AVID seniors have received acceptance letters to the following universities: Baylor University of Texas, Austin University of Texas, San Antonio University of Houston Embry Riddle--Daytona Beach, FL Houston Baptist University Texas State University Sam Houston State University Stephen F. Austin University

Spring 2012 SAT and ACT Important Dates Register By

Get Scores By Web

Get Scores By Mail

SAT & SAT Subject

Dec. 30 (1/13 with late fees)

Feb. 16

Feb. 25

Feb. 11, 2012


Jan. 13 (1/20 with late fees)

Feb. 27

Mar. 3

Mar. 10, 2012

SAT only

Feb. 10 (2/24 with late fees)

Mar. 29

Apr. 7

Apr. 14, 2012


Mar. 9 (3/23 with late fees)

Apr. 30

May 5

May 5, 2012

SAT & SAT Subject

Apr. 6 (4/20 with late fees)

May 24

June 2

Date of Test


Jan. 28, 2012

Klein ISD launches a New College-Career Readiness Website The Office of Advanced Academic Services launched the College and Career Readiness website for Klein ISD in time for the December College Early Admission deadline. Parents, students, and teachers are invited to browse through the site and explore and learn more information about college and career planning. Please visit:

The First Step on the Path to College Readiness is Taken in Elementary School Path-First Step is the beginning level of a system of study that exercises vital learning skills needed for college and career readiness and success. These skills are practiced through interactive classroom activities for children in grades 3-5. Students are exposed to lessons engaging a variety of tools and strategies that provide options for them to build academic success. Among some of the strategies presented through Path-First Step this fall semester are three popular activities: two and three column notes, learning style inventories, and “Using The Tools for Success” learning experiences that have increased student motivation toward learning and improved student academic habits. Currently, Path-First Step is being piloted on the following elementary campuses: Eiland, Epps Island, Greenwood Forest, Kaiser, Klenk, McDougle, and Nitsch. District-wide implementation will begin with teacher professional development in 2012 and PATH-First Step wil be available to all elementary campuses in 20122013.

Important Dates for Spring 2012 Dual Credit Students KISD Dual Credit website http:// name=ciadvac.dualcredit 12/12/11 – 1/1/12 Online dual credit payments may be made during this time (please click on the above link and follow the “How to Pay Online” instructions. ) 01/02/12 Final deadline to turn in blue registration form and make payment directly to a Lone Star College campus Attention Students: Payments will either be paid online or directly to the Lone Star College (LSC) partner campus. If paying online, the blue registration form must be returned to your HS Dual Credit Counselor. If paying in person at the LSC campus, then the blue registration form must be turned in to LSC.

Alliance - Winter Edition, Vol. 2, Issue 2  

The Klein ISD Advanced Academic Services winter newsletter.