FORWARD MATTERS - The Newsletter of Guilford County PAGE


Newsletter - February 2017 

PAGE General Meeting

For our 2016 - 2017 General Meeting, the Guilford County PAGE Board welcomes its members and the general public to attend a “Coffee and Conversation” drop-in event on Thursday, February 16, 2017, from 6 – 8 p.m. at Green Joe’s Coffee Company in Greensboro. During the event, PAGE board members and Guilford County Schools’ Academically Gifted (AG) Department representatives will be on hand to facilitate informal conversations on “hot” topics related to gifted education. Complimentary coffee and snacks will be served, and a door prize from Swoozie’s will be given to one lucky attendee. Please RSVP at

What: Coffee and Conversation

Hosted By: Guilford County PAGE board members and GCS AG Department representatives

Date: Thursday, February 16, 2017

Time: Drop in from 6 – 8 pm

Location: Green Joe's Coffee Company, 2915 Battleground Ave, Greensboro, NC 27408

RSVP: Visit

Have a question or want to suggest a topic for the event? Email


FREE Webinar for Parents of Middle and Early High School Students:

What Parents Must Know About Getting Into Selective Colleges

Back by popular demand, Susan Goodkin, one of the nation’s leading college admissions consultants and a long-standing PAGE partner, is offering Guilford County PAGE an exclusive webinar opportunity for parents of middle and high school students on Sunday, February 19, 2017, from 2 – 3 p.m. Eastern.

As Susan Goodkin says, “To help your child build his or her strongest application for college, you must understand – well before your child starts applying! –what selective colleges are looking for today.” During the one-hour live webinar, parents will learn about the importance of a great high school resume, including which advanced classes and tests matter most, and preview what’s necessary to prepare for the college application process. Learn more and register today.

What: Webinar with Susan Goodkin – What Parents Must Know About Getting Into Selective Colleges

For: Parents of Middle and High School Students

When: Sunday, February 19, 2017 from 2 – 3 p.m. Eastern

RSVP: Visit to register. Participants must register in advance to receive log-in information and webinar link.

About Susan Goodkin

Webinar presenter Susan Goodkin from the California Learning Strategies Center is a graduate of Harvard University, Harvard Law School, and Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar. Goodkin’s student clients have been accepted to Harvard, Yale, Stanford, MIT, Brown, Duke, Columbia, and many others.

Note: This webinar will be available one-time only, and it will not be available as a free archived webinar.


Q&A About Academically and Intellectually Gifted (AIG) Services in GCS

Recently, Guilford County PAGE received a few questions about how to find out more about Academically and Intellectually Gifted (AIG) services in Guilford County Schools (GCS) along with specific questions about identification. The Academically Gifted (AG) Department has provided the following responses

Q: If I have questions about GCS AIG services, what should I do?

First, if a parent has any questions about AG services, the best place to get answers in the order of approach is:

A.      From the AG teacher in elementary schools or from the TAG chair in middle schools. Contact names are listed under Meet the Team on the GCSNC AG website:


B.       From the green and white AIG Identification and Services Flipbook provided at the front desk of every elementary school.

C.      If the question cannot be answered at the school level, then the parent is always welcome to contact his/her Regional AG Coordinator, also found in the green and white Flipbook under Important Contacts and also on the GCSNC AG website:

Below, the AG Department answers some recent questions that aren’t found in the green and white flip book.

Q: How have the AIG Eligibility requirements changed?

A: The Pathways for AIG Eligibility were revised in the new 2016-2019 strategic plan.  The minimum scores rose 5 percentage points in most pathways in order to better align with other districts in North Carolina. Under the new plan, performance tasks are available in every school as an additional piece of evidence if needed. An additional service called Maximizing Academic Potential (MAP) was added to nurture students who show high potential but who do not meet AIG eligibility criteria. Questions about changes in the plan can be answered by the Regional AG Coordinators.

Q: Does the AIG Eligibility requirement change mean there are fewer AIG students in GCS?

A: Yes, there may be fewer students in the elementary pull-out programs. These enrichment classes are designed to provide additional opportunities for students who demonstrate the need for service beyond what is provided in the regular education classroom. In classrooms with large numbers of proficient students, the grade level teacher can more effectively differentiate the content for the students.   

Q: If there are fewer AIG students in GCS, does this necessarily translate into a reduction in funding?

A: State money for gifted education services is allocated according to the number of students enrolled in the district’s schools, not based on the number of gifted students identified. Per current state law, this money need not be used for AG services anymore, but in Guilford County, at present, this money is earmarked to pay for the AG elementary teachers. The rest of the AG services budget comes from other sources. Teacher allocation and budgeting questions can be answered by the AG Executive Director, Dibrelle Tourret at

Writing Matters: Writing Across the Curriculum

In today’s media, we often see alarming headlines about “Why American Students Can’t Write.” What is the research behind these claims? How can writing be improved across the curriculum?

Some research, including from the Eberly Center, suggests students are coming into college poorly prepared to write because “…most of our students were not writing with the frequency we might expect, nor were they doing the types of writing that we will require of them in their college years.” In particular, the Eberly Center cites a survey conducted by The Chronicle of Higher Education, which found that more than 60% of high school teachers said their students had not written a paper longer than five pages. More recent studies, including from the Pew Research Center, suggest that the digital age, including the internet, social media and texting, may be imparting a more “informal style” into student writing, however, digital tools could be used to positively impact student writing.

Whether you are an educator or parent, helping your students to foster solid writing and comprehension skills enables them to be college, career and life ready. As Fisher & Frey’s 2004 research supports, students should learn to write throughout their lives. In elementary school, students learn the building blocks of good writing, including grammar mechanics, and sentences and paragraph construction. Older students focus on the process of writing from pre-writing to final version. Also, Brandenburg’s 2002 research supports that comprehension is enhanced through writing as well.

According to the National Council of Teachers of English, for middle and high school students, developing good writing skills can be achieved using low-stakes writing assignments, providing multiple forms of feedback, relying on diverse texts to develop a range of writing and thinking skills, and providing materials at a variety of grade levels.


Board of Education Election Update

In December 2016, Guilford County’s newest Board of Education (BOE) members were sworn into office. The new BOE members were elected in November as a result of a new law (Senate Bill 317) redrawing district lines, which reduced the number of seats from 11 to nine and changed board elections from non-partisan to partisan.
The Guilford County PAGE board urges its stakeholders to become familiar with the BOE member(s) serving the schools your students attend. Also, we encourage you to reach out to BOE members via email, mail or phone with your questions and suggestions and to show support for retaining the current level of academically gifted services, including elementary pull-out enrichment programs, advanced ELA and math options in middle school, AP, IB and Honors classes in high schools, and the self-contained VS and early college programs.
The four returning BOE members and their new districts are:

  • Chair Alan Duncan (At-large)

  • Linda Wellborn (District 4)

  • Vice-Chair, Darlene Garrett (District 5)

  • Deena Hayes-Green (District 8)

The five new and newly-returned BOE members and their districts are:

  • T. Dianne Bellamy Small (District 1)

  • *Anita Sharpe (District 2)

  • Pat Tillman (District 3)

  • Wes Cashwell (District 6)

  • Byron Gladden (District 7)

*Note: Sharpe previously served on the BOE from 1990 – 2008.
To review GCS' official announcement, consult the GCS
press release. To learn more about your BOE member(s), including contact information, schools served and district maps, visit GCS online. Links to district maps are provided following each BOE member's biography.

Save the Date

April 21, 2017 7am-7:30am
How to Encourage a Growth Mindset in Your Child Jefferson Elementary, 1400 New Garden Road, Greensboro, NC

February 4 - May 7, 2017
Ansel Adams: Masterworks North Carolina Museum of Art, 2110 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC

April 20, 2017 9am-5pm
Gateway to Science Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, 2907 East Gate City Blvd., Greensboro, NC

April 8-9, 2017 9am-6pm
Brick Universe: Lego Fan Convention Raleigh Convention Center, South Salisbury Street, Raleigh, NC

Registration Open Now
UNCG Arts, Sciences and Technology Camp July 16-21, 2017

All Arts, Sciences and Technology Camp UNCG, Greensboro, NC
February 16, 2017 6pm-8pm
PAGE General Meeting: Coffee and Conversation Green Joe's Coffee Company, 2915 Battleground Avenue, Greensboro, NC

February 19, 217 2pm-3pm
Free Webinar with Susan Goodkin 

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Guilford County PAGE
PO Box 167
Oak Ridge, NC 27310

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