What is BVPAGE?
BVPAGE (Blue Valley Parent Advocates for Gifted Education) is a volunteer parent group that advocates for an enhanced educational experience for gifted students and provides resources and support for their families and educators.
BVPAGE, based in the Blue Valley School District in Kansas, provides experience and knowledge for those just joining the gifted program, for the 1,700 identified currently identified students in the gifted education program, and many more in the process of evaluation, or those who are progressing into new areas and educational experiences. We are here as a resource and we also provide support to parents whose children have been, or are, in the process of being identified as gifted, gifted teachers, and the gifted education program.
BVPAGE Supports Parents
BVPAGE provides access to multiple resources for parents to connect, gather information, and ask questions.
Parent Connections: Sometimes parenting a gifted child can feel lonely. In BVPAGE, you are in a group of peers: our members are parents of gifted children, just like you. We have children ranging in age from Pre-K through adulthood. We parent kids with every imaginable triumph and struggle: kids who are subject and/or grade accelerated, motivated and unmotivated kids, gifted kids who also have a disability, identified kids with unidentified siblings, and much more. The opportunity to talk with other parents who are in your same situation or have passed through it is invaluable.
Informational Monthly Meetings: We hold meetings to provide information, access to resources, to collect information when needed, and to provide emotional support to other parents. Our monthly meetings typically include a discussion topic and time for parents to connect with others. Examples of past topics include: Gifted education curriculum and IEPs, whole grade and Math acceleration, the gifted identification process, Blue Valley school curriculums, and navigating friendships and sibling relationships.
SENG Model Parent Groups: We sponsor small group sessions with facilitators to discuss and learn how to better support the social and emotional needs of gifted children as a parent. The eight-week session covers multiple topics from Dr. James Webb’s book, A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children, and is an invaluable source of information and connections to others.
BVPAGE Supports Students
BVPAGE empowers parents with the information needed to support their children, offers resources for activities, provides grants to gifted education classrooms, and closely works with the school district to advocate for all gifted students.
Parents as Team Members: BVPAGE encourages parents to advocate on behalf of their individual child – as a positive, supportive team member. Parents working as part of the child’s academic team benefits everyone. The team understands the whole child and the student gets the educational experience they need.
Activities for Kids: We host a variety of programs to provide opportunities for kids to be involved and get to know one another outside of the traditional gifted classroom.
Brain Blizzard is a fun, team-based trivia, logic, and general knowledge event for 7th and 8th grade gifted students.
District Robotic Share Fair is a District and BVPAGE co-sponsor an event where 5th grade students from Blue Valley elementary schools come together during the school day to compete in various robotic challenges.
Summer LEGO Robotics Camps offer a variety of half day week long camps for kids interested in robotics who have finished 2nd through 7th grades.
Summer Opportunities Fair is an open house for families to gather information about classes, camps, and activities geared toward gifted and high ability students.
Grants to Gifted Education Classrooms: As funding allows, BVPAGE grants money directly to every gifted classroom in the school district. The interests of the students in each gifted classroom drive the decision for items that are purchased each year. Examples of past purchases include: Marble run kits, stock market simulation kits, architectural design materials, ACT/SAT preparation materials, robot kits, movie making and animation software, books, and catapult and bridge design kits. BVPAGE has also given gifts to the classrooms, including NXT Robotics kits, LEGO kits and original curriculum for robotics challenges.
Collaboration with District: While BVPAGE is not part of the District, we have a positive relationship that creates mutually beneficial results. One example is the addition of a high-level math class for Senior-year high school students. Previously, any student who had accelerated a year in school would have completed all available math classes during their Junior year. With BVPAGE as a catalyst and partner, the school district addressed the issue and implemented a solution.
Author Visits: BVPAGE has sponsored several authors and speakers to provide separate educational sessions for district personnel and parents. These include NAGC board member Sandra Johnson, who addressed gifted education on a state and national level and author Dr. James Webb, who discussed characteristics to look for in identifying gifted children.
BVPAGE Supports Teachers
BVPAGE provides an outlet for parents, a voice and a vote on educational issues, grants for gifted classrooms, and volunteers willing and available to help with projects.
Part of the Team: Gifted teachers work diligently to create individualized plans for every student in their classroom, and to build positive relationships with families. BVPAGE can help parents become more productive team members in their child’s education by providing opportunities to talk with other parents who’ve “been there.” We also encourage “advocating without alienating” and can listen and offer guidance on supporting students and teachers for a successful educational experience. In addition, BVPAGE is a resource teachers can encourage families to use to talk about non-school related issues and activities.
A voice on behalf of education: BVPAGE acts as a conduit to ensure families and gifted teachers are heard at the district and state level and to rally support when legislation has the possibility to affect gifted education.
Here to help: With nearly 600 families in our membership, we can offer assistance with projects, volunteers, or contacts for resources.
Grants: BVPAGE has provided grants to every gifted classroom in the district for multiple years. Teachers use these grants to purchase a wide range of items for their classrooms—everything from general organization supplies, hands-on kits, books and strategy games to computer software, and simulations, online subscriptions, and First LEGO League or other entry/session fees for students.