What is BVPAGE?
Welcome to BVPAGE!
Based in the Blue Valley School District in Overland Park, Kansas, BVPAGE (Blue Valley Parent Advocates for Gifted Education) is a fully volunteer parent group with a mission is to advocate for an enhanced educational experience for gifted students and to provide resources and support for their families and educators.
While BVPAGE originally began as a support group for Blue Valley to support the families of the 1,700 currently identified gifted students in our school district, we now welcome families anywhere (particularly the KC metro area) whose children are
suspected to be gifted,
are in the evaluation process of being identified as gifted, or
who have already been identified as gifted.
While there are some things about our meetings that are district specific, much of the conversation we have relates to gifted parents everywhere, particularly in our closed Facebook group. Our goal is to support each other, pass on ideas and success stories, refer parents to resources, and help navigate the crazy world of gifted education for our children. If you have a question or are interested in joining the conversation or keeping up with our meeting and events schedule, you have several options:
visit us on Facebook, request to join the group, and answer the membership questions. Approvals usually take less than 24 hours, and then you'll have access to more than 300 people, one of whom will likely have an answer, or at least be able to relate!
email the board and one of our members will get back to you.
join our mailing list to be kept up to date on our events and meetings. We try to keep it to one email a month.
Finally, consider becoming a Friend of BVPAGE to get free access to our events and evening meetings.
Read on to find out more about what we do to support families and educators, and to hear what others have to say about BVPAGE.
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 and Professional Speakers: 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.
Gifted Education Teachers Support BVPAGE
BVPAGE has been a valuable asset to Gifted Education in Blue Valley! As a gifted education teacher, I feel supported 100% by BVPAGE in serving students who are gifted. BVPAGE has brought in valuable speakers on many important topics, assisted parents in navigating a variety of situations, and provided gifted education teachers with financial assistance to purchase materials for the classroom. On top of this, BVPAGE voiced concerns two years ago and helped prevent the state of Kansas from removing gifted education services from the state Special Education mandate. For all of these reasons and more, I appreciate the partnership I have with BVPAGE. I wouldn’t be able to effectively do my job without the unwavering support of BVPAGE.
I'd like to thank you for your continued support and backing. Throughout the last few years we have used your generous donations to supplement our classroom resources. We have been able to strengthen our curriculum and offer students a more varied collection of resources. More than anything, your continued work for gifted ed is vital to our success. Thank you!
Your organization is such a valuable resource for our families and us. Thanks so much! As I start the year, I am using the Social Emotional Learning resources and college resources we purchased last year!
Blue Valley School District Supports BVPAGE
The partnership with BVPAGE is a great example of the positive results that occur when a group of parents and the district work together. Their efforts to provide support to parents, teachers and students is a valuable extension of the district’s Gifted Education Program. We are extremely fortunate to have a committed parent organization like BVPAGE.
Dr. Todd White
BVPAGE is an important partner to our district as we improve programs to meet the special needs of our gifted students. While the members of BVPAGE are certainly are advocates for their children, they approach the district from the perspective of a partner who assumes positive intent, rather than as an advisory. Because of this approach, a level of trust has developed where we work together on common goals and are able to discuss openly our different perspectives when program disagreements arise.
Dr. Mark Schmidt
Assistant Superintendent for Well Being and Student Support
Having BV Page members on the district Curriculum and Instruction Committee has allowed for a clear line of open communication regarding curriculum topics within the district. It allows an opportunity for two way communication on topics that are important to both the district and parents of gifted learners. This relationship is positive and has continued through leadership changes in both BV Page and the District.
Dr. Tonya Merrigan
Chief Learning Officer
The Blue Valley parents who lead Blue Valley Parent Advocates for Gifted Education (BVPAGE) have created a collaborative team that works in partnership with Blue Valley Schools to ensure that the needs of students in gifted education are met. BVPAGE and Blue Valley Schools have a beautiful, reciprocal relationship that supports each organizations’ goals and objectives. As the administrator of Blue Valley’s gifted education services, I feel blessed to know that BVPAGE is an important part of the support network for our students, their parents, and their teachers in gifted education. The organization strives to provide accurate, timely information and support for families, and they are an impactful voice in the bigger picture of Blue Valley Schools. Other organizations/groups would be wise to follow the approach BVPAGE has used in building a trusting, collaborative relationship with Blue Valley Schools.
Coordinator of Gifted Education