FCAG Membership Communications
Stories for Centers
Stories for Centers
is a collection of personal experiences and opinions by parents, teachers, and community members about AAP Centers.
To address the potential impact of proposed budget cuts, FCAG created the document entitled FCAG Position on 2017 Budget Task Force Proposed Cuts
Member Calls to Action and Meeting Announcements
The County made a major error in its online posting of the Budget Task Force recommendations.
The Budget Task Force has recommended to Dr. Garza that
ALL AAP LEVEL IV CENTERS BE CUT AND REPLACED
WITH LOCAL LEVEL IV THIS FALL.
This includes both Middle School and Elementary School Centers.
The County says they made a typographical error, and will update the Budget Task Force recommendation shortly; it currently contains a suggestion only to cut Level IV Centers at elementary schools. There is no money allotted to create new Local Level IV programs.
Please, please, write to your School Board members if you want to support Centers. If we don't act, Centers will go away. You can email the old and new members through the links here:
Click on the link under "contact us" to email individual school board members. You can write to all SB members if you like, or you can find your district representative through the link above that. Remember there are also at-large SB members who represent us all.
You should also send your letter to Superintendent Garza, whose email is
Karen Garza email@example.com
Here are some suggested points. Obviously feel free to edit however you see fit. If we don't send letters and let them know how we feel about the structure of Level IV services, we will no longer have them. It's a nice idea to add a sentence introducing yourself as an FCPS resident and sharing the grades/schools of your children. The more personal the better!
Dear SB members and Dr. Garza:
My child is.... [enter grade and school]
I urge you to retain the AAP Level IV Center program and busing to the Centers for all Level IV qualified students in the upcoming budget decisions. These programs have served tens of thousands of kids over the years, and have provided the challenge that gifted, talented, and academically advanced kids need. Centers bring children together from several schools in order to serve their special needs with other, similar kids. If you remove the Center options, either for all kids or for kids who have access to Local Level IV services, you will significantly change the current, successful model of gifted education just at the time that the federal government is moving toward recognition of gifted and talented children and their needs in federal law (through the ESSA).
Centers were designed to meet the needs of gifted kids by providing them with a curriculum designed to challenge them, and a peer group with similar needs. The Centers, by pooling several schools together, simply house a wider range of personality, intellectual talents and expression, providing a peer group experience that is generally different than in Local Level IV.
Busing for kids to Centers when they have access to a Local Level IV is a matter of equity. The differences between Center and Local Level IV are highly regionally dependent. Many families who prefer a Center program do not have the resources to drive their kids to school, even if their child needs the Center services. Parents with resources may be able to pupil-place to a Center or go to private school, while those who need a bus will simply have fewer choices. Centers also provide the critical mass specified as essential for new Level IV programs by the 2013 outside review commissioned by FCPS. Few if any Local Level IV programs meet this criterion.
Eliminating Centers will have an extremely negative impact on the County's effort to challenge all kids. This will introduce more inequities in the school system, whereby affluent parents who can move to a region of the County with a good Local Level IV program will do so. In a short period of time, housing prices will vary even more within the county, as wealthy parents move to schools with better local programs. We will have even more disparity among the schools than we see now.
Significant changes to programming should not be driven by small budget considerations. The money for busing students to Centers is just over 0.1 percent of the FCPS budget, yet the program brings acclaim to FCPS across the country and even internationally. Even these small purported savings may vanish when the costs associated to creating new Level IV programs and sustaining larger local programs become clear. Please do not make short-sighted decisions in order to save a few dollars.
Thank you for your support!
Meet, Greet and Strategize!
Thank you to everyone who came to our Meet, Greet and Strategize event on October 28.
If you missed it or you would like to see the slides again, please click here
We will be following up by email and announcements on our message board about next steps.
FCAG Position on 2017 Budget Task Force Proposed Cuts
The Fairfax County Association for the Gifted officially endorses the following petition to the FCPS Budget Task Force.
Petition to the FCPS Budget Task Force
Please consider signing!
Stories for Centers!
Update Budget Task Force
Fairfax County is considering scenarios for extreme budget cuts.
These cuts will will be felt by all of us, and could affect many programs for gifted kids, including AAP and the music programs in the elementary and middle schools, AP and IB offerings, and Thomas Jefferson High School.
FCAG has met with the Chair of the Budget Task Force, who makes a recommendation to Karen Garza about where to save money.
FCAG and will meet with the Chair again next week.
The preliminary list of budget cut items can be found here.
It includes, among many items, eliminating AAP Centers, eliminating bus service to Centers for students who have a Local Level IV AAP, reducing funding for TJ by eliminating its 8th period, delaying the music program in elementary school by a year.
It also proposed significant class size increases, which impacts all kids and could result in reduced high school advanced course offerings.
What messages should FCAG convey to the Budget Task Force? Join the conversation. Email your thoughts to Rebecca at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Rebecca at 703-994-3762.
There are two upcoming public meetings where our voice can be heard.
Please consider attending, asking pointed questions, and speaking. We really need more people to step up for funding gifted education.
Wednesday, September 9 at South Lakes High School from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, September 12 at Mount Vernon High School from 10 a.m. to 12 noon.
President Letter (Fall 2016)
FCAG held a year-end General Membership Meeting on June 1 at 6:00 pm at Luther Jackson
Middle School in the auditorium.
FCAG's new elected offices for the 2015-2016 school year.
- President - Rebecca Goldin
- Vice President -
- Treasurer - Jane Guo
- Secretary - Nancy Levonian
In late 2014, we moved our newsletters to an online venue. Please join FCAG
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Elementary School Algebra Qualifiers
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FCPS MS Algebra SOL Pass Advanced Rates
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