PAGE is a long time affiliate of NAGC since 1970-2010.
Several PAGE board members assisted PDE in the development and completion of the PDE Gifted Guidelines, 2004. These Guidelines have played and important role in the development and implementation of school district programs for the gifted across Pennsylvania, and are used by other state educational agencies as a model for gifted program policy and practice.
Role, advocacy, determination, and pressure to insist that the PA Dept. of Ed institute and enforce school district compliance of Chapter 16 regulations.
Joint effort by PAGE and PSEA to publish and distribute very useful and informative publications about gifted education for both parents and teachers. Widely used and requested, etc. Titles are: Understanding and Challenging the Gifted: An Introduction for Teachers and the new booklet for parents – Parents Guide to Gifted Education in Pennsylvania.
PAGE History (from the Archives)
The Pennsylvania Association for Gifted Education had its origins in the Pennsylvania Association for the Study and Education of the Mentally Gifted (PASEMG) which emerged from a Conference on Gifted Children and Youth held May, 1951 at Pennsylvania State College. This conference had been organized by Margaret A. Neuber, Chairperson of the Special Education Department at Penn State; and, Dr. Hedwig O. Pregler, Principal of Colfax School in Pittsburgh, early pioneers in gifted education. In November, 1951, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Dr. Pregler was elected President. At a meeting in Pittsburgh on May 16-17, 1952, a constitution was adopted which established the name of the organization as “The Pennsylvania Association for the Study and Education of the Mentally Gifted.” This name remained until the Association approved the change to “Pennsylvania Association for Gifted Education,” on September 24, 1977.
A Board of Directors meets to conduct the business of the Association. The Board is composed of the elected officers — president, president-elect, second vice president, secretary-parliamentarian, and treasurer (the Executive Committee); immediate past president, affiliate regional directors, various appointed positions, and several members-at-large. In recent years, because of PAGE ‘s great growth an executive secretary has been appointed to assist with much of the day-to-day work.
PAGE published its first Newsletter in March, 1958. This was succeeded by the PAGE Report which was published from 1974-1981. Presently the PAGE UPDATE is published four times annually. There are 2000 printed for distribution. Also, the “PAGE Alert” and “Read and React” are designed to advise the membership of the status of the current matters and of the need to contact education officials and elected representatives regarding issues.
The PAGE emblem was adopted April 21, 1961. This is the symbol of Minerva, goddess of wisdom and learning. In July, 1981, a contest resulted in a new logo. The PAGE logo was adopted in 1991. A new logo has been adopted beginning February of 2010.
In October, 1971, the Board of Directors decided to award annually the Margaret A. Neuber Award d for contribution to education of gifted children. The first Neuber Award was presented at the Lebanon Valley College Conference, 1972. Neuber Award recipients have been parents, school representatives, state and local officials.
PAGE has endeavored to contribute to the educational needs of gifted children in a number of ways. Through the years, PAGE has held conferences on an annual basis. Most of these have been statewide, although some have been regional conferences. PAGE members made presentations to the Governor’s Task Force of 1960 in the areas of Teacher Education and Relations, Curriculum, Guidance and Counseling, Administration, and Higher Education. The Association communicated with the United States House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor in 1962 regarding legislation pertaining to special education. PAGE participated in the Governor’s Committee on Children and Youth in 1962. The Association has sought to influence the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Pennsylvania Legislature regarding regulations and legislation on behalf of education for gifted pupils. PAGE members have sought to encourage local boards of education and administrators to develop and to expand programs for gifted education. In 1975 and 1976, representatives of the Association appeared before the hearings of the Pennsylvania State Board of Education regarding procedures and regulations pertaining to gifted children. In 1977, PAGE became a member of the Consortium which meets to discuss Pennsylvania state educational matters.
In 1981, PAGE provided a series of sixty-second pre-recorded tapes of public service announcements for distribution to radio stations throughout the state. PAGE has provided support in conducting the Future Problem Solving Bowl program in Pennsylvania.
In 1984, a member of the PAGE Board of Directors conducted a review of the gifted program procedures in eleven Intermediate Units of Pennsylvania. Primary concerns included such elements as poor documentation, due process procedures, substandard classroom space, inadequate programs, unspecific curricula, and inadequate inservice and supervision. The information was disseminated to education entities and to the PAGE membership.
In 1984, PAGE formed a task force to evolve certification standards for teachers of gifted students. The rationale for this was based on a 1984 survey of PAGE members along with longstanding feelings by many for this. In addition, the task force surveyed other educational organizations for their reaction and input. Letters of support were received from several colleges and universities endorsing the need for certification of teachers of the gifted. A legal basis for this was submitted with the proposal. Meetings with various Pennsylvania Department of Education officials have been held. On February 19, 1987, the State Board of Education held hearings at three locations to consider adoption of PAGE ‘s request for certification of teachers of the gifted.
In 1985, PAGE cooperated with the Pennsylvania Department of Education in compiling a list of summer programs offered by Pennsylvania colleges and universities for six to eighteen-year olds. This compilation listed eighty-four institutions of higher learning offering programs at ninety-eight locations. PAGE has been actively involved in supporting directly, or as Amicus Curiae, several court cases on behalf of gifted children and interpretation of due process as it pertains to the formulating of individual education prescriptions for these students. PAGE has also provided advocacy assistance to parents and children.
PAGE was active in recommendations to the Pennsylvania Department of Education Task Force on Gifted Education.
In the mid 1970’s, PAGE authorized the organization of local affiliate chapters — Western, Central, and Eastern. By early 1992, there were seventy-three PAGE affiliates. The affiliates provide parent education and assist in advocacy efforts at the local level. Each year an affiliate weekend is held to provide them with leadership assistance and the current status of gifted education in Pennsylvania.
In 1985, the Association initiated the PAGE Educator of the Year Award which is given at the state conference. More recently, the Association acted to present two additional awards: The Young Humanitarian Award, and Parent of the Year Award.
A handbook for teachers and parents entitled Gifted in Pennsylvania was prepared and published by PAGE in 1989. It has been widely disseminated throughout the state.
In 1989-90, during hearings on revisions of Special Education Standards and Regulations, PAGE presented much testimony on behalf of gifted students. Following this revision, PAGE developed a checklist for parents to familiarize them with student rights.
In March, 1992, training sessions were held for affiliate regional directors to provide guidance for acting as advocates and leadership for effective parent training and understanding of giftedness.
Penngifted.org website was developed, earning PAGE the distinction as the first gifted state organization with a online presence. Our website was a model for other gifted state and national organizations.
PAGE has been a long time affiliate of NAGC, National Association for Gifted Children.
PAGE celebrated the 50th anniversary at the conference at the Harrisburg Hilton in April of 2001 by inviting many former Presidents and leaders in gifted education, focusing on building for the future and honoring the work of the past.
Since at least 1998, PAGE continuously used advocacy, determination and pressure to insist that the PA Dept. of Ed institute and enforce school district compliance of Chapter 16 regulations. Hundreds of hours were spent advocating, educating and building connections with political leaders under 3 different Secretaries of Education and 7 PAGE Presidents to fight for the rights of gifted students.
Several PAGE board members assisted PDE in the development and completion of the PDE Gifted Guidelines, 2004. These Guidelines have played an important role in the development and implementation of school district programs for the gifted across Pennsylvania, and used by other state educational agencies as a model for gifted program policy and practice.
In 2006, PAGE was invited as a stakeholder, to give testimony into revisions of Chapter 16, Special Education for Gifted Students. Board members sought input from membership and testified at the stakeholders meeting, three Roundtable sessions, Legislative committee hearings, meetings with Governor staff and at the State Board of Education to lobby for changes to Chapter 16. We asked for numerous changes including, stronger compliance and monitoring processes, lower case load numbers, clarification to identification, provisions for assessing needs, complaint process for parents, etc. PAGE Board members and individual members lobbied for the improvements throughout the process culminating in testimony at the IRRC, Independent Regulatory Review Committee approval meeting.
After the passage of Chapter 16 in 2008, PAGE was asked to help identify people for a stakeholders group to work on documents related to Chapter 16. Several members of PAGE, both parents and educators, were selected for the committee. The stakeholders group worked closely with PDE to develop usable documents related to GIEP’s.
Each year since 2000, NAGC Affiliate Leaders advocated for gifted students at the National Level. PAGE presidents and vice presidents lobbied PA congressmen and women during the Affiliate Leaders Conference in Washington D. C.
In 2005 PAGE Board members were asked to help develop monitoring documents for a pilot monitoring of 10 school districts in PA. The pilot lead to inclusion of monitoring language in Chapter 16.
PAGE website was re-designed in 2006 with links to many helpful resources for parents and teachers.
PAGE lobbied unsuccessfully, for language to be included in Chapter 49 that would add certification standards for teachers of gifted students.
In 2006, PAGE was asked to become a member of Special Education Communication Committee, so that all advocates of exceptional children were represented on this Department of Education ad hoc committee.
PAGE alerted members of the cuts in funding for the Governor’s Schools of Excellence in the 2009 budget process and asked for continued monetary support for those schools. Funding was cut.
PAGE partnered with PSEA, PTA, etc. in support of the Costing Out Study by the Department of Education that sought adequate and fair funding for all student groups in education.
PAGE partnered with numerous organizations and continues to ask for support of the PA School Funding Campaign for adequate funding for all students
PAGE continues to hold a yearly conference that travels among three areas of the state. These conferences have become the leading educational and networking events for gifted education for parents and teachers in PA. National gifted experts and knowledgeable state presenters disseminate information to school district personnel, parents and teachers for the betterment of gifted students in the Commonwealth. PAGE conferences are well respected and renowned across the nation.
In 2008 PAGE and PSEA joined efforts to publish and distribute the very useful and informative publication about gifted education for teachers. The popularity of the widely used and requested booklet: Understanding and Challenging the Gifted: An Introduction for Teachers lead PAGE to develop a partnership with PTA and PSEA to publish a booklet for parents in January of 2010.
PAGE continues to holds an annual training weekend for the local affiliate group leaders from across the state to educate them in relevant gifted issues and leadership training.
In February of 2010 a new face was brought to the PAGE website, with a new address, giftedpage.org and redesigned new PAGE logo.
-George R. Witkovich April, 1992,
-Donna J. Benson, Revised in February, 2010