Promoting deeper and more joyful learning for Piedmont students


Inspiring a Passion for Learning

We support K-12 programs that help advanced learners stay engaged, challenged, and learning during the school day. Our letters to the school district clearly define our annual goals.


Below are some examples of what your support helped us accomplish in the 2017-2018 school year:

  • Provided $8,000 for 2017-18 differentiation specialist/coach Amy Symons Burke;
  • Met regularly with Dr. Cheryl Wozniak about updates to the secondary math pathways, provided survey questions and feedback on topics to ask middle and high school students and families, discussed concerns with teachers, staff and parents and shared feedback with administration,   attended and represented the needs of advanced math learners in meetings and during the School Board’s consideration of changes to the pathways;
  • Co-hosted September 2017 GATE Parent Information Night for parents with Dr. Wozniak and school GATE coordinators;
  • Co-sponsored Education Speaker Series event with Parenting Author Mary Sheedy Kurcinka, author of multiple books, including Raising Your Spirited Child;
  • Hosted a parent education night with Dr. Lisa White, a psychologist from the Summit Center, about different ways to challenge students with advanced learning needs;
  • Met with the Principals of each our six schools (PHS, MHS, PMS, Havens, Wildwood and Beach) to discuss how advanced learners can best be accommodated in the classroom;
  • Advocated for the District to keep track of race and gender statistics for students who are GATE-identified; and
  • Shared information about opportunities and events for advanced learners with our community.

During the 2015-2016 school year together we accomplished the following:

  • Supported creation of new Site Level GATE Coordinator stipend positions for teachers to support their colleagues in meeting the needs of gifted and advanced learners
  • Conducted successful campaign to support part-time district-wide differentiation specialist
  • Contributed funds for a math differentiation specialist for Common Core 6 Math
  • Hosted 2e/Twice Exceptional Movie Night with PRAISE
  • Participated in Gifted Advisory Council (GAC) meetings with administration, teachers, and parents, including work on GATE identification and teacher training
  • Presented joint event with PUSD administration, teachers, and parents about “A Focus on Differentiation”
  • Shared news and information with our members and the broader community

During the school year 2014-2015, our group:
● Identified and helped fund the cost of hiring a third-party expert (Dr. Cheryl Holzmeyer) to synthesize relevant research to inform the decisions of the Piedmont Math Task Force (e.g., whether to adopt an integrated or traditional pathway; whether and how to cluster students by ability level)
● Provided a $5,000 grant to support the district in sending 10 teachers to attend an intense 2-day workshop on “Differentiation for ALL learners” in Las Vegas, Nevada. The teachers who attended then shared their learnings with other teachers and district staff.
● Provided ongoing input, advice, and support to district staff on the design of the Common Core Math Pathways
● Co-hosted a Parent Information Night for Parents of Advanced Learners with Randy Booker on October 16, 2014
● In conjunction with district staff, co-hosted a teacher panel on differentiated instruction on December 2, 2014
● Hosted a talk by Piedmont High School Assistant Principal Ginna Guiang-Myers on differentiation and then facilitated an interactive group discussion with parents on May 11, 2015.
● Shared information about Common Core Math changes and other, related news to our members and the broader community
● Helped fund a second research report by Dr. Cheryl Holzmeyer on different approaches to identifying students as advanced learners.
● Provided $3,000 funding for hands-on professional development in writing for our tri-school Kindergarten teachers with the Lucy Calkins program.

In the previous year, our group:

  • Launched a grant program and started funding teacher requests for programs/materials to support advanced learners
  • Introduced and funded the Silicon Valley Math Initiative which PUSD will use for math curriculum and teacher training
  • Provided Khan Academy training for 20+ teachers
  • Hosted member events, bringing together 30-40 parents and teachers
  • Worked with PUSD to refine roles for differentiation coaches at each school site
  • Generated community support and awareness on PUSD plans for math pathways in the Common Core

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *