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Why Parents Should Attend the AGATE Conference

February 28, 2012

The Montana AGATE spring conference is primarily for educators, but there are some great benefits for parents of gifted kids, too.

I am particularly excited about one of the keynote speakers, James Webb, the founder of SENG (Social Emotional Needs of the Gifted).  I heard him speak three times in one day, to three different audiences, and would have come back for three more sessions the next day.  He gave the AGATE board of directors 16 presentation topics to choose from and every one of them would be great; unfortunately, we could only pick three.

If you can sneak away to Great Falls on Thursday, you can:

  • Hear Marcia Gentry speak about cluster grouping.  Frankly, I’ve given up on differentiation, and believe that either having classes composed solely of gifted students or, as Gentry advocates, 1/2 of gifted students, is the only way to go…and she has the data to back up why that is better.
  • Attend any of about 15 breakout sessions.
  • Listen to a panel of experts and ask them questions on Thursday evening.   Unlike the conference itself, this event is FREE, but you need to reserve a seat here.  (7 p.m. Thursday April 12, Hilton Garden Inn)

On Friday, you can:

  • Choose from about 15 different lectures and breakout sessions.
  • Catch Dr. Webb’s lecture on “Accurate Assessment?  Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnosis of Gifted Children”.   He is the only national speaker who addresses this issue.
  • Hear Dr. Webb talk about  “Preparing for College? Or Preparing for Life?: The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth”  at our Awards Ceremony for winners of the AGATE SAT Challenge and the AGATE Student Scholarships.   This event is also FREE and open to the public, but please reserve your seat here.   (7 p.m. Friday April 13, Chili’s banquet room)   Dr. Webb’s presentation will be about 30 minutes long and will start after the awards are presented.

Saturday offers events for both you and your children:

  • Are “Motivation and Underachievement” an issue in your household?  Dr. Webb will address those issues in his keynote presentation Saturday morning.
  • While you are attending Dr. Webb’s keynote address your gifted children can “Take Flight”.  Students will learn the principles of flight, design their own airplanes, tour a helicopter, meet a missile commander, and meet a world record-holding paper airplane competitor via video conference.  Separate registration required by March 30th.

Can’t afford to pay for the conference?   Apply for one of the parent fee waivers.

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