Advanced Academic Services is part of the Austin Independent School District. This blog provides information, activities, and events regarding advanced academics and high ability children and teens. Smart without compromise. Potential without limits.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Austin Gifted Presents "Saturday Wonders" in January

Two Saturdays of innovative classes designed for gifted learners, ages 8-10.
Space is limited.  See the website for registration information and program details!

Friday, December 7, 2012

NAGC 2012 Recommended Toy List

Games and toys provide a way for children to explore different ways of thinking, moving, and interacting with friends and family members.  Unfortunately, it can be difficult to find the perfect item for your child because the manufacturers' recommended ages is often not correct for gifted children.  Additionally, games that look exciting from the box, can be repetitive after one playing.  For these reasons, the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) presents an annual list of recommded toys for gifted children.  Below is a listing of the current recommended toys and games for 2012. They are organized by categories.

Role-playing/strategy games:  LORDS OF WATERDEEP (recommended for ages 12+)
This game was found by child testers to be easy to learn, but hard to master.  They also found it easy to set up. Strategy varied from game to game, which was appealing to the testers. Compared to other role playing games, the kids found game play to be shorter in an appealing way.  The children also felt it was much easier to learn than the other role playing games.

Word games:  SENTENCE BUILDING (recommended ages for 6-10)
This child testers like that you could make "weird random sentences."  They also enjoyed the free form nature of the game and found that the variety in word-choice made for entertaining game play.

Games of chance:  RAPID REFLEX (recommended for ages 6+)
The children explained that not only did you have to think, but that playing the game was just plain entertaining.  They also found that game to be funny to watch too.  Overall, the child testers found the game easy to learn and simpler than other games in the category.  This made for a quick setup so that game play could quickly begin again.

3-D construction category:  TRIDIO TWIST (recommended for ages 8+)
The child testers said it was similar to many other shape building games they had played in the past, but that having to match colors as well as shapes made it interesting and engaging.  The game required a lot of patience, and may need a higher age-rating, but the consensus was that it was much more fun than many other "building/shape games," and stated, "This game really makes you think- really rewarding when you actually get a puzzle."

Problem solving/general play game:  IQ TWIST (recommended for ages 6-13)
The children enjoyed that it had a lot of levels and was a little more adult than many of the other options.  They found it to be challenging, which they liked.

What old games did these same child testers enjoy playing?  See if your favorite(s) made the list:
- Apples to Apples
- Khet
- Stratego
- Risk
- Chess
- Monopoly
- Uno

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Smile on My Face at Carver Museum

smile invite image 
Support young people who 'discovered' Austin through photography
A Smile on My Face
Winter Photography Workshop
Opening Reception
Saturday, December 8 1 - 3 PM
Exhibition on display through April 6, 2013 
1165 Angelina Street
Austin, TX 78702
RSVP @ 974-4926
George Washington Carver Museum & Cultural Center
1165 Angelina Street
Austin, Texas 78702

Monday, November 26, 2012

Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) Program

Learn how to become a competitive scholarship applicant at the

GMS Educational Workshop
Tuesday, December 4, 2012 | 6:30pm
Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) Early College High School
7309 Lazy Creek Drive
Austin, TX 78724

The Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) Program was established in 1999 by a $1.6 billion grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to UNCF—the United Negro College Fund—the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. The goal of GMS is to educate “Leaders for America’s Future”™ by providing eligible students with the opportunity to complete an undergraduate college education in the discipline of their choice and continue through to a doctoral degree in seven GMS funded fields.

  • Who Should Attend? Students in grades 8 –12 who are:African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian Pacific Islander American or Hispanic American; and
  • 10th graders who have a GPA of 2.8 or above, 11th graders who have a GPA of 3.0 or above, and 12th graders who have a GPA of 3.3 or above, all on a 4.0 unweighted scale, and those who have earned a GED. (8th and 9th graders and GED recipients have no GPA requirement to attend.)
  • Parents/guardians are highly encouraged to attend!

*Once you complete and submit your registration, click “GMS Educational Workshop - Austin, TX” to sign up for the event.

Explore Community Resources

Davidson Gifted DatabaseThe Pivotal Role of Parents in Expanding the World of Young Gifted Children (click here) is an article that provides suggestions on how parents can help young gifted students learn and grow through a variety of options in their local communities.

Monday, November 12, 2012

TAGT 2012 Parent Conference

More information at


Connect, learn and grow with other G/T parents & advocates at the Texas Association for Gifted and Talented (TAGT). Sessions focus on the special nature and needs of gifted children, organizing and advocating within the community, and parenting/family strategies.
The conference will be held November 30, 2012 at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel & Convention Center at 400 North Olive Street in Downtown Dallas. Registration is $55 for members, $80 for nonmembers.

·         Register Online or with the PDF Form
·         Print and distribute the PDF Flyer
·         Interested in advertising or sponsoring? Click here for the prospectus.

If you are travelling need to stay Thursday or Friday nights, TAGT has arranged a special room rate of $139/night. Make your reservations online or call (214) 922-8000. Remember to mention the TAGT Annual Conference.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Austin ISD 2nd Annual GT Parent Education and GT Elementary Student Enrichment Event

“Supporting Your Child’s Gifts for the Future”

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Doors open 8:45 a.m.
9:20 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Akins High School - Austin ISD
Free. No registration required.
Concurrent sessions allow parents and students to explore interests.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Austin Association for Gifted and Talented Meeting

The Austin Association for Gifted and Talented (AAGT) is a local parent group that supports advocacy and information sharing regarding gifted children and gifted education. Information on the upcoming meeting is listed below:

October 25, 2012
6:00 p.m.

Professional Development Center (PDC) at Baker Center
3908 Avenue B
Austin, TX 78751

Tracy Weinberg from the Texas Association for Gifted and Talented (TAGT) will be speaking. Tips will be shared on how to talk to your gifted child's teacher.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

"The Rules of Basketball" currently on display at The Blanton Museum of Art

"The Rules of Basketball"
Blanton Museum of Art
The University of Texas at Austin
MLK at Congress
Austin, Texas 78701
Sept. 16-Jan. 13, 2013, 1-5 p.m.
Recurs daily.
"This fall, the Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas at Austin presents The Rules of Basketball, an exhibition of works by contemporary artist Paul Pfeiffer, presented in conjunction with a special display of James Naismith’s "Original Rules of Basket Ball" — the 1891 document that outlined the 13 original rules of the game. In a rare union, the exhibition considers the sport from a historical perspective, and, on a more psychological level, explores the phenomena and spectacle that surround it..." (Click to continue reading)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Texas College and Career Resource Site from TEA

The Texas Education Agency announced the launch of a new free online college and career planning website for Texas students, parents and educators.

The Texas College & Career resource site,, provides information about college options, academic and financial preparation for college, higher education admissions and career research.
The website provides portfolio building tools that include a career interest and values survey, career profiles with emphasis on high-growth career paths, college awareness, college search and match tools, resume building, interviewing skills, college application and essay guidance and college admission portfolios.

View the press release here:

Friday, September 28, 2012

PSAT Registration Information

The PSAT/NMSQT will be held on Wednesday, October 17, 2012. There are no Saturday test administrations in Austin ISD. Please contact your child's campus with questions. If your child is a home school student or a private school student, please contact the Austin ISD Guidance and Counseling Department at 414-0174.

Private School and Home-Schooled Students Click Here

The PSAT/NMSQT measures:
  • Critical reading skills
  • Math problem-solving skills
  • Writing skills
Common reasons for taking the PSAT/NMSQT are to:
  • Receive feedback on strengths and weaknesses on skills necessary for college study.
  • See how performance on an admissions test might compare with that of others applying to college.
  • Enter the competition for scholarships from National Merit Scholarship Corporation (grade 11).
  • Help prepare for the SAT.
  • Receive information from colleges by checking "yes" to Student Search Service.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Vietnamese Mid-Autumn Festival This Friday

Join the Summit Elementary community for an evening of fun in celebration of Vietnamese tradition!
Summit Elementary School
12207 Brigadoon Ln.
Austin, TX 78727

TAGT Award Winners from Austin ISD

Congratulations to two of Austin ISD's leaders in the education of and advocacy for gifted students. Dennis Harms, Assistant Principal at Anderson HS, has been awarded the Texas Association for Gifted and Talented Hill Country Area Administrator of the Gifted Award; Janae McClure, Kealing Middle School parent, has been awarded the Texas Association for Gifted and Talented Hill Country Area Parent of the Gifted Award. The Hill Country Area consists of Education Service Center regions 6, 12, 13, and 20.  Both of these individuals have received recognition for contributing time and effort in support of the education of gifted children and encouraging shared leadership and participation among administrators, professionals, community leaders, and parents.