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Meeting the Needs of Gifted Military-Connected Students: A Call for Research. Susan Jackson, Phd Celebrating high potential Amanda Trimillos , nbct NBCT Program ambassador Military liaison National university USA WCGTC 2013 World conference August 12, 2013. Session Agenda.

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meeting the needs of gifted military connected students a call for research

Meeting the Needs of Gifted Military-Connected Students: A Call for Research

Susan Jackson, Phd

Celebrating high potential

Amanda Trimillos, nbct

NBCT Program ambassador

Military liaison

National university


WCGTC 2013 World conference

August 12, 2013

session agenda
Session Agenda

Military-connected children and families

2011- Strengthening Our Military Families

Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children

2012-Education of the Military Family in the 21st Century

White House Initiative - Operation Educate the Educators

Supporting gifted military-connected children and adolescents

Recommendations for gifted education research

National University School of Education

military connected children and families
Military-Connected Children and Families

In 2011, 1.9 million children had at least one parent serving in the military.

220,000 children had a parent who was deployed.

In 2009, 30% of service members were deployed more than once.

Average deployment lasts 12 to 15 months.

Increased involvement and deployment of National Guard and Reserve forces.

(Aronson et al., 2011; Military Child Education Coaltion, 2012)

family experiences
Family Experiences

Frequent relocations, school transitions, and long separations.

Child in military family moves an average of 6 to 9 times over K-12 school career.

Only 7% of children of active-duty service members are served by military base schools.

(Esqueda, et al., 2012; Interagency Policy Committee, 2011; Military K-12 Partners, 2013)

problems encountered during school transitions
Problems Encountered During School Transitions
  • School calendars inconsistent.
  • Loss of credit due to move from traditional to block schedule.
  • Differences in curricula, scope and sequence.
  • Different requirements for high school graduation.
  • Challenges due to high-stakes testing.
  • Limited ability to accommodate students for extracurricular activities.
  • Variation in quality of partnerships between schools and military installations.

(Military Child Education Coalition, 2012)

issues for gifted military connected students
Issues For Gifted Military-Connected Students

Inconsistency in programs and services from state to state and district to district.

Delays in transferring records, which could mean delay in providing services.

Differing requirements, so would have to re-qualify for inclusion in a program.

States where gifted program is part of special education might require IEP.

(Military Child Education Coalition, 2012)

social emotional issues for all students
Social-Emotional Issues For All Students
  • Connecting with peers
    • Leaving old friends, sustaining relationships
    • Making new friends
    • Breaking into existing social networks
  • Adjusting to new community
  • Dealing with deployment
    • Pre-deployment
    • Deployment
    • Return from deployment
transitional issues for gifted students
Transitional Issues for Gifted Students

Some high-achieving students may experience loss of achievement or failure moving from middle school to high school (Smith, 2006).

Academically promising low-income minority youth more vulnerable to decline in academic motivation when moving to ninth grade (Newman, et al., 2000).

African American students are less likely to have support from African American peers for academic excellence (Newman, et al., 2000).

additional issues for gifted students
Additional Issues for Gifted Students

Intensity and sensitivity may affect responses to major stressors, such as family relocating (Lovecky, 1992).

Adults may not provide emotional support when needed because gifted children perceived as more able (Peterson, 2003).

Students with high ability experiencing high distress do not often reveal that distress to parents or adults (Peterson, et al., 2009).

Gifted students tend to have more social than academic concerns (feelings of social deficiency, problems with peers) during and after transitions (Peterson, et al., 2009).

resilience in gifted children
Resilience in Gifted Children

Stressful events can lead to resilience.

High-achieving students often maintain high levels of achievement that help them maintain achievement during high-stress life events (Peterson et al., 2009).

Some gifted students may be more likely to have heightened self-concept and be more mature than age-peers (Plucker, 1999).

resilience in military connected children
Resilience in Military-Connected Children
  • With multiple moves,
    • More able to deal with transitions.
    • More able to blend in with new social context.
    • More adaptable to new cultures.
    • More accepting of diversity.
  • Children often take on more responsibility in family when parent deployed.
    • Positive, if child developmentally ready. (Bradshaw et al., 2010).
  • Resilience in military families dependent on
    • Successful formal and informal networks.
      • Military
      • Community – family, school, mental health professionals, organizations, etc.

(Aronson et al., 2011)

2011 strengthening our military families
2011 – Strengthening Our Military Families

Priority #1 – Enhance the overall well-being and psychological health of the military family.

Priority #2 – Ensure excellence in military children’s education and their development.

Priority #3 – Developing career and educational opportunities for military spouses.

Priority #4 – Increasing child care availability and quality within the Armed Forces.

(Interagency Policy Committee, 2011)

2 ensure excellence in military children s education and their development
#2 - Ensure excellence in military children’s education and their development.
  • Need 2.1 – Improve the quality of the educational experience.
    • Commitment - Include grant programs to meet the needs of military-connected students.
      • DOE/DODEA offers grants specific to military programs -
    • Commitment - Support math and science achievement.
    • Commitment - Make DoDEA schools leaders in using advanced learning technologies.
priority 2
Priority #2
  • Need 2.2 – Reduce negative impacts of frequent relocations and absences.
    • Commitment - Develop Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children.
    • Commitment - Accelerate professional development for school staff regarding academic needs, including special education.
  • Need 2.3 – Encourage the healthy development of military children.
    • Commitment – Partner with 4H clubs, youth programs, educational, recreational, and cultural programs.

(Interagency Policy Committee, 2011)

interstate compact on educational opportunity for military children
Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children

Created to “reduce or eliminate barriers to educational success for children in military families as they transition between schools and across state lines” (Esqueda et al., p. 67, 2012).

In 2009, only 43% of DoDEA parents gave positive ratings to their children’s civilian schools (Tunac de Pedro et al., 2011).

46 states now have compacts, most recently Idaho and Montana (MIC3, 2013).

97% of active duty military children are now covered by a compact (MIC3, 2013).

who is eligible for assistance under the compact
Who Is Eligible for Assistance Under the Compact?
  • Children of
    • Active duty members of the uniformed services.
    • National Guard and Reserve on active duty orders.
    • Members or veterans who are medically discharged or retired for (1) year.
    • Members who die on active duty.
highlights for gifted students
Highlights for Gifted Students

Article IV - Educational and Enrollment Records

  • Receiving state shall allow student to continue enrollment at grade level from sending state.
  • Gifted students accelerated by grade should be enrolled in that grade.
  • Article VII - Graduation
    • Specific required courses waived if similar course completed.
    • Exit or end-of-course exams accepted.
highlights for gifted students1
Highlights for Gifted Students
  • Article V - Placement and Attendance
    • Gifted students should receive appropriate placement for honors and AP courses.
    • Gifted students should receive appropriate placement in gifted programs.
    • Gifted students should receive excused absences related to family member’s deployment.
  • Article VI - Eligibility for Enrollment
    • Gifted students should be able to participate in extracurricular activities, regardless of deadlines.
education of the military child in the 21 st century
Education of the Military Child in the 21st Century

Identified transitional issues.

Many schools offered support programs and services, but teachers not aware of or knowledgeable about them.

Students still required to re-test to qualify for gifted and special needs programs.

Many school districts not aware that their states have signed the Compact or what the provisions are.

(Military Child Education Coalition, 2012)

white house initiative operation educate the educators
White House Initiative “Operation Educate the Educators”

Dr. Jill Biden urges teacher-preparation universities to prepare educators to serve military-connected students. The emphasis of the program is to inform and train military-connected teachers on how to best support over 1.3 million military-students who are found across America in every school district.

The vast majority of students are

public school students,

not in DoDEA schools

supporting gifted military connected children and adolescents
Supporting Gifted Military-Connected Children and Adolescents

Don’t assume, because they’re gifted, that gifted children don’t need support.

Listen to their concerns and discuss their worries.

Show your appreciation of their family’s service.

Educate yourself about military life.

Help them get involved in organizations that will help them find their interests and talents.

Military and gifted kids understand the value of service. Encourage them to lead a community service project.

more ways to support
More Ways to Support

Involve your school in the MCEC Student 2 Student program.

Celebrate the Month of the Military Child in April.

Connect with the non-deployed parent.

Be aware of the dates of the parent’s departure and return from deployment.

Create a photo album, scrapbook, video, or other memento for a child who is moving.

Ask a local Wounded Warrior program representative to conduct a workshop about the needs of combat-injured families.

Find more ideas with the National Military Family Association’s Toolkits (see Additional Resources).

advice for gt parents from a military spouse and former military child
Advice for GT Parents From a Military Spouse and Former Military Child

Continue family traditions.

Explore new community together.

Join an organization as a family.

Help your child obtain “portable achievements” – help them find a niche in the community.

Remember that some gifted children like the change that a move brings – new challenges, tests of self.

Remind them that it’s OK to be alone and solitude can be positive and creative.

Summer camps and programs can provide consistency over moves.

There will be change with every move, so develop family goals for each one.

(O’Beirne, 1981)

recommendations for gifted education research
Recommendations for Gifted Education Research

Examine the unique needs of gifted military-connected children in public schools.

Determine the efficacy of districts and schools in addressing the academic, emotional, psychological, and social needs of gifted military-connected children.

Identify practices that are successful in supporting gifted military-connected children in transition.

Examine performance outcomes of gifted military-connected students, due to the changes schools make according to the state compacts.

research recommendations
Research Recommendations

Examine elements of a supportive school climate and their effect on the performance of gifted military-connected students.

Examine effects of academic and family experiences of gifted military-connected students on college and postsecondary plans.

Examine the use of homeschooling and online-learning by families of gifted military-connected students.

Consider military children as a cultural group in future research.

Explore implications for gifted migrant students, who are also highly mobile.

(Esqueda et al., 2012; Tunac de Pedro et al., 2011)

national university nu p20 nb leadership center
National University NU-P20 NB Leadership Center

The National University National Board Leadership Center serves educators in all 50 states and internationally. The center is proud to have been selected by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards(NBPTS) to serve in this capacity and to inspire teachers through a range of options, resources, and events.

national university s fit
National University’s fit?
  • Partner with PK-12 schools
  • Develop networks
  • Offer Support-training and tools
Military-Connected Educators:Teachers, School Counselors, Administrators--Join Our DoDEA or Military Cohort!
  • Join this cohort that is being developed exclusively for teachers working with military –connected students! Class discussions will allow opportunity to talk to other teachers from across the nation about how to best support the unique challenges faced by military-connected students.
free on line professional development
FREE On-Line Professional Development

Thursday, September 5, 2013


Supporting Military-Connected Students and Families

Topics Discussed:

Military Interstate Compact

Common Core State Standards

National Board Certification

Teacher Preparation with NBCTs

Relocation and Deployment Challenges


Arnold, P., Garner, J., Neale-McFall, C., & Nunnery, J. (2011). Needs of military-

connected students in southeast Virginia. Report for the Center for Educational

Partnerships at Old Dominion University. Retrieved from http://education.odu.


Aronson, K. R., Caldwell, L. L., & Perkins, D. F. (2011). Assisting children and families

with military-related disruptions: The United States Marine Corps School Liaison

Program. Psychology in the Schools, 48(10), 998-1015. doi: 10.1002/pits.20608

Bradshaw, C. P., Sudhinaraset, M., Mmari, K., & Blum, R. W. (2010). School

transitions among military adolescents: A qualitative study of stress and

coping. School Psychology Review, 39(1), 84-105.

Esqueda, M. C., Astor, R. A., & Tunac de Pedro, K. M. (2012). A call to duty:

Educational policy and school reform addressing the needs of children from military

families. Educational Researcher, 41(2), 65-70. doi: 10.3102/0013189X11432139


Interagency Policy Committee. (2011). Strengthening our military families: Meeting

America’s commitment. Retrieved from


Military Child Education Coalition. (2012). Education of the military child in the 21st

century: Current dimensions of educational experiences for Army children.

Retrieved from

Military K-12 Partners. (2013). All about military K-12 partners. Retrieved from

Newman, B. M., Myers, M. C., Newman, P. R., Lohman, B. J., & Smith, V. L. (2000).

The transition to high school for academically promising, urban, low-income African

American youth. Adolescence, 35(137), 45-66.

O’Beirne, K. P. (1981). Portable taproots for gifted, creative, and talented children.

Gifted Child Today, 4(52), 52-54. doi: 10.1177/107621758100400120


Peterson, J. S. (2003). An argument for proactive attention to affective

concerns of gifted adolescents. The Journal of Secondary Gifted

Education, 14(2)., 62-70.

Peterson, J., Duncan, N., & Canady, K. (2009). A longitudinal study of negative

life events, stress, and school experiences of gifted youth. Gifted Child

Quarterly, 53(1), 34-49. doi: 10.1177/0016986208326553

Plucker, J. A. (1999). The effect of relocation on gifted students. Gifted

Child Quarterly, 43(2), 95-106. doi: 10.1177/001698629904300206

Smith, J. S. (2006). Examining the long-term impact of achievement loss

during the transition to high school. The Journal of Secondary Gifted

Education, 17(4), 211-221.

Tunac de Pedro, K. M., Astor, R. A., Benbenishty, R., & Estrada, J. (2011). The children

of military service members: Challenges, supports, and future educational research.

Review of Educational Research, 81(4), 566-618. Doi: 10.3102/0034654311423537


U.S. Department of Defense. (2011). Educational options & performance of military-

connected school districts. (DoD Report 1055 ReflD: 8-19E210C).

Retrieved from


additional resources
Additional Resources

Military Child Education Coalition, Student 2 Student Program

Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission (2013). Guide for parents,

school officials and public administrators: Interstate Commission on Educational

Opportunity for Military Children. Retrieved from


National Military Family Association. (2011). Finding common ground: A

toolkit for communities supporting military families. Retrieved from


National Military Family Association. (2010). We serve, too. A toolkit about

military kids. Retrieved from


additional resources1
Additional Resources

National Military Family Association. (2010). We serve, too. A toolkit about

military teens. Retrieved from


U. S. Department of Defense. (n.d.). Educator’s guide to the military child during

deployment. Retrieved from


More links to websites available at

contact information
Contact Information
  • Susan E. Jackson, PhD
    • Twitter – @gtsp1
  • Amanda Trimillos, NBCT