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Together we can make a difference!

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed individuals can change the world; indeed it's the only thing that ever has. – Margaret Meade

We are looking for parents, teachers, and students who support advanced and gifted education for Rochester Community Schools in Michigan. Please subscribe to Rochester SAGE to receive updates.

Also, please visit the "How to Help" link in the upper right.

Shh! Don’t tell your kids!

April 16, 2015

telling-secretsIt’s a secret.  You might whisper about it behind closed doors.  Maybe you’ll talk – carefully – with parents of other kids with the same condition.  Maybe you even have the condition.  Maybe their teachers know – but they’ll never say anything to you.  You wanted your kids to be normal, to fit in, to not face the same issues you did.  You’ve seen these kids before and maybe felt sorry for them.  On TV, they are often outcasts.  And now you know that your kids have this diagnosis.  But do you tell them??? Someone said it would ruin their mindset!


Nerd.  Brainiac.  Quirky.  Unique.  Gifted.
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M-STEP Parent Information Night

March 30, 2015

Do you have questions about M-STEP, the state standardized test adopted for the next three years and probably longer?  Are you wondering how this test will measure your children’s academic growth?  Are you considering opting out?

Bring your questions and concerns tonight, Monday, March 30, 6:30-7:30 p.m. in the Harrison Room, RCS Administration Building, 501 W. University Drive, for the M-STEP Parent Information Night.  Michael Behrmann and Carrie Lawler, Executive Directors of Elementary and Secondary Curriculum in RCS, will present on the M-STEP and should be available to answer your questions.

More information on the M-STEP is available at these sites:

Parent communication from RCS:

MDE M-STEP information:,4615,7-140-22709_70117—,00.html

M-STEP Parent letter from State Superintendent Mike Flanagan:

MDE letter to superintendents about opt-out:

Previous communications from Rochester Community Schools regarding this meeting have additional details.

Thank you for reading Rochester SAGE.  Together we can make a difference for gifted learners!

Lies, Damned Lies, and Averages

March 12, 2015

There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.

Statistics are misleading, harmful, and destructive.  They obscure the data and the actions taken based on them are often detrimental to a significant portion of society.

Statistics are often used in education.  We’ll use them to compare students, teachers, schools, types of schools, demographics, states, and nations.  We use them to simplify data down to something easy to graph through a common measurement to quickly view how each entity is performing.  We attempt to derive meaning from something that has been reduced so significantly that it becomes relatively meaningless.

I do like data and statistics.  Data can be extremely helpful for analyzing issues.  Statistics used properly can provide insight into the data.  They can give us information about our world.

But they can also be used to distort, oversimplify, omit important information, overlook disparate groups, or make invalid comparisons.  Sometimes this is intentional and sometimes accidental.  Either way, incorrect conclusions made on these facts and statistics can be harmful.  In schools, they can affect funding for schools, evaluations for teachers, and education provided to students.

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Northeast Oakland Gifted Academy Interest Meeting – Nov. 23

November 6, 2014

We are excited!  Are you?

Are you a parent concerned that your gifted child is not having his or her needs met in the schools?

Are you an educator interested creating a classroom where high ability students learn at their own pace and level?

Come join other parents and educators as we explore interest in creating a K-8 gifted academy in the Rochester area!  This school will use proven methods to educate gifted learners and help them achieve their potential.  Through collaboration of educators, parents, and students, we will design a school built to serve the gifted population often overlooked in traditional schools.

This K-8 charter school will provide a free public education with a focus on gifted and twice exceptional students!

Your voice is vital to the creation and development of this school.  This is a school for you, by you, involving you!

When: November 23, 2014, 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM
Where: Rochester Hills Public Library, Multi-purpose Room, First Floor
Who: Interested parents and educators
Questions: Comment on this post or email

Join our Facebook group at

Please pass this along to anyone you think would be interested!

This program is neither sponsored nor endorsed by the Rochester Hills Public Library.

Help Needed: 2014 MAGC Conference Fliers

September 18, 2014


  • Do you want the teachers at your school to understand the needs of your gifted children better? 
  • Are you concerned about how the Common Core State Standards will affect differentiated instruction for gifted learners?
  • Would some great, proven techniques for teaching gifted students be helpful to the educators at your school?
  • Do you want to help people see through the eyes of a gifted child, twice-exceptional learner, or gifted adult?

If these are important to you and your children, please help get the word to parents and educators about the MAGC Fall Conference 2014: Excelling with the Common Core!

The full-size flier at 2014 FallConferenceFlier is perfect for hanging in the Teachers’ Lounge.  Great principals and learning consultants are always willing to help with that!  Hang it up at the library or bookstore.  Stick a Post-it on it and put it in your child’s take-home folder for his teacher to read.  They can use the SCECHs from the conference towards their required continuing education hours.

The quarter page leaflet at quarter pg Fall 2014 flier is great for having in your purse or pocket for when you run into other parents of gifted children.  Chances are they are dealing with the same issues you are!  Carpool to Lansing with a few of them and your favorite teachers for great discussions on partnering in your child’s education and to save gas money.

Advocacy for gifted learners begins with the parents!  If you won’t speak up for your children, who will?

Thank you for reading Rochester SAGE.  Together we can make a difference for gifted children!

Excelling with the Common Core – MAGC Conference

September 16, 2014

MAGCConferenceRochester SAGE would like to invite educators and parents in the Rochester Community Schools to the Michigan Association for Gifted Children’s Annual Conference.

The conference is on October 11 at MSU’s Eli Broad School of Business.

This year’s theme is Excelling with the Common Core.  Participants will take away strategies for identifying, raising, and educating gifted kids, as well as tips and techniques that ensure the Common Core State Standards are presented at the high levels of thinking and deep, rigorous levels of content required for ALL students, including the gifted.

Some great speakers are scheduled, including Dr. Art Costa, founder of the Art Costa Centre for Thinking and author of Habits of Mind, and gifted education expert Dr. Ellen Fiedler.  Come enjoy helpful talks on Differentiation in the Classroom, Parenting Gifted Children, and Challenges of Teaching Gifted Children!

SCECHs are available!

I was delighted to see several educators and parents from the RCS community there last year and hope to see even more this year!

More information is available at or

Thank you for reading Rochester SAGE.  Together we can make a difference for gifted children!

One of the Best Educators I Ever Knew

September 15, 2014



A personal remembrance from September 2012.

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life” – Henry David Thoreau

There are people that you meet that change your lives.  They may not be trying to, but the wisdom they impart transforms you little by little and you become a better person.   Many of these are educators.  They may or may not be teachers in the traditional sense, but that is the life they live.

One of these was David Moutrie.  I never had him for a class.  He taught at Frasier High School and I was already well past college years when I met him.  I knew him as a friend and neighbor.  We moved into our house about 10 years ago and God blessed us with great neighbors in David and Kristina Moutrie.  They were very welcoming and David and I began to have long talks, usually when one or both of us was supposed to be working.  I would go to take out the trash or be mowing the lawn and half an hour later my wife or his would poke a head out and tell us to get back to work.  But I think he was working.  To him, being a friend and talking about life was more important than household chores.  Helping others was his life’s work.
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