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REACH PTA Representatives

Do you have questions? In general there are 2 REACH PTA Representatives per elementary and middle school available to assist.  REACH Representatives

Stay Informed

If you would like to receive REACH PTA news please subscribe to the REACH communication List here. 

Upcoming Events

STEM Dupage

Students Involved in Technology (SIT) Conference: February 10, 2018 at Blackhawk Middle School, Bensenville. The SIT Conference is an annual conference for 3rd through 12th grade students, occurring at several sites throughout Illinois. So what makes the SIT Conference stand out? It is also completely presented by 3rd-12th grade students. While adult volunteers from local schools and the community help the day run smoothly, all presentations are prepared and presented by the students! Attend, present and volunteer. 


Team America Rocketry Challenge: This hands-on, project-based learning program incorporates aerospace-specific STEM concepts. Students in grades 7-12 design, build, and fly a rocket. There is a $125 entry fee per team.


Lexus Eco Challenge: In this STEM contest for students in grades 6-12, teams tackle environmental issues related to land, water, air, and climate, while they create practical solutions and compete for amazing prizes.


Real World Impact: Water Quality Project Funding. Applications Due January 12, 2018 Do you or your students have a project idea for your school that could help improve water quality in your area? DuPage County Stormwater Management has an annual fund for community projects that provides up to 25% of construction costs.

How Much Math Does My Student Need?

The most common question students ask math teachers at every level is “When will I use math?” is a non-profit website that helps to answer this question. This website describes the importance of mathematics and many rewarding career opportunities available to students who study mathematics.

Welcome to REACH PTA


REACH PTA is a parent group dedicated to supporting gifted and talented programs in District 205 and encouraging higher level educational opportunities for ALL District 205 students.  Our area of focus includes:

  • Providing parent and student resources for gifted and advanced learners
  • Organizing advocacy at local and national levels
  • Sponsoring and/or promoting academic-based extra-curricular activities that are accessible to all students
  • Collaborating with REACH teachers to provide additional resources and student opportunities. 

Executive Function Presentation Series

Reach is hosting a 4 part educational series focusing on Executive Function, Mindset and the Teenage Brain.  The speaker is Dr. Georgia Bozeday, EdD, who is the Director of Educational Services at Rush Neurobehavioral Center and Adjunct Professor at Northeastern Illinois University.  Dr. Bozeday currently manages the Executive Function projects and is instrumental in curriculum design and implementation of the RNBC Executive Functions programs. These programs were made possible through a District 205 Foundation Grant. 


1) "The Organized Child: Building Executive Functions”  Intermediate and Middle School Parents (4th  – 8th Grade)

Date: Wednesday, December 6, 2017.  A copy of this presentation handout can be downloaded here. 


2) "Helping Young Children Organize Their World”  Early Childhood Parents (PreK-3rd Grade)

Date: Thursday, January 18, 2018 Time: 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Place: Sandburg Auditorium- Doors 3 and 7 will be open 345 E St Charles Rd, Elmhurst, IL 60126

This presentation will help parents foster the following skills in their young children: Self-Regulation, Problem Solving, Organization, Time Management, Reading for Cognitive Development. In addition his presentation will provide parents with practical strategies from the field of Executive Functions to help guide students at home. Dr. Bozeday will focus on recent findings related to brain development in early childhood. Discussion will include strategies for self-regulation and organization through literacy and play. 


3) "Parenting to Promote a Growth Mindset"

Date: March 8th, 2018: Time 6:30 -8:30pm 

Place: Sandburg Auditorium- Doors 3 and 7 will be open 345 E St Charles Rd, Elmhurst, IL 60126

This parent presentation will center on exploring the current research related to Carol Dweck's concept of Mindset.  Mindset is defined as a set of beliefs or a way of thinking that determines ones behavior, outlook, and mental attitude.  Within this frame of reference, parents will identify practices that fall into either a fixed mindset or a growth mindset category.  This workshop will provide specific focus on ways parents can develop a Growth Mindset with their children in order to develop problem-solving skills and persistence even in the face of obstacles.  The specific areas of focus for this presentation are:


1.         What is the theoretical framework referenced as Mindset, both Fixed & Growth?

2.         What does current research in Mindset tell us relative to parenting practices?

3.         How can we use these understandings to inform our parenting approaches?

Topics included in this discussion are:  Role of technology in Mindset, specific strategies to help facilitate a Growth Mindset, and ways to foster engagement and personalize experiences within the parent-child relationship to build Growth Mindset.  Parents will be encouraged to connect to real-life examples drawn from their own experiences interacting with their children.


4) "The Twenty-first Century Teenage Brain"

Date: April 12, 2018 Time 6:30 -8:30pm 

Place: Sandburg Auditorium- Doors 3 and 7 will be open 345 E St Charles Rd, Elmhurst, IL 60126

This parent presentation will center on brain development and personality characteristics commonly associated with adolescent development. Anchored in recent research in neuroscience, the focus for this parent presentation is twofold:

1. What does the current research tell us about the unique aspects of the teen brain?  

2. How can we use these understanding to inform our parenting approaches?   

Topics included in this discussion are:  Strategic use of technology, facilitating a Growth Mindset, fostering engagement, and personalizing experiences within the parent-child relationship.  Parents will be encouraged to connect to real-life examples drawn from their own experiences interacting with their teenaged children.

IAGC Annual Convention: Parent Saturday is February 3

Plan to join fellow educators and parents from across Illinois for the 23rd IAGC Annual Convention on February 1-3, 2018, at the Chicago Marriott Hotel in Naperville:

  • Over 100 concurrent sessions focused on supporting gifted learners’ academic, social, and emotional needs at school and at home on Thursday, February 1 and Friday, February 2
  • Featured speakers include Dr. Sally Krisel, Director of Innovative and Advanced Programs for Hall County Schools in Gainesville, Georgia and President-elect, NAGC Board of Directors; Tamara Fischer, K-12 Gifted Education specialist in Montana, Past President of the Montana Association of Gifted and Talented, author of Intelligent Life in the Classroom, Smart Kids and Their Teacher, in addition to the blog Unwrapping the Gifted; and Scott Peters, assistant professor of educational foundations at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, author of Designing Gifted Education Program and Services: From Purpose to ImplementationBeyond Gifted Education: Designing and Implementing Advanced Academic Programs and HOPE Teacher Rating Scale Manual and Kit.
  • Sessions for parents during the convention with a dedicated Parent Saturday on Saturday, February 3
  • Gifted Education Seminar Administrator Academy on Friday, February 2

Thank You Video

The REACH PTA sent out a THANK YOU video developed by REACH students and parents to the School Board Members.  This video was a simple way to show our gratitude for the REACH program.  Check out the video here!

What is Gifted?

Illinois Definition of Gifted and Talented

Children/youth with outstanding talent who perform or show potential for performing at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared with other children/youth of their age, experience, and environment. A Child shall be considered gifted and talented in any area of aptitude, and specifically, in language arts and math, by scoring in the top 5% locally in the area of aptitude.


Illinois General Assembly, Illinois Compiled Statues Section 5, Public Act 094-0151, Article 14

Is My Child Gifted?

While some commonalities exist across giftedness, one size does not fit all.  Gifted learners exhibit different characteristics, traits, and ways to express their giftedness.  Various issues must be considered for identification:

  • Giftedness is dynamic, not static. Identification needs to occur over time, with multiple opportunities to exhibit gifts.  
  • Giftedness is represented through all racial, ethnic, income levels, and exceptionality groups.   
  • Giftedness may be exhibited within a specific interest or category—and even a specific interest within that category.   
  • Early identification in school improves the likelihood that gifts will be developed into talents.

To get more information about identification, characteristics/traits of gifted, test assessments, and domain/level of giftedness please visit the National Association for Gifted Children Website



Advocacy is an important part of ensuring that your child is provided the best learning environment based on their learning abilities.  The national organization, National Association for Gifted Children is an excellent advocacy resource for working with you teachers, school, administration and/or congressman. 


The federal government plays a small role in gifted education policies and funding. Decisions are made at the state level, which then requires localities to follow the state’s guidelines on identification and programming or allows localities to make independent decisions about gifted education. Each state and, in some states, each district or school will have differing policies and practices related to advanced learners - The Illinois Association for Gifted Children has information on advocacy at the state level.

Parent Resources

SENG (Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted) is dedicated to fostering environments in which gifted adults and children, in all their diversity, understand and accept themselves and are understood, valued, nurtured, and supported by their families, schools, workplaces and communities including webinars and information about starting parent groups.


The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) is an organization of parents, teachers,educators, other professionals, and community leaders who unite to address the unique needs of children and youth with demonstrated gifts and talents as well as those children who may be able to develop their talent potential with appropriate educational experiences. Parenting for High Potential is the quarterly magazine designed for parents who want to make a difference in their children's lives, who want to develop their children's gifts and talents, and who want to help them develop their potential to the fullest.


The Illinois Association for Gifted Children is an organization of parents, educators, and others committed to the education and development of children with diverse gifts and talents. We educate, support, and influence those who touch the lives of children and focus our energies to meet the needs of children with gifts and talents in Illinois. (Great section on advocacy.)


Local Area Programs for Gifted and Talented Students  - Dominican University, River Forest  - Northern Illinois University, multiple locations

Northwestern Center for Talent Development has wide variety of programs:

Talent Search Assessment (NUMATS test)

Weekend Programs (Pre-K to 8th grade…mainly Evanston campus)

Summer Programs (Pre-K to 12th grade…there is an Elmhurst location)

Online Programs (K to 12th grade)

Service Learning Programs (6th to 12th grade…combines service learning with academic study and reflection)  - Northwestern University, multiple locations


Hoagies is the "All Things Gifted" resource for parents, educators, administrators, counselors,psychologists, and even gifted kids and teens themselves! Your kids will love it as much as you will.


Prufrock Press is the nation’s leading publisher supporting the education of gifted and advanced learners. Our line of more than 500 titles offers teachers and parents exciting, research-based ideas for helping gifted, advanced, and special needs learners. Parents look to Prufrock for the latest in support as they raise bright children. From showing ways to raise happy, successful, bright learners, to offering strategies for building social skills among kids, Prufrock supports involved parents of gifted learners.



The Institute for Research and Policy on Acceleration (IRPA)

Provides information on research and practices concerning academic acceleration. Also includes ways of moving a student ahead to more challenging coursework.You can download for free from the site two publications.

- A Nation Deceived, which is a report summarizing research and best practices on academic acceleration.  Includes practices for challenging academically talented youth.

- A Nation Empowered ( just released)Is an update of the previous. It tells how we have applied what we have learned from the research.



The Institute for Educational Advancement (IEA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting our nation's most talented young people in pursuing their full academic and personal potential. This is a wonderful searchable resource databases.


The Chicago Gifted Community Center is a volunteer-based, non-profit organization created by parents of gifted children. The mission of the Chicago Gifted Community Center is to facilitate educational and emotional support for gifted children and their families. This organization helps to unify different local organizations whose sole purpose is to serve directly the needs of local gifted families and to link them all together in a community. is a website for Parents, Students and Educators whose goal is to “provide information, encourage connection and collaboration, and motivate learning and play in the areas of Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics.”  From projects to do to resources for learning and teaching, this website is a one stop shop for DuPage residents.  Sign up for their quarterly newsletter delivered straight to your email. 

REACH Meeting Schedule

The REACH meetings are held at the Elmhurst Library in the Kossman Room at 9:15am. All are welcome!   

September 15, 2017                   

October 13th, 2017               

November 10, 2017

December 8 2017

January 12, 2018

February 9, 2018                  

March 9, 2018

April 13, 2018

May 11, 2018

June 8 2018

REACH PTA Goals and Objectives for 2017-2018

Click here to review Goals and Objectives

Meeting Minutes

Identification and Placement of Gifted Students

In District 205, students are identified for gifted services based on a combination of assessments such as MAP performance, ability assessments, and teacher observations.  For a detailed overview of identification and placement of students visit the District 205 REACH website.

REACH Curriculum

REACH curriculum focuses on English and Math studies. REACH English focuses on either enrichment, extension of skills or above grade level studies.  Math is focused on above grade level studies.  For more details on the REACH curriculum, visit the District 205 REACH website. 

D205 Mathematics Resource for Parents

Are you looking to learn more about the District’s new math curriculum and our Eureka Math resource? There is a new website dedicated to providing math information for D205 parents. A number of linked resources, including the critical areas at each grade level, unit titles, videos and guides are posted. As always, questions regarding your child's curriculum or experience should first be directed to your child's teacher.

Recommended Reading

Many of the organizations that focus on gifted students provide a recommended reading section or newsletters on their website that focuses on a variety of topics such as learning about gifted, social and emotional issues, and parenting the gifted.  Check them out!


SENG Library

National Association for Gifted Children Library 

Institute for Educational Advancement Library


Additional articles of interest


Existential Depression in Gifted Children  Gifted and talented persons are more likely to experience a type of depression referred to as existential depression. Although an episode of existential depression may be precipitated in anyone by a major loss or the threat of a loss which highlights the transient nature of life, persons of higher intellectual ability are more prone to experience existential depression spontaneously.


Watch Carol Dweck's Speech: 'The Journey to a Growth Mindset' (Video) Carol Dweck, the Stanford University professor and author of "Mindset: The New Psychology of Success" is renowned for her research that shows individuals with a "growth mindset" — an understanding that their talent and abilities are not "fixed" and can be developed — are more likely to achieve. Her work has gained traction and led many educators to rethink the way they teach.


‘Impossible’ Homework Assignment? Let Your Child Do It


Educating an Original ThinkerHow teachers and parents can identify and cultivate children who think creatively and unconventionally. In his new book, Originals:

How Non-Conformists Move the World, the writer, Wharton professor, Adam Grant explores the circumstances that give rise to truly original thinkers.


How to Raise a Creative Child. Step One: Back Off: Child prodigies rarely become adult geniuses who change the world. We assume that they must lack the social and emotional skills to function in society. When you look at the evidence, though, this explanation doesn’t suffice: Less than a quarter of gifted children suffer from social and emotional problems. A vast majority are well adjusted — as winning at a cocktail party as in the spelling bee.What holds them back is that they don’t learn to be original.


Best, Brightest — and Saddest? Between May 2009 and January 2010, five Palo Alto teenagers ended their lives by stepping in front of trains. And since October of last year, another three Palo Alto teenagers have killed themselves that way, prompting longer hours by more sentries along the tracks. The Palo Alto Weekly refers to the deaths as a “suicide contagion.”And while mental health professionals are rightly careful not to oversimplify or trivialize the psychic distress behind them by focusing on any one possible factor, the contagion has prompted an emotional debate about the kinds of pressures felt by high school students in epicenters of overachievement.


The Gift of Emotional Overexcitabilities: Recent vulnerability research by Brene Brown (Brown, 2010) has shown that the origin of all creativity, innovation, and authenticity is vulnerability. For many gifted individuals it is their emotional overexcitabilities that are the source of their greatest vulnerabilities. The discovery that these vulnerabilities are also the birthplace of their ability to use their gifts in creative and innovative ways serves as a wakeup call to reassess our perceptions on these overexcitabilities and how we address them in our young gifted.


Basic Recipe for Parent Advocates: As parents, we are our children’s first advocates* – their first voice. Most parents advocate for their children in some way, but for those of us with gifted children, we often come to that point quite by accident. arents seek ways to guarantee that their child’s needs are appropriately addressed.So how does a parent approach the teacher, principal or counselor and share concerns that affect their child within the confines of a classroom?  This article is one basic recipe called for Homestyle Advocacy that the author hasfound successful.


Underachievers under-the-radar: How seemingly successful gifted students fall short of their potential Research has shown that many gifted children are underachievers who fail to reach their potential.Some mask their abilities so they can fit in with peers, some stop caring and receive barely passing grades, and some drop out altogether. Academic achievement becomes meaningless and their intrinsic love of learning seems to vanish. This article address 3 tips to help the underachieving gifted students. 


Two Lessons on How to Support Gifted Kids. This article is written by By Steven Pfeiffer who has worked with high-ability kids for more than 35 years in a variety of capacities in his clinical practice as a psychologist. 


 Why I pulled my son out of a school for 'gifted' kids.  One family's perspective on gifted schooling and why it is important to consider how they are learning and not just what they are learning.


How Parents Can Support Girls' Academic Success in STEM  Helping our daughters recognize science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) in their daily lives, even in tasks like feeding the dog, baking a cake, or packing a suitcase, supports and encourages their STEM interests and abilities. Often young girls, even those who are very bright, aren’t accustomed to thinking of themselves as being good at science or math 


Harnessing the Power of Productive Struggle  Some teachers build in productive struggle into the student's educational experience. To ensure plenty of time for puzzling and reasoning, some start their lesson with independent work time, moving into the teacher-centered portion of the lesson only after students had been studying the problem, first independently and then in pairs, for more than half of their study block.Why would a teacher decide to structure a math lesson this way?


How parents of talented children hold the line between supporting and pushing How can well-meaning parents tell the difference between supporting and pushing? Writing a chapter in “How to Bring Up a Genius!,” psychologist Carol Bainbridge defines the difference this way: “Basically, nurturing is child-centered while pushing is adult-centered. When we nurture we follow the child’s lead, but when we push we want the child to follow us, to do what we want him or her to do.”