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REACH Representatives

Do you have questions? In general, there are TWO REACH Parent Group Representatives for each elementary and middle school.  REACH Representatives

Stay Informed

If you would like to receive REACH Parent Group news please subscribe to the REACH Communication List here. 

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 the REACH Parent Group (formerly PTA)

THUR. Apr. 18, 7 pm First REACH Parent Group Social!

We’ll be upstairs at Elmhurst Brewing Company. Mark your calendars now! (Note, there’s no school on Fri. 4/19.) An Evite is coming soon.

SAT., May 4 10am-12pm Freshman Readiness Program

SAT., May 4 10am-12pm Freshman Readiness Program: Top Tips for a Successful Transition into High School - Calling all incoming freshmen. Come join us Saturday, May 4th from 10am - 12p at the District 205 Administrative Office (162 S. York St) for an interactive program focused on a successful transition from 8th grade to high school.

The program will focus on tips for transitioning into high school, top study skills to implement, and top tips for better organization, planning and time management skills. York High School students in the National Honor Society will be on hand to help answer all your burning questions, including how to manage a heavy honors course load.

This program is sponsored by the REACH Parent Group and is open to all 8th grade students.  Space is limited (due to space.) To reserve your spot, please RSVP by Wednesday, May 1st to Pam Hamil at, including your 8th grader's name and school.  We will respond with a confirmation email and send email reminders leading up to the event. 


Thank you for all who could attend! If you didn't make it, no worries! Find the presentation HERE.


Program Description:  The presentation, held in Sandburg's Library (note new location), will cover a program overview, identification, expectations, appeals process, and more with an added focus on those families who received notice on February 1st that their student will be joining REACH (or for parents who want to understand the identification and appeal process better.) Invited speaker is Deb Lee, District Director of Curriculum and REACH Coordinator. 

Presentation Link

Thank you to all those who were able to join us for the Math Pathways, PARENT INFORMATIONAL MEETING presented on Wednesday, February 13. Please find the presentation HERE.


The REACH PTA invites you to an Informational Parent Meeting to discuss the Middle School Math Pathway including the transition into High School and Beyond, Wednesday, February 13th at 7pm, Sandburg Auditorium (doors 3 & 7 will be open). Invited speakers include Dave Beedy, District STEM coordinator and Deb Lee, District REACH coordinator.

ALL are welcome!

Elmhurst Public Library - Programs of interest

Library Orientation for incoming High School Students. Sat. Apr. 27 11-2 pm

Get a head start and upgrade your Library skills!  Learn how to remotely book study rooms, instantly download digital books and music, access online tutoring and stream world language resources.  Also, check out your Teen Space, explore teen programming and meet your dedicated Teen Library staff.  Register here.

Crafternoons - most   Free  Teen Space



Thank you to Deb Lee, D205 Director of Curriculum and REACH Coordinator who spoke to parents at our first of three REACH Parent Informational Meetings on Wednesday, October 3, 2018 at Sandburg Middle School. She provided a program overview, identification, expectations, appeals, with content focused on new-to-REACH families. You’ll find her presentation here.


Thank you to Dave Beedy, D205 Director of STEM Education who spoke to our parent group at our Friday, Oct. 12, 2018 monthly meeting. He shared ways as a district, we are beginning to use STEM ideas in K-8 to create interdisciplinary projects aligned with grade level (and above level) standards. You’ll find his presentation here.

MUSIC BENEFITS and Elmhurst Music Boosters (EMB)

MUSIC BENEFITS and Elmhurst Music Boosters (EMB), Parent Group.

- TIME Article – This is How Music Can Change Your Brain

- Join and support music and musicians in grades 5-8. Go to the link at and join online today!


Parent Resource Links

District 205 mathematics for Parents  
This is an excellent resources for parents to learn about the math curriculum from Kindergarten through College Algebra.  The information is divided by the following:
  • By grade tab (Kindergarten through 8th grade, geometry, pre algebra, advanced algebra and trigonometry, and college algebra 
  • Lists grade level specific critical areas of focus
  • Lists the different modules by grade
  • Provides parent resources to help your child with math     

Additional Parent Resources

Dr. Bozeday Executive Function Parent Series 2017-18, presented by REACH PTA and made possible by a grant from the District 205 Foundation.

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

Presented on 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). Presented on Thursday, January 18, 2018

3) "Parenting to Promote a Growth Mindset" Presented on March 8th, 2018. A copy of this presentation handout can be downloaded here.

4) "The Twenty-first Century Teenage Brain"

Presented on April 12, 2018. A copy of this presentation handout can be downloaded here.

Read the complete series description here.

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 Parent Group Calendar

REACH Meeting Schedule

The REACH meetings are held at the Elmhurst Library in the Kossman (or * The Gathering) Room at 9:15am on the second Friday of the month. All are welcome!   


2018 Fridays

*Sept. 14, 2018

*Oct. 12, 2018

Nov. 9, 2018

Dec. 14, 2018

2019 Fridays

Jan. 11, 2019

Feb. 8, 2019

Mar. 8, 2019

April 12, 2019

May 10, 2019

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


National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Executive Summary, Catalyzing Change in High School Mathematics:  Initiating Critical Conversations Rather than pushing (most) students into advanced and tracked math courses, the article suggests that students complete deeper, rather than wider, study of mathematical principles.


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. Parents 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 have found 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.”