October 2008
Educational Options Newsletter
In this issue

Our New Website

We are so pleased to announce that our new website for Educational Options, www.EducationalOptions.com, is now online.

After several years of thinking about how to make changes to our web page, we finally hired Darning Pixels to redesign it for us. We like the fresh new look they have accomplished. And we appreciate the fact that they will train us to maintain the site ourselves.

We want to thank our many clients who have provided testimonials and photos. We greatly appreciate your support.

We would also like to acknowledge and express our gratitude to our previous webmaster, Carolyn Kottmeyer of Hoagies Gifted. Thank you for all the years of keeping our pages current.

We still have some updating of a few sections of our website. Please feel free to weigh in with any suggestions on how we could make our pages better. We will be happy for your input!

Keeping Up With Dr. Ruf . . .


We at Educational Options first meet the greater majority of our client families when the children are in elementary school. But as parents discover, the needs of their gifted children change as they move into middle school, high school, or college. Sometimes the transition into the higher grades does not go smoothly.

So this is a reminder that Dr. Ruf is available to answer the questions of her clients when a little professional help is needed. Our habit is to schedule tests in the mornings, so that leaves afternoons open for 15- to 30-minute telephone consultations, or one-hour face-to-face meetings. Usually we are able to put you on our calendar within one or two weeks.

At the beginning of this past summer, I cut back the number of hours I would be in the office. Those hours worked so well that we have decided that I will continue with that schedule. So I will answer your phone calls and emails on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 763-521-4565/kathy@educationaloptions.com.

Sincerely, Kathy Hara, Editor

Pilot Project in Maine

At the Maine School of Science and Mathematics on October 17, Dr. Ruf presented a full day of teacher training workshops on IQ test interpretation, levels and profiles of high intelligence, and gender and personality differences in school performance and needs. This project was first conceived by principal Walt Warner as a pilot project with MSSM using personality assessment of faculty and student body. Dr. Ruf and Mr. Warner hope to develop a template or system for working with and meeting the needs of a broad array of high ability students, one that may alleviate the common problems associated with under-achievement and apparent lack of motivation among some exceptionally capable learners.

MSSM is located in Limestone, Maine, which is about a three-hour drive north of Bangor. The school provides a residential experience for grades 10, 11 and 12, and provides their students with a rigorous curriculum in advanced science, mathematics, and humanities.

Meet Me at the Corner

MeetMeAtTheCorner.Org is a new website directed at American home schooled children. Started in 2006 by children's book author Donna W. Guthrie, the site provides virtual educational and informational "tours" of various landmarks in New York from a child's point of view via video pod cast technology. The current offering concerns the Blessing of the Animals at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine.

In the beginning, the video pod casts will focus on the people, events and history of New York City. Each program will highlight the talent, diversity and accomplishments of the people of New York through explorations of New York City block by block. As the site grows through children's submissions, they hope to highlight the people and events of other towns, cities and nations.

Gifted Conference

Does Florida in November sound tempting? This year's National Association for Gifted Children's Annual Convention is in Tampa, Florida, from Thursday, October 30, through Sunday, November 2. This year's theme is "Growing Gifted in the Sunshine State" - with the goal of educating teachers and administrators and building gifted services throughout the U.S. Over three days, attendees will have the chance to pick up new ideas and innovative approaches guaranteed to positively affect high ability learners at every level.

Saturday, November 1, is designated "Parents Day," and Dr. Ruf will present "How Parents Can Identify Their Child's Level of Giftedness Prior to Formal Testing" as that day's keynote address. NAGC will offer a full day of activities for parents from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. including breakout sessions, a mini-keynote with Dr. Barbara Kerr, a parent advisory panel, a special session with Dr. Ruf, exhibits, refreshments, and much more. You can access more information about Parent Day at the NAGC website.

In Minnesota:

1. College visits: If you want to keep up on which colleges are visiting schools in the area, log on to the Edina Center for Academic Excellence website. These announcements are updated on a regular basis. ECAE was founded by community members in the Twin Cities metropolitan area to meet a need commonly experienced by bright students in public and private education. The purpose of ECAE is to serve learners who want to go beyond their school curriculum and seek greater intellectual challenge.

2. School Options Fair: The second annual MCGT School Options Fair will occur at Footprints Academy in Woodbury on Saturday, November 8, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Last year's first fair had attendees with children of all ages and included public, charter, private, and online schools with programs for learners from pre-K to college. The event is free and open to the public. Footprints Academy is located at 9025 Tamarack Road, Woodbury MN, and the phone number is 651-731-2608.

Losing Our Minds
Dr. Ruf's book, Losing Our Minds: Gifted Children Left Behind, is available through Great PotentialPress or Amazon.

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