Chicago Gifted
Community Center 
creating connections - creating community


Welcome to our blog page.   Please note that this page is open to the public, so any comments made by members will be visible to the general public also.  At this time, only members can make comments to the posts. 





  • March 20, 2017 2:10 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Vanguard Gifted Academy has found the site for our school in Batavia.  We are confident that the location, which is on the east side of the river near Fermilab, will offer easy access to families coming from a variety of neighboring towns. We are also excited about the many science opportunities Fermilab offers educators which Vanguard will be able to take advantage of at this location. The building floor plan is well suited to the Vanguard learning modules, there is plenty of parking, and the property includes a couple of acres of open space for outdoor academics and recreational opportunities.

    We are offering a special Founding Family discount for joining Vanguard Gifted Academy in its first year.  Founding Families will get $3,500.00 off the Vanguard tuition, lowering the cost to $15,000.00.  We hope that the lower tuition will encourage those of you who are interested in the Vanguard model to give it a try.  We know you will love it once your child becomes engaged in the Vanguard learning environment. 

    For more information go to where you will find information about Vanguard Gifted Academy and admissions. 

    Elizabeth Blaetz

    Head of School

    Vanguard Gifted Academy

  • March 14, 2017 10:05 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Today is Pi Day - 3/14!  

    Learn more about it here:

    My family celebrates with pie for supper and pie for dessert!   How about yours?  

  • March 05, 2017 12:11 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Educating Today's Gifted Children 

    for Tomorrow's World 

    Please join us for an informational meeting about the new Vanguard Gifted Academy, slated to open this fall in the West Chicago/St. Charles area. 

    Time & Place: Thursday, March 16, @ 6:30 p.m. @ Da Vinci Academy, 37W080 Hopps Rd., Elgin (just off Randall Rd.) 

    With Da Vinci Academy closing its doors in June, veteran gifted teachers Beth Blaetz, Shannon Holub and Stacey Spears are offering a new and innovative option for families who have gifted children whose needs are not being served in their home schools. 

    All interested parents are welcome! Please RSVP to so we can prepare an information packet for you. 

    Vanguard is a perfect fit for gifted students who are: 

    • Intellectually curious 

    • Inspired by learning 

    • Eager to contribute to the community 

    • Open to new lines of thinking 

    • Interested in problem solving and applying concepts 

    The world is changing at an exponential rate! This forward-thinking model empowers gifted children in a way that traditional schools simply can’t. 

    Vanguard’s model, informed by the latest global educational and business observations, consists of three extended modules, as opposed to 8 standard class periods. This allows students to truly engage with their learning and make deep connections. 

    Will you join Vanguard in offering your gifted child a cutting edge education? 

    To learn more, visit our website at

  • February 25, 2017 12:57 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Senate Bill 1223 and House Bill 2461

    The Illinois Association for Gifted Children has been working with The Untapped Potential Project to advocate for legislation that will meet the needs of gifted children throughout Illinois. In a recent collaboration effort, the Illinois School Code was changed to ensure alignment with best practices for identifying gifted students. The UP Act was passed unanimously by the House and Senate last spring and signed into law by Governor Rauner over the summer.

    Our joint advocacy is now focused on acceleration as a strategy to accommodate gifted learners. The following facts were compiled from responses to FOIA requests to Illinois’ 862 school districts asking if they had policies regarding early entrance to K and 1st grade, subject-based acceleration, grade-skipping, and early graduation:

    • 77 percent of districts do not have a gifted program
    • A majority of Illinois students live in a district where acceleration isn’t an option
      • 72 percent live in a district without an early entrance to Kindergarten policy
      • 68 percent live in a district without an early entrance to first grade policy
      • 22 percent live in a district without a subject-based acceleration policy
      • 89 percent live in a district without a grade-based acceleration policy
      • 56 percent live in a district without an early graduation policy

    This is amazing given the breadth and depth of research on acceleration’s impact on academic performance, lifelong productivity, and social and emotional outcomes. Senate Bill 1223 proposes to address acceleration by establishing a statewide acceleration policy and standardizing an evaluation process to reflect best practices. This bill will be heard in the Senate Education Committee March 7.

    What you can do:

    Please call, write, or email Senators on the Education Committee (see below) asking them to support SB1223 over the next two or three weeks.

    • Include Senator Name, District, District Phone Number, and Email in IAGC email*
    • If you are a public school employee, call, write, or email a Senator if you work at a school in their district or if they are your Senator
    • If you live in Senator Lightford or Senator Weaver’s districts, please thank them for championing the legislation
    • If you are interested in doing more advocacy - such a testifying in a front of the Committee - let IAGC* know
    • Let IAGC* know if you contacted a Senator and via what means

    *Contact IAGC at

    Coming Soon:  IAGC is sponsoring another bill, the Illinois Report Card Bill, HB2461, that would require the ISBE to collect and report for each school/district the percentage and demographics of students receiving gifted and accelerated services, the percentage of teachers with gifted education endorsements, disaggregated achievement and growth data for advanced students, etc. We’ll soon be asking for your support on this important bill!

    Thank you for your support!

    IAGC Executive Committee

    Senators on the Education Committee:

    Only those living or working in the districts should contact Education Committee Members. For those not living in Senate Education Committee Member districts, we will be needing your help shortly!

    Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (49): 815-254-4211

    Kimberly Lightford (4): 708-343-7444

    Omar Aquino (2): 773-292-0202

    Daniel Biss (9): 847-568-1250

    Melinda Bush (31): 847-548-5631

    David Koehler (46): 309-677-0120

    Andy Manar (48): 618-585-4848

    Iris Martinez (20): 773-278-2020

    Chuck Weaver (37): 309-693-4921

    Jason Barickman (53): 309-661-2788

    Dan McConchie (26): 224-662-4544

    Karen McConnaughay (33): 847-214-8245

    Sue Rezin (38): 815-220-8720

    Sen. Lightford is the chief sponsor of the bill and 

    Sen. Weaver is the chief co-sponsor.

  • February 22, 2017 9:22 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Vanguard Gifted Academy is an independent school for gifted education that will be opening fall of 2017 for grades K-8. Follow details on their web and Facebook pages:

  • February 12, 2017 7:32 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The CineYouth Film Challenge invites students 10-18 years old to join our one-day film camp! Participants will have one day to make a short film with their assigned team. The finished films will go on to be screened at the CineYouth Festival, May 4-6 at Chicago’s historic Music Box Theatre. The Film Challenge is Saturday, April 22 at Columbia College Chicago.

    Applications are open. Click here for complete details.

  • January 20, 2017 7:30 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Many family friendly events are included in this year's Festival. See the complete schedule at the festival web site.

  • January 09, 2017 11:10 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    From Fermilab's 50th Anniversary web site:

    Come celebrate our 50th anniversary with us!

    1967 marked the birth of Fermilab. That year the lab hired its first employees and began operations in Illinois.

    To celebrate our 50th anniversary, we are offering numerous events for the public to enjoy, to find out more about our laboratory, and to learn about the research we do to advance humankind’s understanding of energy, matter, space and time. Fermilab has an exciting history of discovery and innovation and has made important contributions to the ultimate goal of understanding how the universe works. And we have ambitious plans for new research projects in the years ahead.

    We welcome you to tour our laboratory, see our exhibits, take in a show, view our art gallery, enjoy the view from the 15th floor of Wilson Hall and ask a scientist about the universe. Our site is open to the public every day of the year, and we offer many education, arts and visitor programs for the public to enjoy.

    The highlight in 2017 will be our big Open House on Saturday, Sept. 23. We’ll post more information and registration information in the spring of 2017. We also will add additional photo galleries, a history timeline and other information to this website throughout our anniversary year, so come back and visit!

    Here are the main events we have planned for 2017:


    Colloquium: Fermilab and the Foundations of the Standard Model

    Wednsday, Jan. 11, 4 p.m.
    Scientist Dan Green discusses Fermilab’s leadership in the exploration of the Standard Model throughout its 50-year history. Now exploration beyond the Standard Model is the future, with Fermilab hosting DUNE and CERN hosting the High-Luminosity LHC. This event is free.


    Concert and kickoff party

    Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017, 7 p.m.
    Join us for a concert by Mucca Pazza at 8 p.m., preceded by a party with dessert, music, an art exhibit, Einstein, Mr. Freeze and some very cool science demos at 7 p.m. Tickets are required.


    Fermilab Colloquium: Enrico Fermi: The Pope of Physics

    Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017, 4 p.m.
    University of Pennsylvania scientist Gino Segre and writer Bettina Hoerlin discuss the incredible achievements of Fermilab’s namesake, Enrico Fermi, especially how he was shaped by history and how he, in turn, shaped history. This event is free.


    Fermilab’s Greatest Hits

    Friday, Jan. 27, 2017, 8 p.m.
    Senior Fermilab scientist Chris Quigg presents Fermilab’s Greatest Hits: Highlights from the First Fifty Years. Tickets are required.


    Annual Family Open House

    Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017, 1-5 p.m.
    Bring your kids to Fermilab’s annual Family Open House in Wilson Hall with hands-on activities for the entire family. Event is free and supported by Fermilab Friends for Science Education.


    PechaKucha Night Batavia

    Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017, 7 p.m.
    Fermilab hosts PechaKucha Night Batavia, which is an informal and fun gathering where creative people get together and share their ideas, works, thoughts in the PechaKucha format: 20 slides, 20 seconds each.


    Annual Wonders of Science show

    Sunday, March 19, 2017, 1 p.m.
    Watch amazing science demonstrations at our annual Wonders of Science show. Tickets are required.


    Angela Gonzales art exhibit opening reception

    Thursday, June 1, 2017, 5 p.m.
    Fermilab founding director Robert Wilson hand-picked artist Angela Gonzales to help create a visual identity for Fermilab. “A Lasting Mark: Artist Angela Gonzales at Fermilab, 1967-1998” showcases her bold, inspiring work over 31 years at the lab. The exhibit will run from June 1 to Sept. 30.


    50th Anniversary Symposium

    Wednesday, June 7, 2017 – by invitation only
    Fermilab invites scientists from around the world to gather and discuss the lab’s achievements and plans for the future. More information and registration page will be posted in spring 2017.


    Social Media Celebration

    Thursday, June 15, 2017
    Fermilab’s was the third website in the United States. So what better way to recognize our birthday than with an online celebration? Join us through social media to celebrate Fermilab’s 50th birthday. It was on June 15, 1967, that the lab’s first employees reported to work in an office in Illinois.


    Open House

    Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
    Take behind-the-scene tours of the major research facilities at Fermilab. Event is free. More information and registration page will be posted in summer 2017.

    In addition to these special events, Fermilab offers numerous tours and programs throughout the year:

    Guided and self-guided tours

    Science and education programs

    Ask a Scientist program

    Arts and lecture programs

    Nature walks and programs

    For more information and a calendar of all public events, visit


  • December 03, 2016 5:38 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Help your high school teens expand their interest in aquatic science and plan for an amazing spring and summer. Applications for many of Shedd’s summer teen programs are available now!

    Teen Work Study

    Spring Club Shedd

    High School Lake Ecology

    High School Marine Biology

  • December 02, 2016 8:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Have you heard of Institute for Educational Advancement's Caroline D. Bradley Scholarship?   It is the only merit-based, need-blind high school scholarship to highly gifted students across the United States!  If your student is hoping to attend a high school beyond your local public school, this might be the scholarship for her!  Applications are due in April, but don't wait until the last minute to look into applying as there are some requirements which will take some advanced planning, such as taking the SAT.  Check it out now!  Caroline D. Bradley Scholarship: 

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