BUSD GATE Conference Focuses On Parenting


Burbank Unified School District holds its second annual Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) conference on Saturday morning, May 2, at Providencia Elementary School. The BUSD GATE conference will be geared towards the parents of middle school and elementary students.


The event will help parents of GATE students learn more about how their children approach the challenges of academic achievement, as well as deal with social and emotional aspects of being academically gifted, according to Dr. Tom Kissinger, Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services for the district.

GATE Conference. May 2. 2015“This year, we really want to work on helping parents access all the resources and support they need to help their Gifted students succeed at school, both socially and academically, ”  said Kissinger. “Parents will walk away with better insight into how their children deal with the pressures and challenges of being a gifted student in a school environment.”

The keynote speaker will be well-known GATE author and expert, Christine Fonseca, a school psychologist. She will address the social and emotional needs of GATE students and their parents, in addition to introversion and extraversion.

The break-out sessions include an option for further discussion with Fonseca. Christina Desiderio, Yerba Buena Elementary School Principal and California Association for the Gifted (CAG) Parent Representative, will also lead a session on advocacy for gifted children. Licensed Clinical Social Worker Judy Weiner will talk about parenting gifted children, motivation, perfectionism and underachievement.

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Two BUSD teachers, Joe Reed and Jennifer Almer, will also lead break-out sessions. Reed, a middle school GATE and technology teacher, will focus on executive functioning, homework tips and school success. Almer, an elementary teacher and 2015 CAG Distinguished Service Award Winner, will discuss differentiated instruction.

This event will be held in the multi-purpose room of Providencia Elementary School. Registration opens at 8:00 a.m. and the keynote presentation starts at 8:30 a.m. Two break-out sessions at 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. follow the keynote address. Pre-registration is $30.00 and registration on the day of the event is $35.00. This event is free to all BUSD teachers and staff.

All interested parents in the community are welcomed, including those whose children may be too young to be tested for the BUSD GATE program. For more information, Kissinger encourages people to contact him via email at tomkissinger@burbankusd.org or phone at 818-729-4401. More information on the Burbank Unified GATE program can be found here.

Last year, BUSD held its inaugural GATE Parent Conference with noted author and educator Nathan Levy as keynote speaker.