Welcome to the AGATE Home Page!

Click here for information regarding our upcoming summer workshop

Keep up to date on legislative events by visiting Legislation Information.

New regulations for the gifted extension certificate are available online at the NYS Department of Education. Check it out!

Please visit Teacher Questionaire and fill out our survey. It'll help us further the cause with our friends in Albany!

Read Mary Ellen Seitelmen's message about the current state of affairs in gifted education in NYS. See how you can help make a difference in the lives of G/T students

Please check out the What Works Clearinghouse
The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) was established in 2002 by the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences (IES) to provide educators, policymakers, researchers, and the public with a central and trusted source of scientific evidence of what works in education.

Please e-mail Mary Ellen if you'd like to add something or if you have any questions or concerns about the web site. Also, we'd like to thank State Farm Insurance for their sponsorship and support of this web site.

AGATE Disclaimer Statement

The ”AGATE” (The Advocacy for Gifted and Talented Education in New York State) web site is for educational and informational purposes only. While care has been taken in the compilation of this information, we cannot guarantee that inaccuracies will not occur. AGATE will not be held responsible for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of any inaccuracy or error within these pages.

Additionally, many links from our site lead to pages maintained by other organizations and go to information that is not directly approved by AGATE. These are provided purely for your convenience. They do not imply that AGATE endorses nor supports these organizations, the information on their pages, or their produces or services in any way. No responsibility is assumed by AGATE for the contents of their pages.

If you discover any information on our pages which you believe to be inaccurate or inappropriate, please inform the contact given on the page, if any, or e-mail AGATE.

Important: Read the following before continuing:

What is AGATE?

People – Parents, teachers, administrators and other professionals committed to meeting the needs of gifted and talented children.

Annual Conference – At AGATE regional or statewide conferences, special interest groups such as classroom teachers, administrators, parents, homeschoolers, medical professionals, and mentors can meet in roundtable or presentation sessions to expand their understanding of giftedness and the needs of these unique young people. At statewide conferences, AGATE provides a vendors’ hall and display opportunities to bring additional resources to the attention of attendees.

Network – AGATE promotes networking opportunities through local chapters and affiliates across New York state.

Resources – AGATE produces the nationally-distributed newsletter GEMS of AGATE, as a service to every member. Each Director on our Board responds promptly to member requests. We offer a unique series of monographs, PACTs or Parents and Children Together day-long gatherings, professional memberships with expanded resources and special monograph reprint permission, and our pilot mentor-liaison project with ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers).

Mandate -- AGATE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization of concerned parents and educators designed to promote the education and welfare of the gifted and talented in New York State. AGATE has been developed to:

Seek and make available national, state and local resources which contribute to the education of the gifted and talented;

Develop, publish and disseminate appropriate materials for the education of the gifted and talented at parc harry potter;

If you’re a Harry Potter fan visiting the UK, the chances are high that you want to take the Harry Potter Studio Tour near London. This tour, of the Warner Bros. Studio where the majority of the films were shot, is a fascinating experience, and well worth doing even if you’re not a Harry Potter fan.
You can visit places like the Great Hall, the railway station, various filming locations from inside Hogwarts, the Forbidden Forest, and even Diagon Alley.

Sponsor and foster activities that stimulate and encourage the development of improved programs and practices for the education of the gifted and talented, such as sharing information about educational programs, giving educators opportunities to study new and innovative teaching methods and programs which are specifically designed for gifted children, and conducting research on the gifted which would provide help for educators;

Assume a leadership role in the establishment of statewide conferences, meetings, workshops and other appropriate gatherings for the benefit and welfare of the gifted and talented.

**Important Notice - Please Read:**

Fingerprint clearance is not required for the the SOCE.
The School Violence and Child Abuse Workshop is not required for the

The Office of Teaching will now accept applications for the SOCE until
September 1, 2004.

All applicants for the SOCE must hold a permanent teaching certificate
at the time they apply.

Questions may be directed to Mary Daley at State Ed

There are several things happening on the state and federal level as of this date.
On the federal level, we have a great deal of activity with regards to restoring Jacob Javits funding and the passage of ESEA. Please visit the NAGC web site for updates. There are links for contacting your elected representatives as well. Also, be sure to read Carol Ann Tomlinson's published article in the November 6th edition of Newsweek on the topic of "No Child Left Behind".

*Update - January 19, 2004*
Please read the following Wall St Journal article on how the new "No Child Left Behind" initiative may be leaving behind gifted students: Initiative to Leave No Child Behind Leaves Out Gifted

On the state level, we have changes to the regulations requiring teachers to have an extension certificate in Gifted Education beginning 2/2/2004. Link directly to the new extension regulations by visiting the NYS Education Department.

To see who to contact in NY State Click Here

In the meantime, if you'd like to contact your state representatives visit the following web sites:

New York State Assemby

New York State Senate

Message from the President

Gifted education finds itself just a little worse off than last year at this time. Unfortunately, the funds designated for gifted education that have been targeted for the last 20 years, will now be rolled into the flex aid formula. This will allow districts the “flexibility” of choosing the items it wishes to spend its money on. With all the pressure to minimize the number of students in “level 1”, there will be little incentive to address the needs of those students who already exceed the standards. Initially, after a visit by Phyllis Aldrich, Saratoga BOCES coordinator of gifted and talented and me, to the Governor’s office, we thought we might succeed in getting the funds designated once again. Assemblyman Silver’s office advised us that although they were supportive, as was Senator Bruno’s office, the cuts were being made across the board and there was no way to save the funding. I have written to Regent Bennett, chair of the Board of Regents to ask for support for gifted education. His response was that he was against mandates, and that parents need to go to their school boards to push for programs in their districts.

I have already received numerous calls from parents and teachers asking how their programs might be preserved. Without a mandate, the task is daunting. The recommendation is for individuals to go as a group to their school boards and let board members know how they feel about the issue. Newspapers should be contacted as well. Contact with state legislators is necessary to apprise them of the situation. What we have found is that some representatives believe that the programs that exist in their own schools, exist in all schools. Please take the time to write to your legislator. Send him or her a copy of New Jersey’s resolution. Let your representative know that the only mention of gifted children in our state education law is when it refers to “screening for potential giftedness” (usually in kindergarten) and eighth grade acceleration in math and one other subject and testing out of the regents. (see AGATE website) Other than that, gifted children are not considered in New York’s education law.

If we want New York to be more than a state of “minimum competency”, we need to incorporate the education of gifted children into the fabric of our educational programs.

Take the time to make a call or write a letter. Advise other parents and educators to get involved. With the loss of designated funds, we need these kinds of efforts to insure the education of our future leaders.

Mary-Ellen Seitelman, President


Summer Institute for the Gifted. Academically talented students taking courses in math, science, writing, sports, music, theatre. Grades 4-11. Residential course at Blair Academy, Blairstown, NJ; George School, Newton, PA; Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA; and Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY. Contact: College Gifted Programs, 544 Bloomfield Avenue, Verona, NJ 07044. (201) 857-2521. For more information visit: http://www.cgp-sig.com

Kopernik Space Education Center. Hands-on high-tech science. Courses in Astronomy, Earth Science, Physics/ Engineering, and Computer Technology. Grades 3-12. Contact: 698 Underwood Road, Vestal, NY 13850. (888) 269-5325 ext. 208. For more information visit: www.kopernik.org (Information and applications available online.)

National Computer Camp. Commuter or Residency Program on college campuses. Locations in Hartford, CT; Cleveland, OH; or Atlanta, GA. Contact: Michael Zabinski, Ph.D., Executive Director, National Computer Camps, P.O. Box 585, Orange, CT 06477. (203) 795-9667.

Concordia Language Villages. Immersions in a choice of Chinese, Danish, Finish, French, German, Japanese, Norwegian, Russian, Spanish or Swedish. One and two-week programs for ages 7-18; four-week program for high school credit; abroad programs for ages 15-18. Contact: Concordia Language Villages, 901 South Eighth Street, Moorhead, MN 56562. (800) 222-4750.

US Space Camp. US Space Academy and Aviation Challenge. Grades 7-12. Five day program in Huntsville, AL; Orlando, FL; or Mountainview, CA. Prices vary greatly for different programs. Contact: US Space and Rocket Center, One Tranquility Base, Huntsville, AL 35807 or Call 1-800-63-SPACE. For more information visit: www.spacecamp.com (Information and applications available online.)


Crane Youth Music. Daily classes and rehearsals in all wind instruments, concert band, symphonic band, orchestra, choir, jazz ensemble, percussion, strings. Daily recreation and performance opportunities. Ages 12-18. Day or residential options. Two-week programs. Contact: Office of Continuing Education/Summer Programs, SUNY Potsdam, Raymond Hall 206, Potsdam, NY 13676. Call (800) 458-1142 or (315) 267-2167.

Eastern US Music Camp at Colgate University. Two, three, or four-week programs. Residential or day options. Grades 6-12. Prices vary according to length of program. Contact: Thomas Brown, Director, 7 Brock Hollow Road, Ballston Lake, NY 12019. (518) 877-5121. For more information e-mail

Hartwick College Summer Music Festival & Institute. Opportunities in band, choral music, orchestra, jazz, music theatre, piano, guitar, and chamber music. Performance opportunities. Ages 8-22. Two, four, or six-week residential or day program. Prices vary accordingly. Sports and recreation also available. Contact: Townsend A. Plant, Director, Oneonta, NY 13820. (800) 388-0337. For more information visit: www.hartwick.edu/hcsmfi/hcsmfi.htm

Kinhaven Music School. Focus of school is chamber music. Ages 10-18. Co-ed residential program. Contact: Nancy Bidlack. P.O. Box 68, Weston, VT 05161. Phone/Fax: (802) 824-4332.

NYS School of Choral Studies. Participate in choral rehearsal, private instruction, study theory, improvisation. Many performance opportunities. Must audition. Ages 14-18. Four-week program. Contact: Dr. Edward S. Marschilok, Administrative Director, NYSSSA Schools of Music, Room 866 EBA, State Education Department, Albany, NY 12234. (518) 474-8773. www.emsc.nysed.gov/nysssa (Information and applications available online.)

Signature Band & Choir Camp at Houghton College. Instruction and performance opportunities. Grade 6-9. Contact: Richard Ford (315) 425-7354.

Summer Sonatina. Classes in piano; performance opportunities. Ages 7-17. Contact: Sandy, 5 Catamount Lane, Benington, VT 05021. For more information visit: www.sonatina.com

Center for Talented Youth at Johns Hopkins University. Admittance based on SAT scores taken in 7th Grade Talent Search. Residency Programs at Siena, Skidmore and other colleges. Contact: Dr. William Durden, Director, Johns Hopkins University, Center for Talented Youth, 3400 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218 (410) 516-0337 or http://www.jhu.edu/gifted/


Each year, AGATE offers the following awards:

Nicholas Green Distinguished Student Award

AGATE Student Academic Excellence Award

Alexinia Baldwin Educator of the Year Award

Virginia Erlich Service Award

  1. Harry Passow Award

Generally, awards are presented at the AGATE conference in the fall. For further details please read the descriptions. Forms are posted online and can be printed out.

Upcoming Summer Workshop

Greater Capital Region Teacher Center

Educating the Gifted and Talented (AGATE)

These informative sessions will provide participants with an explanation of the characteristics and social-emotional needs of high ability children, how gifted children learn and methods for identifying gifted students in your classroom. Participants will develop strategies for differentiating instruction to meet the needs of both the gifted learner, as well as the struggling learner in the regular classroom. Information regarding the laws that affect gifted children in NYS and the new gifted extension for teacher certification, will be explained.

A portion of the course will feature a panel of highly able students who will delve into the topic of rapid acceleration - the pros and cons. A listing f professional organizations, journals, web sites and educational catalogs as well as a sample of a parent survey which helps to identify gifted children will be provided.

Location: Sand Creek MS, Colonie

Date: July 6 (Tues) Time: 9am - 3:30pm

Fee: None, however, registration is required

(underwritten by AGATE) Code: WS 1135

Instructors: Claudia Verga is an enrichment specialist at the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk School district who has been teaching for almost twenty-five years, sixteen in gifted education. She has also presented at AGATE conferences. Bonnie Cook is an instructor at Hudson Valley Community College, a frequent presenter of issues on gifted education at AGATE state conferences and the parent of two highly gifted boys.