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Renaissance Gifted Academy

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                                                                                                         Michele Beach

Director of Gifted, Honors, and Advanced Placement

Office of Learning Support Services

Thurgood Marshall School

4664 N. Rockton Ave.

Rockford, IL  61103

(815) 986-5601

FAX (815) 972-3443

Email Contact

The Renaissance Gifted Academy is one of many specialized programs in the Rockford Public Schools.  We recognize that gifted students, like other groups in the general school population, possess unique potential and needs which can only be addressed through modification of the regular curriculum. The goal of our program is to identify and nurture potential through the development of specialized curriculum offerings modified and adapted to meet the unique learning styles, learning rates, interests, abilities and needs of gifted students.

Every child has the right to learn something new every day.

- Gifted Children's Bill of Rights

Eligibility Testing

We have completed all of our regular testing sessions for entrance in the 2015-2016 school year.   However, we may offer make-up testing sessions as needed.  All information about our testing can be found on our Renaissance Testing Page.  

!!New!! There will be a make-up testing session for students currently in Grades K-9 on February 28, 2015.  !!New!!


What's New? 

​Parent Presentations

Thanks to those of you who joined us on February 10, 2015 at Washington for our presentation on Social Emotional Development in Gifted Children.  Here are copies of the presentation and handouts.

Social Emotional Development in Gifted Children

Strengths and Possible Problems

Overexcitabilities and the Gifted Child

Developing a Feeling Vocabulary

Our next presentation will be on Executive Function and Organization.  Dates:​

    • March 3: Marshall School, Library, 5:30 pm
    • March 10: Washington Academy, Library, 5:30 pm

​Renaissance Gifted Academy Effectiveness Survey

Our Renaissance Gifted Academy Effectiveness Survey is now closed.  Thank you for your participation.  We value your input.  Survey results will be published here in early spring.


​We have launched our new Renaissance Gifted Academy Alumni Page​!  We are calling upon all Academy alumni to share "where they are now".  It is our hope to share information about our alumni with potential families so they see the exciting range of paths our alumni have taken in life and where those paths have led them. We are also hoping this page can help alumni learn more about their friends and classmates from the past.​

If you are an alumnus, please take part in our short survey found here​.  And, spread the word to your classmates.  We want to hear from everyone!


Wonderful Websites 

​2015 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards

We are proud of our Auburn Knights who have won awards in the regional Scholastic Art and Writing competition.  Auburn had more winners than any other area high school.  ​​Gold Key winners will have their work automatically considered for national recognition in New York.  Our winners:

    • Benji Bear
    • Ling Chou: Silver Key​ for Art Portfolio​
    • Taylor Gorsuch: Gold Key for Drawing/Illustration​, Honorable Mention for Drawing/Illustration
    • Katherine Lundberg: Silver Key for Drawing/Illustration​, Honorable Mention for ​​​​Painting​
    • James Miller: Silver Key for Drawing/Illustration
    • Beini Pan: Honorable Mention for Drawing/Illustration
    • Chau Pham: Gold Key for Art Mixed Media, Honorable Mention for Drawing/Illustration, Honorable Mention for Art Portfolio
    • Camille Sanchez: Gold Key for Art Portfolio
    • ​​​Sabrina Tassoni: Silver Key for Drawing/Illustration
    • Alexandria White: Gold Key for Drawing/Illustration
    • Shanida Younvanich: Gold Key for Drawing/Illustration

DAR Good Citizens Honors Program

Congratulations to Fatima Nizamuddin, Auburn High School's winner of the Good Citizen Award from the Daughters of the American Revolution.  This contest, created in 1934, is intended to reward the qualities of dependability, service, leadership, and patriotism in their homes, schools, and communities.  In Fatima's case, her nominator described her as "a humble, unassuming woman whose central goal is to positively impact the world.  What sets her apart is her boundless enthusiasm and energy for service to her school and community." 

Math Counts

The Marshall Math Counts team attended the Northern Illinois region Math Counts competition held at Rock Valley College on Saturday, February 7, 2015.  The Marshall team will progress to the state competition held on March 7, 2015 in Lisle, Illinois.  Our first place winning team consisted of Ethan Strombeck, Kodai Speich, Sabrina Meng, and Ayush Bhalavat.  Ethan Strombeck placed first in the Countdown Round. In the individual competition, our winners were:

      • First Place: Kodai Speich
      • Second Place: Preston Sims
      • Third Place: Ethan Strombeck
      • Fourth Place: Caden Hines
      • Sixth Place: Sabrina Meng
      • Seventh Place: Nathaniel Turner
      • Eighth Place: Gabriel Roethle
      • Ninth Place: Ayush Bhalavat
      • Tenth Place: Joslin Johnson

​Math Counts heightens student interest in mathematics by making math achievement challenging and exciting.  If your child is looking for some additional challenges in math, be sure to visit Math Counts website for the problem of the weekvideos and more.  Math Counts is made possible and funded by the Illinois Society of Professional Engineers.  

Auburn Seniors 
On Wednesday, February 25, two Auburn seniors will commit to play college football.  Colin Osborne will commit to play for Truman State University in Missouri.  Brett Garst will commit to play for Ripon College in Wisconsin.    

National Merit and National Achievement Finalists

Congratulations to Valerie Stenerson and Daniel Nielsen, our newest National Merit Finalists!  And, congratulations to Justyn and Jacob Higgins, our newest National Achievement Finalists.  These students learned of their semi-finalist status in the fall.  We will learn about our National Merit Scholars in the spring.

Every year, approximately 1.5 million students enter the National Merit Scholarship competition by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT).  Some 50,000 of these students, who have earned highest Selection Index scores, qualify for National Merit recognition as Commended Students. Of those, about 16,000 students qualify as Semifinalists.  Semifinalists are designated on a state representational basis, with Illinois being one of the most competitive states.  These students need to meet further requirements to become Finalists.  

Steps in the National Merit Scholarship Program


The Auburn Knights earned first place at the Worldwide Youth for Science and Engineering (WYSE) regional competition on Friday, February 6, 2015.  Forty-two Auburn students competed at Rock Valley College and edged out Hononegah High School with a final score of 486.023 to 484.947.  Individual honors:

    • Biology - Chen Lin, 3rd place
    • Chemistry - Chen Lin, 2nd place
    • Math - Josh Day, 1st place
    • Math - Donovan McClelland, 3rd place
    • Physics - Janelle Ferguson, 1st place, Dan Nielsen and Donovan McClelland, 3rd place
    • Computer Science - Matt Madden, 2nd place, Josh Day, 3rd place 
    • Engineering Graphics - Katherine Lundberg, 2nd place, Sam Rude, 3rd place
    • English - Cole Timmerwilke, 3rd place
Amazing Teachers
Read more about Greg Kirchoff, Psychology teacher at Auburn in the Rockford Register Star​.  ​The article highlights some of the many ways Mr. Kirchoff helps his students learn through real-life experiences.  

Barb Chidley at Auburn High School has now been selected as one of the 20 Golden Apple finalists!  We wish he the best of luck as she continues on this journey.

The Golden Apple Foundation has announced their 2014 MS/HS nominees! ​We are proud of our teachers at:
    • Marshall: Tim Aures, Sue Brauns, Megan Fleming, Rey Garza, Linda Griffin, Deb Maklezow, Gina McNamara, Kathleen Miller, Christopher Watts, and Heidi Willson
    • ​Auburn: Barb Chidley, Karen Hoover, Chris Rauh, and Rebecca Roth
​Congratulations to our Top Illinois Schools
   Washington Academy - Fifteen​th highest ranked elementary school in Illinois!
Thurgood Marshall School - Tenth highest ranked middle school in Illinois!

Each year, the State Board of Education releases school report cards for each public school in the state.  The Chicago Sun-Times analyzes these scores using a statistical method called standardizing to analyze the “scale score” of every reading and math test statewide.  Then, schools are ranked based on average scores on state achievement tests - not on the percentage who meet state standards.  When several schools, such as ours, have 100% of their students who meet or exceed state standards, this statistical analysis yields more accurate rankings.​

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