Gifted & Talented Education
Purpose: The purpose of GATE is to identify gifted students and provide educational opportunities that recognize the performance capabilities of gifted students, as well as address the unique needs and differences associated with having these abilities.
Goal: The support for gifted and talented students shall provide, within the regular classroom, opportunities to differentiate and individualize instruction, which meet the abilities and needs of GATE students.
What are the GATE objectives?
- To provide students with opportunities for learning that maximize each student's abillities.
- To assist and encourage students to acquire skills and understanding at advanced academic and creative levels.
- To aid students in expanding their abilities to communicate and apply their ideas effectively.
- To provide opportunities to develop skills in problem solving, critical, creative thinking and decision-making.
- To encourage an enthusiastism for learning.
Curriculum and Instruction: Through differentiated assignments, developed to meet their academic and intellectual needs, students are able to explore and expand to their maximum potential. Rather than a separate curriculum, the goal for gifted students is that they understand the core curriculum in greater depth and complexity. The district's philosophy is that depth and complexity in lessons be rooted in grade level standards.
Differentiation: Differentiated instruction facilitates students' ability to meet or exceed state academic content standards through a balanced curriculum that focuses on depth and complexity of content and provides opportunies for creative and analytic thinking. Differentitation is not just about adding depth and complexity to content, but also providing the appropriate style of learning experience to meet the assessed needs of the student. Students will be challenged by questions that require a higher level of response that stimulate inquiry, active exploration, and discovery. Students are encouraged to demonstrate what they have learned in a wide variety of forms, such as open-ended projects that reflect both knowledge and the abillity to manipulate ideas.
To meet the needs of the GATE student, teacher may differentiate instruction, content, and process using the following strategies:
Curriculum Compacting: Once students demonstrate mastery on a certain topic, then they should "get credit" for what they know and future appropriate learning experiences should capitalize on extending exceptional abilities.
Flexible Skills Grouping: This grouping provides individualized and leveled instruction for students. At the elementary schools, the schedule for reading and math may allow for fluid grouping of students within and between classrooms at all grade levels.
Acceleration: It may be appropriate after a comprehensive evaluation for some profoundly gifted learners to skip a grade or be placed in a grade more advanced than those of their chronological age group.
Identification: The district's identification procedures for GATE students are equitable and comprehensive. They reflect the district's definition of giftedness and its relationship to the current state criteria:
- California Standards Test - STAR
- Checklist of Indicators o Giftedness
- Multiple Intelligences Checklist
- Raven's Progressive Matrices Test
- Out of District Data
- Judgement Criteria for Formal Inclusion Program
Parent Communication: Parents and guardians are kept informed about our Gifted and Talented activities through GATE Advisory Committee meetings, the district GATE brochure, parent email, school newsletters, and the GATE section of the district website. An introductory letter is sent to all parents of newly identified GATE students. This letter explains the program and encourages parents to be involved as partners in their child's education. Parents may also find more information about the characteristics of the gifted, including their social, emotional and intellectual needs, as well as extracurricular programs and activities, on our district GATE website.
GATE Advsisory Committee: The GATE Advisory Committee includes district office representatives, an elementary principal, district teachers and parent representatives from each of the five schools.