• Gifted and Talented Education
    The goal of the Gifted and Talented Education program at Mendez Fundamental is to offer the gifted learner opportunities to develop skills in critical thinking and leadership; to  provide students with the rigor and acceleration of advanced courses, as well as opportunities for creative, inquiry-based learning.  
    SAUSD Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) Program
    The SAUSD GATE program contains the following elements:

    1.     Identification procedures that are diverse, extensive, and sensitive to students from a wide range of cultures, races, and ethnic groups

    2.     Differentiated and individualized curricular experiences

    3.     Appropriate services to meet the individual needs of gifted students 

    4.     Knowledgeable persons who can plan and implement appropriate programs and the best practices to meet the unique educational needs of gifted students

    5.     Parent, professional, and student participation in the initiation, implementation, and evaluation of the gifted program

    GATE Information for Parents

    What is a Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) program?

    In California, public schools may apply for educational funds to assist in providing appropriate learning opportunities for those students identified as gifted and talented. A basic gifted program will include: testing to identify gifted students; grouping students within a class for all or part of the school day by ability; providing curriculum that is challenging and allows continuous progress; developing social and emotional skills; training for teachers and administrators in the education of gifted learners; providing counseling and support for gifted students who are at-risk; and involving parents in the planning and evaluation of GATE programs. A written plan defining how the district will meet the needs of gifted children as articulated in the state GATE standards must be submitted to the California Department of Education (CDE) for approval for one to three years. To obtain a copy of the GATE Law, and/or a copy of the standards, go to, or call the CDE at 916-323-5124 or 916-323-5831. 

    How is GATE instruction different from what the general education student is receiving?

    All students in the Santa Ana Unified School District receive comprehensive instruction in the basic skills and the core curriculum with an emphasis on meeting the district's rigorous and challenging academic standards. The GATE Program applies the state-adopted approach of Depth and Complexity to enhance and make the core curriculum different. Depth and Complexity is used to differentiate learning opportunities that stress the complexity of subject matter, develop greater depth in thinking and reasoning skills, and provide for the creation of new ideas and new products. GATE instruction emphasizes the use of multiple resources and research. Students create unique products that apply higher level critical thinking skills and involve purposeful communication.

    How do I find out if my child is gifted?

    Some children are able to concentrate for long periods of time at a very young age or demonstrate their gifts and talents by using a large vocabulary, constant questioning, creativity, and/or exceptional ability in a particular subject area. Differences commonly found between most gifted learners and their age peers are advanced comprehension, a faster pace of learning and a need for schoolwork that provides activities which are both complex and fast-paced. Parents should consult with their child's teacher, school counselor or the district GATE Department for additional information.

    Can a gifted child have learning disabilities too? Where can I get information?

    Some gifted children have learning disabilities such as dyslexia, attention deficit disorder, and visual or auditory processing difficulties. It is sometimes difficult to identify the special needs of these children because they often use their high abilities to cope with and mask their learning disabilities.

    For more information, access ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education at

    Are there any other enrichment activities beyond the classroom in which my child can be involved?

    Individual schools offer various extended activities in which GATE students can participate. These activities promote unique learning and interests of gifted students.

    Academic Pentathlon, GATE Symposium, Chess Club, Math/Science Olympiad/Saturday Math Academy, Visual and Performing Arts Programs, Student Leadership - ASB, and Summer and After-school Enrichment STEM Programs (Robotics, 3D Modeling, and Rocketry) and Humanities programs (The Critical Current). 
    Parents and Students:  If you have questions about the Gifted and Talented Education Program at Mendez, please contact Yamilet Cebreros, Room 319 //
    Phone:  714-972-7800
Last Modified on June 13, 2023