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    McFadden GATE Program

    Program Design

    The GATE Program provides a comprehensive continuum of services and program options responsive to the needs, interests, and abilities of its students. The program is managed by full-time district coordinators for the elementary and secondary level, as well as a site coordinator at each school. The GATE Program provides services for students in grades 3-12 who have been identified in the intellectual, high achievement, specific academic or visual and performing arts categories. Students in grades K-1 are not formally identified, but are challenged to their highest potential. Depending upon the number of identified GATE students, elementary schools serve gifted students during the school day via the "cluster" model, with approximately 5-10 identified gifted students placed in a general education class. Schools with high numbers of identified students offer special day classes with the majority of the students in the class being formally identified. In the secondary classrooms, gifted students are scheduled into honors-level and Advanced Placement classes. Teachers use the grade level standards and core curriculum for all students, as well as differentiated strategies, to challenge GATE students to their highest potential.


    The district's identification procedures are equitable, comprehensive, and ongoing. Teacher and parent workshops addressing the characteristics of gifted students prepare teachers and parents to recognize unique talents and gifts. In grades K-1, teachers are encouraged to refer students to a pre-GATE program. These students are not formally tested, but the schools take into consideration their classroom placement with other high ability students. Formal assessment begins with screening of all second graders. Parent permission is required to test students using the Naglieri Non-Verbal Ability Test (NNAT), an instrument that is sensitive to language and cultural differences. Students in grades 3-12 are administered the NNAT by teacher referral and parent request. To obtain the most accurate assessment of the student being considered for identification, an Eligibility and Placement Committee reviews a variety of informational data: teacher recommendation, student writing proficiency, grades, achievement test scores, and NNAT scores. Nontraditional methods for effective identification of English learners are also considered, such as rapid gain in English acquisition and standardized test scores. Parents are notified of their child's acceptance or denial into the GATE Program and must give signed consent for their child to participate in the program. A beginning of the year orientation regarding student placement and participation is offered to the parents by the district coordinators. Once a child is identified, schools attempt to place the student in one of the district's program design options with teachers who are trained in differentiating the curriculum and who will challenge them to their highest potential.

    Association for Gifted and Talented Education

    The Gifted and Talented Education Department meets regularly throughout the year with the Association for Gifted and Talented Education (AGATE) Advisory Committee. Members have an important role in the decision-making process of educational programs designed to meet the needs of the gifted learner. We urge you to seriously consider becoming an active member of this organization whose purposes are:

    1. To involve parents in the planning, implementation and evaluation of the Gifted and Talented Education Program
    2. To promote parent education regarding giftedness
    3. To act as a resource for sharing and disseminating information about GATE programs that benefit gifted children
    4. To advocate for the continued existence and improvement of gifted programs
    5. To serve as a support group for parents
    6. To promote extracurricular educational activities for gifted children
    7. To create community support and business partnerships for GATE

    Educator and parent involvement in the schools is a key factor in the improvement of our children's education. The Santa AnaUnifiedSchool District is a leader in advocating involvement in all aspects of education. The Board of Education, the Superintendent and staff strongly believe that positive gains result from educators and parents who take an active interest in their schools. If you are interested in participating on the AGATE Committee, contact the SAUSD GATE Department or your child's school site coordinator. You can make a difference in the quality of your child's education.

Last Modified on January 20, 2017