GATE Program Summary
Gifted and Talented Education (G.A.T.E.)
Alvin Dunn Elementary supports the San Marcos Unified School District program goals and recommendations for the Gifted and Talented Education Program. The goal of the program is to identify and provide educational services for gifted learners. The services should enrich, engage and motivate gifted learners to thrive academically as well as meet the unique needs of the individual student.
Site Management: Each school site in SMUSD, creates their own educational plan and organization on campus to meet the needs and interests of the students. Programs may vary throughout the district, but each must coincide with the school districts objectives and GATE plan. Administrators at every school site help manage and support GATE plans, but generally a GATE coordinator is responsible for informing staff, parents and students about the program. Coordinators also must attend district GATE planning meetings, and develop a meaningful program that maintains high standards for the gifted learner.
Identification Procedures: All students that are identified as gifted have been evaluated by a site committee using multiple criteria. The student’s STAR scores, report cards, classroom work, learner inventory by the classroom teacher and additional information from the parent are all considered. All students in third grade are given the Naglieri Nonverbal Ablity Test (NNAT) in the Spring. Fourth and Fifth graders may also be recommended for testing with a parent or teacher recommendation; however, they will be given a different test. Parents may also choose to not have their child tested.
Instructional Practices: All teachers have been trained in effective instructional practices to meet the needs of individual learners in the classroom. Gifted students are grouped together in 4th and 5th grades in order for them to meet regularly with their intellectual peers. In addition, many different techniques may be applied to motivate gifted learners. Some strategies may include: reading contracts, web based exploration, pre-testing out of already mastered content, gifted choice menus and group discussions.
Goals of Our Program:
· To train staff and parents about teaching methodologies and philosophies of gifted instruction.
· To have gifted students meet or exceed grade level standards in all content areas as well as introduce technology as a tool for learning.
· To train gifted students in communication and positive peer relationship skills.
· To offer leadership opportunities for the gifted learner.
· To develop critical thinking and problem solving skills in a real world context.
· To allow gifted students to connect to peers through enrichment activities.
· To promote a love for learning in both an expert fields and in newly discovered areas through introduction of a variety of educational experiences.
· To meet the individual emotional needs of the gifted through discussion, compassion and concern for the student.