What is the GATE program?
The GATE program is the educational program designed to address the learning styles of the students who have been identified as gifted and talented. The MUS GATE program is based on the most current research in gifted education. The GATE program goals are to:
• meet students' intellectual needs,
• motivate students to reach their highest potential,
• increase the application of critical thinking skills,
• promote positive social-emotional skills.
These are in keeping with the State Education Code's directions for programs for the gifted and talented. Differentiation of course content is achieved through added depth, complexity, novelty, and acceleration. Teachers have received staff development in differentiation of instruction. To assist teachers in meeting the needs of the gifted and talented, professional development, resources, and support services are provided.
Clusters of GATE students have been placed in each classroom. In addition to differentiating the instruction, GATE students, as well as other high achieving students, may be placed in ability leveled groupings to better meet their needs. Teachers in grades 4-6 offer academic groupings in CHALLENGE MATH classes as well as CHALLENGE BOOK CLUB. Students have the opportunity to participate in rigorous, enriched reading programs at each grade level.
At which grade levels do we have a GATE program?
For the purposes of funding, students in grades 4-6 can qualify for the GATE program if they meet identification criteria. The faculty recognizes that gifted students can be identified at earlier ages, however, due to the nature of state funding laws, it is fiscally more beneficial for Montecito School District to identify fewer than 50 students. Those 50 students can be identified in grades 4-6. If we identified younger students, we would exceed 50 students and our allocation of funds would actually be less than funding allocated for “smaller school districts.”
Teachers in all grade levels are trained to recognize, identify and support gifted students. They have been trained to differentiate instruction to meet the needs of these students and students at all grade levels benefit from the funding that GATE funds provide.