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Gifted and Talented Education Q & A

What is the GATE Program?

The GATE Program at Barrett School is a combination of three important ingredients:

  • differentiated curriculum within the regular classroom
  • enrichment opportunities during and after school
  • parent enrichment outside of school

How Are Students Identified?

The identification process for entry into the GATE program is a long and thorough process:
1. Each year, the previous year’s SAT-9 scores in Total Reading, Total Math, and Language Arts are studied.Any student who scores at or above the 85%ile in any one area area is referred for GATE testing.

2. Teachers then view the list and approve of the testing for the students.

3. Permission slips are then given to the parents for testing.

4. Testing occurs as per a schedule preset by the district. The testing includes two tests, the Raven Test, a non-verbal test which determines a student’s ability to learn; and the Test of Cognitive Skills which tests in four areas: memory, sequencing, logic, and non-verbal puzzles.

5. Students’ tests are then scored by a person at the district office and reported back to our school. This part of the process takes about three weeks.

6. When the scores are returned, a case study is put together with a Teacher Evaluation form. Teachers evaluate each student on a variety of work performance standards. Students must score above a 3 average (out of 4). Copies of report cards, work samples, and all standardized tests are also included.

7. A sub group of the student study team then meets to determine a recommendation for GATE placement.

8. The case study and the recommendation are then sent to the District Coordinator for GATE for final approval.

9. Students are then placed in the program and eligible for outside enrichment and field trips.

10. Individual teachers will provide parents with an Individual Program Design at conference time outlining the classroom program.

What Is Differentiated Curriculum?

This means that the core curriculum is presented in a different manner or opportunities are given to meet the needs of the gifted student. Differentiation occurs in five ways:

  • Curriculum Compacting:  Eliminating those skills which the student has already mastered through preassessment instruments or tests.
  • Acceleration:  Speeding up the rate of learning or learning curriculum that is above grade level.
  • Complexity:  Using higher level thinking skills within a regular program of study. Creating new materials such as open-ended writing products.
  • Novelty:  Enrichment opportunities or learning things that are not in the grade level curriculum.
  • Depth:  Examining a topic in-depth. Completing a project or report on a particular area of special intrest. The project or report requires indepth study.

Your child’s teacher will explain the individual program planned for your child at the fall conference. You will be given an Individualized GATE Program Design which will outline specific activities and assignments for your child.