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Gifted and Talented Education


Purpose of the Program

The purpose of the GATE Program in the Fountain Valley School District is to challenge gifted and talented students by providing them with opportunities to explore new areas of thought. GATE learning opportunities encourage students to use their minds in new and creative ways, and to expand their confidence so that they will be productive citizens in a free and democratic society.

It is the mission of the Fountain Valley School District that gifted students learn how to use their resources to the fullest, work cooperatively, find innovative answers to questions, and challenge their own creative abilities.

GATE Identification Timeline 2014-15

October 20
Principal/SAA Nomination Process Review Meeting
October 27
Nomination forms available at school sites
November 7
Nomination forms to be returned to school office
(Return date is firm; there will be no exceptions)
November 21
Schools submit names and return completed nomination packets, with screening forms, to GATE Office
December 19
Parent notification of testing
January 20- February 6
OLSAT Testing at school sites (Grades 3-7)
February 10-20
Instruction Office Processing
April 20-May 1
District Screening Committee meets to determine eligibility based upon District GATE Criteria
Week of May 11
Schools and parents notified of results by letter

Print GATE Timeline 2014-15 here.

Overview of GATE Instruction

All GATE students receive comprehensive instruction in the basic skills and the core curriculum with an emphasis on meeting the State’s rigorous and challenging academic standards. GATE instruction implements the State-approved approach of Depth and Complexity to enhance and make the core curriculum different. The eleven elements of Depth and Complexity are 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. The classroom program emphasizes

  • building on the student’s expertise
  • using the eleven elements of Depth and Complexity to enhance and extend the core curriculum

Students receive appropriate differentiated learning experience based on depth, complexity, as well as acceleration/pacing, and novelty. These differentiated learning opportunities enhance the student’s ability to generate new ideas and provide a climate for the creation of new ideas and new products. GATE instruction also assists in the understanding of self and others, and builds on student’s needs, learning styles, interests, abilities, and talents.

Most importantly, the GATE Program is designed to give students the intellectual tools to develop their capacity to become responsible, life-long learners. GATE instruction is the continuous process of enhancing a student’s ability to think, create, and communicate.

The GATE Program currently has two instructional settings:

  • Cluster Groupings (Grades 4-5) The majority of GATE students are grouped within the regular classroom setting and receive differentiated activities, integrated into the regular classroom day, from the classroom teacher who meets District certification criteria.
  • Part-Time Core Grouping (Grades 6-8) GATE students are grouped at the middle schools for one or more content classes, usually English Language Arts and History/Social Science. Differentiated instructional activities are provided by designated GATE teachers who meet District certification criteria.

Whether the cluster or core program, designated GATE teachers use various designs to implement GATE instruction. Some teachers may use an integrated approach to differentiating the core curriculum by extending GATE instruction before, during or after a unit of core study. Teachers may interweave two or more elements of depth and complexity while teaching a specific core content topic or build a bridge between two core content areas or disciplines. Teachers use the differentiated curriculum approach as the primary emphasis in their classroom program.

Differentiated Instruction GATE Resource Materials to Check Out

Recommended Reading List

GATE Web Links
Contacts: Anne Silavs, Assistant Superintendent, Instruction
Phone: 843-3285 email:
Kathy Niemeyer, Senior Secretary
Phone: 714-843-3283 email: