Gifted and Talented Education supports excellence in the SRVUSD through a program that enhances the education of all students while addressing the specific needs of the gifted. A number of key elements are important to the success of our program.
an equitable identification process enrichment and pacing that ensures continuous academic growth flexibility in grouping - both heterogeneous and homogeneous
school site plans that include the needs of the GATE population and resources to address those needs staff development in GATE strategies parent education and involvement accountability through evaluation
Meeting the Needs of GATE Students
San Ramon Valley Unified School District provides GATE students with programs that are planned and organized as an integrated, differentiated learning experience within the regular school day and may be augmented or supplemented with other enrichment activities related to the core curriculum.
Differentiated curriculum is one that regularly provides opportunities for gifted students to experience instructional techniques that address one or more of the following questions about instruction:
Pace: Is the child moving through the curriculum at a pace that insures continuous progress?
Depth: Does the curriculum allow the gifted child to go deeper than the surface of a subject area?
Complexity: Is the gifted child challenged by critical thinking and higher order thinking skills in the classroom?
Product: Does the child have the opportunity to be creative and to apply knowledge to real life situations?
In the SRVUSD, each elementary school addresses the needs of GATE students as part of their Single Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA). This site plan is available at the school for your information.
In grades 3-5, GATE students are grouped together by forming clusters within the heterogeneous class. In addition, some schools use part-time grouping where GATE students from more than one class are brought together for instructional purposes.
Academic Talent Program (ATP) Grades 4-5:
The San Ramon Valley Unified School District administers the CogAT (Cognitive Abilities Test) to all second graders. Each year a significant percentage (10-14%) of our students qualify for Gifted and Talented services based on the Nationally Normed scores. These students receive services in GATE cluster classrooms in the 4th and 5th grade as well as in middle school. Teachers in these classrooms have experience with Gifted students and most of them have earned Gifted and Talented certification through the County Office of Education or from a university or special program.
A smaller percentage of our students qualify to apply for our Academic Talent Program based on the San Ramon Valley local norms (a comparison of SR students to SR students). The Academic Talent Program is a magnet class program for 4th and 5th graders who qualify based on local norms. The ATP offers students the opportunity to work in a homogeneous setting where their unique talents and abilities are challenged to the fullest extent. The curriculum is fast paced, complex and individualized. ATP classes are currently offered at Montair Elementary, Golden View Elementary and Montevideo Elementary.
To be eligible to apply for the ATP, students must score at least a 98% composite score on the locally normed CogAT. If your child qualifies to apply for the ATP, you will be notified by a letter of invitation. ATP applicants will also be required to take a writing and math assessment. Selection for the program will be based on the results of those assessments along with the CogAT locally normed score, the 2nd grade STAR math and English scores, and teacher recommendation. The top 90 students will be accepted and placed in the program.
At the middle school level, GATE students are clustered within Core classes in grades 6 and 7. For 8th grade students, middle schools cluster in Cores or specific subject areas. All students have the opportunity to be admitted into Honors or Advanced classes in selected courses based on performance.
At the high school level, all students have the opportunity to be admitted into Honors and Advanced Placement classes in selected courses based on performance.
Eligibility for Honors and Advanced classes is determined by the results of assessments designed for specific courses and/or by teacher recommendation. The visual and performing arts classes base entrance into advanced classes on auditions.
Parent participation is essential to a quality program. Some ways you can become involved include the following:
- Be familiar with your school's GATE program.
- Be involved at your school site with after-school enrichment programs. Help to set up classes, field trips, competitions, and many different opportunities for students.
- Work with teachers or other community members as resource people or mentors for GATE students who are working on special projects.
- Serve on the GATE Representatives Committee, where parents are able to set up networks between schools to share ideas and resources.