GIFTED AND TALENTED EDUCATION (GATE) IN THE SAN MATEO - FOSTER City School District
(updated information as of September 10, 2019)
The SMFC School District offers a self-contained GATE class in grades 4-5 at College Park Elementary School and grades 6-8 at Bayside Academy. Students in grades 3 and 5 are offered an assessment in late fall for the GATE class. Results of that assessment lead to invitations to the GATE class. Families will be receiving information about the assessment in late October. Any student whose parent wants them to take the assessment is welcome to do so. The assessment is online and occurs at the school during school hours. The assessment, and therefore entry to the class, is only offered to students who are enrolled in SMFC schools.
Information will be updated on this website each month.
What is GATE?
GATE stands for Gifted and Talented Education. In SMFC there is a self-contained class for 4th - 5th graders at College Park. That program continues at Bayside Middle School for 6th - 8th graders who are identified for the program. There is not one way to assess giftedness and it is not our intention to do so with one test. We provide a standards-based assessment in ELA, Math, and Science which contains nationally leveled questions of high difficulty for the grade level. We find this accurately identifies students who are a good fit for the program structures and goals.
When is the GATE assessment?
The 3rd grade GATE assessment will occur on November 26th and 27th and the 5th grade GATE assessment will occur on January 14th and 15th. There will be a make-up day for students who are absent, determined by school sites.
Are students selected to take the assessment or can I opt my child in?
It is our goal to ensure that any 3rd or 5th grader who might do well on the assessment has the opportunity to take it. Any parent can sign their child up to take the test.
How do I sign my child up for the assessment?
Contact your child’s school by either emailing or calling the school office before November 20th (3rd grade) or January 9th (5th grade) so that the school can prepare for the correct number of students.
Which assessment is being administered?
We will be using a nationally-normed, secured, online assessment, which is what we used last year. The assessment we used in prior years is very time intensive for both students and staff. There was also a high degree of student stress with the administration of this assessment, which we want to avoid. The test should take approximately 1.5 hours.
What if I don’t want to send my child to College Park or Bayside but I just want to see if they are gifted?
There is no one way to define a child who is gifted, in fact as educators, we believe that all students have gifts. The test we administer is a cognitive assessment that only considers one aspect of a child’s abilities. Your child is welcome to take the assessment and we will share the results with you.
How can I prepare my child for the GATE assessment?
The best thing to do is to ensure your child is happy and healthy. There is no test-prep. The more stressed your child is, the harder the test will be for them.
When will I get the results?
Because it is an online assessment, the Education Services department will analyze the results within 7-10 days of the assessment and we will notify parents as soon as possible.
What if my 3rd grade child is invited to the GATE program and I want them to go?
Students with the highest scores will be offered a placement in the 4th grade GATE class at College Park for the 2019-2020 school year. A tour of College Park will be held in early December for parents of students who are invited. We will invite students until the class is filled to the district average (28-30 students).
Will I have to put in for a transfer to College Park?
Admission to the GATE program is separate from the SMFCSD transfer process. If your child is invited to the class, and you decide College Park is the best place for them, you will be given directions on how to enroll at College Park.
What if my 5th grade child took the SMFC GATE Assessment as a 3rd grader?
When your child took the assessment, s/he was either invited or not to attend the GATE class at College Park. If s/he WAS invited, then you will receive a separate communication from the Education Services department inviting them to the GATE class at Bayside. There is no need for them to take this year’s assessment. If your child was invited to the College Park class as a 3rd grader and you do not receive an email in the new few days regarding enrollment at Bayside, please call 312-7238.
If your child was NOT invited to the College Park class and you believe the GATE class at Bayside might be a good fit for your child, then please contact your elementary school office and sign your child up for this year’s GATE assessment by January 9th. Taking the test does not mean that your child will be invited to the GATE class.
What if my child is invited to the Bayside GATE program and I want them to go?
Students with the highest scores will be offered a placement in the 6th grade GATE class at Bayside for the 2019-2020 school year. A tour of Bayside will be held in early February for parents of students who are invited. We will invite students until the class is filled to the district average (30-32 students).
Will I have to put in for a transfer to Bayside?
Admission to the GATE program is separate from the SMFCSD transfer process. If your child is invited to the class, and you decide Bayside is the best place for them, you will be given directions on how to enroll at Bayside.
Information about GATE testing in other grades
We assess students in grades 3 and 5 only.
We send our child to private school or are homeschooling but would like them to take the SMFC GATE assessment.
We only assess students who are currently enrolled in our schools. If you are planning to enter the SMFC School District, you need to first register your child. We will offer a GATE assessment to 3rd and 5th graders who will enter the district next year in the late spring. Invitations to the GATE class will be made after those assessments are complete. If your child is registered to attend a SMFC school next year, and you would like her/him to take the GATE assessment, please email Brianne Bishop so that you receive notification of when and where the assessment will take place.
General Information about GATE
Our students are prepared to positively impact a dynamic and diverse world as they:
- Develop life and career skills through academic excellence and personal wellness
- Become critical thinkers while taking responsible risks in their learning
- Acquire and exchange knowledge through collaboration and effective communication
- Utilize creativity and technology to maximize their potential
- Demonstrate socially responsible citizenship
Prior to 2001, GATE was seen as a program that offered a different curriculum to students who met a particular set of criteria (determined by each district as GATE has not been a mandated program in California). At the beginning of this millennium, a new paradigm emerged from the passage of AB2313, and services for gifted students became an integral part of the core curriculum, resulting in improved teaching and learning for everyone.
A decade and a half later, the adoption of the Common Core State Standards promises to enhance that core curriculum with literacy standards aimed at developing students who are college and career ready in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening, and Language. From the California Department of Education Website, Students who are college and career ready in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening, and Language:
- Demonstrate independence
- Build strong content knowledge
- Respond to the varying demands of audience, task, purpose, and discipline
- Comprehend as well as critique
- Value evidence
- Use technology and digital media strategically and capably
- Come to understand other perspectives and cultures
Similarly, math standards call for content to be connected as students engage in mathematical tasks. These connections are essential to support the development of students’ broader mathematical understanding (to develop mathematical giftedness in students). The Standards for Mathematical Practice are summarized as:
- Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them
- Reason abstractly and quantitatively
- Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others
- Model with mathematics
- Use appropriate tools strategically
- Attend to precision
- Look for and make use of structure
- Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning
Information in this website is based on the following resources
1Booster, M., Clark, B., Gosfield, M., Kerr, J., & Littrell, B. (2006). CAG Position Paper: Highly and Profoundly Gifted Children. Sacramento: California Association for the Gifted.
1Booster, M., Clark, B., Gosfield, M., Kerr, J., & Littrell, B. (2008). The Leadership Challenge: A Guidebook for Administrators. Sacramento: California Association for the Gifted.
Clark, B. (2008). Growing up gifted (7th ed.). Columbus, OH: Merrill/Prentice-Hall.
Davis, G., & Rimm, S. (2004) Education of the gifted and talented (5th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Gross, M. (1993). Exceptionally gifted children. New York: Routledge.
Kaplan, S. & Gould, B. (2003). Depth and Complexity Icon Cards. Los Angeles: Educator to Educator
Silverman, L. K. (1993). Counseling the gifted and talented. Denver, CO: Love.