District GATE Program
Identification: The district currently identifies those students who are accelerated learners by their scores in the “Exceeds Standards” range on the district’s multiple measures index. By using these measures, which include the California Standards Tests, criterion referenced tests, district writing assessments, and other benchmark measures, the district is able to accurately identify students who can benefit from more challenging instruction and materials.
Classroom Instruction: Teachers in the district have received training in differentiated instruction, which provides teachers with strategies for serving students at all ability levels in their classrooms. Students who are advanced in a particular area may be involved in a special group that delves deeper into a concept than the rest of the class, or a student may be on a special contract to explore an area of interest, if that student has already mastered the content the rest of the class is learning. Differentiated instruction gives students “multiple options for taking in information, making sense of ideas, and expressing what they learn. In other words, a differentiated classroom provides different avenues to acquiring content, to processing or making sense of ideas and to developing products so that each student can learn effectively.” (How to Differentiate Instruction)
Ongoing Staff Training: Teachers received training in differentiated instruction. Many teachers have extended that training through their own reading, attendance at conferences and workshops, and discussions at grade-level meetings. Four of our teachers, at least one from each school, have completed GATE certification.
Program Review: The GATE Program is reviewed and evaluated by teachers at each school, the School Site Councils, and the District Curriculum Council, with final approval for the plan coming from the district’s Board of Education. The district will monitor student achievement scores, seek input from parents and students, and discuss program progress with teachers in order to evaluate the program’s effectiveness. If you have questions about instruction at your school for advanced learners, please call your school’s principal.