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Gifted and Talented Education (GATE)

The Westminster School District is committed to providing a challenging program for gifted and talented learners that maximizes their potential, inspires a desire for excellence, and promotes a sense of responsibility to self and society.

Sequoia Academy Elementary School is a transitional kindergarten through 6th grade GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) Magnet Academy open to all elementary students. The school features a 21-st Century academically rigorous AVID program that offers STEA3M (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Academics, AVID, and Mathematics) in addition to the Common Core state standards to meet the needs of all students. Visit the Sequoia GATE Magnet Academy's website or download a flyer.

GATE Magnet Program
Available at: Sequoia Academy
The GATE Magnet Program offered at Sequoia Academy is open to all WSD GATE students in and out of the district on a space-availability basis. This program provides GATE/Accelerated self-contained classrooms schoolwide (kindergarten—6th grade). Opportunities for differentiated curriculum focusing on depth and complexity, acceleration, and project based learning have been developed to provide experiences beyond regular curriculum and cover a wide range of interests and abilities.

Benefits of the magnet program include:

  • GATE students qualified in K-6 will be placed in a GATE/Advanced self-contained class
  • STEAM Academy —Exemplary Arts Program: Music, Visual and Performing Arts, Leadership, Robotics, Computer Science, Design Thinking, and STEAM
  • An opportunity for students to be surrounded by peers who appreciate creative and divergent thinking
  • An advanced and in-depth curriculum which incorporates depth and complexity, acceleration, and other strategies needed to challenge a wide range of GATE abilities

GATE Cluster Program

Available at: Anderson, Clegg, DeMille, Eastwood, Finley, Fryberger, Hayden, Meairs, Schmitt, Schroeder, Webber, & Willmore
The GATE Cluster Program exists at each of our elementary schools. Students are grouped by grade level (3rd—6th) with a cluster of GATE students. Teachers provide differentiated instruction and use the universal access portions of the core curriculum for advanced learners.

Benefits of the cluster program include:

  • Program participation for GATE students at his/her home school
  • Opportunity for GATE students to be clustered within the classroom and/or grade level with mixed ability levels
  • Opportunity for a differentiated curriculum focusing on depth and complexity, acceleration, and higher level thinking

For students who are identified as GATE learners or who have met the required prerequisites for the accelerated class, the GATE/Accelerated program includes:

  • GATE/Accelerated classes offered in grades 2nd-6th with Accelerated or advanced content
  • Students that show pre-requisites are tested in 2nd grade
  • A relationship between rigorous academics, acceleration, and enrichment
  • Technology rich instruction
  • Appropriate flexibility of time spans for learning
  • GATE certified teachers
  • Project Based Learning

Westminster School District Mission for GATE Students

  • nurture potential of students
  • challenge those with advanced learning capabilities
  • address the needs of gifted learners across all curricular areas
  • raise awareness that the utilization of differentiated instruction is a necessary tool in ensuring all student's mastery of academic standards (effective teaching)

How do we differentiate at our schools?

The staff in Westminster School District believes each child is unique and deserving of a rich educational environment. We recognize that each student is a unique individual with different abilities, interests, and learning styles. We believe in a student-centered approach, which provides an atmosphere in which a child’s social, emotional, and intellectual needs are equally important. Westminster’s ultimate goal of education is to provide each student with the skills and knowledge that will enable him/her to aspire to the highest level of achievement in his/her chosen endeavors.

To meet the needs of gifted learners, from kindergarten through sixth grade, Westminster teachers, provide a differentiated curriculum that will compact, enrich, and/or accelerate the regular curriculum. Differentiated instruction is not a single strategy, but rather an approach to instruction that incorporates a variety of strategies. Differentiation is not just a “gifted” word. Every child has the right to learn, and that rate of learning is not universal for all children. However, all students need high expectations. Differentiation is providing and planning pathways according to the needs and readiness of your students.

Teacher/District GATE Training

Representatives from five school districts (WSD, FVSD, OVSD, HBCSD, and GGUSD) came together to define standard requisite competencies for G.A.T.E teachers. This committee created a GATE teacher certification process which meets state requirements. This process includes teacher in-services, teacher collaborations to design differentiated lessons, lesson demonstrations, administrative observations, and yearly professional development. All GATE classrooms within Westminster School District have GATE trained teachers