Frequently Asked GATE Questions

  1. What is GATE?
  2. What does it mean to be gifted?
  3. High-Achieving vs. Gifted
  4. How are students in Fremont identified for GATE?
  5. What is Fremont Unifieds GATE program?
  6. What is differentiated instruction?
  7. What professional development opportunities support GATE?
  8. Where can I find more information related to GATE?

  1. What is GATE?

GATE stands for Gifted and Talented Education. Each state establishes recommendations, standards and funding for servicing the needs of gifted students. Each district that wishes to participate in the state program can apply for funding. The local district establishes its own program to service students enrolled in the local GATE program.  Return to the TOP.

  1. What does it mean to be gifted?

At the present time there is no universally agreed upon answer to this question. Giftedness, intelligence, and talent are fluid concepts that fluctuate depending on the context and culture. Even within schools you will find a range of personal beliefs about the word "gifted". According to The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC), "A gifted person is someone who shows, or has the potential for showing, an exceptional level of performance in one or more areas of expression." California Education Code 52201 defines gifted as, "A child identified as possessing demonstrated or potential abilities that give evidence of high performance capability as defined pursuant to 52202." California State Education Code 52202 states, "High performance capability shall be defined by each school district governing board in accordance with regulations established by the State Board of Education.  Return to the TOP.

  1. High-Achieving vs. Gifted

Bright or high-achieving students are often "rule followers". They are able to read situations, know what is expected, and carry out expectations to a high level. These students often get high grades, complete all work, and are excellent citizens. Gifted children can be "rule benders" or push the envelope of expectations. They are highly curious, want to know why, feel they are beyond others, are good manipulators, may see rules or guidelines not applying to them, and are often unorganized. This may impede their performance. Every gifted student is unique.

Bright or High-achieving Learners

Gifted Learners

Knows the answer

Asks the questions

Is interested

Is highly curious

Has good ideas

Has innovative, out-of-the-box ideas

Works hard

Plays around, yet tests well

Answers the questions

Discusses in detail, elaborates

Is in the top group

Goes beyond the group

Listens with interest

Shows strong feelings and opinions

Requires 6-8 repetitions for mastery

Requires 1-2 repetitions for mastery

Understands ideas

Constructs abstractions

Enjoys peers

Prefers adults

Grasps the meaning

Draws inferences

Completes assignments

Initiates projects

Is receptive

Is intense

Enjoys school

Enjoys learning

Absorbs information

Manipulates information

Is a technician

Is an inventor

Is a good memorizer

Is a good guesser

Is alert

Is keenly observant

Is pleased with own learning

Is highly self-critical

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  1. How are students in Fremont identified for GATE?

All students in the FUSD have an equal opportunity to be screened for the Gifted and Talented Education program regardless of their gender, linguistic, racial, ethnic, cultural, or socio-economic background. Every student in grades 3-5 in Fremont Unified School District (FUSD) is offered the opportunity to be tested once for GATE identification.This usually occurs in third grade as formal clustering begins in fourth grade.Students in 6th grade and up may also be referred for GATE identification. These students will be identified through Professional Judgment or Specific Academic. Identification procedures are limited to students currently enrolled in the Fremont Unified School District.

We identify in the following categories:

· Intellectual: Students possessing superior intellectual ability who need and can profit from specially differentiated educational services beyond those normally provided by the standard school program. This is determined through an ability assessment which measures a child's potential to learn.

· Specific academic: Students who have superior ability in a specific academic area to the extent that they need and can profit from specially planned educational services beyond those normally provided by the standard school program. This is determined using STAR test scores.(see page 30 of the GATE Handbook)

· Leadership: Students possessing leadership ability who, not only assume leadership roles, but also are accepted by others as a leader, to the extent that they need and can profit from specially planned educational services beyond those normally provided by the standard school program. This is determined using multiple measures.

· Professional Judgment: Students who consistently function at a highly advanced level in multiple academic areas and have been recommended by an administrator, counselor, teacher, parent, student study team, and/or GATE Program Specialist. This is determined using multiple measures.  Return to the TOP

  1. What is Fremont Unified's GATE program?

Elementary School: Most elementary schools use CLUSTER GROUPING which is made up of six to eight GATE identified students within a regular classroom setting who receive appropriately differentiated instruction. The students are clustered together, rather than scattered amongst classrooms. Two or more clusters may be formed depending on enrollment and number of classes.

Junior High School: The basic program at each of the junior high schools has the following common elements:

· The content is accelerated and/or enriched beyond the core curriculum.

· Classroom instruction includes the use of supplemental materials, curriculum, technological equipment, and/or techniques and teaching models from gifted education research.

· Honors classes are offered for math, science, and English.

High School: Honors and Advanced Placement classes are offered for a variety of subjects in all grade levels.

Class Composition

Elementary: School sites with a minimum number of GATE identified students are encouraged to provide an opportunity for GATE students to work together weekly across grade levels on research projects, enrichment, or leadership activities.


GATE classes at the secondary level are identified as honors classes (H) or Advanced Placement designated (AP). GATE identified students are exempt from taking placement tests and/or any additional screening criteria in order to enroll in honors classes. All students are eligible to take AP courses.  Return to the TOP

  1. What is differentiated instruction?

Carol Tomlinson defines differentiation as a way of teaching in which teachers proactively modify curriculum, teaching methods, resources, learning activities, and student products to address the needs of individual students and/or small groups of students in order to maximize the learning opportunity for each student in the classroom. Differentiated instruction is offered by adding acceleration, depth, complexity, and novelty into the existing core curriculum where relevant.  Return to the TOP

  1. What professional development opportunities support GATE?

Fremont Unified offers an extensive GATE Certification training facilitated by Fremont's GATE Program Specialist which includes four classes, a conference, and writing a differentiated lesson plan. Each year a GATE refresher course is offered for all teachers.

Students who are GATE identified are placed with a teacher who is in the process of or who has completed GATE Certification training.  Return to the TOP


10. Where can I find more information related to GATE?

Organizations for the Gifted TGIF (The Gifted in Fremont) Parent Advocacy TGIF is a parent advocacy group which strives to promote the interests of gifted and talented students in the Fremont Unified School District by encouraging the fullest development of their potential at home and at school and providing a source of information and encouragement to parents and educators of gifted and talented children in Fremont, California public schools.

California Association for the Gifted CAG provides advocacy and awareness for gifted individuals and links to resources. Offers parent and teacher Institutes and sponsors an annual conference. Includes: a list of educational Internet resources, reading lists, summer camps, organizations, journals, programs, information clearinghouses, and free and low cost materials.

National Association for the Gifted Less parent-friendly than California Association for the Gifted, this site includes public policy and national program information as well as an annual holiday toy list for gifted kids

Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG) seeks to inform gifted individuals, their families, and the professionals who work with them about the unique social and emotional needs of gifted persons, both children and adults.

General Info (for students and parents)

Hoagies' Gifted Education Page This site provides links and information for all things gifted. There are links for smart toys, blogs, on-line discussion groups, podcasts, conferences (world-wide), books, resources, and some gifted tutorials. If you are searching for information this is a great place to start.

Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted SENG seeks to inform gifted individuals, their families, and the professionals who work with them about the unique social and emotional needs of gifted persons.

Gifted Development Center serves as a resource center for developmentally advanced children and adults. They provide assessment, counseling, and consulting services. The web site provides

Enrichment Activities and Education Programs

Center for Talented Youth at Johns Hopkins University CTY identifies students of high academic ability through a talent search. Students of high ability are then eligible for various programs and camps organized by JHU. They provide access to summer camps at selected colleges and on-line courses.

UC Berkeley Academic Talent Development Program
A summer program at UC Berkeley (for 7th through 11th graders) or at a local elementary school. Classes are available to highly motivated students who qualify. Qualification is based on a student's overall academic profile by application.

Education Program for Gifted Youth (EPGY) The Education Program for Gifted Youth offers multimedia distance-learning courses using the computer for qualified students through high school and beyond.

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