GATE & Seminar

The Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) program supports unique opportunities for high-achieving and underachieving pupils who are identified as gifted and talented. By state definition, gifted students are pupils who possess a capacity for excellence far beyond that of their chronological peers. This capacity includes many and varied characteristics that require modifications of curriculum and instruction. These modifications form the basis of gifted and talented educational services.

The San Diego Unified School District serves the gifted students within the district through two options:

1.  The Seminar program for the highly gifted and,

2.  The Cluster program for gifted and high ability students.

San Diego Unified School District is committed to a school environment that fosters achievement and the realization of each student's potential. This belief in the possibility of individual excellence and unique achievement and belief in the school's responsibility for fostering both is the basis of the GATE program.

Mission Statement

All San Diego Unified GATE students will graduate with the habits of mind to become lifelong scholars, critical thinkers, innovators, leaders, and global citizens.

Program Goals

  • To provide for differentiation of content, process, product, and learning environment commensurate with abilities and talents of GATE students in order to create life-long learners.

  • To foster participation in challenging capstone courses by introducing, in earlier grades, the skills, concepts and habits of mind needed for success in rigorous courses.

  • To foster creativity, talent development, and self-generating, problem-solving abilities to expand each student's awareness of choices for satisfying contributions to society.

  • To support the social and emotional needs of gifted students in order to help students develop healthy self-concepts, increase commitment to personal responsibility and responsibility towards others, and cultivate sensitivity and constructive ethical standards.

  • To encourage and model respect for the full range of diversity among individuals with gifts and talents: cultural, socio-economic, language, and double-labeled.

  • To address the needs of underachieving GATE students.

  • To assure consistent participation of parents and community members in the planning and evaluation or programs for gifted students.

  • To provide professional development opportunities related to gifted education to administrators, teachers, counselors, and GATE department staff to support and improve educational opportunities for gifted students.

  • To establish formal and informal evaluation methods and instruments that assess the gifted program and performance of gifted students (which meet or exceed state content standards), and to use the results to improve gifted programs and gifted student performance.

  • To provide an equitable, comprehensive, and ongoing identification process that adheres to the current state criteria.


GATE at Lewis Middle School

The mission of Lewis Middle School is to prepare our students academically and socially for high school and beyond. Lewis Middle School implements the District's GATE Cluster Model B which comprises of 25% minimum GATE identifies students in English and History classes, with the remainder of the class reflecting the diversity of our school.  this provides all students with classrooms that are engaging, full of depth, complexity and challenge, in all content areas.  All Lewis' teachers hold GATE certification and provide the differentiation needed for student success.

Criteria For Placement in Seminar (Grades 6-8)

Students who are NOT identified as Seminar through district testing may still be placed into Seminar classes by the following criteria.  Placement is NOT automatic and is based on space available.  Placements are made on a year-to-year basis.
  • Students scoring closest to 99.9% on Raven test will be placed upon space availability.  Parents will be contacted for permission prior to placement.

  • Out of State students:  Enrollment in Seminar classes is based on pending review of previous IQ records.  This is handled case by case and subject to space availability.

Perfectionism: What’s Bad About Being Too Good
by Jan Goldberg and Caroline Price

Freeing Our Families from Perfectionism
by Thomas S. Greenspon

For Gifted Students and Their Parents

The Survival Guide for Parents of Gifted Kids: How to Understand, Live With, and Stick Up for Your Gifted Child
by Sally Yahnke, Ph.D. Walker, Caryn Pernu

The Gifted Kids Survival Guide: A Teen Handbook
by Judy Galbraith, et al

Guiding the Gifted Child: A Practical Source for Parents and Teachers
by James T. Webb, Elizabeth A. Meckstroth

Empowering Gifted Minds: Educational Advocacy That Works
by Barbara Jackson Gilman

News, Events and Announcements (Fall-
Winter 2013-14)
Nov. 18 GATE District Advisory Committee featuring Supt. Cindy Marten – Supt. Marten will speak about her vision and plans for GATE at the GATE DAC meeting to be held at the Ballard Auditorium, 2375 Congress St., from 6:30 -8:00 p.m.   Babysitting and translation will be provided.  All staff and parents interested in GATE education are invited.
GATE PD Dec. 11-12  – “Incorporating Creativity into your Everyday Classroom, “ featuring Dr. Ron Beghetto, is now available for registration on ERO.  Back by popular demand, Dr. Beghetto will repeat his delightful presentation on how to tweak your curriculum to incorporate more creativity.   The course will take place at the New Children’s Museum andsubstitutes will be provided.  Space is limited and the course is most suited to K-8 teachers.  GATE Certification credit is offered if needed.  (flyer attached)
GATE Distinguished Lecture Series – Our Lecture Series is alive, well, and free to all staff and parents.  We offer four meaningful and interesting topics this year (see attached flyers).  The first of these lectures occurs on Dec. 11when Dr. Ron Beghetto will give tips to foster creativity in our students to our entire GATE community.   Don’t miss his talk, especially if you are unable to attend his 1-1/2 day training.  Additional lectures feature top experts in gifted education including Dr. Sandra Kaplan and Dr. Richard Cash.

January 15th- 4 to 6 p.m. at the Eugene Brucker Education Center 4100 Normal Street, San Diego

College Admissions Officers and College Board Representatives discuss "The Journey to College: Building a K-12 Pipeline"
February 12th-4 to 6 p.m. at the Eugene Brucker Education Center 4100 Normal Street, San Diego
Dr. Sandra Kaplan discusses "Differentiation Within Group Diversity"
May 21st-4 to 6 p.m. at the Eugene Brucker Education Center 4100 Normal Street, San Diego
Dr. Richard Cash discusses "Differentiation for the Gifted Learner: What's So Different about it?"