Marston Middle School

Home of the Mariners

Pride in Excellence

Academic Rigor
Marston pursues rigorous academic standards for all students.  The Common Core standards offer intensive opportunities for all students to write and think critically across the curriculum.  Our goal is that all students will graduate with the habits of mind to become lifelong scholars, critical thinkers, innovators, leaders, and global citizens.
Qualifying for GATE Cluster and Seminar Programs
All SDUSD second graders are given the Raven's Progressive Matrices, a non-verbal assessment of cognitive reasoning.  Students who score in the 99th percentile are considered profoundly gifted and identified as seminar.  GATE cluster students are those who score in the 98th percentile.  Over 30% of our student population at Marston is GATE identified.  Unfortunately, funding for class size reductions for seminar and GATE cluster classes was eliminated with the last round of budget cuts.   While all students are placed in math courses based on achievement, GATE students are grouped in humanities blocks for English and history.  Marston follows the district's traditional model A, which requires 50% of all students in a GATE cluster or seminar class be GATE identified, even though our GATE classes are typically 100% GATE students.  We have one seminar class at each grade level.
Our GATE Team
Alex Nguyen, Marston's administrator of our GATE programs
Lynne Bonnenberger & Kim Estes, Marston's parent representatives to our district's GATE Advisory Committee
Many of our teachers have advanced degrees and specialized training in their areas of expertise, and our GATE humanities teachers have GATE certification, which requires specialized training in differentiating instruction to provide depth and complexity, and meeting the social and emotional needs of gifted students.
Krista Hayenga (6)
Katie Redman (8)
 GATE Teaching Strategies
 GATE teachers strive to provide depth and complexity through:
  • curriculum compacting
  • Socratic seminar & philosophical chairs
  • in-depth exploration and research of global concepts and issues
  • problem and project based-learning
  • constructivist inquiry-based approach to building knowledge and understanding
Not all highly gifted students "shine" in humanities, their talents may be in math, science, music or other areas.  Opportunities for student choice, creative expression, and college preparation include:
  • a stellar music program offering band and orchestra 
  • exploratory mini-courses for achieving students in robotics, rocketry, art, photography, dance, drama, French, video production, sewing, knitting, cooking, and much more
  • Spanish 1-2 and 3-4 for high school credit
  • integration of technology across the disciplines
  • Integrated Math I (8th grade) offered on our campus
  • Marston's Book Club run by Ms. Nagy our librarian
  • college readiness through our AVID program
  • interactive notebooks and Cornell notetaking emphasized
  • Leadership opportunities through ASB
  • Online graphic design and photography experience through publications
  • opportunity to become published authors through our literary magazine
  • CJSF (California Junior Scholastic Federation) membership for students with GPAs of 3.5 and above
  • student-initiated community service campaigns for all eighth graders
  • student-led portfolio exhibition
    Icons of Depth and Complexity