Meeting the Needs of PAUSD Middle School GATE Students
Due to the elimination of funding for the GATE by the State, PAUSD has suspended the identification of GATE students. The District remains committed to serving the individual needs of high achieving and gifted students regardless of GATE identification. The PAUSD middle schools focus on addressing the individual needs of each learner within our diverse communities. Students who are identified as Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) are placed within heterogeneous classrooms and receive challenge via differentiated instructional strategies. Teachers may differentiate the content (what is being taught), process (how it is being taught), and/or product (how the student demonstrates knowledge and understanding of the content). Teachers consider a student’s readiness, interests, and learning profile in deciding how to differentiate instruction to meet a particular student’s needs.
Differentiated instructional strategies may include assigning alternative homework, independent study projects, open-ended projects, compacting curriculum, and more. The idea is not to create extra work for students, but rather to provide a variety of options to them. For example, GATE students might be asked to dig into a piece on content more deeply than other students in the class, or the student may be allowed to pursue a special interest.
A variety of GATE opportunities, choices, and challenges are available within the regular classroom. These opportunities are made available to any student who is interested, not just GATE students, as we want all students to learn to be self-motivated and to choose to challenge themselves. Students are encouraged to speak to their particular teacher about options.
Opportunities for extending learning at the middle schools
It should be noted that any student who feels s/he is up to the challenge may participate in a GATE activity or competition.
Events that the school offers/participates in:
- National Geographic Geography Bee
The contest is designed to spark student interest in the subject and increase public awareness about geography. Students in grades six through eight are eligible for this entertaining and challenging test of geographic knowledge.
- Science Fair
The science fair is an opportunity for students to apply the scientific method to conduct independent research. The results of each student's research is presented in a school wide science fair--or sponsored local science fair-- where the student's efforts are displayed and where students are interviewed to determine scientific merit.
- Spelling Bee
A contest where students are asked to spell challenging words.
- Santa Clara Young Authors’ Faire
The faire honors twelve young authors from the school who have written and illustrated original literature. Categories are fiction, non-fiction, poetry, cookbook, alphabet book, and dictionaries.
- Math Counts Competition
The MATHCOUNTS Competition Program provides the extra incentive and the perfect atmosphere for students to push themselves to achieve more in mathematics. Consisting of fun and creative problems that promote critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, the MATHCOUNTS competitions have written and oral rounds, as well as individual and team components. Though challenging and non-routine, the competition problems focus on the 6th through 8th grade standards of the National Council of Teachers in Mathematics.
- Continental Mathematics League (CML) & American Mathematics Contest (AMC8) competitions
All CML experiences are designed to both maximize student opportunities to participate and to improve their problem solving capabilities. Students participate with other students on the same grade level from schools all over the United States.
The AMC 8 is a 25 question, 40-minute multiple-choice examination in middle school mathematics designed to promote the development and enhancement of problem solving skills.
The BAMO (Bay Area Math Olympiad) contests.
Local, state, and national writing contests.
- Student Government
- Electric Moose Robotics Club
- Sports and Intramural Athletics
- Theatrical Performances and Plays
- Special interest clubs - ask your child to learn what other opportunities are available this year
- “Tech Day” challenges
Identification of GATE students
The full identification process is outlined on the PAUSD website at https://www.pausd.org/programs/gifted-talented-education.
For additional resources and to learn more about GATE within PAUSD, please visit the PAUSD Website.