Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. High PTA
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Each fall, the District initiates a search for students who may qualify for the GATE Program. Parents, teachers, principals, or counselors may refer students. Questions about the referral, testing, and placement procedures invariably occur.
The Davis Joint Unified School District provides two types of GATE programs for its students. The first category is called intellectually gifted. The intellectually gifted program is comprised of students who attain a minimum “total” score of 95% OR a minimum “verbal” score of 97% OR a minimum “nonverbal” score of 97% on a test of mental reasoning. Students who are nominated take the Otis Lennon School Abilities Test (OLSAT), 7th edition. Students qualifying in this category may request placement in a self-contained GATE class offered in grades 4 through 10. Once a student is placed in a self-contained GATE class, he or she will automatically move forward unless a parent requests the student return to the regular program.
The second category served by the GATE Program is high achieving. A student qualifies based on his/her performance on the school administered achievement test such as SAT9/STAR. To qualify in the high achieving category, a student must attain a minimum score of 95% on the “total” score and/ or the “subtest total” score for reading, language, and/or math. Students who qualify in the high achieving category in elementary school are served in the regular classroom and will have opportunities for differentiated curriculum in their strength areas. In junior high school, the student may enroll in identified high achieving classes. High school students may enroll in honors and Advanced Placement classes. Test scores for qualification are reviewed every two years for students in this group.
So what is so different about intellectually gifted students? The primary difference is the WAY they learn. Most educational programs are built on the premise that teaching begins with a foundation, and the teacher carefully structures lessons that lead to the big concept (from the “foundation” to the “roof,” if you will). Intellectually gifted students tend to build from the concept or “roof”…abstract thinking develops at a younger age. Obviously, the amount an intellectually gifted student needs to fill-in will vary from child-to-child. Intellectually gifted students with special needs (ADD/ADHD, English Language Learners, or learning disabled) are not excluded from GATE placement. The second difference in GATE self-contained classes is in the depth and complexity, as the students tend to transfer and make interdisciplinary connections in subject content. NO curriculum appropriate for all students should be “saved” for gifted students! Finally, the amount of practice and repetition needed for mastery of content material may be much less for intellectually gifted students. Obviously, this is a brief and generalized description, but it may help people to understand the difference in appropriateness of delivery and content for this group rather than seeing gifted programs as special or elite education.
Each school year, the District’s GATE office seeks student nominations from parents, teachers, principals, and counselors in an effort to locate those students who may benefit from placement in the GATE program. Those forms are available at the school site or from the District Office at 526 B Street. One of the questions on the nomination form asks which of the following characteristics describes the child:
Obviously, not all of these characteristics will apply to any one child, but the nominator may see a real trend as he or she applies this list to a particular child.
2003-04 DJUSD GATE Testing Schedule
for Holmes students
Please Read: Change in Testing! Only students currently in grades 4, 6, 7 and 9 will be tested.
Please mark your calendar as to your child’s testing date, as there will be no further reminder
If you wish to have your child tested, please call the GATE Office at 757-5300 ext. 132 with your child’s name and grade level prior to the test date.
Should you not be able to attend your school test date please call the GATE office to make other arrangements.
For additional questions or concerns, please contact GATE Coordinator, Deanne Quinn, at 530-757-5300 x147 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
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