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Santa Barbara USD Elementary GATE Program



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GATE Identification

GATE Program Guidelines and Criteria

for the Elementary and Secondary Districts

Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) Programs are designed to serve students who have special needs that might not be met in a regular educational setting. These students have special needs based on their high intellectual abilities, which often means that they need faster-paced instruction and higher level instruction. Multiple methods are used to accommodate these special needs, typically including differentiated instruction, pull-out programs, or GATE designated classes. In order to identify these special needs students, intellectual abilities tests are used as the primary indicator. A secondary indicator is a district-approved achievement test. The Santa Barbara Unified School District uses a group administered intellectual abilities test with a set point percentile of 95%. There are three ways to meet the identification criteria as described below.

Criteria for GATE Identification

To participate in the GATE program in the Santa Barbara Unified School District, students can qualify if they attain any of the following admission criteria. Placement guidelines into appropriate GATE classes/programs follow these admission criteria.

·         An overall (includes all subtests) composite score on a district-approved intellectual abilities test in the 95th percentile or above.

OR

·         Two or more subscale scores, with one having to be a non-verbal, on a district-approved intellectual abilities test in the 95th percentile or above.

All new students entering the SBUSD will be required to follow the current identification criteria above.

Appeal Process to the GATE Identification Committee

In special circumstances a student who is close to qualification may be brought before the elementary or secondary GATE Identification Committee for further review, based on the following criteria. (Note: Secondary students will automatically be reviewed on the following criteria without submitting a portfolio, but if the following criteria were not met, may appeal by submitting a portfolio as directed below.)

·         An overall composite score on a district-approved intellectual abilities test in the 93rd percentile AND two subscale scores in the 93rd percentile or above, with one having to be a non-verbal score, AND advanced achievement scores equal to or above two standard deviations above the mean (about the 98th percentile) or higher on either a district-approved English achievement test (e.g., for the 2007-08 ELA CST this was a score of 451) or a district-approved math achievement test (e.g., for the 2007-08 Math CST this was a score of  531) within two years of applying for the GATE program.

Students who have been selected for review by the GATE Identification Committee should submit a portfolio of their work. A portfolio of exemplary work, illustrative of a student’s outstanding achievement in two areas, should be submitted to the GATE Office as part of the process for determining eligibility for participation in Santa Barbara Unified School District’s GATE Program.

The portfolio should consist of the following required components: 

·         One piece of writing from the most recent school year. For secondary GATE, the piece should represent outstanding work in literary analysis (not a book report). Note: Each piece of writing should include a draft one with teacher's comments and a final copy showing revisions.

·         One example of the student’s outstanding ability in math should be included. The piece could be a work sample (test or homework) from a high level math class.

·         Portfolios will be evaluated by a committee consisting of at least the District GATE Coordinator, one school Site Coordinator, and for the secondary districts, a math and English GATE teacher.

English Language Learners may be admitted to the GATE program through distribution analysis and will automatically have their records reviewed by the appropriate (elementary or secondary) GATE Identification Committee for placement in the GATE program in the Santa Barbara Unified School District.

Placement in Secondary GATE Programs (ELA/Social Studies or Math/Science)

In the secondary district, students may be placed in GATE for either English/Social Studies OR Math/Science. Following are the criteria for GATE qualification for either English/Social Studies or Math/Science:

GATE English/Social Studies

·         A sub-scale score of 93rd percentile or higher on the verbal section of a district-approved intellectual abilities test

OR

·         A sub-scale score of 91st percentile or higher on the verbal section of a district-approved intellectual abilities test AND a district-approved verbal achievement score equal to or above two standard deviations above the mean. For the 5th grade CST this is a scaled score of 451 or higher on the ELA section. We will only look at the latest achievement test that is available. For instance, for entering the 7th grade the CST tests might not be available from 6th grade, so the 5th grade CST will be used, but we will not consider the 4th grade test. If no recent acceptable achievement scores are available, only the 93rd percentile for the Verbal section of the ability test will be considered.

GATE Math/Science

·         A sub-scale score of 93rd percentile or higher on the quantitative section of a district-approved intellectual abilities test

OR

·         A sub-scale score of 91st percentile or higher on the quantitative section of a district-approved intellectual abilities test AND a district approved quantitative achievement score equal to or above two standard deviations above the mean. For the 5th grade math CST this is a scaled score of 531 or higher. We will only look at the latest achievement test that is available. For instance, for entering the 7th grade, the CST tests might not be available from 6th grade, so the 5th grade CST will be used, but we will not consider the 4th grade test. If no recent acceptable achievement scores are available, only the 93rd percentile for the quantitative section of the ability test will be considered.

Protocol for the Intellectual Abilities (GATE) Test

One of the criteria used to identify GATE students is an intellectual abilities test. This type of test is not a measure of what has been learned in school. Rather, it is intended to help ascertain the child’s natural level of reasoning and problem-solving abilities.

To be valid, the test must be taken “cold,” meaning there should be no previous exposure to the questions – either by practicing for the test or taking actual tests. Previous exposure to the test or its type of problems would invalidate the results. Thus, intellectual abilities test are protected tests to be viewed only by students under the formal district testing environment.

Any student who participates in an intellectual abilities test prepping course or practices for the intellectual abilities test, including taking actual tests, invalidates his/her test score as a measurement tool for GATE identification in the Santa Barbara Unified School District. All parents or guardians of students taking a GATE test must sign a Permission to Test/Statement of Compliance form indicating understanding of and compliance with this protocol prior to testing.

Other Pertinent Information

·         Any student who is enrolled in a school in the Santa Barbara Elementary School District may be referred for testing by the teacher, parent/guardian or the SBUSD.

·         Any non-Santa Barbara Elementary School District student who lives within the boundaries of the ELEMENTARY District may be tested, provided he/she does not attend a school that administers GATE testing. The parent/guardian may request a GATE Referral form for testing. This form should be completed and returned to the GATE Identification Coordinator who will schedule and conduct testing at a school where space is available. If the student is identified as GATE, he/she may attend the GATE program the following year after enrolling in the Santa Barbara Unified School District; or the parent/guardian may request that the child participate in the lottery for the District’s GATE Magnet Program, located at Washington School for the following year.

·         Elementary GATE testing is conducted January-April. Deadline for enrollment is the end of November. Testing may be requested by parents, teachers or the SBUSD, and registration forms are sent to all school offices at the beginning of November.

·         Secondary GATE testing is conducted January-May and in August.

·         Students may test for GATE in 2nd grade and again in 3rd grade, but not in successive years from grades 3-5. A student may test in 6th grade for the Secondary GATE Program whether or not he/she tested previously.

·         Students from outside the SBUSD or any of its feeder districts who enter the SBUSD and wish to transfer their GATE identification must demonstrate eligibility from the transferring district. Eligible students must meet the GATE identification criteria established by the SBUSD, using a district-approved intellectual abilities test.

·         The SBUSD does not accept GATE testing results from private evaluators.

·         For more information about the SBUSD GATE Program,
please visit: 
http://www.sbunified.org/departments/educational/gifted-and-talented-education/

 


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                Last Modified: Thursday, October 31, 2013
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