Gifted and Talented Education
Our VVUSD GATE program provides support to students who require an environment which encourages extremely high levels of abstract thinking, motivation, interest, achievement, peer interaction, and an accelerated pace of learning. Acceptance is based on eligibility criteria determined by our district.
Theory of Action: If we explicitly teach and support gifted individuals in meeting their social emotional and academic needs, while focusing on a growth mindset, then we will create a culture of acceptance and validation where all gifted humans can reach their potential.
About the Test
VVUSD gifted identification process ensures fairness and equity. VVUSD currently administers the state-approved, Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) form 7. The Cognitive Abilities Test is used exclusively for the self-contained program because of the multiple measures that it offers. Having multiple measures in each domain greatly increases the dependability of the score profile that is reported for each student. Additionally, the reasoning abilities it measures have substantial correlations with learning and problem solving in an academic setting.
Each level of CogAT offers three test batteries. Each battery is represented by three different reasoning tasks, which are:
- Verbal: Verbal Classification - Sentence Completion - Verbal Analogies
- Quantitative: Quantitative Relations – Number Series – Equation Building
- Nonverbal: Figure Classification – Figure Analogies – Figure Analysis
Visit Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for more information about the assessment.
We have three different qualifying levels that students can use to qualify for gifted services. First, any student who receives a composite score of 90th percentile or at or above the 98th percentile in one of the three areas assessed, Verbal, Quantitative, or Nonverbal is eligible to receive gifted services. Second, any student who receives a composite score at or above 90th percentile and at or above the 90th percentile in one of the three areas assessed, Verbal, Quantitative, or Nonverbal is eligible to receive gifted services. Finally, any student who receives a composite score of 90th percentile and an exceeds standards in both ELA and Math on state approved CAASPP assessment is eligible to receive gifted services. Please refer to VVUSD GATE Identification Matrix for more information.
- Students identified GATE participate in a cluster program at their school.
- Students identified GATE receive after school enrichment opportunities
- Jr. Scholars/Honors/AP classes/IB Program
Referral and Screening
Characteristics common to gifted children are made available at the school sites and on the district website to help aide in the recommendation process. Letters notifying parents of testing are in Spanish and English.
In the nomination/referral form, parents are given an opportunity to grant or withhold permission for testing. Any Val Verde USD staff member, student, or guardian may request testing for a student by filling out an application/permission form which is available at each school. Information regarding testing dates is available on the district website and at each individual site.
As a screening process, all second graders, unless they decline testing, are tested mid-year to determine if full GATE testing is appropriate. This blanket screening of all second graders ensures that equity and consideration of all students is given.
If a student received gifted services in a previous district, parents are asked to forward testing records for review by the district GATE coordinator. Parents or guardians are informed of the gifted service options that are available once eligibility has been verified. School assignments and program placement for these students are made as space is available in the self-contained classes.
A non-profit organization of teachers, administrators, parents, and professionals interested in promoting gifted education in California.
A non-profit organization of teachers, administrators, parents, and professionals interested in promoting gifted education on a national level.
Fosters education and research to support the unique social and emotional needs of gifted individuals.
A division of the Council for Exceptional Children. Promotes scholarly research, advocacy, and professional development.
A worldwide network of educators, scholars, researchers, parents, educational institutions, and others interested in research and information on the gifted.
Contact Us for More Information
951-940-6100 ext. 10412
Site GATE Facilitators
Avalon ES: Dana McJunkin-Smith firstname.lastname@example.org
Columbia ES: Linda Brandt email@example.com
Lasselle ES: Casey Chalupa firstname.lastname@example.org
Manuel L. Real ES: Barbara Gapultos email@example.com
Mary McLeod Bethune ES: Janel Looper firstname.lastname@example.org
May Ranch ES: Kelli Hague-Shaw email@example.com
Mead Valley ES: Jodi Stanford firstname.lastname@example.org
Rainbow Ridge ES: Gretchen Balisinski email@example.com
Sierra Vista ES: Deana Ortiz firstname.lastname@example.org
Triple Crown ES: Steve Kimble email@example.com
Val Verde ES: Sherry Mellor firstname.lastname@example.org
Victoriano ES: Doug Woods email@example.com
Lakeside MS: Priya Singh firstname.lastname@example.org
March MS: Garnett Stanley email@example.com
Tomas Rivera MS: Matt Blomberg firstname.lastname@example.org
Vista Verde MS: Stephanie Garland email@example.com
Val Verde Academy: Refugio Santa Cruz firstname.lastname@example.org