Gifted and Talented Education (GATE)
The Piedmont Unified School District curriculum is intended to cultivate intellectually curious and independent learners. The District believes that as students progress through this curriculum, they should be provided with appropriate academic challenges and support services to help them achieve to their fullest potential. Recognizing that students differ in their abilities and development, and learn in different ways, the District emphasizes differentiation of instruction with ongoing evaluation of each student’s needs and attempts to tailor students’ instruction to meet those needs. Within this broad approach to differentiation, the District recognizes that students have a wide variety of gifts and talents that are best nurtured by appropriate challenges.
The State of California also recognizes the value of identifying and nurturing students’ gifts and talents, and provides technical assistance and limited financial support to local school districts through the statewide GATE Program administered by the California Department of Education. The state’s GATE Program includes a grant program, under which districts can apply for one-, two- or three-year grants to support their efforts to develop unique education opportunities for high-achieving and underachieving pupils in public elementary and secondary schools who they have identified as gifted and talented. PUSD has received grants under the state’s GATE Program; in recent years the District has received approximately $20,000 annually.
PUSD submitted its most recent application for a three-year state GATE Program grant in June 2011. In anticipation of this application, the District conducted an extensive review of its own GATE Program during the 2010-2011 school year. This review included extensive parent and community involvement, through a GATE Advisory Council that met seven times during 2010-2011 (and is continuing to meet during 2011-2012). In June 2011 the Piedmont Board of Education approved the new GATE Plan. In September of 2011 the District received a 3-year approval of the GATE Plan based upon it meeting the State’s exemplary standards criteria. The District GATE Plan may be read in its entirety here.
The community is able to provide input into the GATE plan development process through participation in the GATE Advisory Council. The purpose of the council is for parents, teachers, and administrators to discuss how to best meet the needs of our highest achievers. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the District to develop and recommend adoption of the GATE plan to our school board. GATE Advisory Council meeting dates, agendas, and recaps are posted here.