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GATE Identification Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the identification of gifted and talented education (GATE) students.
  1. Should more than one test or measure be used to identify GATE students?

    Best practices support using more than one factor to identify GATE students. Achievement, intelligence quotient (IQ), ability, and other test scores; motivation; parent/guardian, student, and teacher recommendations; classroom observations; and portfolio assessment are some of the possible factors a district may use to identify GATE students.

  2. Should students in kindergarten and primary grades be identified and served?

    Districts may provide teachers with the means to recognize potentially gifted children along with strategies and resources to meet their educational needs. This can be done even if formal identification does not take place until later.

  3. Should students be re-examined for eligibility as they get older?

    Identification can be an ongoing process that continues as students get older. Best practices support the continued and periodical examination of students for eligibility for GATE services. A student who does not meet the district's criteria for eligibility in the second grade may very well be eligible later in elementary, middle, or high school. At all levels, children who can be successful in advanced courses should be encouraged to take them regardless of whether they are identified as gifted and talented.

  4. Are public schools required to test or serve private school students?


  5. Should a previously-identified GATE student who transfers from one district to another be identified as eligible in their new district?

    California law places GATE programming under "local control" which means that each district can set its own guidelines and policies regarding identification and enrollment procedures for new students.

  6. My child was not selected for the GATE program at my school. What should I do if I believe my child is capable of an accelerated program?

    Since California law places GATE programming under "local control" you may wish to inquire with the school district's GATE coordinator about why your child was not selected and whether there is an appeal process parents can follow. Ultimately, the decision will be left to the district.

Questions: Teacher and Leader Policy Office | | 916-445-7331 
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, January 12, 2021
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