GATE Program Qualifications
The Beverly Hills Unified School District recognizes the diverse student needs and abilities of students within our district. As such, the Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) program identifies students with exceptional academic abilities with the purpose of providing specialized academic instruction to meet their particular learning needs.
BHUSD Student Testing - Updated July 2015
All students in 3rd grade are assessed in the spring using the online version of the Otis-Lennon Ability School Test (OLSAT). Testing will take place during the month of March for 3rd grade students. More specifics will be sent home in February. To qualify for the GATE program, students must receive a minimum score of 131 in 1 of 3 areas: verbal, nonverbal or the total score. If students score between 121 & 125 they will be retested 1 calendar year from the date of the previous testing. If a student scores between a 126 & 130 will be retested in the fall of their next grade with the Slosson individually.
We do honor parent requests for OLSAT retesting even if the score does not fall within the 121 – 125 range. To arrange for retesting, please email your school counselor within the month of January. Spring retesting for students in grades 4 - 8 will occur during the first week of March 2016. Students will be assessed only once within a calendar year by the school district - with the exception of those who qualify for the Slosson retest. The school district will consider the date of individual testing when counting the calendar year. A student will be assessed a total of 3 times.
Students who enter the school district outside of the testing window will be tested during the next testing window upon parent request. If your child participated in the GATE program in a previous school district, please provide that documentation to the school counselor or to Cherryne Luesang at the district office. We will honor the results of the previous district’s qualifying process.
Beginning on August 11, 2015, we will no longer accept the results of private evaluations to qualify a child for a the gifted program.
High Academic Achievement
Please see PDF at the bottom of the page for information. BHUSD students' academic records are reviewed annually to identify new students for the program. Parents of students who enter the district after the 3rd grade should contact Cherryne Luesang, firstname.lastname@example.org, to request a review of academic records.
Services for GATE Students
Classroom teachers work to differentiate instruction and create learning experiences for GATE students as well as other high achieving students within the instructional day. We provide ongoing professional development for teachers of all grade levels. Our professional development includes curricular modification by including elements of gifted instruction (Depth, Complexity, Novelty and Acceleration) into the standard curriculum. These elements may be combined with other thinking prompts (ethics, motive, contexts, etc) to increase complexity and rigor. Professional development for BHUSD teachers is provided by professors at the USC Rossier School of Education who are also active members of the GATE community.
Classroom Instruction for Gifted Students in Grades K - 5
Students are not formally identified as gifted until the spring of the 3rd grade, however all K-3 teachers work to identify learning strengths and weaknesses through formal and informal assessments. Once academic strengths and weaknesses are identified, teachers in all grades create individualized learning opportunities for students who demonstrate advanced knowledge in a subject area. Students with advanced skills are challenged through a selection of more challenging reading material, a possible acceleration of instruction within the same grade level standards and/or more complex questioning / activities to promote a deeper understanding of grade level material. Teachers may assign in class independent learning opportunities for older students when appropriate.
Some of our gifted students are also identified through the special education program. Throughout the gifted community, these students are known as "twice exceptional". Our "twice exceptional" students and parents are encouraged to fully participate in all aspects of the BHUSD GATE program.
Beginning in the 2015 - 2016 school year, students in the 4th and 5th grades will grouped within a class. This practice is called cluster grouping. This practice will provide gifted students with sufficient intellectual collegiality within a class while also providing diversity within each class for all students to learn with and from each other.
Do you still have questions about classroom differentiation for gifted students? Contact your classroom teacher directly to better understand the ways in which he/she teacher customizes academic content to for your student. Not all teachers will use the same approaches and strategies with all students.
Enrichment Opportunities Outside of the School Day
BHUSD offers enrichment classes for GATE students on Wednesday mornings from 8:00am – 9:20am. These Wednesday morning classes provided through STAR Education Inc. Beginning int he 2016 - 2017 academic school year, BHUSD will begin offering after school enrichment classes as well. In addition to these programs, BHUSD also offers the following extra and co-curricular programs to students to support various talents and academic interests: District Honor Choir, Math Clubs/Teams, Musical Theater, and Science Olympiad.
GATE Resources for Parents