Beverly Hills Unified School District

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GATE - Gifted and Talented Education

Gifted and Talented Education
Cherryne Luesang, Coordinator of Special Projects - (310) 551-5100 ext. 2335
Goal Statement
The goal of the Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) Program is to provide original, interdisciplinary curricula that challenges and inspires gifted students. The curriculum is differentiated to provide a variety of instructional strategies structured so that individual student experiences/activities can vary in acceleration, depth, complexity or degree of novelty. The Beverly Hills Unified School District seeks to relate the educational experiences of children to their abilities, demonstrated achievements, interests, and motivation.
Upcoming Events
Maybe you missed an email?  Looking for information on enrichment classes?  Scroll all the way to the bottom and look for PDFs with fliers for upcoming events.

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. 

Student Identification

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.

Private Assessments 

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,, 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

 The Summer Institute for the Gifted (SIG) offers an enrichment program for academically accelerated students. This is a three-week program where students grades 4-11 get to experience college life by living at a top-ranked college campus, including UCLA, UC Berkeley, Princeton, or many other top universities across the United Stated. Students grades K-6 can attend a day program at various locations - including a location in Culver City. Students take courses in various disciplines, such as the arts, sciences, physical education, and performing arts. For more information about SIG, please visit
California Association for the Gifted (CAG)
Web site for the California Association for the Gifted (CAG). An advocacy group consisting of parents and educators who work to promote the welfare and appropriate education of gifted students. CAG also hosts Summer Institutes for gifted students.  Please check their website for more information.  Find legislative updates, current publications and helps for parents., (909) 522-7274
National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC)
The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) is an advocacy group made up of parents, professional educators, and affiliate groups from the various states to support gifted education at the national level.1707 L Street, NW, Suite 550 Washington, D.C. 20036 Phone: (202) 785-4268, 
Gifted Students Academy (GSA)
The Gifted Students Academy, GSA, is an intensive summer program for gifted middle school students, grades five through eight. Participants select courses in each of the major subject areas of math, science, language arts, social studies and the arts. and may attend as a commuter student or reside on campus in the UCI residence halls.
Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG) 
SENG (Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted) was created in 1981 to bring attention to the unique social and emotional needs of gifted individuals. The SENG website includes many articles on social/emotional topics written by experts in the field. SENG’s community forums provide a place for people to learn about and discuss issues surrounding the social and emotional needs of the gifted. Parent discussion groups, with SENG-trained facilitators, can be found in hundreds of places around the country. Finally, SENG hosts a conference every summer for parents, teachers, mental health professionals, and gifted individuals to expand their learning about gifted issues.