Question: How do 4th grade students qualify for GATE in the Hope District?
Answer: All 4th grade students have the opportunity to take the GATE test and their scores are used to determine GATE eligibility. Students must score in the top 2-5% of their age group to qualify for the GATE program. Parents will be notified by mail of the testing date and signed permission letters must be returned by the September 14 deadline. Parents who feel that their student should not be tested can decline.
Question: What is the GATE test?
Answer: The GATE test is called the Cognitive Abilities Test which is an aptitude test that measures higher level thinking and reasoning skills. The test, lasting about three hours, measures specific abilities within the following cognitive areas: 1. verbal or ability to solve word problems 2. quantitative or the ability to solve number problems 3. non-verbal or the ability to solve spatial problems.
Question: When is the test and when will parents be notified of the results?
Answer: The 4th grade GATE test will be given by the 4th grade teachers during the week of September 13-17, 2010, and results will be available sometime in mid October. Parents/guardians are notified via letter home regarding eligibility for the gifted program. At this time, parents are also invited to attend an informational meeting regarding the GATE program and participation options.
Question: When is the GATE informational meeting and when will the program start at my child’s school?
Answer: The Hope District Parent GATE Information Night is scheduled for late October and parents/guardians of newly qualified 4th grade GATE students will be invited to hear an overview about the district’s GATE program and meet the GATE resource teacher, Carrie Garner. Each school, along with the GATE resource teacher, decides on the start date of the GATE program and the subject topics. The program usually starts in early November or January, after testing is completed.
Question: What is the 4th Grade GATE Program and how often do students meet?
Answer: The 4th Grade GATE program is a specially designed curriculum, based on state standards in content areas with a strong focus on science. Its goal is to challenge students to extend academic achievement, become creative problem solvers, develop positive leadership skills, respect the needs of society and their community, and use a variety of technologies as tools to access and communicate information for higher intellectual thinking. The 4th grade GATE students meet once a week for 90 minutes with the GATE resource teacher. Past in-depth science topics have included animal adaptation, energy and electricity, and plant biology. Students will keep a folder of their science lab work, do self-evaluations of their work and receive teacher evaluations. GATE does not assign number grades on student report cards.
Question: If my child is in the Hope School District GATE Program, will he/she need to be re-tested for junior high?
Answer: Currently, once a child is identified the placement remains valid through secondary school in the Santa Barbara Secondary School District. The Santa Barbara Secondary School GATE Program has academic requirements for students to remain in junior high and high school GATE classes. Districts outside Santa Barbara have varying criteria for GATE.
Question: If my child was identified in another school district, may he/she be identified as GATE in the Hope District?
Answer: Gate is not a mandated program in California. Each district develops its own criteria for identification. Eligible students must meet the GATE identification criteria established by the Hope School District.
Question: If my child does not qualify for GATE in 4th grade, can he/she be re-assessed for the 5th grade GATE program the following year?
Answer: Students who do not qualify in 4th grade may be re-evaluated in 5th grade, based on a score of advanced in Language Arts or Math on the California Standards Test, administered in the Spring of 4th grade. Parents/guardians will be notified about the 5th grade GATE test.
Question: If my child is not eligible for the Hope District GATE program in grades 4-6, can he/she be re-assessed for the junior high GATE program?
Answer: Yes, current 6th grade students who did not qualify for the Hope District Elementary GATE program will have the opportunity to take the junior high GATE test given by the Santa Barbara Secondary School District in the spring to determine their eligibility for 7th grade GATE placement.