Gifted and Talented Education (GATE)


Overview of GATE Instruction
The purpose of the Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) Program in the Fountain Valley School District is to meet the specific academic needs of GATE-identified students with enriched or advanced instruction.  It is the goal that gifted students learn how to use their resources to the fullest, work cooperatively, find innovative answers to questions, and challenge their own creative abilities. All GATE students receive comprehensive instruction in the core curriculum with an emphasis on meeting the State’s rigorous and challenging academic standards.  Depth and Complexity is used to differentiate learning opportunities that stress the complexity of the subject matter, develop greater depth in thinking and reasoning skills, and provide for the creation of new ideas and new products.  GATE instruction also assists in the understanding of self and others, and builds on student’s needs, learning styles, interests, abilities, and talents. The GATE Program is designed to give students the intellectual tools to develop their capacity to become responsible, life-long learners.  GATE instruction is the continuous process of enhancing a student’s ability to think, create, and communicate. The GATE Program in Fountain Valley School District currently has two instructional settings:
  • Cluster Groupings (Grades 4-5):  Students identified as gifted are grouped within the regular classroom setting and receive differentiated activities, integrated into the school day, from the classroom teacher who meets District certification criteria.
  • Part-Time Core Grouping (Grades 6-8): Students identified as gifted students are grouped at the middle schools for one or more content classes, usually English Language Arts and History/Social Science.  FVSD's Advanced Math pathway is also open to students identified as gifted.  Differentiated instructional activities are provided by teachers who meet District certification criteria.

Whether teaching in the Cluster Groupings or Part-time Core Grouping model, GATE teachers use various instructional methodologies - including use of the Depth & Complexity Prompts to address the unique needs of students identified as gifted.  Some teachers may use an integrated approach to differentiating the core curriculum by extending instruction before, during, or after a unit of core study.  Teachers may also interweave two or more elements of depth and complexity while teaching a specific core content topic or build a bridge between two core content areas or disciplines.  Teachers use the differentiated curriculum approach as the primary emphasis in their classroom program.
2020-21 GATE Nomination Forms
If you would like your 4th-7th grade student to participate in 2020-21 GATE Testing,  please click on and complete the appropriate form below by no later than Friday, November 13, 2020.  All GATE testing will take place in person, so we will be sharing details of the testing plan with our FVSDConnected Elementary and FVSDConnected Middle School families prior to the start of testing in January/February 2021.
If you need language assistance completing the forms or have questions about the forms, please reach out to FVSD's Director of Ed Services, Jerry Gargus, Ed.d., at


GATE Identification Timeline 2020-21 
(Please note we only test students currently enrolled in FVSD schools.)
 Week of
October 12, 2020
GATE Parent Consent Forms available online & in the school office 
November 13, 2020

Completed Parent Consent Form due to the school office by 4:00 pm Deadline is firm

Week of
January 11, 2021
Parents notified about GATE testing
January 19 –
February 26, 2021
GATE test, Otis-Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT) administered at each school site
June/July 2021
Parents notified in writing of results


Contact: Jerry Gargus, Ed.D.
Director, Educational Services
Phone: 714-843-3268 email: