Fountain Valley School District

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Gifted and Talented Education (GATE)

Purpose of the Program

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.

GATE Identification Timeline 2017-18

(Please note we only test students currently enrolled in FVSD schools.)

 October 30, 2017
GATE nomination forms available online & in the school office 
November 9, 2017

Completed nomination forms due to the school office by 4:00 pm Deadline is firm

Week of January 1, 2018
Parents notified about GATE testing
January 16 – February 16, 2018
GATE test, Otis-Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT), administered at each school site
 Week of June 11, 2018
Parents notified in writing of results


Contact: Julianne Hoefer, Director, Educational Services
Phone: 714-843-3268 email:

Overview of GATE Instruction

All GATE students receive comprehensive instruction in the basic skills and 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 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 currently has two instructional settings:

  • Cluster Groupings (Grades 4-5) The majority of GATE students are grouped within the regular classroom setting and receive differentiated activities, integrated into the regular classroom day, from the classroom teacher who meets District certification criteria.
  • Part-Time Core Grouping (Grades 6-8) GATE students are grouped at the middle schools for one or more content classes, usually English Language Arts and History/Social Science. Differentiated instructional activities are provided by teachers who meet District certification criteria.

Whether the cluster or core program, GATE teachers use various designs to implement GATE instruction. 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 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.