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LAUSD Gifted and Talented Curriculum and Admissions

LAUSD GATE Curriculum

Although there is no standardized curriculum across the Los Angeles SAS and GATE programs they must meet the common core learning standards for math, science, as well as English Language Arts. The academic programs meet California State learning standards for other subjects.

When it comes to the SAS curriculum, the educator most often structures a lesson plan that best aligns with the student’s academic abilities and performance. Within the SAS program, teachers are attuned to student performance and progress. If the student begins to fall behind due to the advanced nature of the curriculum, they may be phased out of the program. Still, there is the potential that the student can be phased back if they begin to improve on these subjects, all while still in the SAS program. Student evaluation, at least for admissions to the program, may be based on certain tests. To get a feel for these tests, we recommend viewing our 100 free practice questions.

100 Free Gifted Practice Questions

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Similar to the SAS program, the GATE program also caters its curriculum to the child’s performance. Educators are always expected to ensure that the program is meeting GATE standards of rigor; the program is intense even for advanced students. For this reason, students in the GATE program must be placed according to their appropriate academic level. GATE magnet schools each encompass a distinct theme that often guides how each subject is approached. Students are more likely to apply to the program that satisfies their interest in a specific theme that the school offers.

Ultimately, SAS and GATE programs strive to challenge students through a critically engaging, complex, and progressive curriculum. It is important that they continue to set the bar high as a means of motivating student progression and academic growth.

Admissions Process for LAUSD GATE Program

The admissions process for both the GATE and the SAS have several important deadlines. Failing to stay on schedule with the admissions process may impact your child’s acceptance. Outlined below is an overview of both the GATE and SAS admissions processes:

GATE Admissions Track

  • August: School begins
  • September: GATE/SAS coordinator meetings
  • October: Choices Magnet Window opens
  • November: Deadline for choices Magnet application (applications submitted on
  • January: GATE parent workshop
  • March: OLSAT testing Window for 2nd grade students
  • March: Placements are announced
  • April: Parents must accept or decline student placements electronically through logging into their personal parent account

SAS Admissions Track

  • August: School begins
  • October- March: School for Advanced studies (SAS) on-Time paper application period. Students who are eligible and live within LAUSD boundaries can apply for an SAS permit to attend their chosen school
  • April: Placements announced
  • May: Parents must accept or decline SAS permit placement by submitting “confirmation of attendance” directly to the SAS site

Important Note:

  • The SAS gives first priority to students who live within the school boundaries. This is because SAS takes the place of the GATE program for resident students. In this case no SAS permit application is required
  • Eligible students who live outside of school boundaries, but within LAUSD boundaries must submit an SAS permit application.
  • Applicants who are still eligible can be chosen by the lottery when the application period ends. They are selected to fill available seats.

GATE Magnet School Point System

When discussing admittance into a GATE Magnet school, it is critical to touch upon the point system. When applying to any Magnet school, students’ ethnicities are considered outside of this point system to maintain a diverse environment. Following this process, the spot is given to the child of that ethnicity with the most points. There are 5 categories in which points are awarded:

  • 4 points awarded if your home LAUSD school is PHBAO (predominantly Hispanic, Black, Asian, or other)
  • 4 points if your home LAUSD school is overcrowded
  • 4 points for each year that one remains on the waiting list (for example being denied up to three year awards one 12 points)
  • 3 points if a brother or sister already attends and is continuing in the magnet school that one applies to
  • 12 points awarded to applicants who have already fulfilled the highest grade in a Magnet program, and want to apply to continue at another Magnet program. Matriculation points are only allotted to outgoing fifth and eighth graders graduating from a magnet elementary or middle school and take the place of all wait list points.
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