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California Gifted Education FAQs

How many and what types of tests are used to identify GATE students?

Best practices support using more than one factor to identify GATE students. Achievement, intelligence quotient (IQ), ability, and other test scores; motivation; parent/guardian, student, and teacher recommendations; classroom observations; and portfolio assessment are some of the possible factors a district may use to identify GATE students.

When and how often should my child be tested?

It can begin as early as kindergarten.  But identification can be an ongoing process that continues as your child gets older. Best practices support the continued and periodical examination of students for eligibility for GATE services. A student who does not meet the district’s criteria for eligibility in the second grade may very well be eligible later in elementary, middle, or high school. At all levels, when your child can be successful in advanced courses, he or she should be encouraged to test, regardless of whether they are identified as gifted and talented.

If my child was previously identified as a GATE student, and he transfers from one district to another, will he be identified as eligible in his new district?

California law places GATE programming under local control.  Therefore, each district can set its own guidelines and policies regarding identification and enrollment procedures for new students.

My child was not selected for the GATE program at my school. What should I do if I believe my child is capable of an accelerated program?

Since California law places GATE programming under local control, you can inquire with the school district’s GATE coordinator about why your child was not selected and whether there is an appeal process parents can follow. Ultimately, the decision will be left to the district.

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