The Redlands Unified School District offers a Gifted and Talented Education program designed to provide qualitatively different instructional strategies for students who demonstrate the intellectual capacity that places them among the top three to five percent of students nationwide. The law requires that gifted students receive qualitatively differentiated instruction. To satisfy this requirement and reduce the amount of record keeping necessary to insure compliance, the Redlands Unified School District has determined that GATE students will be clustered, whenever possible.
What is a differentiated curriculum?
GATE classrooms are structured within a differentiated curriculum. While the curriculum is the same as that taught to all students, a differentiated curriculum focuses on four areas:
Students are permitted to move faster through the curricular content and are given credit for what they already know.
Students are given opportunities to study aspects of the curriculum in greater depth. They become experts in fields of study that link to the core curriculum.
Students are given opportunities to make connections between content areas. Students are taught using an inter-disciplinary thematic approach in order to see the relationships between all areas of study.
Students are given opportunities to share what they know creatively. They are encouraged to present projects that reflect their interests, talents, and abilities.
What are GATE clusters?
Recent research from the Center on Gifted and Talented Youth at the University of Connecticut at Hartford, as well as the Johns Hopkins Center for the Gifted and Talented, support the use of clusters as a way of meeting the differentiated needs of gifted students. The Redlands Unified School District recognizes this research and places identified GATE students in grades 3-6 in cluster classes with trained GATE teachers. Whenever possible, a cluster is defined as consisting of ten students.
What about Middle School GATE students?
The district GATE plan specifies that GATE clusters continue through the sixth grade. Once students move to seventh grade, the program shifts from a potential based to a performance based program. These accelerated/honors classes are offered in English/Language Arts and Mathematics under the guidance of GATE certified teachers. Some middle schools add Science and/or History/Social Science to the list of classes that are accelerated. Students are placed in these classes based upon their academic performance. †Standardized test scores, like Smarter Balanced test results, may be used for placement along with district semester tests and report card grades. This process allows more students to take part in an accelerated program even if they are not identified as GATE students. Students who are identified GATE, but are not in the accelerated classes, are still considered GATE students and are offered opportunities to participate in other GATE activities (after school mini-courses, etc.).
What about High School GATE students?
High schools throughout California focus on honors and Advanced Placement classes, and additional academic counseling services for their GATE students. The Redlands Unified School District is proud of the high academic standing of both of our high schools. Many honors and advanced placement classes are offered in a wide variety of subjects. These classes are designed to meet the needs of students who are high performers and divergent thinkers. Advanced Placement classes offer the additional benefit of giving students who pass the exit examinations, credit for these classes at the college and university level.