Westside GATE Program
The Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) program at the elementary schools is designed to provide enrichment for identified GATE students in fourth through eighth grade through differentiated educational programs in the general education classroom. Teachers may differentiate the core curriculum through various means, including but not limited to flexible groupings, acceleration of content, tiered assignments, or learning centers. Middle school students attending Hillview or Joe Walker who have been identified as GATE are assigned to a GATE/Honors Language Arts period. Students in grades 7 and 8 at Anaverde Hills and Del Sur receive enrichment through differentiated instruction in the general education classroom. Once a student is identified as GATE in Westside, they do not need to requalify.
Westside Union School District intends to seek out and identify gifted and talented students from varying linguistic, economic and cultural backgrounds. In accordance with California Ed Code, each school district sets its own criteria for entrance into the GATE program. Students previously identified as GATE in another district must meet Westside's qualification before being placed in the program.
In WUSD there are two ways for a student to be identified for GATE.
Grade 4 only: Students who demonstrate high achievement by scoring in the 97th percentile or above on a nationally standardized, norm-referenced, group administered measure of verbal and non-verbal school abilities (i.e., OLSAT) administered by the classroom teacher
Grade 5 and above: Students who score for two current consecutive years at highly advanced levels (Standard Exceeded) in both English-Language Arts (ELA)/reading and mathematics on the Smarter Balanced Assessment.
Beginning this year all Westside Union School District fourth grade students will be tested on the Otis-Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT) to determine eligibility for Gifted and Talented Education (GATE). The OLSAT is a nationally standardized, norm referenced, group administered on-line assessment comprised of both verbal and nonverbal questions, used specifically to measure abilities related to success in school, testing critical thinking and reasoning skills. It is an achievement test not an IQ test. The OLSAT is intended to test memory, speed of thought and ability to see relationships and patterns. It is based off of two theories: Vernon's hierarchical theory of intelligence and Guilford's structure of intelligence. Students may not take it twice; therefore, reassessment requests will not be available.
This assessment supports the District's LCAP goal to address the disproportionate number of underrepresented student populations in GATE and meets our school board's directive to identify students who may be overlooked in our current process. Due to assessment norms, no accommodations or modifications will be allowed.