Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) » Gifted and Talented Education (GATE)

Gifted and Talented Education (GATE)

Mark these Dates:
  • OLSAT Assessments for All Second Grade Students - March 20 and 21, 2024
  • Intellectual Ability GATE testing will be administered on April 4, 2024 for select students

Many elementary schools offer Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) programs for students who demonstrate advanced academic abilities. These programs aim to challenge and nurture these students' intellectual curiosity, helping them reach their full potential.


Here's a breakdown of GATE programs:

  • Purpose: Provide a more stimulating learning environment with deeper dives into subjects and opportunities for advanced work.
  • Curriculum: GATE classes often cover the same topics as regular classes but go into greater depth. They may also explore subjects not typically covered in the standard curriculum.
  • Benefits: GATE programs can help gifted students stay engaged, develop critical thinking skills, and collaborate with like-minded peers.

Identification Process:

Schools typically identify GATE students through a combination of methods, which may include:

  • Teacher Nominations: Teachers who observe students excelling in classwork or demonstrating advanced understanding might recommend them for GATE assessment.
  • Standardized Testing: Schools may use standardized tests designed to measure intellectual potential.

Next Steps:

If you think your child might benefit from a GATE program, here's what you can do:

  • Talk to your child's teacher: Discuss your child's academic progress and inquire about the school's GATE program identification process.
  • Contact the GATE Coordinator: Many schools have a designated GATE coordinator who can provide detailed information about the program and answer your questions.
  • Review program materials: Schools often have informational brochures or presentations about their GATE program.
  • GATE program specifics can vary between schools and districts.
  • There are many ways to support gifted children outside of GATE programs, such as enrichment activities and advanced coursework within the regular classroom.

Additional Resources:

Imagine giving your students different lenses to examine a topic. That's what Depth and Complexity (D&C) icons are like! They're a set of visual tools that help elementary students think critically and dig deeper into what they're learning. Here's how D&C icons work in the classroom:


  • Visual Cues: There are 11 D&C icons, each representing a different thinking skill. For example, a magnifying glass icon might prompt students to find details, while a puzzle piece icon might ask them to identify patterns.  
  • Deeper Understanding: By using these icons, teachers can guide students to go beyond memorizing facts. They can analyze information, ask questions, and make connections between different concepts.
  • Multiple Learners: D&C icons benefit all students, not just advanced learners. The visuals help younger students or those who are still developing their language skills understand complex concepts.
  • Differentiation: Teachers can use D&C icons to tailor their instruction to different student needs. For example, some students might be asked to find details (magnifying glass) about a topic, while others might be challenged to consider different viewpoints (balance scale).

Here's an example of how a teacher might use D&C icons:


  • Reading a book about butterflies: The teacher might ask students to use the "details" icon to identify different parts of a butterfly's body.
  • Learning about rainforests: Students could use the "cause and effect" icon (arrows) to explain how deforestation might impact the rainforest ecosystem.

Overall, D&C icons are a powerful tool for teachers to:


  • Spark curiosity and critical thinking in young minds.
  • Make learning more engaging and interactive for students.
  • Help students develop a deeper understanding of the curriculum.



By using these visual prompts, teachers can equip their students with the skills they need to become successful learners!