GATE Program

SDUSD GATE Department Mission Statement
The San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) supports unique and equitable access for high achieving and underachieving pupils who are identified as Gifted. Our mission is to advance the development of gifted, talented, and high potential youth through opportunities, student advocacy, and exemplary programs and practices.

GATE Identification and Testing
Students are identified for Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) using a multi-criterion matrix (see this link for more info), which includes the Cognitive Abilities Test Screener (CogAT). Students are first tested with the CogAT in second grade, and there is an opportunity for a retest in fifth grade for students who meet the retest criteria. Students in 2nd-5th grade who are new to SDUSD are also tested each year. La Jolla Elementary generally tests students in January/February. We receive the results from the District, and we forward the results to parents.

Here is the presentation from our GATE informational meeting.

Here is additional information for parents about GATE Testing in SDUSD. If you have further questions about GATE identification or testing, please contact our School Psychologist, Lisa Smith at [email protected] .

SDUSD offers two programs for Gifted and Talented Education: GATE Cluster and GATE Seminar (click on the links for program descriptions).

GATE Programs at La Jolla Elementary
At La Jolla Elementary, all of our 3rd-5th grade classrooms are GATE Cluster classrooms. As such, all of our teachers are GATE certified and use GATE strategies to meet their students' needs. La Jolla Elementary houses the GATE Seminar program for the La Jolla Cluster, so 3rd-5th grade students from Bird Rock Elementary and Torrey Pines Elementary who have been identified as GATE Seminar are invited to participate in our Seminar program. Here is the presentation from our informational meeting about our GATE programs, including our Seminar program.

If you have further questions about our GATE Programs at LJES, please contact our GATE Team:
3rd Grade Seminar Teacher, Kelly Skommesa: [email protected]
4th Grade Seminar Teacher, Debbie Balmat: [email protected]
5th Grade Seminar Teacher, Heather Polen: [email protected]
School Psychologist, Lisa Smith: [email protected]
Principal, Stephanie Hasselbrink: [email protected]

Here is a link to a website with resources about Gifted and Talented Education.

GATE Programs at Muirlands Middle School

Please visit the following webpages for additional information about the GATE programs at Muirlands:


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