Dana traditionally offered two strands of humanities-based courses.

  1. GATE Cluster  — Language Arts and Social Studies classes that provide students with curricular options that modify depth, complexity, acceleration and novelty of the core curriculum.
  2. GATE Seminar - Language Arts and Social Studies classes designed to support students in developing their exceptional potential. The Seminar program was intended to serve varied students who need extraordinarily high-level, advanced and challenging curricular activities; those with extremely high tested ability; or those students who are critical thinkers and "think outside the box.

Myths Associated With GATE Seminar

Who Is A GATE Seminar Student? The definition is not always clear. Some definitions include;

  • They possess an innate exceptional ability that cannot be taught or learned
  • They acquired exceptional abilities that can be taught and learned
  • They demonstrate advanced proficiency in course standards

These popular myths are distinctly different, and not always accurate.

My student is GATE Seminar identified and benefits from the socio-emotional supports associated with the traditional program. How will my child be served?

We acknowledge the continued need for socio-emotional supports for students. 100% of our Honors program teachers are GATE certified and have received training in these strategies.

SDUSD GATE Program - The District Definition

GATE students score in the ability range greater or equal to two standard deviations above the mean, high academic achievement, and show characteristics of Gifted students. 

Measures currently used generally show advanced comprehension, a faster pace of learning, and an ability to handle greater depth and complexity in their learning. These students need challenge by changing the regular curriculum through pace or presentation. They require program differentiation of core subjects in content, process or product in order to realize their learning potential.

How Do Students Qualify for GATE Seminar?

A qualifying score on the CogAt test (mostly non-verbal reasoning and quantitative skills). Recently introduced: SBAC scores and points for IEPs, 504s, ELs, low-income, student relocation (e.g. military)

While the process claims to utilize multiple data points, at best 83% of the identification criteria is based solely upon student performance on a single administration of the CogAt assessment.


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