The Porterville Unified School District offers Gifted and Talented students the opportunity to learn with their peers in the GATE Magnet program at Westfield Elementary School. GATE students participate in engaging learning experiences that promote college and career readiness along with 21st Century skills.
The GATE students at Westfield are the first elementary school students in the district to participate in the 1:1 iPad initiative. The iPads replace traditional learning because students have everything they need at their fingertips. Students use iPad apps to research, to take notes, to complete classwork and homework, to create projects, and to showcase their learning in a variety of creative ways.
How do I know if my child is gifted?
Compared to their age peers, Gifted children usually learn at a faster pace, can rapidly develop as readers and use a larger vocabulary. Another indicator is that Gifted children tend to be persistent, focused questioners who need activities that are complex and challenging. These children can also be highly sensitive, creative, intense, and visionary.
How are GATE students identified?
PUSD uses multiple indicators to determine if a child belongs in the GATE Magnet program. The following criteria can be used to determine eligibility:
Raven, IQ test, District Benchmark Assessments, State Standard Assessments, and teacher recommendation.
After identification, 1st through 3rd grade students are invited to participate in the district's Watch and Serve Program at the Westfield GATE Magnet. At the end of 3rd grade, students who successfully complete the Watch and Serve Program are formally identified as GATE students and are eligible to continue their enriched education in the Magnet.
What make a Westfield GATE Magnet class different from a regular class?
GATE students receive a content-rich curriculum that exceeds the requirements of the Common Core State Standards. At the Westfield Magnet, GATE certified teachers offer rigorous academics that accelerate the curriculum above grade level. They provide opportunities for students to use problem-solving skills to delve deeper into complex content in order to extend the learning experience. Critical thinking skills are effectively used in constructing unique projects and solving complex problems. An emphasis on research skills helps produce numerous written works as well. Long-term projects such as the science fair, CyberQuest and habitat studies give students experience in time-management skills.
What are the benefits of the academic rigor provided at a Magnet?
The strongest indicators of a Gifted child's success later in life, according to research by Gallagher and Reis out of the University of Connecticut, include several factors - having peers who intellectually stimulate them and having effort to accomplish high academic goals are two of the most important factors and the GATE Magnet at Westfield meets both. All too often, Gifted students placed in a regular class feel alone due to their superior intellect. Magnet programs help provide an environment of equally talented classmates to converse with and challenge their thinking. When Gifted students are placed in regular classes, the assignments they are given are often completed without much effort. Increasing the academic rigor requires that these Gifted learners stretch to accomplish assignments and develop good study habits before entering college. Being a student in a Magnet program means placement in a classroom with higher academic rigor and intellectual peers.