GATE- Gifted and Talented Education
Gate Assessment Dates
Gate testing Information
Each year all Pleasanton Unified School District (PUSD) third grade students and nominated 4th-7th grade students will have the opportunity to participate in the assessment used for identifying Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) students. Students identified for GATE services will be provided with educational opportunities to realize their full potential. Testing of all third grade students and students new to the district ensures that all students have equitable access to the GATE identification process at a minimum of one time during their education within PUSD.
The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) appraises the student’s level and pattern of cognitive development and measures both general and specific reasoning abilities. General reasoning abilities reflect the overall efficiency that students learn new tasks and solve problems, especially in the absence of direct instruction. These abilities are assessed in three domains: verbal (words), quantitative (math), and nonverbal (patterns and puzzles). Each domain is represented by two or three different reasoning tasks, which can be used to provide an alternative measure of cognitive development, and to identify students whose predicted level of achievement is different from what is observed in the classroom.
There are no practice questions for this test. Parents should prepare their children for this test by ensuring a light schedule the evening before the test, a nice breakfast and an unrushed arrival to school the day of the test. Any kind of reward or punishment based on the results of the test is strongly discouraged.
Testing will take place at each site by trained test proctors. The CogAT is a timed, multiple choice test and is administered online through a secure website. The actual working time for this test is 90 minutes; however, for many third grade students it may take most of the morning. Ample time is provided for administrative details such as entering student identification data, going through the test directions, answering student’s questions, and allowing for short rest periods between the nine subtests.
Be advised that the CogAT is a difficult and stressful test. Its purpose is to identify students who demonstrate excellence far beyond that of their chronological peers. We strongly suggest that you consult with your student’s teacher if you are unsure whether or not your child should participate in this assessment.
Pleasanton Unified School District uses the CogAT to identify students for GATE. In order to be eligible for GATE, a student’s Composite national age percentile rank (APR) must be 98% or above AND 99% in one of the following sections: Verbal (words), Quantitative (math), or Nonverbal (patterns and puzzles).
Information about GATE and the CogAT test is available at the District’s website: http://www.pleasantonusd.net/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=306329&type=d&pREC_ID=708288
All students in grade 3 will be assessed unless an opt out form is received by the Curriculum and Instruction team by January 14th. Students in grades 4 to 7 must be nominated by a teacher, parent, or other school staff to be tested for GATE services. The Parent Nomination for GATE form must be completed by January 14th to participate in the 2019 CogAT assessment window. All nominated 4th to 7th grade students must have a signed permission to participate on file before the assessment will be given.
For additional information, questions, or concerns, you may contact Cristina Loza at (925) 426-4326.
NOMINATIONS FOR GIFTED AND TALENTED EDUCATION (GATE) TESTING
ARE NOW BEING ACCEPTED
NOMINATIONS DUE BY JANUARY 14, 2019
Schools in Pleasanton are preparing for the annual Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) testing period.
The purpose of GATE testing is to identify and motivate highly able students to realize their full potential. The District works with school staff to provide high quality differentiated opportunities for learning that meet students’ particular abilities and talents and to focus on the areas of need.
Students from grade 3 to 7 in Pleasanton Unified School District (PUSD) are offered the opportunity to be tested at least once for GATE identification. Students may be tested several times, as often as every other year.
Students in grades 4 to 7 must be nominated by a teacher, parent, or other school staff to be tested for GATE services.
Parents may nominate their child by submitting a completed Parent Nomination / Questionnaire / Permission for GATE to your child’s school or to the Curriculum department. Parents wishing to nominate their child are encouraged to talk with their child’s teacher about the benefits and implications of GATE testing. The Parent Nomination for GATE form can be found within this letter or on the district web site. There, parents can read the instructions and download the District GATE Nomination Form. Nomination forms are also available at each school site.
- Students are not eligible to be nominated if they took the CogAT test last year.
- Students will be tested during the school day at their own school. A notification to parents/guardians of the testing dates and other information will be sent home via email and eConnect in mid January. Testing occurs during the month of February and is administered at each school on different days during this period.
- Blanket CogAT testing for all third grade students in the district will be administered in February. Parents of students in third grade may choose to Opt-Out of the CogAT by completing the Opt-Out form by January 14.
The District's programs and activities shall provide equal access to and shall not unlawfully discriminate based on actual race, color, ancestry, national origin, ethnic group identification, religion, marital or parental status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, or genetic information; the perception of one or more of such characteristics; or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics and against students who are members of special populations. Special populations include, but are not limited to, students with disabilities; students from economically disadvantaged families, including foster youth; students preparing for nontraditional fields; single parents and single pregnant females; displaced homemakers; and students with limited English proficiency. (20 USC 2302, 2354, 2373)
(cf. 0410 - Nondiscrimination in District Programs and Activities)
(cf. 1312.3 - Uniform Complaint Procedures)
The purpose of GATE services is to provide students with challenges beyond what the general education program can offer. The district works with all school staff to provide high quality differentiated opportunities for learning that meet students’ particular abilities and talents and to focus on the areas of strength and challenge.
GATE Program Description
The district philosophy and plan is to make program services an integral part of the school day, every day. Because of the numbers of formally identified and other high achieving students, the district believes that all students must be provided a challenging curriculum that is aligned with state standards and frameworks and allows students to meet and exceed the state academic content standards.
- How are students identified for GATE?
Pleasanton Unified School District (PUSD) uses the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) to identify students eligible for the Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) Program. This test consists of three batteries which measure verbal, quantitative and nonverbal abilities. There are three short tests within each battery.
- Which grade levels are given the CogAT?
3rd - 7th grade students are administered the CogAT in their classrooms during the end of the second trimester of each school year, unless an opt out form has been received.
- Can students retake the CogAT?
Only students in grades 4 and 5 who have previously taken the CogAT, and did not pass, have the option to register and retest. The retest opportunity is given once a year in the spring of the following school year. All students must be registered with a parent “permission to test” form in order to retest. The date and time of the test will be posted on the GATE Testing web page approximately a month prior to testing.
- What CogAT scores qualify students for GATE?
To be qualified for PUSD GATE identification, students must receive the National Composite Age Percentile Rank (APR) of 99 or above.
- How are students new to PUSD identified for the GATE program at our district?
Previously identified gifted students who enter PUSD are considered for GATE identification as determined by the PUSD GATE identification criteria. The parents will need to submit documentation to the school office during enrollment which shows the students’ prior GATE program qualification, along with assessment results that were used for the qualification. Students in grades 3-5 who have not taken a test for GATE qualification prior to their arrival in PUSD must register to take the test in the spring. The specific date and time of the test for each site is posted on the GATE testing web page in January of the each school year.
- Do we share information about the CogAT levels? Does the district recommend any materials for preparation to parents?
To maintain test security, we do not provide information about the specific levels of the CogAT that students will be taking. Our district does not recommend any materials for CogAT preparation to parents. Students are encouraged to take the CogAT with minimal test preparation so that we get an accurate measure of the students' reasoning abilities.
- How soon after the CogAT testing date do parents receive the results? How do they receive results?
It typically takes about 8-10 weeks from the first week of CogAT administration for parents to receive results.
- What does the GATE program look like in PUSD?
In prior years, including when many of today’s parents and educators were students in school, the state provided special funding for pull-out programs that took place during the school day. The state moved away from that model about ten years ago and discontinued all funding, instead expecting that districts place GATE-identified students in different classes across grade levels.
- When is the testing window this school year?
The "Testing Window" for grades 3-7 is February 1-27, 2019.