Each year students have the opportunity to be identified as gifted and talented (GATE) in a number of categories: high achievement, intellectual, specific ability, creative ability, leadership, and ability in performing or visual arts. More information about and criteria for each of these categories can be found on the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Office of Gifted and Talented Education’s website.
Because 5% of our students are identified GATE, we follow the district’s model of clustering students in each grade in groups of 5-15. This allows the teachers the ability to create opportunities for students to extend and apply their understanding of the content in new and novel ways. We believe strongly, though, in not sharing the label of giftedness with students. We have discussed deeply the research of Carol Dweck, the findings from which have shown that students should be praised and recognized for their effort, not for a perceived innate ability. This instills in them the belief that through hard work anything can be achieved. The data from our GATE students and all students have shown that this mindset yields positive academic outcomes for students.