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GATE Program

Centered Gifted and Talented Education Program

Definition of Centered GATE Program:  

All classes in the program are self-contained in which all students are identified as GATE students. Such homogenous grouping creates a unique synergy which allows students to delve deeper and/or move faster through many aspects of the curriculum. (This homogenous grouping opportunity is available to all identified gifted students in HBCSD. Most districts do not offer this kind of magnet program.) 


  • Students identified as Gifted and Talented in the Huntington Beach City School District have unusual abstract intellectual abilities and academic talents.
  • These students require involvement in educational experiences, which develop their analytical reasoning, creative problem solving, and evaluative thinking.
  • Such involvement necessitates the implementation of a differentiated curriculum that includes flexible teaching strategies and enriched experiences.

The Teachers:

The educators who teach in this program are GATE trained and have many years of experience working with these unique learners. They bring a wealth of enthusiastic experience and inspiration to the students. Every day new fresh ideas are sprung from the gifted minds in the classes, guided by these insightful teachers.

The Students: 

The enthusiasm for learning is contagious among students. They are not afraid to show excitement and unbridled joy in discovery. The synergy within a class of all gifted learners can take us in so many exciting directions.

  • Gifted and talented learners are unique in their approach to everyday conditions. These students tend to have an enriched vocabulary and an intense thirst for knowledge. Consequently, they frequently immerse themselves in a singular subject, even at an early age, and devour detailed information.
  • They sustain an interest in this and other subjects for a time far longer than other children of a similar age. Use of this knowledge base becomes apparent when asked to complete a divergent task. The products are usually complex and clearly understood by the creator.
  • In the affective area, gifted students almost always have a strong sense of their own justice system. They know what is right and what is wrong so they defend their positions against overwhelming odds. Conversely, they also have a strong sense of humor, a caring attitude towards others, and enjoy interacting with adults.

The Learning Experiences:  The Peterson School Centered Gifted Program addresses the educational and personal needs of these students through an intensively differentiated curriculum.  This curriculum responds to the characteristics that distinguish gifted and talented learners from other types of learners and is achieved through depth and complexity; not merely added work.

Differentiated Curriculum:  Differentiated curriculum includes elements that suit the interests, needs, and abilities of the Gifted and Talented learners. GATE Icons and Content Imperatives? Yes, we refer to them and incorporate them into our lessons but it is has not become our curriculum or our framework.

Foundation elements of this curriculum include:

  • Higher level critical thinking skills utilizing numerous and ever-changing methods
  • More complex understandings within the content areas with greater depth
  • Technology integrated on a daily basis as appropriate
  • Abstract concepts and thought processes or skills
  • Appropriate flexibility of time spans for learning
  • Development of personal self-worth and interpersonal relationships
  • Independenceof study
  • Accelerated or advanced content
  • Interdependence of learning through cooperative strategies where the students learn to lead and follow
  • Increased pacing through standards based and enrichment materials

 This can be best achieved by grouping similar achieving students within the same classroom.

Please contact Debbie Bartlett, the district GATE coordinator at the district office or Mr. Johnson, the principal, for any questions regarding opportunities for your GATE identified student.