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Gifted & Talented Program (GATE)

GATE teachers are certified in elementary education and have a gifted endorsement. “All school districts shall provide to gifted pupils special education commensurate with their academic abilities and potentials.” -Arizona Law Mandate

Benefits of Gifted Education

  • Challenges children to reach their potential
  • Promotes academic rigor
  • Helps develop and maintain an interest in school
  • Improves creativity and problem solving abilities
  • Broadens experiences and horizons
  • Creates a positive atmosphere for learning
  • Provides appropriate pacing
  • Allows for association with children of similar interests and abilities
  • Expands and focuses goal-setting and career expectations
  • Encourages active participation in class
  • Provides a context for application of classroom learning to real life problem solving
  • Scholarships to summer programs for participating students


  • To provide each identified gifted student with an appropriate program commensurate with his/her potential
  • To challenge students to operate at higher cognitive levels
  • To focus on abstract concepts and advanced thought in each discipline
  • To develop and demonstrate skills in methods of inquiry and research
  • To provide opportunities for students to clarify their own goals and to pursue their own academic interests
  • To develop independent, intuitive, discriminating, and creative learning processes
  • To integrate all elements of the academic disciplines and curricula for the gifted student in such a manner that the student will recognize these interrelationships

General Needs of the Gifted and Talented

  • Time and opportunity to learn more than is offered in the standard curriculum
  • Training and practice in planning, completing, and evaluating  personal independent projects
  • Time and opportunity to share ideas and projects with others of similar ability or interest
  • Help in understanding the physical intensity that often accompanies their emotions, learning styles, and interests
  • Opportunities to ask questions: questions with answers, and questions with no answers–only viewpoints

Referral Procedures

Students are referred for gifted assessments by their teachers or parents.

Qualifying Criteria

Students who score in the 97%ile or higher on a state adopted test that measures logical / creative thinking skills are eligible to receive gifted services.

Students in 5th-12th grades may also qualify through academic subject test scores and teacher recommendations.

Gifted Services


Students who qualify for GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) are placed in a gifted cluster classroom to meet their daily needs through differentiated instruction. Each week, the gifted students participate in a pull out program filled with enriching, hands-on activities. The 4 C’s of Critical thinking, Creativity, Collaboration, and Communication are emphasized through group activities using EiE (Engineering in Education) kits. Students work together to solve problems using the engineering design process. Additional activities to challenge students include coding, robotics, chess, electronics exploration, breakout boxes, and Rubik’s cubes. Recently, we have acquired two grants for Hummingbird Robotics kits and Makey Makey kits. Currently, our dream is to create a Makerspace for the other students in our school. Quality field trips are planned quarterly to offer unique experiential opportunities.

STEAM Curriculum
Honors Classes

STEAM Curriculum
Honors Classes

Honors classes, advanced placement classes, dual credit high school/college, academic competitions



Karen Sampson, Teacher/Coordinator
Education: BA Liberal Studies Minor in Spanish, Teaching Credential San Jose State University, CA; Early Childhood Ed Endorsement, SEI Endorsement, Gifted Endorsement | 2000 Educator of the Year El Camino Academy, Bogota, Colombia; 2014 Yavapai County Teacher of the Year PreK-3rd grade; 2015 AEF Nominee Arizona Teacher of the Year

Students in classroom


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