ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PROGRAMS

IUSD offers two programs to serve advanced learners in 4th through 6th grades, GATE and APAAS. Please view the online 2022 GATE and APAAS Parent Presentation below at your convenience. Thank you for your interest in our programs.

 

Elementary School Programs - August 19th update

An email regarding IUSD's GATE & APAAS programs was sent to all 3rd-5th grade families in January: GATE & APAAS Programs 2022

GATE:  The annual Multiple Criteria Measure (MCM) screening process for the 2021-22 school year was finalized in mid-June.

APAAS: Program placement for the 2022-23 school year was finalized in late spring.

OLSAT: The optional OLSAT is closed for the year. Students who took the assessment will be emailed a score report by late fall.

GATE

gate leaves logo
Each IUSD Elementary School provides cluster classes for GATE-identified students in 4th through 6th grades. Cluster classrooms include a small group of GATE program students within a mixed ability, general education classroom.

SCREENING PROCESS

MULTIPLE CRITERIA MEASURE

IUSD conducts an annual Multiple Criteria Measure screening process for ALL students in 3rd through 5th grades to identify students for placement in the GATE program. The process takes place automatically for students within the school day and over the course of the school year. Program eligibility is based on the student's performance across multiple criteria measures (MCM). To qualify, students must score within the top 20% of his/her grade level. All students, regardless of educational model, will be screened and are eligible for GATE identification. 

Please see: Overview of IUSD Screening Process 2022-23
 

OLSAT 

For the 2022-2023 school year, the OTIS-LENNON SCHOOL ABILITY TEST (OLSAT) will be administered in August 2022. The OLSAT is only offered to current IUSD students. This is an OPTIONAL fee based test that can be submitted for GATE identification. Please note, all 3rd-5th grade students are automatically screened via the Multiple Criteria Measure (MCM) process and students do not need to take the OLSAT to be considered for GATE. The August 2022 scores will be included in the 2022-2023 MCM Screening Process.
 

PROGRAM MODEL

 

Each IUSD elementary school provides cluster classes for GATE-identified students in 4th through 6th grades. Cluster classrooms include a small group of GATE program students within a mixed-ability, general education classroom. This model allows the classroom teacher to more effectively differentiate instruction, and provides interaction for GATE students with both their intellectual and age peers.

Teachers of gifted learners are provided with professional learning specific to meeting the academic and social/emotional needs of gifted and advanced learners. GATE teachers assess each student's current knowledge and skill level and make adjustments to instruction and curriculum to meet individual needs. Students participating in GATE cluster groups receive differentiated instructional opportunities designed with elements of depth, complexity and content imperatives across the grade-level core curriculum. Differentiated instruction is provided within the school day and in the general education classroom through the use of flexible groupings, supplemental materials, and varied learning activities. Differentiation is not accomplished by assigning GATE students more homework or special at-home projects.

Please see: Overview of IUSD Program Model 

GATE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1. How are students placed in the GATE program?

IUSD conducts an annual Multiple Criteria Measure screening process for ALL students in 3rd through 5th grades to identify students for placement in the GATE program. The process takes place automatically for students within the school day and over the course of the school year. Program eligibility is based on the student's performance across multiple criteria measures (MCM). To qualify, students must score within the top 20% of his/her grade level.  Once a student is placed in the program, the placement remains valid throughout middle school.  
Please see: Overview of IUSD Screening Process 2022-23

2. When will students be evaluated via the Multiple Criteria Measure?

Criteria measures will be gathered throughout the school year. GATE placement is completed at the end of the school year, and parents are notified via email of GATE placement in mid-June. 

3. What happens if my child is absent on the day of one of the MCM assessments?

Your child's classroom teacher will provide a make-up testing session for your child.

4. What information is reviewed for the 3rd Grade Multiple Criteria Measure (MCM) process?

The MCM process includes the criteria measures below. All components are completed at school and will be gathered throughout the year.

Achievement Measures

STAR Reading and Math: These IUSD Universal Assessments are administered to all students.  Fall and Winter scores will be used as criteria measures. 

Creativity Measure - Writing Sample: Students respond to a writing prompt. Writing samples are evaluated for use of divergent thought and creative narrative techniques across a 4 point rubric.

Ability Measure:The  Naglieri (NNAT) is administered to all 3rd grade students. 

IUSD also offers students an optional, fee-based OLSAT assessment annually. When administered by IUSD, it will be considered as one measure of achievement. Students need not take the OLSAT for program eligibility.  

5. What information is reviewed for the 4th and 5th Grade Multiple Criteria Measure (MCM) process?

The MCM process includes the criteria measures below.

Achievement/Ability Measures

First and Second Trimester Grades

IUSD also offers students an optional, fee-based OLSAT assessment annually. When administered by IUSD, it will be considered as one measure of achievement. Students need not take the OLSAT for program eligibility.  

English Language Arts

CAASPP ELA Scale score - Scores released in June will be included in the 2022-23 MCM process. (Not included in 2021-22 since scores were not available. )

STAR Reading: This IUSD Universal Assessment is administered to all students. Fall and Winter scores will be used as criteria measures.  

Math

CAASPP Math Scale score - Scores released in June will be included in the 2022-23 MCM process. (Not included in 2021-22 since scores were not available. )

STAR Math: This IUSD Universal Assessment is administered to all students. Fall and Winter scores will be used as criteria measures. 

6How will IUSD quantify the information for the Multiple Criteria Measure for GATE placement?

Once the data has been collected, the GATE Department works with IUSD's Data Department to review all criteria measure scores and identify the top 20% of each grade level for program placement.

7. Will teachers be able to recommend students for GATE placement?

No. It would be difficult to maintain comparable opinions across a district of IUSD’s size. In providing as fair and universal process as possible for each student, a teacher’s recommendation would include too much variation for the process. 

8. Will the outcome of the GATE screening process be shared with families?

The GATE Department will notify the families of students that qualify for program placement by mid-June and students will be placed in the GATE program the following school year.  Parents may request their child's Multiple Criteria Measure (MCM) score report via a form that is open on our website in mid-June. To request your student’s Multiple Criteria Measure (MCM) Score Report, please fill out the form here:  MCM Score Report 

9. Why does IUSD have different program placement criteria than other neighboring school districts?

Each school district in California incorporates its own GATE program placement process. IUSD begins screening students at the end of 3rd grade and the GATE program begins in 4th grade.

10. Is private intelligence testing accepted for GATE placement?

In accordance with national research on best practices for GATE program placement, IUSD does not accept private psychologist's assessments.

11. What is the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test or NNAT?

The NNAT is a non-verbal measure of ability. It measures reasoning and problem solving abilities utilizing a complex set of geometric shapes and designs. Students will determine a pattern formed by a set of shapes organized into groups, then choose an answer that completes the pattern. This multiple choice test takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. The NNAT assessment is administered by your child's teacher and completed on computers or tablets.

12.  What is the OLSAT?

The OTIS-LENNON SCHOOL ABILITY TEST (OLSAT) assesses student's verbal, nonverbal, and quantitative abilities. IUSD will continue to offer the OLSAT to current IUSD students as an optional, fee based component of the MCM process. Students in 3rd-5th grades may take the OLSAT one time each year. Students do not need to take the OLSAT to be considered for GATE. The OLSAT is intended to be taken without any preparation. IUSD only offers OLSAT to current IUSD students and is not included in the APAAS application process.  Please note this test is ONLY offered in-person. There is no option for virtual assessment for the OLSAT.  The next OLSAT testing dates will be in August 2023.  

13. How do I prepare my child for the Multiple Criteria Measures (MCM)?

Families and students should not prepare for the GATE screening process. Please allow your child to take the assessments without stress. These are not high-stakes "GATE" tests as they are only one measure being considered within our comprehensive process. Children usually enjoy the assessment activities because they present as puzzles and allow for creative problem solving.

14. What is differentiated instruction?

In the differentiated classroom, GATE teachers assess each student's current knowledge and skill level and make adjustments to instruction and curriculum to meet their individual needs. Students participating in GATE cluster groups receive differentiated instructional opportunities across the grade-level core curriculum. Differentiated instruction is provided within the school day and general education classroom through the use of flexible groupings, supplemental materials, and varied learning activities. Differentiation is not accomplished by assigning GATE students additional homework or special at-home projects. 

15. Once placed in the GATE program, will a student need to be screened each year?

No, once a student is placed in the GATE program, this remains a part of the student’s record until graduation. Students will stay in the GATE cluster program through the end of 6th grade. And, all students will have the opportunity to participate in advanced learner programs at the middle and high school levels per each school’s program and placement policy. IUSD schools offer a variety of options that can include GATE, Honors, and Advanced Placement courses.

16. We are new to IUSD and my child participated in the GATE program in his/her previous district. Will my child be eligible for GATE in IUSD?

Students transferring from outside IUSD who have participated in their previous district's GATE program, must meet the criteria established for IUSD's GATE program. For more information, view IUSD's Transfer Policy

17. Can we appeal the GATE screening and placement process?

Parents are not able to appeal the GATE screening and placement process. GATE is not a mandated program in California; therefore, each district develops its own program and criteria. In alignment with the National Association for Gifted Children and California Association for the Gifted, IUSD supports the extensive research on providing multiple measures over time for GATE placement.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL SITE CONTACTS

Each IUSD Elementary School has a teacher and a parent representative. These site representatives support their school’s program in providing appropriate services for each child and working to expand communication to both staff and community members.

SCHOOL TEACHER ADVANCED LEARNING SITE COORDINATOR PARENT REPRESENTATIVE
Alderwood  Stefanie Mowers  TBD
Beacon Park (K-8) Cynthia Mullen  TBD
Bonita Canyon Rhianna Nazari  TBD
Brywood Rachel Flores  TBD
Cadence Park (K-8) Veronica O'Mara TBD
Canyon View Kim Bates  TBD
College Park Amy Hakola TBD
Culverdale Kimberly Mumper  TBD
Cypress Village Mary Olson  TBD
Deerfield Esther Lau  TBD
Eastshore Steve Tobenkin TBD
Eastwood Amanda Mailman  TBD
Greentree Carrie Eaton TBD
Irvine Virtual Academy Elizabeth Bouldin TBD
Loma Ridge Dee Dee Patterson TBD
Meadow Park Katy Leber TBD
Northwood Kelley Kretsinger TBD
Oak Creek Corrine Perkins  TBD
Plaza Vista (K-8) Marissa Mercadante TBD
Portola Springs Jaime Needham TBD
Santiago Hills Stephanie Aiesi  TBD
Solis Park Patrick Compton TBD
Springbrook Shelly Bell TBD
Stone Creek  Chantal Barney TBD
Stonegate  Hilda Rahmann  TBD
Turtle Rock Debbie Palmer  TBD
University Park  Lauren Seide TBD
Vista Verde (K-8)  Jackelyn Jones TBD
Westpark Paula Haboian TBD
Woodbury Jessica Irvine TBD

 

 

 

 

APAAS

apaas lightbulb

The APAAS, Alternative Program for Academically Advanced Students, is an elementary school program option for students in 4th through 6th grades.The program is designed to meet the needs of a unique population of highly intellectual learners who consistently prefer creative outlets to demonstrate their understanding of content. 

APPLICATION PROCESS

Placement in the 2022-2023 APAAS program has been finalized. Applications for the 2023-2024 APAAS program will open in January 2023.  
A Parent Presentation video is available above and the application process can be reviewed here: Overview of APAAS Application Process 2022-23

 

PROGRAM MODEL

 

 

 

The APAAS, Alternative Program for Academically Advanced Students, is an elementary school program option for students in 4th through 6th grades. The program is designed to meet the needs of a unique population of highly intellectual learners who consistently prefer creative outlets to demonstrate their understanding of content. Students successful in the program are individuals who have an innately high level of curiosity, think outside the parameters of conventional ideas, and are motivated by complex, open-ended options. The program is constructed for students who independently handle high-level assignments, collaborate with others, and have a strong foundation in math and reading, and can express ideas in writing. A student does not need to be GATE-identified to participate in APAAS.

 

Please see the current Overview of IUSD Program Model

 

APAAS FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1. How can I obtain more information about the program?

A Parent Presentation video is available at the top of this page and the application process can be reviewed here: Overview of APAAS Application Process 2022-23

2. How do I apply?

Online applications for the 2022-23 APAAS program closed in February. Applications for the 2023-24 APAAS program will open in January 2023. Please note, no changes or late applications will be accepted. 

3.  Are there minimum requirements to apply for APAAS?

Any student who lives within our district boundaries at the time of application may apply. In order for the APAAS application to be processed, students must continue residing within our district boundaries. Applicants who move outside of the district boundaries after submitting their application will not be considered for the program. My School Locator.  

4.  What criteria are used for the APAAS selection process?

Criteria considered in the application process include achievement, ability and creativity components. APAAS application criteria are compiled and compared. Program placement is offered to the highest scoring students in order of score until all classes are filled. The OLSAT is not included in the APAAS application process. Applicants may request their child's APAAS application score report via a form that opens on our website in mid-June. To request your student’s APAAS Application Score Report, please fill out the form here: APAAS Application Score Report

5What information is considered in the application process?

3rd Grade:

  • Naglieri Non Verbal Ability Test
  • Achievement Test - Math
  • Achievement Test - Reading
  • Writing sample

4th & 5th Grade:

  • Achievement Test - Math
  • Achievement Test - Reading
  • 1st and 2nd trimester grades

6. Will I be able to apply to all of the six APAAS schools?

Yes, students may apply to any of the six APAAS schools: Brywood, Deerfield, Eastshore, Santiago Hills, Turtle Rock and Westpark (year round). Westpark starts in July and and acceptance into this school is a commitment to begin school in July. 

7. Will my student be placed in his/her first choice school?

Although we do our best to place students in their first choice school, due to multiple factors this is not always possible. Class capacity and teacher to student ratio are just some factors we take into consideration.

8. May I make any changes to the application once submitted?

No, we do not accept any changes once the application has been submitted.

9. What number of applicants are admitted?

For the 2020-21 school year, we received almost 850 applications. More than 685 applications were received for 4th grade, 110 applications for 5th grade, and 70 applications for 6th grade.

10. With so many applicants, why doesn’t IUSD open another APAAS school?

IUSD has invested much into its GATE-cluster program in order to provide a highly challenging, academic program for all gifted and advanced learners. With a large population of high-performing students, IUSD is committed to fostering a rigorous academic program within each of its schools. The GATE-cluster classroom at each school site incorporates best practices for gifted and advanced learners. APAAS is a specialized academic program that not all students would thrive in. APAAS’ design is centered on serving students who have a preference for learning via unique instructional methods. When asked to demonstrate content understanding, these students often prefer to create their own approach. APAAS incorporates options into the curriculum and instruction in order to foster a unique academic environment.

11 Which schools have APAAS classes?

Brywood, Deerfield, Eastshore, Santiago Hills, Turtle Rock, and Westpark* (year round). * Westpark starts in July. Acceptance into this school is a commitment to begin school in July. 

12.  What is the difference between APAAS and GATE?

Both GATE and APAAS classes provide curriculum instruction aligned to grade level common core standards.

The GATE program is organized with gifted students placed together in a cluster group of like-minded individuals in a general education classroom. Specialized training with differentiated instruction and meeting the needs of the gifted learner has been provided for the teacher. All students identified as gifted may take part in the GATE program.

The APAAS, Alternative Program for Academically Advanced Students, is an elementary school program option for students in 4th through 6th grades. The program is designed to meet the needs of a unique population of highly intellectual learners who consistently prefer creative outlets to demonstrate their understanding of content. Students successful in the program are individuals who have an innately high level of curiosity, think outside the parameters of conventional ideas, and are motivated by complex, open-ended options. The program is constructed for students who independently handle high-level assignments, collaborate with others, have a strong foundation in math and reading, and can express ideas in writing. A student does not need to be GATE-identified to participate in APAAS.

13.  How will I know if APAAS is the right placement for my child?

Students who are successful in the APAAS program have a high level of curiosity, work independently, thrive on open-ended options, are intrinsically motivated to learn, and are comfortable with expressing their ideas in writing.

14. How well do students adjust to moving to a new school in order to attend an APAAS program?

This depends on many factors including maturation, temperament, social/emotional elements, and the child’s desire to be in this type of academic environment. Most students make the adjustment over a period of a few weeks.

15. My child is involved in several extracurricular activities.  Will the added rigor of this program be too much for him /her?

Many successful APAAS students participate in extracurricular activities such as sports, music, and other programs. Most people, in general, benefit from unscheduled time during the day and/or week in order to maintain a healthy attitude and perform at their best. 

16.  Once admitted to the program, may I transfer to another APAAS school site?

In spring, parents of current participating APAAS students will be asked to complete a Continuation Form. On this form, parents may request a transfer to another APAAS school site. If there is space available, transfer requests will be honored prior to placing new applicants in the program.

17. Is transportation provided?

No, parents are responsible for student transportation to and from all GATE and APAAS school locations.

18. Once placed in APAAS, must I reapply each year?

No, once a student is participating in the APAAS program, students continue through 6th grade. If an APAAS student is struggling socially or academically, we will work with the parents to review whether placement in the Program continues to be in the best interest of the student.

19.  When and how will I be notified if my student has been selected for APAAS?

Students and parents are notified via email of placement by the end of May. Parents must confirm acceptance of placement via email to finalize the placement. 

20. If a student does not get placed in APAAS, is there any chance to be placed after May?

If a program spot becomes available after the initial placement, placement will continue through the first six weeks of the school year. Program offers will be made to the highest scoring students in order of score. 

21.  What if I am an Irvine resident, but my child attends private school?

Irvine residents not currently enrolled in IUSD may submit an application form and provide their private school information. Proof of residency will be required at time of application. The GATE Department may contact the private school to gather additional necessary information. We may also ask for alternative information for all students not currently enrolled in IUSD.

 

 

If you have further questions after reviewing our Frequently Asked Questions, 
please contact VictoriaVosbigian@iusd.org.