ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PROGRAMS

 IUSD provides GATE services at each Elementary School through the cluster classroom model. Additionally, we offer an application based program for advanced students at several schools. Please read below for more detailed information.

GATE


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 7th 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. Parents are notified of GATE placement via email in mid-June. If you would like to receive information about your child's performance on the Multiple Criteria Measure (3rd - 6th grade in 2016-2017), please email VictoriaVosbigian@iusd.org.

 

3RD - 6th GRADE

The MCM process includes criteria measures across four categories for 3rd Grade students: Ability, Achievement, Creativity, and Learner Characteristics. The MCM process includes criteria measures across four categories for 4th-6th Grade students: Ability/Achievement, English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Learner Characteristics. All components are completed at school and will be gathered throughout the year.

 

September 14, 2017 CAC-GATE General Meeting: An Introduction to IUSD's GATE Screening Process
 

Presentation
Meeting Summary:  Screening Process
 

OTIS-LENNON SCHOOL ABILITY TEST

The OTIS-LENNON SCHOOL ABILITY TEST (OLSAT) assesses student's verbal, nonverbal, and quantitative abilities. IUSD will continue to offer the OLSAT for community members as an optional, fee based component of the MCM process. Students in 3rd-7th grades may take the OLSAT one time each year. Students do not need to take the OLSAT to be considered for GATE. OLSAT scores are not used for APAAS placement. The OLSAT is intended to be taken without any preparation. IUSD only offers OLSAT to students currently residing within the Irvine Unified School District boundaries. The OLSAT administration is now complete for the 2017-2018 school year. Score reports from the January-February 2018 testing will be mailed by April 1, 2018.    

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.

 

September 14, 2017 CAC-GATE General Meeting: An Introduction to IUSD’s GATE Program Model

Presentation
Meeting Summary: 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 7th 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. 

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 by 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 criteria measures across four categories for 3rd Grade students: Ability, Achievement, Creativity, and Learner Characteristics. All components are completed at school and will be gathered throughout the year.

Ability Measure

  • Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT): This non-verbal, culturally neutral test assesses general ability. It is a multiple choice test that takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. The NNAT assessment will be administered by your child's teacher and completed on computers or tablets.
    IUSD also offers students an optional, fee-based OLSAT assessment. When administered by IUSD, it will be considered as one measure of achievement. Students need not take the OLSAT for program eligibility.  

Achievement Measures

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

Creativity Measures

  • Writing Sample: Students respond to a writing prompt. Writing samples are evaluated for use of creative narrative techniques across a 4 point rubric.
  • Divergent Thinking Task: This measure evaluates creativity by having students identify possible uses for a common item.

Learner Characteristics Measures

  • Characteristics Checklist: This list of common characteristics of gifted individuals is adapted from the National Association for Gifted Children and completed by classroom teachers.
  • Student Ability Level: This measure provides information on perceived academic ability and potential based on teacher observation.

5. What information is reviewed for the 4th, 5th and 6th Grade Multiple Criteria Measure (MCM) process?

The MCM process includes criteria measures across four categories for 4th-6th Grade students: Achievement/Ability, English Language Arts, Math and Learner Characteristics. All components are completed at school and will be gathered throughout the year.

Achievement/Ability Measures

  • First and Second Trimester Grades

  • IUSD also offers students an optional, fee-based OLSAT assessment. 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

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

Math

  • CAASPP Math Scale score

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

Learner Characteristics Measures

  • Characteristics Checklist: This list of common characteristics of gifted individuals is adapted from the National Association for Gifted Children and completed by classroom teachers.

  • Student Ability Level: This measure provides information on perceived academic ability and potential based on teacher observation.

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. Teachers do however provide input during the screening process in the Learner Characteristics category.

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. If you would like to receive information about your child's performance on the multiple criteria screening measures from the previous year (3rd-6th grade),  parents may email VictoriaVosbigian@iusd.org

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 will be administered by your child's teacher and completed on computers or tablets.

12. Why has IUSD added the NNAT to the MCM process?

Research suggests that nonverbal measures, such as the NNAT, are particularly appropriate for identifying gifted children because the nonverbal content assesses different cognitive skills that apply to all children, including those who speak other languages, come from different cultures, and demonstrate varying levels of prior exposure to academic content. As such, the NNAT provides a nationally normed, reliable and culturally fair measure to comprehensively screen and assess our IUSD student population.

13.  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 for community members as an optional, fee based component of the MCM process. Students in 3rd-7th grades may take the OLSAT one time each year. Students do not need to take the OLSAT to be considered for GATE. OLSAT scores are not used for APAAS placement. The OLSAT is intended to be taken without any preparation. IUSD only offers OLSAT to students currently residing within the Irvine Unified School District boundaries. 

14. Why does IUSD no longer accept OLSAT as a stand alone option for GATE placement?

IUSD has implemented a Multiple Criteria Measure aligned with best practices for GATE program placement. OLSAT will continue to be offered; however, it will no longer serve as a stand-alone criteria for placement. For students interested in taking theOLSAT, IUSD will consider the scores as one component of IUSD's Multiple Criteria Measure.

15. How do I prepare my child for the NNAT, STAR, CAASPP, OLSAT and Creativity measures?

Families and students should not prepare for the GATE screening process. Please allow your child to take the assessments with no 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.

16. 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 designed with elements of depthcomplexity, and content imperatives 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. 

17. 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 transitioning from elementary to middle school will automatically remain in the GATE program.

All IUSD traditional high schools have honors classes and Advanced Placement courses open to all students. Eighth grade students applying to high school honors programs will be accepted according to academic performance from eighth grade. Depending on space available at each site, GATE placement is not required for acceptance into honors or advanced level high school classes.

18. 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. To qualify for placement in the GATE program, the student must:

1. Provide documentation that the student has already been identified for the GATE program in their previous school,
 AND
2. Meet one of the following requirements:

•  Score in the top 20th Percentile of IUSD (or higher) on SBAC total English-Language Arts and total Math
•  Score within the Exceeded Standards Range on other U.S. State Standardized Achievement Test
•  Score 95 Percentile (or higher) on OLSAT or NNAT (Must be administered by a School District at grade 3 or higher and prior to enrollment in IUSD)

If the student meets both of the above criteria upon enrollment into IUSD, they are granted a one-year conditional placement in the GATE program, depending on space and availability. IUSD’s annual MCM GATE screening process will occur during the first year of attendance to determine student eligibility for the GATE program during the following school year. *Please note: report cards, teacher’s recommendation letters, private IQ tests and other subjective evaluations will not be considered as part of the determination.

19. 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.

 

 

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL SITE CONTACTS

Each IUSD Elementary School has a teacher and a parent GATE 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 GATE COORDINATOR PARENT REPRESENTATIVE
Alderwood Amanda Danvers-Tomberlin  Yvonne Mansouri
Beacon Park (K-8) Brett Limoges  Lakshmi Tummala
Bonita Canyon Clyde Dodge  Marina Kahana
Brywood Freddi Siegel  TBD
Canyon View Michelle Dunn  Qing He
College Park Kelly Counseller  

Susan Chang Fong

Culverdale Vicki Parvin Kate Perry
Cypress Village Mary Olson  Richa Mukherjee
Deerfield Kathy Larson Joy Lin
Eastshore Steve Tobenkin Joe Liu
Eastwood Scott Bedley Fauzia Yamani
Greentree Kris Dayton & Carrie Eaton Jenny Kreil
Meadow Park Katy Marshall Elena Marukhlekno
Northwood Donna Catalano TBD
Oak Creek Corrine Perkins Mary Wilbur
Portola Springs Emily Lasala Anindita Ghoshal, Saubia Khan
Santiago Hills Stacy Rolfe Marisa Tseng, Arezoo Abaye
Springbrook Shelly Bell  Reine Bounlutay
Stone Creek Flora Morgan TBD
Stonegate Hilda Rahmann Seth Grossman
Turtle Rock Stacy Leal Monika Tanwar
University Park Lauren Brancky

Meena Mokkapati

Westpark Kristy Chao Nahid Yaftali
Woodbury Donna Willis Rina Yong
Plaza Vista (K-8) Amanda D'Avila & Natalie Elliott

Suzanne Fitzpatrick

Vista Verde (K-8) Katherine Jacobs Tracy Kuo

 

 

 

 

APAAS

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. 

APAAS Information Night ~ Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Time: 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Location: Portola High School Theater, 1001 Cadence, Irvine

2018 APAAS Information Night Presentation

APPLICATION PROCESS

To be considered for APAAS participation, families who reside within the IUSD attendance boundaries may submit an online application for their student. Criteria considered in the application process include achievement, ability, creativity and learner characteristics 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. This placement process is conducted annually in May and students begin participating in the program in 4th grade at one of six school sites: Brywood, Deerfield, Eastshore, Santiago Hills, Turtle Rock, and Westpark * (the year-round option). * Westpark starts on July 11, 2018. Acceptance into this school is a commitment to begin school on July 11, 2018. The program is designed as a 3-year option; therefore, there are limited spaces for 5th and 6th grade students. 

 

Applications for the 2018-2019 school year are available online until 11:59 pm on Friday, February 16, 2018. Late applications will not be accepted. APAAS Application

 

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.

APAAS FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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

The APAAS Informational night will be held on Wednesday, January 24, 2018 from 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm at Portola High School's Theater.

2. How do I apply?

Complete the online application available on this websiteApplications will be open from January 25, 2018 to February 16, 2018. Late applications are not 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. My School Locator.

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

Criteria considered in the application process include achievement, ability, creativity and learner characteristics 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.

5What information is considered in the application process?

3rd Grade:

  • Naglieri Non Verbal Ability Test
  • STAR Reading and Math test scores
  • Writing sample
  • Divergent Thinking Task
  • APAAS Learner Characteristics
     

4th & 5th Grade:

  • STAR Reading and Math test scores
  • CAASPP scores
  • 1st and 2nd trimester grades
  • APAAS Learner Characteristics
     

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

Students will only be able to apply to schools within their geographical area based on their home address. Please enter your home address into the Irvine Unified School District Boundaries My School Locator to see which APAAS sites are within your geographical boundaries.

BrywoodDeerfieldEastshore, and Westpark are open to all applicants.

Santiago Hills is only open to applicants currently residing within the school attendance boundaries of: Beacon Park, Brywood, Canyon View, College Park, Cypress Village, Deerfield, Eastwood Village, Greentree, Northwood, Portola Springs, Santiago Hills, Stonegate and Woodbury.

Turtle Rock is only open to applicants currently residing within the school attendance boundaries of: Alderwood, Bonita Canyon, Culverdale, Eastshore, Meadow Park, Oak Creek, Plaza Vista, Springbrook, Stone Creek, Turtle Rock, University Park, Vista Verde and Westpark.

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

Each APAAS class is limited to 33 students. Although we do our best to place students in their first choice school, due to multiple factors this is not always possible.

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

We do not accept any changes once the application has been submitted.

9. What number of applicants are admitted?

For the 2017-18 school year, we received almost 840 applications. More than 645 applications were received for 198 openings in 4th grade, 126 applications for 6 openings in 5th grade, and 61 applications for 8 openings in 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 for "out-of-the-box" learners.

11 Which schools have APAAS classes?

Brywood, Deerfield, Eastshore, Santiago Hills, Turtle Rock, and Westpark* (year round). * Westpark starts on July 11, 2018. Acceptance into this school is a commitment to begin school on July 11. 2018.

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, 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.

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 December, 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. However, students must live in the correct geographical boundaries at the time the Continuation Form is submitted. 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 initial placement in May, 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. 
APAAS application scores from the 2017 application process can be requested by emailing VictoriaVosbigian@iusd.org

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.