MIDDLE SCHOOL PROGRAMS

Below is information regarding IUSD's Middle School Gifted and Advanced Learners programs.

Advanced Learners

Each IUSD middle school provides gifted and advanced learners with a challenging educational program. The Integrated Mathematics pathway offers placement options for advanced learners that prepare students for success in college, career, and life. GATE identification is not one of the criteria used to access any math courses within the pathway. Middle school Humanities programs across IUSD vary and can include GATE cluster courses, GATE courses, and/or Honors courses in English Language Arts and Social Science/History. Each middle school also offers a variety of academic enrichment opportunities for students.

School Programs

Beacon Park

At Beacon Park, GATE middle school students are grouped in a GATE cluster group within a regular classroom. 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.  For further information, please visit our website at http://iusd.org/bp/.   

 

Cadence Park

At Cadence Park, our middle school students will be appropriately engaged and supported through our implementation of Professional Learning Communities amongst the teaching staff. By approaching instruction with an eye to the four essential questions below, we will endeavor to meet our students where they are and move them forward toward content mastery and appreciation. Through daily and weekly instructional routines, our teaching staff will account for the students who may be ready to skip a planned lesson or activity (in favor of a task of greater depth or complexity) and for those who have yet to master content even after participating in planned activities. Formative and summative assessment will guide this process (dubbed "The Learning Cycle" within IUSD) in all core content areas, allowing for fluidity in access to advanced content, enrichment activities and supplemental supports.

  • What do we want all students to know and be able to do?
  • How will we know if they learn it?
  • How will we respond when some students do not learn?
  • How will we extend the learning for students who are already proficient?

For further information, please visit our website at https://cadencepark.iusd.org/

 

Jeffrey Trail

At Jeffrey Trail we aim to challenge all students to achieve to their highest potential and provide each of them a rigorous and relevant curriculum in all courses. Once students have demonstrated their learning and work habits in 7th grade, they may consider a move into our Honors 8th grade courses should they qualify.
 

Honors 8th Grade United States History:

Students must meet the following requirements in order to be considered for Honors 8th Grade United States History:

  • Displays all of the characteristics of an Honors student (see IUSD criteria)
  • Maintained grades no lower than A- across all three trimesters in history
  • Citizenship & work habit marks of S or O throughout the year.
  • This a program which challenges students to extend themselves and strengthen their skills in writing, researching, study habits, collaborative/leadership skills as well as reasoning/analytical skills. Students will explore the curriculum in greater depth, complexity, and acceleration. They will be expected to demonstrate a higher level of mastery in their application of the skills and knowledge acquired in their course of studies. Honors students will be expected to actively engage in extended research-based projects that showcase creativity, critical thinking, and civic engagement. This challenging course prepares students for the rigors of honors history courses at the high school level.

Honors 8th Grade Honors English Language Arts (ELA):

Students must meet the following requirements in order to be considered for Honors 8th Grade ELA:

  • Receive a recommendation from their current 7th grade ELA teacher
  • Show evidence of meeting grade level learning targets and expectations by earning an A at second and third trimester marking periods in ELA
  • Display the characteristics of an Honors Student (See IUSD criteria) and maintain Citizenship and Work Habit marks of S or O throughout the year in ELA

For further information, please visit our website at www.iusd.org/jt/

 

Lakeside 

The GATE program at Lakeside challenges our brightest students at every level. It is based on the research that supports GATE cluster groups, where identified students are strategically grouped together in a rigorous classroom setting with a teacher equipped with specific strategies and practices to meet their needs. The research behind cluster grouping of GATE students suggests that this strategy raises achievement at all levels, particularly gifted students (Gentry, 1999). Teachers instruct at a variety of learning abilities, offering all students depth and complexity throughout the learning process. For a more detailed explanation of our GATE program, please visit our website at http://iusd.org/la/ and http://www.iusd.org/la/general-info-planner.html

 

Plaza Vista 

GATE students are clustered in classes starting in the fourth grade through eighth grade. GATE and high achieving students are provided extension activities and alternative assignments and lessons to deepen their understanding of concepts with more rigor. Additionally, Plaza Vista offers Enhanced Math 7-8 and Enhanced Math 1 for students that meet criteria in the preceding year of school. Plaza Vista also features opportunities to participate in rigorous academic competitions such as Astounding Inventions, National History Day, Math Team, Science Fair, Robotics, and more. Eligible and interested students also are members of The National Junior Honors Society. For more information about our GATE program at Plaza Vista, please contact our GATE Coordinator.

 

Rancho San Joaquin

Rancho offers Honors Language Arts and History courses for advanced 7th and 8th grade students. Multiple Criteria Measures are utilized by the school staff to identify students for appropriate placement in the Honors courses. Both GATE and non-GATE students at Rancho San Joaquin Middle School have the opportunity to participate in Honors if they meet the performance criteria. GATE identification does not guarantee Honors course placement. For further information, please visit our website at https://rancho.iusd.org/

 

Sierra Vista

Sierra Vista offers Honors Language Arts and History courses for advanced 7th and 8th grade students. Multiple Criteria Measures are utilized by the school staff to identify students for appropriate placement in the Honors courses. Both GATE and non-GATE students at Sierra Vista Middle School have the opportunity to participate in Honors if they meet the performance criteria. GATE identification does not guarantee Honors course placement. For further information, please visit our website at https://www.iusd.org/sv/.

 

South Lake

At South Lake, we support students identified as GATE in various ways. Our 7th and 8th grade students attend a Tutorial at the start of the year to learn about the numerous academic enrichment opportunities available throughout the school year, ie. Science Fair, National History Day, Spelling Bee, Math Counts, Astounding Inventions, etc. Our GATE identified 7th grade students are clustered in their Language Arts and World History classes where there are alternative and/or enrichment lessons to challenge students accordingly. All students at South Lake have the opportunity to go on to Honors Language Arts and Honors U.S. History in 8th grade based on 7th grade teacher appraisal, and grades earned. Please see visit our website for more information about Honors Characteristics. Students have the opportunity to accelerate in math according to criteria outlined by the IUSD Math Department. For further information, please visit our website at http://southlakems.org/ .

 

Venado

Venado Middle School offers Honors Language Arts and Honors History courses. Honors classes at Venado Middle School are open to all students who meet specific academic, social/emotional, and behavioral expectations per the IUSD Characteristics of an Honors Student.

Language Arts is a literature-based class focusing on reading, writing, grammar, speaking, language mechanics, vocabulary, and research skills. Because the curriculum is aligned to Common Core standards, there is added emphasis on analytical non-fiction reading and critical thinking skills. In addition, teachers integrate language arts into units of study relating to the student’s history class, thus providing an interdisciplinary approach to learning. The Honors classes are developed with curriculum and instructional practices that a designed to include grade-level content and emphasize more complex ideas that require deeper connections from students. With an emphasis on depth, complexity, novelty, and acceleration, students are exposed to a rigorous course of instruction that allows them to develop skills in critical thinking, effective discourse, collaboration, and reflection, as well as demonstrate higher level mastery in their application of the skills and knowledge acquired in their course of studies. Specialized curricula includes peer interaction for literary analysis, writing applications, and independent studies.

The World History Honors 7 course will challenge students with extensive research and inquiry projects, rigorous writing assignments, high lexile primary and secondary sources, and deep academic discussions. This course emphasizes geography, civics and social, cultural, and technological changes during the historical period from 500 to 1789 A.D. The primary focus of study involves the fall of the Roman Empire, Islam, Africa, the rise of the Aztecs, Incas, and Mayans, and a comparison of the civilizations of China, Japan, and Europe during the Middle Ages, Renaissance, Reformation, Scientific Revolution, and the Age of Exploration and Enlightenment. Students’ anchor projects will apply the skills of a historian that extend beyond the classroom such as sourcing, contextualization, close reading, and corroboration. To enable students to complete the challenging demands of the Honors course, students will be required to be self-driven learners who work well both independently and collaboratively. For further information, please visit our website at http://www.iusd.org/ve/.

 

Vista Verde

At Vista Verde School we recognize that "giftedness" doesn't begin on the first day of fourth grade. Children who are passionate about learning and have special gifts and talents don't magically become smarter between Third and Fourth grade - they come to us that way in Kindergarten. The goal of the instructional program at Vista Verde is to meet each child where they are and move them forward to the next level, while at the same time ensuring that they have the foundational knowledge specified within the Common Core State Standards.
 

In middle school, GATE and Challenge students are cluster grouped within the regular classrooms. Throughout the middle school curriculum, our teachers seek to provide opportunities to extend and enrich learning through instructional strategies such as open ended assignments, use of essential questions, and increasing the depth or complexity of assignments. We have a Community Advisory Committee (CAC), known as GATE-AEFA, to share best practices and to provide a focus for professional development that centers on meeting the needs of our brightest students. Our advisory committee is responsible for developing additional opportunities for enrichment and extension beyond the school day. If you are interested in joining our committee or have questions or suggestions please contact KatherineJacobs@iusd.org.  For further information, please visit our website at http://iusd.org/vv/

 

Frequently asked questions

 We are new to IUSD and my child participated in the GATE program in his/her previous district. How will my child be placed in middle school courses?
  

Each IUSD Middle School administration team will carefully review your child's transition documents for placement. Please visit your middle school's front office for registration and course placement.

 

K-8 site contacts

SCHOOL TEACHER REPRESENTATIVE PARENT REPRESENTATIVE
Beacon Park (K-8) Brett Limoges / Sam Waterman

Stacy Borroto

Cadence Park (K-8) Daisy Hernandez Marie Claire Marshall
Plaza Vista (K-8) Amanda D'Avila TBD
Vista Verde (K-8) Katherine Jacobs Nicole Kline / Susan Stark