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

  K-8 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. https://beaconpark.iusd.org/  
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 (The Learning Cycle) 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?

https://cadencepark.iusd.org/

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. https://plazavista.iusd.org/
Vista Verde

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. 
https://vistaverde.iusd.org/

  MIDDLE SCHOOL PROGRAMS
Irvine Virtual Academy (IVA) All students at Irvine Virtual Academy will be enrolled in grade-level English/Language Arts and History courses and will focus on the essential California Common Core Standards. Our Advanced option offers interested and highly motivated students enhanced learning experiences and enrichment opportunities within their existing English/Language Arts and History classes. Students pursuing the Honors option will follow the same curricula and will be held to the same learning outcomes of the English/Language Arts and History Courses. However, they will distinguish themselves by adding complexity or depth, exhibiting strong creativity and skill, contributing meaningfully to the class, and making connections of course content with the outside world.Upon successful completion of Honors criteria, students will receive an “Advanced” designation on their academic records on a trimester basis. https://iva.iusd.org/
Jeffrey Trail Jeffrey Trail Middle School offers Honors United States History for advanced 8th grade students. Multiple Criteria Measures are utilized by the school staff to identify students for appropriate placement in this Honors course. Both GATE and non-GATE students at Jeffrey Trail Middle School have the opportunity to participate in Honors United States History if they meet the performance criteria. GATE identification does not guarantee Honors course placement.  

Please see the JTMS Course of Study for more information.

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. https://lakeside.iusd.org/
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.  
Please see Rancho's Course of Study for more information. 
Sierra Vista

Students at Sierra Vista must meet two of three measures to be placed in Honors classes for ELA/HSS : 

  • General Ed students must have an “A-“ or above grade in trimesters one and two of 6th grade Language Arts (reading and writing only). APAAS students need a “B-“ or above.
  • The student must have demonstrated mastery on a summative analytical writing assessment during 6th grade.
  • Teacher appraises student to be placed in Honors.

Please see Sierra Vista's Course Descriptions for more information. 

South Lake All  7th grade South Lake students participate in general education ELA/HSS courses.

8th grade: Honors English Language Arts / Honors U.S. History 
7th grade performance in writing and overall grades in ELA & History  
and teacher recommendation (GATE is not used as criteria) 

Please see South Lake's Course Catalogs for more information. 
 

Venado All students will be enrolled in a grade-level English Language Arts course and will focus on the essential California Common Core Standards. Our Embedded Honors offers interested and highly motivated students enhanced learning experiences and enrichment opportunities within their existing English Language Arts class. Students pursuing the Honors option will follow the same curricula and will be held to the same learning outcomes of the English Language Arts Course. However, they will distinguish themselves by adding complexity or depth, exhibiting strong creativity and skill, contributing meaningfully to the class, and making connections of course content with the outside world.Upon successful completion of Honors criteria, students will receive an Honors designation on their academic records on a trimester basis.

ELA Honors Designation Criteria: (two of three)

Teacher Appraisal: Student has exhibited work habits, skills, and citizenship for an honors level course
Grades: 90% or higher at the end of each trimester
 Assessments: Students score “Exceeding the Standard” on the final assessment for each unit.  

 History Recommendation Criteria: (two of three)

Teacher Appraisal: Student has exhibited work habits, skills, and citizenship for an honors level course
Grades: 90% or higher in History/Social Science and English/Language Arts in 2 trimester
Writing Assessment: By the end of the year, the student receives and 85% or higher on a summative Language Arts or History writing assessment

Please see Venado's Course Descriptions for more information. 
 

 

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 utilizes a multiple criteria method process for placement in advanced courses. Students in grades 7-8 may be placed into the GATE program, an Honors course or other program option at the discretion of the school administration team.  Please contact your middle school office directly.

 

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