GATE Testing Information
Contact: Erik Mickelson, GATE Specialist, PSUSD 333 Farrell Palm Springs, CA 92262
(760) 221-1942 firstname.lastname@example.org
Students being Tested This Year:
Students in grades 2 and 4 who are referred for testing by parents, teachers, or administrators.
All students in Grade 3 unless "opted out" by parent.
The GATE Testing window is tentatively scheduled for the month of March 2018. Based on the school site's calendar, the Principal will decide when during this window GATE testing will take place.
While we always honor parent requests for GATE testing, parents are encouraged to talk to their child’s teacher about it first.
The GATE population is approximately 3-5% of the student body. The number of
students referred from a particular classroom should, generally, reflect this percentage. If a teacher refers more than 5 or 6 students, it might be a good idea for the testing coordinator to clarify with the teacher how the choices were made. Typically, teachers refer around 2-4 students per class.
Teachers should be looking for students who grasp new concepts quickly, show particular academic aptitude, or demonstrate higher level thinking skills. Factors such as lack of English language proficiency, poor classroom behavior or social/emotional immaturity should not deter a teacher from referring a student for testing.
About the OLSAT:
The OLSAT is an abilities test similar to an IQ test. It does not necessarily test students on skills they have been taught but rather it tests their ability to problem solve and master new concepts quickly.
There are 2 types of questions, verbal and non-verbal. Verbal questions test linguistic abilities and the non-verbal questions test visual/spatial reasoning skills.
Students need a score in the 89th percentile or higher in either the verbal, non-verbal, or composite category on the OLSAT to continue in the process toward being GATE identified. For some, the OLSAT score and scores on the parent and teacher surveys will give them enough points to qualify for GATE. For others, who got 89th percentile on the OLSAT but still need more points to qualify, we look at SBAC and District assessments.
Students not receiving a score in the 89th percentile or higher are not eligible for GATE identification but may re-test during the next school year.
Parents will receive a letter from the District notifying them of whether their child is eligible for the GATE program or not.
Testing Outside of the Window:
Students transferring in after the testing window may be tested when they enter our District.
Students new to the District may test at the beginning of the school year for placement. If, however, they test in September and do not qualify, they may not retest in March of the same school year. Retests need to be a minimum of one year later.
Students Identified as GATE in Other Districts:
Because students are identified differently in every district, transfers need to be looked at individually. If their previous district used similar measures, usually I can simply identify them as GATE in PSUSD. However, if the criteria are quite different or there is little documentation, the student will need to go through our qualification process and take the OLSAT.