Q. Why call it GATE Pathways instead of just Advanced?
A. We are required by state law to provide gifted testing three times per year, as well as, services for all identified students. These services are described in our scope and sequence, which is approved by the governing board, and submitted to the state. Many families of gifted students understand their education rights and look for programming to serve those needs. Providing Advanced courses is an appropriate service for gifted; however, we know that the needs of gifted students go far beyond accelerated curriculum. Gifted teaching is good teaching, and addressing the needs of both Gifted and Talented learners is the right thing to do. Eliminating the word gifted sends the wrong message.
Q. The inclusion of advanced students in the Self-contained Pathways will confuse the advanced parents and upset gifted parents, why combine these groups.
A. Parents of advanced students often wonder if their child is, or needs to be, gifted to enroll is special programs. The new criteria for GATE Courses all but eliminates the need to decipher between advanced and gifted. The shift provides gifted students an optimal learning environment while allowing the same opportunities for academically talented students. Ultimately, none of our middle schools have had the professional development or curriculum support necessary to appropriately meet the needs of gifted students. The new name will take some getting used to for everyone but we are confident that the change is positive in every aspect. In addition, our feeder high schools have made similar adjustments to criteria for advanced courses so the need to test and label students in the middle school is no longer necessary.
Q. Will all middle schools have GATE Pathways on their course schedules? What about JAG, IB, AVID, and the Pathways programs?
A. All six middle school’s will have GATE Pathways courses. The special programs that make each campus unique are not going away but the emphasis is on a universal language which is GATE.
For more information, please feel free to visit the Kyrene Website, under the parents tab, which has a separate link for information on gifted services.