SD Unified's GATE information site

Academic Rigor

Marston pursues rigorous academic standards for all students. The Common Core standards offer intensive opportunities for all students to write and think critically across the curriculum. Our goal is that all students will graduate with the habits of mind to become lifelong scholars, critical thinkers, innovators, leaders, and global citizens.

GATE Cluster and Seminar Programs>

Over 30% of our student population at Marston are GATE identified. Unfortunately, funding for class size reductions for Seminar and GATE cluster classes was eliminated with the last round of budget cuts. >While all students are placed in math courses based on achievement, GATE students are grouped in humanities blocks for English and History. Marston follows the district's traditional model A, which requires 50% of all students in a GATE cluster or Seminar class be GATE identified, even though our GATE classes are typically 100% GATE students. We have one Seminar class at each grade level and at least one GATE cluster class in each grade.

Alex Nguyen is Marston's administrator of our GATE programs

Many of our teachers have advanced degrees and specialized training in their areas of expertise, and our GATE humanities teachers have GATE certification, which requires specialized training in differentiating instruction to provide depth and complexity, and meeting the social and emotional needs of gifted students.

GATE Teaching Strategies

GATE teachers strive to provide depth and complexity through:

  • curriculum compacting

  • Socratic seminar & philosophical chairs

  • in-depth exploration and research of global concepts and issues

  • problem and project based-learning

  • constructivist inquiry-based approach to building knowledge and understanding

Not all highly gifted students "shine" in humanities, their talents may be in math, science, music or other areas. Opportunities for student choice, creative expression, and college preparation include:

  • a stellar music program offering band and orchestra<

  • exploratory mini-courses for achieving students in robotics, rocketry, art, photography, dance, drama, French, video production, sewing, knitting, cooking, and much more

  • integration of technology across the disciplines

  • Integrated Math I (8th grade)offered on our campus
  • college readiness through our AVID program
  • interactive notebooks and Cornell notetaking emphasized
  • Leadership opportunities through ASB
  • Online graphic design and photography experience through publications
  • opportunity to become published authors through our literary magazine
  • CJSF (California Junior Scholastic Federation) membership for students with GPAs of 3.5 and above
  • student-initiated community service campaigns for all eighth graders

Icons of Depth and Complexity

The Home Front: Parent Resources for Supporting Gifted Pupils,

pdf of a PowerPoint presentation by Morgan Appel,

UCSDThe Social and Emotional Needs of Gifted Pupils

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