Pat White
GATE Coordinator
(209) 953-8318

Connie Simpfenderfer
(209) 953-8318

The purpose of the Gifted and Talented Education Program (GATE) is to meet the intellectual needs of identified gifted children within the Lodi Unified School District.  GATE begins in 4th grade, providing program choices to best meet the individual needs of the the students. The GATE program offers students the ability to stay at their home school and be placed in a GATE cluster class or opt to be part of the lottery for a spot at one of the self-contained GATE classes offered at John Muir, Vinewood, or Elkhorn School. 

Gifted instructional strategies include differentiated instruction that provides rigor and depth in learning. Students often participate in cooperative learning groups working together to solve complex problems. The curriculum is compacted and accelerated providing pacing that meets the needs of gifted learners. Project-based and problem-based learning is a key component in GATE classrooms. Students are expected to be active participants in the learning process, both individually and as a team member. 




Grade 3 Students:

NNAT3 Score of 84th percentile or higher and one of the following:

Qualifying Lexile score of 650 on the Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI) - SRI given at the end of the 1st quarter                   
A score of 70% or higher on the Second Grade GATE Math Assessment
Qualifying Lexile score of 650 on the Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI) - SRI given at the end of the 1st quarter
A score of 70% or higher on the Second Grade GATE Math Assessment

*Title I sites where less than 5% of the population qualify may review students earning one advanced score and qualify up to 5% of those students.

Grade 4-6 Students:

Exceeding Standards score in both Math and ELA on the most recent state standardized test – must be within the last 2 years.

GATE FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is Gifted and Talented Education (GATE)?

The purpose of the GATE Program is to meet the intellectual and social needs of identified gifted students. GATE students are brought together to work with others of like ability in an environment that reinforces positive self-image, cooperation and collaboration, self-direction and an appreciation for learning as students develop their gifts and talents.

How do children get into a GATE Program?

  • The Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT2), a non-verbal and culture fair assessment of intellectual ability, is administered to all 3rd grade students.
  • Nominations from teachers and parents at any time in a child’s school career.
  • Standardized, Norm Referenced Tests, i.e. STAR testing.

 What are the GATE Program options for students within Lodi Unified School District?

  • GATE Self Contained classes for grades 4, 5, and 6 at John Muir, Vinewood, and Elkhorn school sites
  • GATE Clusters of students in grades 4-6 at all elementary schools
  • GATE Self Contained classes for grades 7 and 8 at Elkhorn Middle School and Pre AP (Advanced Placement) classes available at all middle schools
  • For high school students, there are honors level courses, Advanced Placement courses, various special interest academies, and organized academic competitions.

 Does a student have a better chance of attending Elkhorn Middle School if he/she attends Elkhorn Elementary School?

No, all GATE identified students are eligible to enter a lottery for the seats at Elkhorn Middle School. Students who attend the district cluster classes at their home school have the same chance to attend Elkhorn Middle School as those students who attend the SDC GATE classes for elementary school.

Do children in the GATE Program have more homework than other children?

The amount of homework in any class differs from student-to-student as children work at different speeds and varying levels of intensity. Children in the GATE Program may be expected to do different (more in depth) homework assignments, but usually are not expected to spend more time on homework than any other child.

Is there bus transportation for GATE children to attend John Muir, Vinewood, or Elkhorn School?

No, the district is no longer able to provide bus transportation.

Who do you contact if you need help in making a decision about your child’s qualifications or participation in the Lodi Unified School District’s GATE Program?

  • Talk to your child’s classroom teacher.
  • Talk to your school’s GATE Instructional Coach.
  • Call the GATE Office at 331-7406.


There are a number of websites that will provide teachers and parents with excellent information about gifted education.  Here are a few:

Academic Talent Search:

California Association for the Gifted:

Davidson Institute for Talent Develpment:

GATE World:

Hoagies Gifted Education Page:

Khan Academy:

Math is Fun:

National Association for the Gifted:

NOR-CAL GATE Summer Institute

Parent, teachers, administrators

Phoebe Hearst Elementary
1410 60th Street, Sacramento

June 27th 1 - 3 (novice), June 28 - 30, 8 - 3:00

Learn from gifted education experts and leaders.

To register: 

Math Olympiads

What are Math Olympiads? Intermediate grade students, usually in the 5th and 6th grades compete individually after practicing with their team by taking a series of 5 tests over a 5 month period, culminating in a district-wide tournament in the spring.  Last year 150,000 students from 6,000 teams worldwide participated in the Olympiads. 49 of the 50 states and about 30 other countries were represented. Lodi Unified School District encourages it’s elementary and middle schools to create Math Olympiad teams specifically to meet the needs of its advanced math students. Check with your child’s school to see if the program is available.

Why should your school take part in Math Olympiads?  We need to make sure the needs of advanced mathematical thinkers are being met. Tackling difficult problems allows the student to develop mathematical flexibility as well as strengthening his/her mathematical intuition, creativity and ingenuity. Math Olympiads students get an opportunity to compare their scores to the national average, to be challenged, to persevere and to improve. Perseverance is an important characteristic for advanced students to develop.

What do MO students like best about the experience?

“The hard thinking and doing it with all my friends.”

 “That it was problem solving not just boring repetitive math.”

 As always having “been a strong math student, it allows me to see alternative ways to solve something that sometimes has an easier method.”

Reading List

Click on the Document below to open a printable .pdf version of the GATE Reading List

GATE Reading List

GATE Committee Dates

GATE Committee, formerly GATE Advisory Committee, will hold 4 quarterly meetings. All meetings will be held at the district office in board room C from 3:30 - 5:00.

August 28, 2017

November 6, 2017

February 12, 2018 (Lottery date)

April 9, 2018