Gifted & Talented Education (GATE)

Providing the Education Gifted Students Need

This program is designed to challenge and motivate student who have the capacity for excellence beyond that of their age group.

Downey Unified’s goal for the GATE program is to provide these students with access to the most rigorous courses with highly qualified teachers, as well as provide educational experiences that expose students to local university programs and varied resources in Southern California.

In addition to academic excellence, on-site coordinators and counselors work with GATE students to make sure they are thriving outside of academics on a social-emotional level.

two teenage girls working on a robotics project

Two middle school GATE students building a robot to explore mechanical engineering concepts.

rigorous coursework

Rigorous Courses

Student Support

Student Support

Enriched Curriculum

Enriched Curriculum

Qualified Instructors

Qualified Instructors

Gate students

Enriched Learning Opportunities

In order to reinforce classroom lessons and provide a richer academic experience, GATE students are exposed to local resources and university programs. They will:
  • Participate in workshops at the Getty
  • Perform research in presidential libraries
  • Experience local arts center performances
  • Explore museums

Download a GATE Program Brochure

Does My Student Qualify for the GATE Program?

  • Students in the top CASSP testing levels are identified by school site
  • Teachers and/or parents can request testing through the GATE Lead at the site if the student meets the top level in CAASSP English/Math testing
  • Students take a nationally normed non-verbal reasoning test at the site. If students score 70% or higher on the reasoning test, they move on to the next steps:
    • Student GPAs are recorded
    • Evidence of the students’ critical thinking skills are gathered from their teachers
    • Student Qualification Packet is reviewed by a team of GATE Leads

    For more information, email Sara Maples, GATE Lead teacher at

GATE students working on a project

Teachers use “Depth and Complexity Elements” as a guide for enriching activities and lessons, asking students more sophisticated questions, guiding literature circles, and exploring topics during group or independent study.