School Programs » GATE


Van Buren Elementary School GATE Program

“The surest path to high self-esteem is to be successful at something one perceived would be difficult. Each time we steal a student’s struggle, we steal the opportunity for them to improve their self-esteem” – Dr. Sylvia Rimm


Van Buren Elementary, a California Distinguished and Gold Ribbon school, is proud of its rigorous academic program where all students are highly motivated to excel in their areas of strength and improve in areas where they are challenged. Our goal, for our GATE students, is to provide opportunities to strengthen their knowledge, challenge their abilities to reach their full potential in every way. Students are taught to strive to improve and willingly seek challenges with courage and commitment.

Van Buren’s GATE program provides opportunities for its GATE identified and high achieving students in all curricular areas through the use of differentiated instruction, curriculum compacting, and Walk to Read groupings. GATE students at Van Buren are clustered within the regular education classroom with teachers who have been trained in differentiated instruction for gifted learners. Clustering provides students the opportunity to have higher level and more complex discussions with fellow GATE and high achieving classmates while also working and interacting with their typical peers.

In the cluster setting, GATE and high achieving students have the opportunity to compact the regular class curriculum. Demonstrating mastery prior to instruction allows them to progress through the California Common Core State Standards at a faster pace or to develop a deeper, more complex level of understanding of the standards. When appropriate, they may also receive supplemental materials from the next grade level for focused concept areas in math and language arts.  All Van Buren students, whether it be the identified gifted to the learning challenged, have abundant opportunities to have their academic needs met. Together with our regular student population, 4th, 5th and 6th grade GATE students are encouraged to continue to reach their full learning potential through diverse opportunities.

In addition to the classroom curriculum, Van Buren offers opportunities for GATE students to develop their leadership skills through our Student Service Organization and Peer Mentors program. Additionally, students may choose to participate in our annual Battle of the Books, school play, and the district honor music groups. Van Buren’s GATE program continues to grow and change as students’ needs are identified. We are dedicated to helping all students reach their greatest potential as lifelong learners and citizens of the greater community.

More information about our district GATE programs can be found at: District’s GATE website .