Educational Services » Gifted and Talented Education (GATE)

Gifted and Talented Education (GATE)


Dear RBUSD Parent/Guardian:
The Redondo Beach Unified School District recognizes the needs of students with exceptional abilities through the Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) program. The RBUSD GATE program identifies gifted and talented students and provides them with learning opportunities based on their individual needs, capabilities, and strengths. The purpose of the RBUSD GATE program is not to simply identify our highest achieving students. Rather, it is our goal to identify students with exceptional abilities, well beyond their peer group, and determine how we can best provide differentiated learning experiences for them.

All GATE students in RBUSD are served through a number of delivery models and settings. GATE identified students receive differentiated instruction in clustered groups in classrooms during the regular school day and participate in enrichment opportunities throughout the year. It is important to note that while GATE participation is one of the criteria that could potentially identify secondary students in honors courses, it is not the only or most important criteria. Participation in GATE does not automatically guarantee that secondary students will be identified for honors/AP courses, and students not participating in GATE may still participate in honors/AP courses.

With the transition to the Common Core State Standards and a new state assessment system replacing the California Standards Test (CST), the Redondo Beach Unified School District has reevaluated the criteria for GATE eligibility. RBUSD students will be eligible for GATE by performing at or above the 95th percentile on the Otis Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT) or the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT). All third grade students in RBUSD will have equal opportunity to participate in either the OLSAT or NNAT assessment. Third grade parents will be notified as we get closer to the April assessment window and will have the opportunity for their child to opt-out of testing. Fourth and fifth grade students who have not taken the OLSAT/NNAT in previous years and/or are new to RBUSD will also have the opportunity to participate.

If your child does not qualify for GATE identification, that does not mean that he/she is not bright and does not have incredible school and life potential. Please be sensitive in talking with your child about this topic as we do not want any student to feel any undue pressure, anxiety or stress about this topic. If you have concerns, please seek out your child's teacher or principal. For more information regarding identification of gifted students overall, please visit:
GATE students are invited to participate in an after school enrichment class. These classes are taught by RBUSD teachers at the student's school site. For the 2016-17 school year, the classes will be offered for 8 weeks beginning in January/February 2017.
Numerous resources are available today that provide information and advice about gifted education and gifted kids; it can be daunting to select only one or two. The California Gifted Network organization has listed those resources which we have personally found to be useful in living and working with gifted individuals.

Please click here to access the California Gifted Network's resource page.

Effective January 2, 2014, Redondo Beach Unified School District (RBUSD) students may qualify for the Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) Program through any one of the following criteria:

A percentile score of 95 or higher on a single administration of the

Otis Lennon Ability Test (OLSAT)


A percentile score of 95 or higher on a single administration of the

Naglieri Non-Verbal Ability Test (NNAT)

OLSAT and NNAT administration occurs in the spring of each school year for all RBUSD 3

rd grade students with parent option to opt-out.

Students from outside districts, both in-state and out-of-state, with existing GATE eligibility who transfer into the Redondo Beach Unified School District may have their eligibility evaluated by the Office of Educational Services upon request.


School GATE Site Specialist Contact Information
Alta Vista Bridget Vorland
Beryl Heights Marci Cohn
Birney Robin Rau
Jefferson Emily Butler 
Lincoln Kimberley Caywood
Madison Kristen Lem
Tulita Tracy Kelly
Washington Tammi Rubasky
Adams Middle Amy Tennant
Parras Middle Jodi Beharrell


District GATE Contact:
Pam Cadena, Teacher on Special Assignment, Educational Services -

RBUSD GATE Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. What is GATE?

Local GATE programs are developed to provide unique opportunities for pupils in California public elementary and secondary schools that have been identified as gifted and talented, including those who are high-achieving and underachieving.

2. How does my child qualify for GATE program participation?

GATE students are identified in grade 3 by participating in either the Otis Lennon School Ability Test assessment or the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test assessment and scoring at or above the 95th percentile.

3. Why is state testing no longer being used as identification for the GATE program?

Upon re-evaluation of program eligibility criteria, and due to the suspension of the California Standards Test (CST), RBUSD will no longer be using assessments that measures knowledge derived from classroom instruction. In our interest to identify gifted students, RBUSD will be using assessments that measure a student’s natural cognitive ability. These are not assessments in which students can prepare for ahead of time. Students should approach the assessment with no inhibitions.

4. What is the OLSAT?

The Otis–Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT) is a test of abstract thinking and reasoning ability of children. The OLSAT is group-administered, multiple choice, taken with pencil and paper, measures verbal, quantitative, and spatial reasoning ability. The test yields verbal and nonverbal scores, from which a total score is derived, called a School Ability Index (SAI). The OLSAT is a paper and pencil test.

5. What is the NNAT?

The Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT) is a nonverbal measure of general ability. Like all nonverbal ability tests, the NNAT is intended to assess cognitive ability independently of linguistic and cultural background. This assessment is typically used with students whose first language was something other than English. The NNAT3 is administered online.

6. When can my child take the OLSAT/NNAT?

The OLSAT/NNAT assessment window is February - April of each school year. Each school site will have a designated day to administer the assessments, as well as one designated make up day.

7. Can I choose to not have my child assessed?

Yes, all third grade parents will have the option to have their child opt-out of OLSAT/NNAT testing.

8. My child has an IEP, can they still participate in the assessments?


9. My child has a 504 plan, can they still participate in the assessment?


10. My child is an English Language Learner, can they still participate in the assessment?


11. What happens after the OLSAT/NNAT assessment?

You will be notified of your child’s assessment results in June or early July, when you receive a copy of the OLSAT/NNAT Student Score Reports for your records and notification of GATE eligibility.

12. If my child is in GATE, will they automatically be enrolled in advanced courses in middle and high school?

No, GATE participation is not one of the criteria used for class placement at any of our middle schools or our high school. Therefore, participation in GATE does not guarantee that secondary students will be identified for honors/AP courses, and students not participating in GATE still enroll in honors/AP courses.

13. Can my 4th or 5th grader take the OLSAT/NNAT?

For the 2016-17 school year, 4th-7th grade students who have not been assessed, were assessed in the 2015-16 school year and scored between the 90th and 94th percentile, and students new to RBUSD can participate in OLSAT/NNAT testing in 2017 upon parent request.

14. If I feel my child is gifted at an age younger than 3rd grade, can I recommend that they be tested?

No, students are only eligible in the winter/spring trimester of their 3rd grade year.

15. Are there any exceptions made to GATE identification criteria?

Yes, 4th through 8th grade students who are new to the Redondo Beach Unified School District and have not been previously GATE identified may participate in OLSAT/NNAT testing upon parent request.

16. Who can I contact with questions about GATE?

Each of our K-8 school sites has a GATE Site Specialist, a current classroom teacher, who oversees all activities related to the GATE program at his/her school site. A list of current GATE Site Specialist is located above.