Westminster School District Mission for GATE Students
- nurture potential of students
- challenge those with advanced learning capabilities
- address the needs of gifted learners across all curricular areas
- raise awareness that the utilization of differentiated instruction is a necessary tool in ensuring all student's mastery of academic standards (effective teaching)
How do we differentiate at our schools?
The staff in Westminster School District believes each child is unique and deserving of a rich educational environment. We recognize that each student is a unique individual with different abilities, interests, and learning styles. We believe in a student-centered approach, which provides an atmosphere in which a child’s social, emotional, and intellectual needs are equally important. Westminster’s ultimate goal of education is to provide each student with the skills and knowledge that will enable him/her to aspire to the highest level of achievement in his/her chosen endeavors.
To meet the needs of gifted learners, from kindergarten through sixth grade, Westminster teachers, provide a differentiated curriculum that will compact, enrich, and/or accelerate the regular curriculum. Differentiated instruction is not a single strategy, but rather an approach to instruction that incorporates a variety of strategies. Differentiation is not just a “gifted” word. Every child has the right to learn, and that rate of learning is not universal for all children. However, all students need high expectations. Differentiation is providing and planning pathways according to the needs and readiness of your students.
Teacher/District GATE Training
Representatives from five school districts (WSD, FVSD, OVSD, HBCSD, and GGUSD) came together to define standard requisite competencies for G.A.T.E teachers. This committee created a GATE teacher certification process which meets state requirements. This process includes teacher in-services, teacher collaborations to design differentiated lessons, lesson demonstrations, administrative observations, and yearly professional development. All GATE classrooms within Westminster School District have GATE trained teachers.