GATE Identification Process and Timeline


The Sacramento City Unified School District utilizes multiple measures to determine GATE eligibility including measures of intellectual capability, academic work, and profiles of gifted characteristics. All first and third grade students are screened for further evaluation in the GATE identification process.  Parents, teachers and principals may nominate students in grades 2, 4-6 through the referral process.

Universal GATE Screening Begins in January

The first step in the screening process for Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) services is a cognitive abilities assessment administered to all 1st and 3rd grade SCUSD students this January. SCUSD utilizes multiple measures to identify students for services. This screening assessment is but one part of the GATE screening process. To learn more about the SCUSD GATE Identification Pathways, click here1st grade students are assessed utilizing the Naglieri Non-Verbal Abilities Test (NNAT3). 3rd grade students are assessed utilizing the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) Form 7. 

GATE screening assessment will happen in classrooms between January 17th- February 17th  

1st Grade GATE Screening Notification Information







3rd Grade Parent Information







All Opt-out letters are due to The GATE Office by Monday, January 9th. 







District-Wide GATE Screening Timeline 


  • Notfication to Families of GATE Screening


  • GATE Screening for all 1st & 3rd graders — ALL Schools
    • NNAT3 – Paper/Pencil – 1st grade students
    • CogAT7 – Computers – 3rd grade students


  • Assessment scoring by publishers
  • Multiple Measures Data Collection


  • Schools and families are notified of GATE Identification Results
  • GATE Orientation Meetings (regionally)
  • GATE Center Site Visits (Contact sites)
  • Deadline to request GATE Center Placement — TBD
  • Lottery for GATE Centers — TBD
  • Families are notified of GATE Center placements — TBD

GATE Referral Process 

Students not yet identified for GATE Services in SCUSD may be referred for screening by either their parents/guardians or current/past teacher. Students eligible for referral include any student who is new to SCUSD, or is in 2nd grade or grades 4-6.  

Referral Screening happens regionally at schools on the following dates:

  • August 11, 2016 (Serna Center)
  • October 13, 2016 (MLK K-8)
  • January 19, 2017 (Camellia Elementary)
  • March 16, 2017 (site- TBD)
  • May 18, 2017 (site- TBD)

Referral Steps for Parents

  1. Print out the Parent Referral Form.
  2. Complete the form.
  3. Collect any relevant outside data and documentation (academic test results, GATE identification documentation from other states/districts, report cards, etc).
  4. Submit the Referral Form, the documentation, and the Parent Profile of Gifted Characteristics to the GATE Office.
  5. The GATE Office will contact parents/guardians to confirm referral screening on one of the dates listed above. 

Referral Steps for Teachers

  1. Print out the Teacher Referral Form
  2. Complete the form.
  3. Collect any relevant outside data and documentation (academic test results, report cards, etc).
  4. Submit the Referral Form, the documentation, and the Teacher Profile of Gifted Characteristics to the GATE Office.
  5. The GATE Office will contact parents/guardians to obtain permission for screening, and confirm referral screening on one of the dates listed above.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is “G.A.T.E.?” 

The GATE program, “Gifted and Talented Education,” is the educational program designed to address the learning styles of the students who have been identified as gifted and talented. GATE services are based on the most current research in gifted education.
These are in keeping with the State Education Code’s directions for services for the gifted and talented. Differentiation of course content is achieved through added depth, complexity, novelty, and acceleration. Teachers across the district are provided with opportunities to attend staff development in differentiation of instruction. 

What should my child do to prepare for the screening? Can they study?

As a parent you can: 

  • Ensure that your child is completing all school assignments.
  • Help your child to develop good study habits, thinking skills, and a positive attitude towards learning.
  • Ensure that your child has good attendance at school.
  • Stay in communication with your child’s teacher.
  • Encourage your child to read as much and as widely as possible.
  • Look for educational games and programs that engage your child.
  • Help your child learn how to follow directions carefully.
  • Help your child to embrace failure and encourage a “growth mindset.”
  • Speak to your child as often as possible.
  • Be aware that there is no specific preparation for an intelligence test.  Pre-exposure to similar test items may invalidate the test results.

Schools will notify parents in advance of the expected test day.  Prepare your child as follows:

  • Make sure your child is prepared
  • Inform your child of the upcoming test.
  • Assure your child that you are aware of the test and approve of their taking the test.
  • Remain positive
  • Staying calm will help your child stay calm. Discuss relaxation techniques that can be used if needed.
  • Make sure your child gets a good night’s sleep and eats a healthy breakfast

If your child is not well on the morning of the test, please keep your child home.  Tests can be rescheduled for illness BUT reassessment requests are not valid because of an illness.

After the Test:

  • Test scores will help determine your child’s program eligibility and scheduling needs and help guide the teacher in implementing instruction in the classroom.
  • Talk to your child’s teacher/counselor regarding appropriate programs and courses.
  • Discuss test results generally with your child.  
  • Assure your child that all results are positive.

What is the CogAT7 Full-Battery?

The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) is a multiple choice test written by Dr. David F. Lohman and published by Riverside Publishing. It is used to measure cognitive development among children and is often used to identify gifted children for services in gifted and talented programs across the United States. The CogAT was first published in 1968. The most current version of the CogAT, the CogAT Form 7, was published in 2011.

The CogAT is made up of three sections called batteries: the Verbal Battery, the Quantitative Battery, and the Nonverbal Battery. These batteries take approximately 30 minutes each and can be administered separately over a series of days. They are designed to assess specific reasoning skills in each area that correlate strongly to academic success. More specifically, the CogAT measures cognitive development, the ability to learn new tasks, and problem solving abilities. Because much of its content is nonverbal, the CogAT is also very useful for testing students who are not native English speakers. 

CogAT Assessment Components Explanation for Parents

What is the NNAT2 (Naglieri)?

The Naglieri Non-Verbal Ability test is a matrix reasoning type of exam that contains diagrams and shapes that form patterns and shapes. The Naglieri test is considered a non-verbal test and unbiased toward a child whose first language is not English. Naglieri Non-Verbal Ability Tests include different types of questions – pattern completion, reasoning by analogy, serial reasoning and spatial visualization.