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Qualifying for CUSD GATE Program

CUSD GATE 16-17 Identification

The Capistrano Unified School District does not accept outside private assessment results.  Our identification process is systematic to allow for equitable access and standardization of identification. Also, only students currently enrolled in a CUSD school are eligible for testing.



As CUSD continues to seek out feedback from teachers, administrators, and community stakeholders as well as embark on a plan to collaborate with an outside evaluation research group to examine and refine its current GATE program, we have revised the GATE identification process to include stakeholder feedback. The revised identification process also strives to align itself to the Domains of Giftedness (National Association of Gifted Children as well as current academic content GATE program offerings as we move forward towards collaboratively defining giftedness in CUSD.


CUSD is committed to:

  • Providing access to all third grade students and utilizing multiple measures during initial universal screening
  • Providing access/identification at multiple grade levels
  • Utilizing objective measures
  • Considering language and cultural differences
  • Aligning academic measures to current GATE content/program offerings

Third Grade


  • Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Assessment (NNAT) - The NNAT is a nonverbal, culture-free general cognitive abilities test which aligns to the Intellectual Domain of Giftedness (NAGC).
  • 3rd grade SBA English Language Arts (ELA) Scale Score - The 3rd Grade SBA ELA scale score is a validated assessment aligned to both the Academic Domain of Giftedness (NAGC) and to the current content offerings in the GATE program.         



  • NNAT testing will take place in third grade classrooms mid-late March. School sites will have a two week window to determine the date and will send out notification to families. SBA testing also takes place in classrooms on various dates until the end of the school year.


Identification Criteria:

  • Criteria will be determined this spring and posted on the website this summer: Note: An equitable SBA scale score will be determined for English Learners to address second language learning.

Identification Notification:

  • SBA results are not reported to CUSD until mid-July, therefore notification of identification will be sent to schools and families in late July/early August. More detailed information will be created and distributed regarding notification.


Fourth and Fifth Grades: Criteria are being further reviewed and evaluated. Thank you for your continued patience. Please check back as we hope to have criteria available as soon as possible. As soon as criteria is available, it will be posted.




Non-Discrimination Statement

The Capistrano Unified School District prohibits discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying in all district activities, programs, and employment based upon actual or perceived gender, gender identity, gender expression, race, ethnicity, color, religion, ancestry, nationality, national origin, ethnic group identification, sex, sexual orientation, marital or parental status, pregnancy, age, physical or mental disability or on the basis of a person’s association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. Reference: AR 1312.3, BP 1312.3 and BP 5183.

Rich Montgomery, Executive Director, Human Resource Services/Compliance
33122 Valle Road, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
(949) 234-9200

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