La Costa Meadows Elementary School

Today's Learning is Tomorrow's Future

Gifted & Talented Education (GATE)


The philosophy of the San Marcos Unified School District’s Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) program is to provide a challenging education to all students identified as gifted and talented and to build on their inherent strengths by developing critical, abstract thinking, creative ability, high problem solving skills, and positive self-concepts to enhance personal and academic success. The SMUSD GATE program modifies the core curriculum in content, process, and product to develop depth, complexity, and novelty to meet the needs of gifted students by exceeding state academic content standards. Differentiated curriculum is offered as an integral part of each day within the regular classroom. Teachers implement a variety of appropriate instructional models, techniques, and approaches based on current research and training in the teaching of the gifted.

The district provides equal opportunity for all students to be screened for the GATE program. Students in the third grade may be recommended by teachers or parents to take the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT2). The deadline to submit the recommendation form is Friday, December 4th, 2015. 
If you are interested in recommending your child for GATE testing, please ask your child's teacher for a form.  Students are identified using multiple criteria: achievement data, report cards, intelligence assessment tools, classroom work products, and information from both parents and teachers. 
Each school has a site GATE Coordinator that is responsible for identification and testing of students, working with teachers to provide materials for differentiation, holding information nights for parents, and coordinating enrichment activities at the school.

LCM GATE coordinator is Susan Smith, 4th grade teacher.  She can be contacted at (760) 290-2121 or, or you may contact Stephanie Kennedy, our Assistant Principal at

Please click here to visit the District GATE Page