The GATE DAC is one of several key parent-led committees that officially advise the school district on specific matters (such as gifted education, special education, Title 1, and English Language Learning). The main role of the GATE DAC is to: 1) Educate GATE parents on current developments, issues, problems and solutions in/around GATE identification, placement, programming, best practices, and evidence-based GATE strategies; and 2) Advise district staff and BoE via feedback, input, and recommendations regarding district plans for programming, goals, objectives, and services for the GATE program. In order to facilitate parent input in planning and evaluation of GATE programs, parent representatives from each school volunteer to work with the school's GATE Team Leaders to coordinate efforts on parent development, to promote communication on GATE issues, and to enhance the school's GATE program. The bylaws are available here.
GATE DAC meetings are held from 6:30-8pm. Everyone is welcome.
Meeting dates for 2020-21 are:
(Due to Covid-19 the meetings are being held online until further notice. Find more information here.)
The meetings are open to everyone so you can attend and learn from the District staff and guest speakers who make presentations or provide updates. You can volunteer to be on one of the special interest working groups. To take it to the next level and become a formal voting member of the committee you must be nominated by your Principal as your school's official representative or alternate. You can see who is currently your school rep by looking at the GATE Program Summaries posted here.
The GATE DAC is led by an executive team consisting of a Chair plus 2 Vice-Chairs that is elected to serve a 2-year term. The next election will be in May 2021 so consider nominating someone, or running yourself. Two additional members at-large may be nominated by the Chair but those positions are currently unfilled. The new Chair beginning in Sept 2019 is David Vaughan. The two Vice-Chairs are Janis Tan and Jennifer Marrewa. You can contact them at email@example.com
The District's official GATE DAC website is here,.
The GATE DAC meeting schedule and meeting notes are here.
The GATE DAC has just created a new Facebook page - search Facebook for "GATESD"
Another Facebook page for GATE parents is called "San Diego Gifted Child Resource"
You can email the parent volunteer led executive team for GATE DAC at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can email the District about GATE issues at email@example.com or call 619-725-7242
Inquiries re GATE testing/identification should be directed to your school Principal and/or school site psychologist.
Each school posts their GATE Program Summary online here.
Your school Principal is your main POC for any inquiries about the GATE program.
For over 45 years, the GATE DAC has served as an important partner for program development, review, innovation, and implementation. Through it's decades of work, the GATE DAC has engaged parents as stakeholders and helped maintain program quality.
Since it was organized back in 1972 by Dave Hermanson and Eugene Brucker, GATE parents representing all the schools across the District have met monthly with SDUSD program administrators.
Through their active involvement in the GATE DAC, parents have played a key role in the SDUSD gifted program. Parents have always used their voice to advise the District, and channel community questions and concerns for followup and action.
They also act as the liaison between the District and families to help disseminate program information and educate parents and teachers about gifted education.
The GATE DAC is one of several District Advisory Committees that report annually to the Board of Education. It partners with these other DACs on cross-cutting issues such as special education, Title 1, and ELL.
Other key partners include the California Association for the Gifted (CAG) and Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG) as well as University of California San Diego Extension (which delivers GATE teacher certification training for SDUSD).
San Diego City Schools had been providing gifted students with special educational programs for 11 years when in 1961, the CA legislature passed AB361: the Mentally Gifted Minors (MGM) program. It was based on a 4-year study of 17 statewide GATE programs, in which San Diego was hailed as a success story.
San Diego's GATE program has a a strong and proud legacy. According to Bonnie Demming's history of GATE in San Diego: “The GATE program has been recognized throughout the City, County, and Nation as the most exemplary community involvement with gifted children in the nation.”
The influential federal Marland Report (1972) made the following statement:
"Gifted and Talented children are, in fact, deprived and can suffer psychological damage and permanent impairment of their abilities to function well which is equal to or greater than the similar deprivation suffered by any other population with special needs served by the Office of Education."(pp. xi-xii)
After four decades, the Federal government's role in the delivery of GATE services is still virtually non-existent - allocating only 0.02% of its budget via the Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Act which is perpetually under attack by political opponents.
More GATE history here.
Several key events have coalesced to make GATE advocacy in San Diego even more critical. At the state level, the passage of LCFF legislation in 2013 mandates parent engagement in developing and reviewing the school district's 3-year LCAP. This is now parent's main point of leverage for influencing all SDUSD priorities, including GATE.
In 2013, the sections of the CA Education Code about GATE were repealed. Parents need to impress upon educational decision-makers (including state legislators, the County Office of Education, SDUSD administrators, the Board of Education, and even Principals at individual school sites) the significance of GATE and the need to explicitly write it into policy. Now that GATE in California is voluntary and not specifically funded, parents have a pivotal role to play to ensure that GATE is understood and supported, not eliminated.
At the local level, SDUSD closed their GATE office in 2017 (eliminating both the GATE manager and resource teacher positions) and adopted a "site based" model for GATE, which gave Principals direct control of their own programs. This new more dispersed model of GATE management weakens the oversight role of District administration and makes it much harder for the GATE DAC to act effectively.
Do something! Big or small! Get involved!
~Does your school have a rep sitting on the GATE DAC? Ask your Principal and volunteer.
~Attend the GDAC meetings and volunteer on one of the special interest working groups.
~Help out your school 's GDAC rep; e.g., set up a GATE info table at your school's family events (print our DIY GATE Info poster on the Downloads page here).
~Check your school's GATE Program Summary online here - is your school living up to it? If not, speak to your Principal and your schools GATE Team Lead Teacher.
~Participate in the LCAP process - this year will be key since the next 3-yr plan will be written (is GATE mentioned in it?)
~Attend your Cluster meetings or find out who from your school does and talk about GATE issues.
~Participate in your school site governance councils that set priorities and assign funding (the SSC or SGC). Ask your Principal if there is anyone on that team representing GATE.