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Mission Statement

The mission of the Rocklin Unified School District’s Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) Program is to identify gifted and high achieving students, including those from diverse racial, socio-economic, linguistic, and cultural backgrounds, and to provide high quality differentiated instructional opportunities for learning that meet the needs of these students’ unique abilities.

Program Description

The goal of the Rocklin Unified School District’s GATE Program is to provide differentiated learning opportunities during the regular school day for identified students. Differentiation is a process of modifying curriculum content and/or teaching methodologies used with the core curriculum so that students may learn at their own ability level and at their own pace. Strategies used may include but are not limited to flexible grouping, acceleration, in-depth study, complexity and novelty.
Click to view: What is Differentiated Education?

Referral Process

The referral process may be initiated at any time during the school year by a parent, a teacher, a peer or the student. Referral forms are available in each school office or may be downloaded from this website. Testing occurs during the fall (for 2nd -12th graders) and the winter (for 1st graders). One final make-up session is offered for students who have missed the fall or winter testing.

Formal Identification Process

A GATE student’s general intellectual development is significantly advanced in relation to chronological peers. The process to be formally identified in the GATE Program begins with a determination of:
  • Intellectual or Cognitive Ability - Tests include the Raven Progressive Matrices Plus, the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test, or the Weschler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC). A student must score at or above the gifted range.
In addition, the process may include up to three additional measures of a student’s ability or potential:
  • Achievement  - Standardized achievement tests in math and reading/language arts include the CAT6 or CST – Student must score at the advanced level or indicate other evidence of above grade level achievement in math and/or reading.
  • Gifted Student Characteristics - Student profiles are obtained from parents and current teacher. 
  • Impact Factors - Medical history, socio-economic status and participation in the English Language Learner Program are taken into consideration.
If a student has been identified in a previous district using criteria that meets or exceeds the criteria used in the Rocklin Unified School District, the student will be identified without further testing.

Placement Options

  • Elementary School/Clusters: Identified GATE students are clustered within the regular classroom at all sites and are provided differentiated instruction by teachers who are given specific training on meeting the unique needs of these students.
  • Elementary School/Self-Contained Program: Identified students are given the opportunity to attend self-contained GATE classrooms at Rocklin Elementary School in grades 2 through 6 (on a space available basis).
  • Middle School: Advanced opportunities are offered in the GATE Academies (Key/Quest at Granite Oaks and Cornell/Stanford at Spring View) to identified GATE students in 7th and 8th grade.
  • High School: A variety of opportunities are offered to identified students including: advanced classes in Geometry and Algebra II, a variety of honors and Advanced Placement classes, Academic Decathlon, Mock Trial, the ability to challenge a class in order to move on to more challenging material, and dual enrollment at a local college.

Enrollment Procedures for GATE Program and Rocklin Elementary

If your child is already enrolled at a RUSD school, you can go to step #2. 
  1. Student registration for the 2023-24 school year opens on Tuesday, 1/17/2023. Complete the Online Registration procedures for your school of residence. This includes uploading or turning in all required documentation to your school of residence. Your registration is not complete until all documents are turned in or uploaded. 
  2. To qualify for the GATE program a student must be GATE identified. RUSD conducts Universal Screening for GATE in 1st Grade. Students qualifying for GATE through Universal Screening will be offered a spot in the self-contained GATE program at Rocklin Elementary for 2nd Grade. RUSD also accepts GATE qualification from other districts and/or private psychologists. New or continuing students in grades 2-6 should contact Sarah Soares ( with questions.
  3. If qualified, students not residents of Rocklin Elementary will need to complete an Intradistrict Permit Application. The intradistrict permit will allow the student to transfer from their school of residence to Rocklin Elementary. Intradistrict permits must be signed by the principal at your school of residence (home school) and then submitted to Rocklin Elementary for approval. Upon approval by Rocklin Elementary, you will be contacted by the school to confirm your enrollment there.

Enrollment Process for GATE Program For Non-RUSD Students

If your child is in grades 1 through 6, not currently enrolled in a RUSD school, and is not already identified as GATE, you may apply for GATE testing here. Please note, the Out-of-District testing window closes February 15, 2023.
Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) Program at Rocklin Elementary

Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) Program at Rocklin Elementary



RUSD GATE Coordinator:
Sarah Soares
Rocklin Unified School District