Gifted and Talented Education (G.A.T.E.)

  • Welcome to the Gifted and Talented Education Program!

    Our G.A.T.E. program is a partnership between the S.M.U.H.S.D. and the G.A.T.E. Parents Group. Each of our comprehensive sites have a G.A.T.E. coordinator. Our program is available to District students only. Students are identified as G.A.T.E. from their previous schools or through the district criteria.  In the 2016-17 school year, we had approximately 2,000 G.A.T.E. identified students.

    We provide a flexible system of program options to gifted and talented students based on their needs, interests, and abilities. Honors, advanced standing, and advanced placement courses are available for students on all campuses. Our G.A.T.E. coordinators are capable, professional, and dedicated to assisting your child in reaching their fullest potential.

    Our district uses the following criteria to identify students for our GATE program. 



    Gate Parent Group Fall Classes

    Please note: A limited number of scholarships are available for the below workshops for SMUHSD students on a first come first serve basis for households with demonstrated financial need. For more information, visit the Gate PArents Group website. 


    Fall College Essay Strategies

    This GATE Parents Group-sponsored class focuses the development of quality essay and personal statement drafts for the UC and Common Application Essay prompts. HS seniors will have enrollment priority but interested juniors will be placed on a waiting list and admitted if space is available. Classes are also open to non-SMUHSD students.

    Orientation and small group sessions

    Location: Aragon High School

    Orientation: Tuesday, September 10, 6-8 pm

    Two Small Group Sessions: Tuesdays, September 17 and 24; 6-7 pm or 7-8 pm

    Two private follow up sessions with instructor

    Location: Burlingame Public Library

    45 minutes each (over course of Fall, variety of times to choose from)

    Early registration (discounted rate) through August 25.  Regular registration August 26 - September 9.

    Register online at

    Questions? Email the instructor Kevin Nelson at


    SAT and ACT Prep Classes 

    The GATE Parents Group sponsors SAT and ACT Preparation Classes several times a year, taught by SMUHSD teachers, appropriate for sophomores, juniors and seniors. They focus on test taking strategies and how the students can prepare themselves for the rigors of standardized testing. Classes are also open to non-SMUHSD students.


    Registration for the SAT class targeting the November 2, 2019 SAT test:

    Classes at San Mateo High, Saturdays: September 21, 28, October 12, (skip 10/5), 10/19, and 10/26

    Register for Morning Sessions (8:30am-noon) OR Afternoon Sessions (1pm-4:30pm)

    Early registration (discounted rate) through 8/25.  Regular registration 8/26-9/14.


    Registration for the ACT class targeting the October 26, 2019 ACT test:

    Classes at San Mateo High on 6 Saturdays: 9/14, 9/21, 9/28, 10/5, 10/12, and 10/19

    Register for Morning Session (9am-noon except last class 10/19 at 8am-noon)

    Early Registration (discounted rate) through 8/25.  Regular registration 8/26-9/7.


    For more information and to register, please visit

    For questions on the SAT Prep classes, email 

    For questions on the ACT Prep classes, email


    Important: Students are responsible for registration to take the actual tests.

    For SAT test registration, visit the College Board website

    For ACT test registration, visit

    Parent/Guardian Workshops and Presentations

    Workshop: The Well-Balanced Perspective on College “Fit”

    Thursday, September 12 | 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
    San Mateo Performing Arts Center
    600 North Delaware Street, San Mateo

    Spanish and Chinese interpretation will be provided.

    This program is presented in partnership with Challenge Success and the GATE Parents Group. 

    The college admissions process can be a source of stress and anxiety for students and parents alike. This research-based workshop addresses many of the important questions we hear from families. What do college rankings really measure? Are students who attend more selective colleges better off later in life? What is “fit” and why does it matter? 

    Participants will learn practical strategies to help reduce unnecessary pressure around the college admissions process and ways to support their student’s overall well-being and readiness for life in college and beyond. Participants will leave with practical strategies to apply at home and at school.

    Margaret Dunlap, M.A. 
    School Program Director, Challenge Success

    Margaret manages the School Program, providing coordination, resources, and support to Challenge Success schools and provides professional development and parent education to school communities nationwide. She has held various roles in leadership, teaching, and program management within public and private education for over 25 years.


    Angst Movie Screening and Speaker Panel

    The Hillsdale High School PTSO with the GATE Parents Group presents: “Angst” Screening and Speaker Panel on Thursday, October 10, 7 - 8:30 p.m. 

    Angst is a 56-minute film and virtual reality experience that explores anxiety, its causes, effects and what we can do about it. Discussion with speaker panel to follow.


    Stay Connected

    Sign up to receive timely information about GATE classes and Summer Enrichment programs. 


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