Eligibility Process

GATE Eligibility Process 


The St. Joseph School District’s program for gifted children is an extension of the school curriculum. 



To ensure equitable screening, the SJSD administers the Naglieri General Abilities Test and the Renzulli Teacher Rating Scales to all second-grade students in the spring. Based upon the results of this test in combination with their iReady Diagnostic scores, further testing may be needed for qualification. Local norms are used to improve identification for all segments of the SJSD student population. 


Once Testing Is Completed 

Students must meet the minimum eligibility criteria as set by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. 


Three of the four criteria for placement into GATE must be present: 

  • General Mental Ability – 95th percentile or higher General Ability Index (GAI) or Full-Scale IQ 
    • Scores can come from a Full-Scale IQ, NNAT3, or CoGAT testing 
  • Academic Ability - 95th percentile or higher on specific subtests of national achievement tests (composite total Reading or total Math from iReady, MAP, or equivalent testing)
  • Creativity/Critical Thinking Assessment - Torrance Test of Creativity
  • Teacher Rating Scales - Renzulli Teacher Rating Scales

The Student Meets the Criteria for Placement 

If the child meets the GATE criteria for placement, a letter is distributed to the parents and families. The sending school building principal is notified as are GATE teachers. The district does not provide transportation from a private school to a GATE site. The GATE teacher will also speak with the parent/guardian about orientation, if applicable. 


The Student Doesn’t Meet the Criteria for Placement 

For a child that does not meet the criteria, a letter is sent to parents and families stating such along with the testing results and recommendations. This same information is sent to the home school. At this point the parent/guardian may contact the test administrator or gifted department chair for further explanation of test results. 


Appealing the Testing Outcome 

The school or parents may request an appeal after a one calendar year waiting period from the initial testing date. Any additional documentation considered pertinent should be included in the appeal. GATE Policy requires that a minimum of 4 student work samples and/or teacher observations be included. Once the appeal is received by the St. Joseph School District Academic Services Department, the file will be reviewed for any additional pertinent information. A letter will be sent to the individual making the appeal indicating the action and/or further steps.


Variations of the Typical GATE Referral Process 

Gifted Program Student from Another District 

A student who was in a gifted program in another district must be pre-screened to determine if the student qualifies based upon the St. Joseph School District’s criteria. The student’s previous school records (including all information pertaining to the gifted evaluation process, gifted placement, gifted progress, etc.) must be sent to the St. Joseph School District Academic Services Department for review. In the event that the student meets qualifications, the parents/families will be notified. If the student does not meet initial eligibility criteria, the student will not be admitted to the program. 


Returning SJSD Schools GATE Student 

Once a student has qualified for the gifted program in SJSD, the student maintains eligibility status. If a student has withdrawn from the program and the parent desires the student to return, the student does not need to be rescreened. Instead, the parent needs to give written notification of the student’s desire to return to GATE to the child’s school and to the Academic Services Department.


Student Who Did Not Previously Qualify 

A student who has previously been referred to the gifted program but did not qualify must have an Appeal filed in order to be reconsidered. Unless there was some type of problem (child was sick, death in the family) during the testing, the student must wait one year from the previous testing before appealing his/her results. 



Students who reside in the St. Joseph School District  boundaries but attend a private or parochial school, or who are homeschooled, may be referred by a parent or teacher to determine if a student is eligible for gifted education services. For any student referrals, contact the Academic Services Department. Referred students will follow the regular screening process. Those who qualify for further testing, will follow the testing process as indicated in the “Testing” paragraph. 

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