Sunday, September 21, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

GATE program gets extension, new name

School board members Nancy Peterson, Sheila Allen and Gina Deleiden listen to Elinor Olsen, a retired Davis teacher from the first GATE program in 1965. Wayne Tilcock/Enterprise photo

By
From page A1 | May 03, 2013 |

After another long discussion — including much public comment — the Davis school board voted 4-0 on Thursday night to change the name of the district’s Gifted and Talented Education program to the Alternative Instructional Model program.

Acting with the same 4-0 majority, the school board also renewed the existing master plan for the program that was adopted in 2008, and extended that plan’s time frame until a new master plan is developed and adopted. The school board also directed staff to start assigning all students to an “appropriate math placement” when the new school year begins in the fall.

Superintendent Winfred Roberson was directed to explore partnerships with education researchers and professors at UC Davis to advise the district regarding the district’s current GATE program and possible alternative classroom methods. Roberson was directed to come back to the school board with information on how to reorganize what has been known as the GATE Advisory Committee, a group that trustees Nancy Peterson and Gina Daleiden characterized as “dysfunctional” in its present form.

District staff was also directed to “review existing (program) structures at all sites,” looking for structures that unite or divide students. School board president Sheila Allen urged “the mixing of classes (of students in different programs) at every opportunity” in everyday activities. District staff was also asked to determine whether all recommendations from previous reports on GATE in the last eight years were adopted.

Additionally, Associate Superintendent Clark Bryant was directed to initiate a study on the impact of AIM, Montessori and Spanish Immersion relating to the neighborhood classroom program, including consideration of school climate, the achievement gap, students’ academic achievement, social/emotional development, self-perceptions and attitudes toward school. This study will be part of a long-range planning process that the school district is preparing to launch.

Trustee Nancy Peterson, speaking before the vote to change the name of the program, said she is “interested in improving what is happening at all our sites, including sites that do not have self-contained GATE. I’d like to see all of our schools offer what children need at every site. I do believe there is a place for self-contained GATE, the extent I do not know … I am interested in alternatives.”

Trustee Gina Daleiden said she is “concerned that the neighborhood program (and alternative programs that are also at the campus) get along at the same school,” and referred to the sometimes harsh nature of recent community discussion of GATE, saying  “we’ve had months of judgment.” Daleiden added: “There has to be some amount of trust between the partners … that clearly isn’t there. It really is painful to see people turn against each other.”

Trustee Susan Lovenburg observed: “I have anecdotal evidence about what works in this program coming out my ears … I want any changes to be informed by research and our own student data.”

Associate professor Michal Kurlaender of the UC Davis School of Education likewise remarked that in recent months, “I was struck how the debate (over GATE) has been fueled by testimonies, and how little (was said) on research … I urge you to reach — not very far — into UC Davis and get some research expertise.”

Retired GATE teachers Elinor Olsen and Debbie Nichols Poulos spoke highly of the current self-contained program, with Olsen saying “every child should have a developmentally appropriate program” and  Nichols Poulos advising  that “advanced learners can become terrible role models because when not offered appropriate curriculum they become disengaged.”

Evelyn Falkenstein, who identified herself as “a GATE parent and now a GATE grandma,” expressed concerns about moving away from the self-contained model, saying students “should be learning something themselves, not aiding their classmates, not treading water in clusters, not isolated from other rapid learners, not pulled out for short periods of the day, a solution widely discredited … If GATE students are going to sit on their hands for a year of their lives, then ADA (Average Daily Attendance funding) should not accrue to the district for them.”

Marla Cook, a GATE teacher at Willett Elementary, asked “why you would want to dismantle a program that has worked so long for so many is completely incomprehensible to me.” Which prompted trustee Lovenburg to say, a few minutes later, “I didn’t hear any discussion of elimination of the program at the board level.” Superintendent Roberson quickly added “Or the administrative level.”

Several speakers offered widely differing assessments of the performance of a facilitator that the district brought into two recent GATE Advisory Committee meetings. Bob Irwin said “those against GATE seek to protect the facilitator’s agenda because the facilitator’s agenda is their agenda.”
Karen Hamilton replied: “I don’t believe Irwin’s account was fair or accurate” and urged the trustees to “look at school climate and the needs of the district as a whole.” But both Irwin and Hamilton suggested working with Sacramento State researcher David Jelinek, who did a study on the Davis district GATE program in 2005.
Laura Anderson, a teacher at Patwin Elementary, said: “I feel a facilitator is appropriate” and added that she “supports and encourages exploration of some alternatives to the self-contained model in meeting the needs of students.”

Comments

comments

.

News

Elementary school counselors: necessary, but poorly funded

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
 
Bet Haverim hosts High Holy Day services

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1

Teams assess damage as wildfire burns

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Driver arrested for DUI after Saturday morning crash

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

 
Help raise funds for juvenile diabetes cure

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Jewelry, art for sale at Senior Center

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Davis Community Meals needs cooks

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Send kids to camp!

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Da Vinci awarded $38,000 for restorative justice program

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

Hawk Hill trip planned Sept. 30

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
UC campus chancellors granted hefty pay raises

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Outdoor yoga marathon celebrates community

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

Wise words

By Sue Cockrell | From Page: A12

 
.

Forum

Awareness is key to this fight

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Where is this going?

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A6

We’re living in the Golden State of emergency

By Debra DeAngelo | From Page: A6

 
Options for protection come with flu season

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Are we there yet? Not enough hours in the day to goof off

By Tanya Perez | From Page: A6Comments are off for this post

 
Archer will get my vote

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

It’s time for Davis Scouts to stand up for what is right

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

 
Mike Keefe cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

Building something at schools’ HQ

By Our View | From Page: A10

 
Don’t sell city greenbelt

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Paso Fino project is flawed

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Paso Fino — it’s not worth it

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Speak out

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Maybe David can beat Goliath again

By Lynne Nittler | From Page: A11 | Gallery

.

Sports

DHS gets on its Morse to beat Edison

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
JV Blue Devils drop low-scoring affair

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B2

 
Wire briefs: Giants rally falls short in San Diego

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Four local swimmers qualify for Olympic Trials

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

 
Republic FC’s fairy tale season continues

By Evan Ream | From Page: B3 | Gallery

‘We’re a way better team’ than record, says UCD’s Shaffer

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
UCD roundup: Aggie men pound Pomona-Pitzer in the pool

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B4

Davis 15-year-old making a splash in European F4 series

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
.

Features

.

Arts

‘Ladies Foursome’ adds shows

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
.

Business

UCD grad’s startup earns kudos at TechCrunch event

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

 
Styles on target for November debut

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A7

MBI hires VP of marketing

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
Taylor Morrison unveils new Woodland community next weekend

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Rob White: What is an ‘innovation center’?

By Rob White | From Page: A9

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, September 21, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B8