Gifted and Talented


Whereas the Beaverhead County High School District’s philosophy of education encompasses the basic needs of all students, we recognize the need to provide opportunities to fully develop the unique needs of our gifted and talented students. Therefore, we should provide opportunities for students who are capable of high performance in general intellectual ability, specific academic aptitude, creative or projective thinking, leadership ability and visual and performing arts. Our purpose is to stimulate our gifted and talented students to reach their highest potential by facilitating the development of both cognitive and affective domains. In addition, we will strive to assist students in becoming individuals who are able to take self-initiated action and accept responsibility for that action and who are capable of intelligent choice, independent learning, and problem solving.

Section 1: Program Design, Monitoring & Student Identification

BCHS will provide a comprehensive continuum of services and program options responsive to the needs, interests, and abilities of gifted students and based on philosophical, theoretical, and empirical support. BCHS’s identification procedures are equitable, comprehensive, and ongoing. They reflect BCHS’s definition of giftedness and its relationship to current state criteria.

Gate Council

The GATE Council develops and monitors the BCHS GATE plan. In developing the plan the Council will:

  • Set achievement goals that exceed the state and district goals

  • Analyze GATE student achievement data in relation to the goals

  • Determine strengths and weaknesses of the program

  • Research exemplary GATE programs and research-based curricula

  • Identify strategies which will move BCHS toward their GATE goals

  • Develop action plans for the strategies indicating step by step activities, time lines, staff responsibilities and budget

Composition and Responsibilities:

GATE Coordinator

  • Oversees the GATE program development and implementation

  • Facilitates meetings

  • Oversees the identification and instructional program

  • Monitors budget

Teacher/Counselor Advocates

  • Attend and participate in GATE Council meetings

  • Maintain accounting of GATE activities

  • Coordinate GATE testing and identification

  • Share information and resources with peers

Student Identification Process

Students currently identified by District #10 will automatically qualify for the District’s GATE Program.

Students must have multiple indicators to qualify. Consideration for special needs is integrated into the process. No one indicator will exclude a student for identification.

  • Minimum of 295 on the MontCas CRT Reading, Math, and/or Science test

  • Indication of giftedness from parent/teacher checklist of behaviors

  • A score of 130 on the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test (KBIT-2)

  • A portfolio of student work will be reviewed to determine eligibility as appropriate

Parents will be informed of placement by letter.

Appeal Process

Parents may appeal the GATE identification decision.

  • Parents must submit a written appeal stating reasons for the request.

  • After review of GATE Council, the parent will be informed of final decision as to placement within 10 working days from receiving the appeal

Withdrawal Process

Parents may withdraw their student from the GATE program by submitting a letter to the GATE Council. It is requested that the parents first meet with the classroom teachers and/or principal to discuss their concerns and work with staff to modify the program to meet the student’s needs before making this decision.

Section 2: Curriculum & Instruction

BCHS will develop instructional models and strategies that are aligned with and extend the state academic content standards and curriculum frameworks. The curriculum is related to theories, models and practices from the recognized literature in the field.

Math: Geometry at 9th grade-participation is based on MontCas scores and/or teacher referral; Algebra II; Advanced Math; Calculus; UM-Western Classes

Language Arts: Honors English at 9th grade-participation is based on a MontCas Reading score of 290+, teacher referral, an acceptable writing sample, and an understanding of grammar and usage demonstrated on a pre-test; AP- English Literature and Composition at 12th grade

Science: Biology at 9th grade- participation is based on a MontCas score of 290+, and an understanding of earth science demonstrated on a pre-test or equivalent qualifications; Chemistry; Physics; Anatomy and Physiology; AP Biology

Social Sciences: AP US History at 11th grade; AP Psychology at 12th grade

Foreign Language: Spanish III Honors at 11th grade-participation based on teacher referral; Spanish IV at 12th grade- participation based on teacher referral

Visual and Performing Arts: Jazz Band; Teen Tones- participation is based on an audition; Art IV-Portfolio at 12th grade; School Plays

Technology: Video Production; Woodworking; Computer Applications; Agriculture Education; Welding

Section 3: Support Services

BCHS will supplement the program with additional curriculum, strategies and activities that best meet its needs. BCHS will establish and implement plans to support the social and emotional development of gifted learners. This will increase responsibility, self-awareness, and other issues of affective development.

Supplemental Services

Math Counts

Speech, Drama and Debate Team
Youth Legislature
American Politics Club
Pep Band
Drama Club
Student Government
Academic Olympics

Broad-based Support Materials

Leveled books
oAccelerated Reading books
oHigh level literature
Internet access
High level research materials
Software such as PowerPoint, Indesign, etc.
Presentation systems

Video and digital cameras


BCHS provides students with the technology tools and training in order to meet district technology standards and prepare them to meet the challenges of study and work. GATE students have many opportunities to take advantage of their interest and talent in technology with the classroom, computer labs and media centers. A variety of technology courses including software application, web design and video production are offered.

BCHS believes that technology and electronic applications can assist in providing opportunities for high-achieving students to participate in advanced content that could not otherwise be provided at the school. Within individual classes all efforts will be made to incorporate appropriate technology to enhance the curriculum.

Enrichment Opportunities

GATE students can supplement their needs by attending Summer Institutes at various colleges and universities that are specifically designed for gifted and talented students. Institutions like MIT are offering all of their courses (over 1,700) on-line for free. The student does not receive college credit, but credit can be given by BCHS with pre-approved classes. These classes can be taken at home or during a scheduled study hall.

Social and Emotional Support

BCHS understands that GATE students may be at high risk socially and emotionally and need additional support underachievement, depression, suicide, substance abuse, etc. Information about the characteristics of gifted learners and their related social and emotional development, at well as a list of community resources are disseminated in the following ways:

Teachers, administrators and counselors through their training with the GATE Council

Parents can access information on the school website

Teachers are trained to recognize symptoms of at-risk behavior in gifted students. When a student is identified with these symptoms, teachers will work closely with counselors to identify appropriate interventions and implement strategies.

Section 4: Professional Development & Communication

BCHS will provide professional development opportunities related to gifted education to administrators, teachers and staff to support and improve educational opportunities.

GATE Professional Development

BCHS encourages teachers, administrators, counselors and support staff to participate in gifted educational opportunities to fulfill required professional growth house for credential renewal. It disseminates information to teachers about Montana AGATE (Association for Gifted and Talented Education). Release days are given to teachers to attend GATE workshops/conferences. These teachers disseminate information to their peers on-site.

GATE Council Members

BCHS recognizes that personnel responsible for researching and implementing services need to have high level of expertise in gifted education. These personnel are expected to be resources for BCHS and the community. In order to support this knowledge base, BCHS funds staff development opportunities.

Parent Communication

Parent involvement and communication is essential to support the GATE Program. Parents are informed about the GATE identification process through a letter which explains procedures and timelines. Parents are then invited to attend a meeting held during the year focused on supporting parents of GATE students.

Community Communication

BCHS’s GATE Program Plan is available to the community on the school website and copies are available at the school.

Section 5: Program Evaluation

BCHS establishes formal and informal evaluation methods and instruments that assess the gifted program and the performance of gifted students. Results of data collected, including state standardized tests, are used to study the value and impact of the services provided and to improve gifted programs and gifted student performance.

GATE Goals

GATE students will score at the Advanced Level on the MontCas Reading, Math and/or Science tests
GATE students will stay in the GATE program
GATE students will continue to progress through a challenging curriculum


Each fall the GATE Council will analyze the MontCas results from the previous spring and set yearly achievement targets based on the above measures.

Each spring the GATE Council will analyze the class registration of the GATE students to evaluate the GATE students. This will determine if the GATE students are staying in the GATE Program and if they are progressing through a challenging curriculum.

Students are expected to take an active role in setting their own goals and writing plans. Student input is important to this process, and is actively pursued. Teachers, students and parents monitor progress during the year through progress reports, conferences, and school/home communication.

Program Performance

Each spring all stakeholders, parents, students, teachers and administrators complete surveys addressing all areas of GATE. Surveys are mailed to GATE families to be returned to the BCHS office. The GATE Council reviews, reflects and makes necessary changes and improvements to the GATE Program using this data.

Last Modified on July 25, 2011