GATE Program


About GATE
The goal of the GATE program is to meet the academic and social needs of highly gifted learners. These learners are children whose academic abilities indicate the need for in-depth, complex and rigorous curriculum and instruction beyond that which can be provided in the gifted cluster groupings that are currently in place. Unlike clustering, which includes students of various abilities, the classes at GATE include only highly gifted learners.

The GATE program provides students with a highly challenging instructional program which meets and exceeds the Stillwater Area Public Schools’ academic standards. Differentiation in the depth, breadth, and pace of instruction with an emphasis on higher level thinking skills is utilized to meet the needs of advanced learners.  

Program Details
GATE is located at Stillwater Middle School, which allows for expanded opportunities for students. GATE provides a sheltered experience for fourth and fifth graders, while sixth graders are clustered together in houses, and are intermixed with the rest of the middle school. Specialized GATE classes in math, science, and language arts are available to our sixth grade students.  

In addition, we’ve designed gifted and talented services for our 7th and 8th grade students. Much like sixth grade, our 7th and 8th students will be clustered for core classes, and a specialized “push-in or pull-out” math class taught by a GATE teacher will be provided to keep them on track with their individualized learning needs. They also will have an opportunity to test into honors English and advanced science. 

Transportation is provided and school hours are 7:50 a.m. to 2:20 p.m. This program is an optional alternate educational setting available to students who meet eligibility criteria.

Entrance Eligibility
GATE eligibility will be determined by a District Identification Team following established Eligibility Criteria. Students will be accepted beginning with the highest scores and will be added as space allows. The Cognitive Abilities Test is given in November. 

Full scale scores from outside IQ tests will be considered if they are completed by a professional included on this list.

Application Process
If you are a parent of a child who meets eligibility criteria and is currently attending a Stillwater Area Public School, you may apply using the GATE Alternate School Enrollment form. See below.

If you are a parent of a child who meets eligibility criteria and is not currently attending a District 834 school, you may apply using the Application Form for Out-of-District Students. See below.


  • Oct. 30: Deadline to request CogAT testing 
  • Nov. 4-15: CogAT testing window
  • Dec. 6: Notices sent to families that are invited to apply to be considered for GATE. Cluster qualification notices sent.  
  • Dec. 20: Intent to Return forms due (current GATE students)
  • Dec. 20: DEADLINE: GATE applications due to be considered for 2020-2021 year.
  • Jan. 6: Meeting for prospective GATE parents at 6-7pm at Stillwater Middle School
  • Jan. 7: Prospective student visit at GATE. Time TBD.
  • Jan. 10: Notification of acceptance to GATE
  • Jan. 17: DEADLINE to commit to GATE
  • Jan. 22: Invitations to wait list families
  • Jan. 29: Final DEADLINE for wait list families to commit to GATE
  • Feb. 10: New Cluster Parent Meeting: 6-7pm Stillwater Area High School Main Forum Room