Manhattan Beach Unified School District

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For more information or questions relating to our GATE program please contact Katrina O'Connor, MTSS Coordinator.

The fundamental purpose of the Manhattan Beach Unified School District is to ensure that all students learn at high levels. Within our Personalized Learning Framework, we take collective responsibility for educating the whole child and focus on evidence of learning to ensure student success. MBUSD students identified as Gifted and Talented receive differentiated instruction within the general education classroom under the guidance of a GATE certified teacher. Each educator creates an atmosphere that is intellectually and academically appropriate, fosters creativity, and provides emotional support for each student.

Personalized Learning
Qualification for Gifted and Talented Identification
There are neither nation-wide nor state-wide standards for identification. Each school district may determine program guidelines and policies regarding all aspects of GATE. Additionally, GATE identification is not a prerequisite for any high school coursework, and, it is not recorded on school transcripts or higher education applications.
In MBUSD, Students scoring 135+ on the OLSAT 8 are identified as gifted and talented. Students scoring 130 - 134 and exceeding expectations in both ELA and math of the CAASPP, are identified as gifted and talented. Students who do not qualify (129 and below) in third grade may take the OLSAT again (once in either fourth grade or fifth grade and once in either sixth grade or seventh grade).
OLSAT 8 Testing for GATE Identification
The OLSAT 8 exam is offered to grades 3-7 for GATE identification during the month of March.  Please contact your school's principal for specific testing and make-up testing dates.  Grade 3 exams will be administered during the school day.  Grades 4-7 exams will be administered after school by voluntary sign-up.  You will want to contact your school office for more information about signing up to take the exam.  Students who have already been identified for GATE do not need to take the exam again.  Results will be mailed via US mail to parents/guardians during the summer break.
Otis-Lennon School Ability Test, Eighth Edition (OLSAT8)
The exam time allotted for each level is 40 minutes.  The exams will be administered on Chromebooks, PCs or Macs as follows:
Grade 3-Level D (64 items)  
Grade 4-Level E (72 items)  
Grade 5-Level E (72 items)  
Grade 6-Level F (72 items) 
Grade 7-Level F (72 items)
OLSAT 8 Description
3rd Grade Notice of GATE Testing 2021-2022
GATE Program Description
4th and 5th Grade
  • Identified students are placed with a teacher who has earned (or is in the process of earning) GATE certification
  • Teachers receive a list of the students who are GATE identified and a purple folder with information which may include but is not limited to: 
    • list of student interests
    • work samples
6th-8th Grade
  • Identified students are placed with a math and science teacher who have earned (or is in the processing of earning) GATE certification
  • Students' purple folders are kept in the counseling office through grade eight.
GATE Field Trips
6th Grade:
  • Program/Location: USS Midway in San Diego
  • Dates: February 2-4, 2022
"Walk in the footsteps of sailors who bravely served aboard the USS Midway. You will take part in unique behind-the-scene tours and hands-on engagement for a sense of what life was like for sailors on the high seas."
-Science, Technology, Engineering and Math application aboard the USS Midway.
7th Grade:
On the Seafloor Overnight program students study the dynamic effects of plate tectonics through the investigation of seafloor geology, sediment cores, microfossils, underwater seismology, and exciting research activities.
8th Grade: 
Students engage in hands on opportunities to lead, solve problems, make decisions, and take carefully designed "perceived risks" individually and as part of a team.
GATE Extension Opportunities
Odyssey of the Mindmind
Odyssey of the Mind Information
Los Angeles Region Odyssey of the Mind
Click here for more information about LA area events.
Beyond the Classroommbx 
MBX holds after school enrichment classes at each of our Elementary Schools and at Manhattan Beach Middle School. To learn about sessions dates and courses please visit the MBX website. These classes are open to all students with common interests/passions.
Summer Opportunities
There are summer opportunities designed specifically for gifted and talented students in the elementary, middle, and high school grades sponsored by outside organizations. The web links below are sponsored by the California Association for the Gifted and the National Association for the Gifted.  Inclusion of these links and the companies mentioned within does not imply endorsement by the Manhattan Beach Unified School District. If you have specific questions about summer opportunities, please contact the companies noted in the links directly, or you can contact the sponsoring organizations via phone or email.