GATE

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Prospective GATE Student Information

GATE Parent Night: Supporting your students in GATE

GATE @ Kraemer

  • PYLUSD G.A.T.E.  (Gifted and Talented Education) students may choose to attend the Kraemer magnet program or their home "cluster" middle school

  • Kraemer is a 7th and 8th grade middle school with a diverse student population

  • 300 GATE students make up about 30 percent of the school’s total population

  • Kraemer GATE students come from every PYLUSD elementary school, many local private schools, and various other schools around Orange County

  • GATE teachers are specifically trained to work with cognitively gifted students so that curriculum and classroom lessons emphasize depth, analysis, and creative problem-solving

  • GATE students are amongst peers; Kraemer is a place where gifted students meet new friends and find others who have similar interests

  • A “Bridge” program with Valencia High School allows middle school students access to high school-level courses

 

The GATE Schedule

GATE Language Arts

GATE Mathematics*

GATE Social Studies

GATE Science

Physical Education

Elective

Elective

 

*Various levels of math offered

 

 

GATE Language Arts

The goal in language arts is to prepare our students to be strong writers, active readers, challenging speakers, and acute listeners in preparation for a rigorous high school of their choice. Students experience a variety of learning activities including:

 

-collaborative group discussions

-technology integration in the classroom

-dramatic presentations

-Socratic seminars

-cross-curricular units with social studies and science

-writing workshops and seminars within the classroom

-challenging vocabulary development

GATE Mathematics

Kraemer GATE math classes seek to have students explore mathematics through critical and creative thinking. We want our students to develop a deeper understanding through multiple representations of concepts. We strive to push the students to achieve their maximum potential and not settle for understanding algorithms and formulas.

 

Courses Include:

Math 7-8 Accelerated

Algebra

Geometry*

Algebra II/Trigonometry*

*Taught as a part of Bridge program at VHS

GATE Science

The goal of our science classes is for students to master the content at the highest level and bridge their understanding to prepare for high school Honors, AP, and IB science classes. This is accomplished by:

 

  • hands-on experimentation and engineering

  • students learning to design experiments, in addition to performing them

  • cross-content projects, which help student learn to apply their learning to real-life situations

GATE Social Science

Students in GATE history classes will become historical and global thinkers, critical readers, and writers with a background in evidence and research. Students will be able to communicate connections between historical content and modern day application.  This occurs through:

 

  • historical simulations

  • analyzing primary and secondary sources and incorporating reliable historical evidence into writing

  • cross-curricular thematic units with collaboration with other content areas

  • providing field trips which extend students’ historical understanding

Kraemer Magnet or Cluster?

 

Families making a decision about where to send their child for middle school need to make a decision that best suits their priorities. For many gifted students, the magnet program is the right option, but it is important to understand the difference.

 

  • Magnet classes are comprised of only GATE-identified students. Cluster ‘honors’ classes will contain GATE-identified and high-achieving non-gifted students

  • Kraemer offers flexible scheduling to students who may take zero period classes in order to get out of school early

  • Math classes taught in the bridge program (Geometry and Algebra 2/Trig) are high-school level honors courses

  • Kraemer offers multiple field trips each year to extend learning

Bridge Program with Valencia High School

Kraemer takes advantage of being directly adjacent to one of the top high schools in Southern California, Valencia High School, by offering numerous classes on its campus. Each “bridge” class is taught by Valencia staff members, but contains only Kraemer students. Some Kraemer students take as many as three classes on the Valencia campus, regularly traveling between campuses. Many Kraemer students continue on to Valencia’s International Baccalaureate and Val-Tech programs, and the bridge program acclimates Kraemer students to the campus and high school staff.

Elective Opportunities

Art Speech/Drama Robotics
Advanced Art Music Appreciation Performing Band
Biology Online Newspaper Beginning Band
Peer Leadership Spanish 1a/1b Advanced Orchestra
ASB Leadership Chinese 1 Intermediate Orchestra
STEM Lab Japanese 1 Vocal Ensemble
Computer Applications French 1 Mixed Choir
Yearbook AVID Video Productions 

 

Clubs and Activities

Colorguard Dance Team Marching Band
Orchestra Science Olympiad Hip Hop Dance
Math Counts MESA Distance Runners
Battle of the Books Spelling Bee Creative Coding Club
Intramural Sports Jam Band Club Speech and Debate Club
You Be the Chemist Art Studio Geography Club
Jazz Band  National Junior Honors Society Track Club

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: How many classes does my child take in the GATE program?

Answer: All Kraemer students have seven classes. GATE students have GATE-only language arts, math, science, and social studies classes. Additionally, all students are enrolled in PE. Students also get to choose two elective classes. Some electives are "wheel" classes that change at the semester, while others are year-long classes. 

 

Question: How many students are enrolled in the GATE program?

Answer: During the 2014-2015 school year, there are 290 GATE students at Kraemer Middle School, which accounts for nearly one-third of our school population of 955 students. Additionally, there are over 375 students enrolled in honors classes at Kraemer Middle School. With nearly 70% of Kraemer students enrolled in a GATE or honors program, Kraemer has a strong academic focus. 

 

Question: How early can I drop my child off at school? 

Answer: We have supervision on campus beginning at 7:45 am. We recognize that many families have students attending Valencia High School, which has an earlier start time. Additionally, we have parents who need to drop students off early in order to be at work on time. The quad is open for students at 7:45, and the library opens for study hall and computer use at 8:15am. Lastly, there are some clubs that meet in the morning before school, too. 

 

Question: What is the benefit of a GATE-only class?

Answer: Gifted students have an ability to think creatively and critically beyond that of a typical seventh or eighth grader. GATE-only classes provide an environment where that ability can be stimulated. The discourse of discussions and application of concepts is able to take place at a much high level when the classroom is filled with like-minded students.

 

Question: Kraemer is a lot smaller than it used to be, isn't it?

Answer: That is correct. With a student population just over 900 students, Kraemer is half the size it was a decade ago when 1,800 kids attended this school. PYLUSD opened Valadez Middle School Academy in 2008, which significantly reduced the number of students on our campus. Our current student population allows for a wide variety of programs and activities, but also provides our staff with the ability to really get to know each individual student. 

 

Question: What is the bridge program? 

Answer: Kraemer's proximity to Valencia High School allows us to offer a myriad of classes on the high school campus with high school teachers. We currently have Kraemer students enrolled in Chinese 1, Japanese 1, French 1, Biology Honors, Geometry, Geometry Honors, and Vocal Ensemble at Valencia High School.

 

Question: How do the middle school students feel about being on the high school campus?

Answer: It is a source of pride for Kraemer bridge students. The high school teachers welcome them into their classrooms, and they look forward to working with high-achieving middle school kids. The bridge classes are scheduled for Kraemer students, so your middle school student will not be seated alongside a high school senior. 

 

Question: What is the difference between Geometry taught at the high school and Geometry taught at the middle school? 

Answer: Middle school class periods are 45 minutes. High school class periods are 55 minutes. By having our students take Geometry or Geometry honors in the bridge program, they are gaining 50 minutes of additional instruction each week. Over the course of an entire school year, this time difference equates to about an additional month of classroom instruction. 

 

Question: I have heard that my student can take a zero period class at Valencia and then get out after sixth period. Is that true?

Answer: Several (but not all) of the Geometry classes are taught during Kraemer's "zero period," which begins at 7:45am. Students enrolled in zero period Geometry have two choices: they may take an extra elective class or they may take their requisite two electives and be released from school at 2:45pm instead of the standard dismissal of 3:30pm.