What is GATE (Gifted and Talented) in PVSD?
At PVSD we believe that every student should have the opportunity to engage in challenging and rigorous curriculum that is developmentally appropriate and meets their individual needs. PVSD does not offer separate GATE (Gifted and Talented) classes; the needs of GATE students are met through differentiated instruction in terms of content, process, and product by teachers who are trained to make accommodations in pace, delivery, depth, and breadth in order to match a student’s developmental readiness, interests, and learning styles, and maximize student potential.

Differentiated instruction systematically incorporates thinking at deep and complex levels and helps students to develop a broad knowledge base. It also encourages the development of research skills and real-world products as learning outcomes. Students are encouraged to become self-motivated, lifelong learners who are equipped to initiate, engage in, and reflect upon independent and group learning. This is done through various teaching methodologies including, Centers, Leveled Grouping or Clustering, Project Based Learning, and Reader/Writer’s Workshop The social and emotional well-being of students is addressed through multi-tiered supports such as PBIS, Social-Emotional curriculum, Service Learning, Social Skills training, and Individualized social-emotional support. PVSD also offers robust VAPA (visual and performing arts) and STEM programs, including music, creative art, drama, and a thriving Maker Space.  

Below is a list of organizations that offer resources for parents, from conferences to networks. While PVSD does not endorse any particular resource, these resources share information on programs that may be beneficial for GATE students and all students and provide opportunities for parents to connect with other parents.

California Association for the Gifted

Lists conferences, resources for parents, political information, and more. Includes a list of educational Internet resources, reading lists, summer camps, organizations, journals, programs, information clearinghouses, and free and low cost materials.

National Association for the Gifted

Less parent-friendly than California Association for the Gifted, this site includes public policy and national program information as well as an annual holiday toy list for gifted kids.

Hoagies' Gifted Education Page

Updated every few days, this comprehensive site includes a guide for first time users and sections for kids, parents and educators. Check out the kids' section for lists of contests, books, software, toys, magazines, and online resources, and the educators' section for professional literature, curriculum units, and educational theories.

Gifted Development Center

A private, non-profit organization providing email and phone counseling as well as general information about gifted children and adults. The Center particularly focuses on visual-spatial learners, highly gifted children, and home-schooling. Their site includes an archived ongoing parent forum on topics such as emotional development, acceleration, parenting, and gifted/learning disabled.

Lyceum of Santa Clara Valley

California Gifted Network

Davidson Institute for Talent Development


Families of the Talented and Gifted (TAG)

San Francisco Regional Mensa

Enrichment Programs:

The following enrichment programs may be appropriate for GATE students. They have been used by Portola Valley parents and teachers.These programs are not affiliated with PVSD and their listing here does not imply endorsement.

  1. UCI Gifted Student Academy. This is a summer program for gifted middle school students and student self select classes at University of Irvine.

  1. Stanford EPGY Program- Education Program for Gifted Youth. Provides online enrichment courses.


  1. SIG- Summer Institute for the Gifted. Three week residential program for academically talented students. Offered at various college campuses.

  1. Sally Ride Science Camp for Girls. Overnight and day camps that provide girls with the opportunity to explore science, technology, engineering on a college campus.

  1. Public Speaking Institute. Camp that focuses on developing public speaking and communication skills that are not normally taught in the classroom. Offered at various college campuses.

  1. Computer Camp. Focuses on web design and software programming. Offered at various college campuses.


  1. iD Tech Camps. Weeklong and overnight camps focused on coding, programming, app design, game design, robotics etc. Offered at various college campuses.

  1. Great Books Summer Program. Focuses on reading classic literature, writing, music, theater and art. Offered at various college campuses.

  2. Nueva Enrichment Classes - after school . Classes open to all bay area students in grades K-8. Possible options of theater, music, chess, computer programming etc.

  3.  De Anza College Extended Year Summer Enrichment CLasses.

Competitions for Students:

Tech Challenge through the Tech Museum in San Jose

Build something to solve a specific challenge! Contest held in spring for grades 5 - 12. Registration begins in January.

Destination Imagination (offshoot of Odyssey of the Mind)

Holds a creative problem-solving contest in spring for grades K - college.

Talent Searches:

Duke Tip Talent Search