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Gateway Program

The Gateway program is a level four service located at Valley Crossing Elementary School. The Gateway program serves students in an all advanced learner environment using curriculum with increased depth, complexity and pacing as the primary lens for designing instruction. 

Gateway immerses students in an intellectually challenging community that encourages academic risk-taking to develop students’ academic potential and supports their social and emotional needs as learners. 

In the 2022-23 school year, Gateway will serve highly advanced learners in grades 3-5.

About the Gateway Program


Benjamin Lacina
Talent Development and Advanced Academics Coordinator

Tara Johnson 
Achievement and Integration and Teaching and Learning Support Specialist 

Placement Determinations

Students are placed into the Gateway program as space allows.  Gateway for 2022-23 includes one grade 3 classroom, two grade 4 classrooms and two grade 5 classrooms.

After families submit an interest form by the deadline, students are placed in four tiers based on the following data:

  • Achievement data in math and reading based on MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) from the current school year. 

  • Ability data based on CogAT (Cognitive Abilities Assessment) areas of verbal, quantitative, nonverbal or composite total.

  • Teacher rating scale of advanced learner behaviors.

Students are placed in the Gateway Program first starting in Tier 1, then moving to Tier 2, Tier 3 and Tier 4 as space allows in the Gateway classrooms. Within each Tier, students who meet all of the criteria will be placed first, 3 criteria will be placed second.  

Please know that most identified advanced learners receive their advanced academic services through the cluster classroom at their current school, not the Gateway Program. 

Gateway Application Timeline

Gateway Interest Form Timeline

The Gateway Interest form will be available to families invited to apply in the spring. Families will be notified of their child's placement for the following year into either the Gateway program or in a cluster classroom at their current school before the end of the current school year.

The deadline to complete an interest form for the 2022-23 school year has passed.

Families of current grade 4 students who submitted a Gateway Interest form by the May 16 deadline will be notified of your child's placement into either the grade 5 Gateway program or a cluster classroom at their current school by June 1.

Gateway Program Questions and Answers

Gateway Program Interest Form

Thank you to those who completed an interest form for the 2022-23 school year. The deadline to submit a form has now closed. 

Families that submitted a form by the deadline will be contacted in April via email with placement information.

Levels of Service 

Talent Development and Advanced Academics services are provided at all SoWashCo elementary and middle schools through the Levels of Service approach (Treffinger, 1998).

These levels are based on the individual programming model developed by Dr. Donald Treffinger of the Center for Creative Learning, Inc. in Sarasota, Florida.

Levels of Service Programming is:

  • Flexible: Programming includes many different people, places, and kinds of activities. It does not follow one formula, single curriculum, or set program of activities or services.
  • Inclusive: Programming that is appropriate, challenging, and developmental can be available to anyone. Programming includes a broad range of talents and does not serve just one fixed group of students.
  • Responsive: Programming responds to the positive needs of students. It guides planning and decision making and leads to modifications of instruction. The mission of programming is to design and deliver instruction through which we can bring out the best in every student.
  • Proactive: Programming challenges the teacher, school, district, parents, and community to take constructive actions for talent development. Taking initiative for talent development becomes everyone's business.
  • Unifying: Programming provides a structure and terminology for communicating effectively about talent development within and among home, school, and community.

Teachers do not assume that students who have a great deal of potential in one area have a high level of potential in all areas. Sometimes, students with high potential for math may not have high reading ability and vice versa. High ability in one area does not equate with high ability in other areas. LoS provides a framework for planning, delivering, and managing a wide range of responses to the needs of students. (Selby & Young, 2001)

Edwin C Selby, & Grover C Young. (2003, October). The Levels of Service approach to talent development: Parallels with existing programs. Gifted Child Today, 26(4), 44-50,65.