Just about everything you want to know about GT at Small

Who? What? When? Why? How?

Are you curious about GT programming at Small? Do you think your kiddo might qualify for GT services? Are you worried about being "That Mom"? Find your answers by reading the sections below. If you have read all the sections, and you still have questions, please contact your Campus GT Advocate,

Why should my child be identified into the GATE program?


At AISD, we aim to educate each child, the whole child and support their academic, social and emotional needs. GT students have particular academic, social, and emotional needs. Having your child identified means that teachers, counselors, and administrators have more tools and information to support the demonstrated needs of the individual child.

What happens at Small if my child is identified and included in the GATE program?

Class Selection

Students who are identified in the GATE program will be registered in the most advanced course available at their campus for the subject in which they are identified. For example, if your child is identified in Science, they will be placed in a Pre-AP Science class. In addition, your child will be identified on the teacher's roster as a student who has been identified in the GATE program.

Classroom Activities

Students in the GATE program are identified on teacher rosters. Teachers have the knowledge, training, and ability to provide extension activities in the classroom. When making curriculum and grouping choices, the teacher addresses the academic, social and emotional needs of GATE students in the classroom and in online learning activities. In many, perhaps even most, cases, your child will not be able to recognize when those extension activities happen; in middle school, many students do NOT want to be singled out for any reason. In addition, when the teacher provides an extension activity that may be deeper or more complex in the presentation or the assignment product, the teacher is careful not to make MORE work for GT identified students, but they strive to curate activities that appeal to student GT abilities and interests.

DukeTip Program

DukeTIP has cancelled all programming for the foreseeable future. Click this link to read more.

Summer Camp Idea Bank

In the early Spring, the GT Advocate posts a link in the Cougar News to a list of summer camps that would specifically appeal to students who have been identified in the GATE program. Of course, there's STEAM camp that is hosted at Small, and a list of several other camps are included.

What other opportunities does a GATE - identified student have at Small?

Small supports the academic-social-emotional needs of GT Students with...

-Great Thinkers Club!- Back by popular demand, this club returns! Students who wish to participate in this club should send an email to FROM THEIR STUDENT PORTAL EMAILS so I can connect them to the BLEND course. Students need to watch their BLEND Dashboards and "accept" the Great Thinkers Club course. Each week, we will have a Zoom meeting and students will be presented with a challenge. If students miss the Zoom meeting, they can still participate in the weekly challenge!

-Connection to Sunday Morning Math Games! This event, hosted by UT, runs each Sunday. Pre-Covid, we used to meet on the UT Campus and students would get to participate in a lecture around Mathematical Topics. It was fun and they had bagels. I'm delighted to see how they've re-purposed the group for the fall and distance learning. Click here to see the intro video and sign up with your email to get reminders of SMMG every other week!

- Accelerated Learning, Math- Students with demonstrated ability progress through the math track and some leave Small ready to take Algebra I, Geometry or Algebra II in high school.

- Credit-by-exam is available for some students in Spanish Language Courses.

-Project Lead the Way, options for advanced learning in STEM. Click here for more information.

-AVID classes- support for students who might be first-generation college students. contact our Small AVID coordinator for more information.

-High School Credit Courses, Health, Spanish, Latin I-III, Algebra I, Geometry, Project Lead the Way

-UIL - Small typically has a large contingent of UIL-academic participants in a variety of subjects. Look for ways to participate in the Cougar News this Spring! Sara Teel is the UIL coordinator. Contact her at in January if your kiddo is interested in UIL.

-Electives- Small has a host of electives across the curriculum to support the interests and abilities of GATE-identified students. Mythology, Creative Writing, Fine Arts, Green Academy Classes...

-CAT Classes- Students may request to join a CAT Class that appeals to their area of giftedness, or they may request to join the Great Thinkers CAT Class. The Great Thinkers CAT class appeals to students with fast processing speeds and large working memories to enjoy cooperatively competitive games and activities.

-Athletics- Small is very proud of our scholar-athletes. GT Students are welcomed and encouraged to participate in any of our athletic teams!

My child was identified in elementary school, does the identification carry into middle and high school?

If your kiddo was identified in an Austin ISD school, the identification will be carried through middle and into high school. Elementary schools sometimes have a pull-out program, but GT programming in middle school is unique to each school and is described in the paragraphs above.

If your student was identified in the GT program in another district, please contact our campus registrar and let her know and we will begin the paperwork to transfer the GT status as applicable.

Calendar of GATE Identification Activities

These dates are subject to change due to Covid-19 Scheduling:

Sept 1- Sept 25 Parent Nomination Window for students not previously identified

Sept 28 - Oct 16 Teacher Observation Window

Sept 28 - Oct 16Voice and Choice

Feb 15 - Feb 19 GT Committee Reviews Data and Determines Eligibility

Oct 19- Oct 30 GT Teacher Committee Meetings

Dec 11 Parents receive notice of GATE status.

What Else Does CSMS Offer for My GATE Student?

About Small Advanced Academics

Your Campus GT Advocate is Christie Manners. If you have a question, please email me at