Just about everything you want to know about GT at Small

GATE Letters of Identification / non-identification

Your GT advocate is currently working on the letters of GATE-identification / non-identification. They should go out in the mail this Friday, March 6, 2020.

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 can work with parents 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

The classroom teacher sees GATE identification on their roster and has the knowledge and ability to provide extension activities. When making curriculum and grouping choices, having your student identified means that the teacher can better address their academic, social and emotional needs in the classroom. 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.

Invitation to Participate in the DukeTip Program

Any 7th Grader with qualifying STAAR scores from their 6th Grade year may apply to the DukeTip Program. In September, the Cougar News will announce the qualifying scores and include a link to the DukeTip application website.

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...

- 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.

-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!

-Electives- Small has a host of electives across the curriculum to support the interests and abilities of GATE-identified students. Mythology, Creative Writing, WHAT ELSE-COUNSELORS

-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.

About Small Advanced Academics

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