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About GATE and PALS

At Twain, we have a Primary Accelerated Learner Services (PALS) classroom in grade 2 and Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) classrooms in grades 3-5. Both programs are under the direction of the GATE office and are designed to meet the needs of students who have demonstrated the need for a more rigorous curriculum at an accelerated pace. However, there are also some important differences between PALS and GATE.

PALS differs from GATE in that multiple assessment criteria, given to all students at Twain in reading, writing and math, are used to determine placement. While a parent may express interest in PALS, selection is done by a committee of teachers, counselor and/or principal, using criteria approved by the GATE office. Participation in PALS is for one year only, and all second grade students will be evaluated at the end of the year to determine appropriate placement in third grade.

GATE classrooms are made up of students who have been tested and identified as GATE by the GATE office, as well as additional high achieving students who have been recommended by teachers and selected through the use of multiple criteria. These high achieving students are “clustered” into the GATE classroom in grades 3-5. As with PALS students, participation in a GATE classroom for students who are not GATE identified, is for one year only. Students are re-evaluated each year to determine appropriate placement.


Testing for GATE identification currently occurs in grades 2, 3 and 5.  Guidelines for GATE testing are determined by the GATE office and include above-grade level academic performance and/or very high scores on standardized tests (STAR).


Please contact Mary Carlson, Twain Counselor, if you have questions about the PALS/GATE programs at Twain. You can contact Mrs. Carlson via email,, or by calling the main office.

More Information

LBUSD resource files for PALS/GATE:

For additional information about the PALS and GATE Programs, please visit the LBUSD website.