Friends of Carthay Center

Carthay Center offers a number of special programs

Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) at Carthay Center

GATE Coordinator: Phyllis Chase

There are many definitions for giftedness. They all have one element in common: A gifted person is someone who shows, or has the potential for showing, an exceptional level of performance in one or more areas of expression. Students can be officially identified for the GATE program as early as the end of 2nd grade, but typically identification occurs in 3rd grade. The referral for identifying a student can come from the classroom teacher, other school personnel and/or the family. The student is referred to the GATE committee, which consists of the GATE coordinator, a teacher and the principal. Students whose abilities fall into one or more of the categories below may be considered for Gifted/Talented Programs.

Intellectual Ability

Students whose general intellectual development is markedly advanced in relation to their chronological peers. At least one semester of observation by the staff in the school of current enrollment and supportive descriptions of intellectual behavior are required.

High Achievement (general academic ability), Grade 3 or above

Students who consistently function for two consecutive years at highly advanced levels in reading/ESL (elementary) or English/ESL (secondary), and mathematics.

Specific Academic Ability (fourth grade and above only)

Students who consistently function for three consecutive years at highly advanced levels in reading/ESL elementary, English/ESL (secondary), or mathematics.

State guidelines require that differentiated instruction for gifted/talented students build on the core curriculum and supplement it, therefore the gifted/talented �program� takes place within the student�s classroom. Differentiated instruction occurs when the core curriculum is modified and includes acceleration, pacing, levels of complexity, depth, and novelty with expectations for student production that are appropriate to individual learning interests, assessed needs, and abilities. Teachers receive professional development in educational programs that take into account each student's interests, talents and special abilities and to afford them opportunities for high-level thinking, creative expression, and self-understanding frequently at a learning pace beyond age or grade level as compared to that of their peers.

GATE at Carthay Center

Carthay has incorporated GATE into various aspects of the curriculum in the past few years. As part of the language arts component, Carthay students participated in literature circles, reading and responding to three works of realistic fiction. Students studied novel structure, culminating in a project where each student contributed a chapter to an original novel plotted by the group.

In social studies, GATE students at Carthay studied aspects of entrepreneurship using the Young Biz curriculum. Each student followed a business model to research, create and monitor an original business of his or her own. Students tested their business plans at the Entrepreneur Fair at the all school Open House and sold their products (everything from sweet potato pie to potted plants) to attendees.

During the 2004-05 school year, Carthay GATE students were also given scholarships to attend an after school Chess Club conducted by Academic Chess.

GATE students will be participating in a photojournalism workshop with a professional photographer during the current school year. Students will first learn how to use a digital camera to capture images, then edit their work, and, finally, write about their selected photographs.


Arts Prototype

"We're having art class today! Yippee!"

Students at Carthay Center School LOVE the Arts Prototype Program. Ask students about the paintings, sculptures, and collages they created in their visual arts class. They'll tell you about the Flamenco Dancers who came to Carthay, and that they learned to dance Alvin Ailey's timeless classic, �Revelations.� Watch their faces light up as they describe the melted chocolate lake they swam across, or the fire-breathing dragon they defeated in drama class.

In 2001, a team of teachers at Carthay wrote a grant that was successfully funded, making Carthay an Arts Prototype School. Since its inception, the Arts Prototype Program has brought the arts to life in the class- rooms of Carthay students. Throughout the school year, a visual art teacher, a dance teacher, and a drama teacher rotate through the school, providing expert instruction to both students and teachers in the Arts Prototype Cadre. Each year, new teachers are added to the program so that eventually, the entire school will be part of the arts program. In this Standards-Based program, students explore art and develop skills in the following areas:

  • Creating, performing, and participating in the art.
  • Understanding historical contributions and cultural dimensions of the arts.
  • Responding to, analyzing, and making judgments about works in the arts.
  • Processing, analyzing, and responding to sensory information through the language and skills unique to the arts.
  • Connecting and applying what is learned in each art form to learning in other art forms, subject areas, and careers.

While mastering California's Content Standards for the Arts, students in Carthay's Arts Prototype Program are having FUN!


Computer Lab

Carthay Center School's computer lab has 33 networked Apple computers all of which are connected to the internet on a T1 line. There are sixteen 320 MB I-Macs and 17 256 MB E-Macs computers. The computers are equipped with software programs that enhance student learning and promote creativity, such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Kid Pix. Additional educational software programs are available that support the various academic themes that Carthay students study.

All of the computers are also connected to Carthay's Knowledge Box, a digital learning system which provides an exciting vehicle for teachers to customize computer lessons for students. Students log into the Knowledge Box to explore an extensive library of lessons, videos, and online activities in Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, and Science. The Knowledge Box is accessible from all computers at Carthay--not just the ones in the computer lab. For more information about the Knowledge Box, visit http://www.pearsondigital.com/knowledgebox

The lab is located in Room 14 of the main building--on the second floor above the school's office. Students visit the computer lab once a week for directed lessons by their classroom teacher.