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Webster PALS/EXCEL Program


Gifted and Talented Education at Webster Elementary consists of two programs; the Primary Accelerated Learner Services (PALS) Program is in place for our second grade students demonstrating strong academic abilities, performance and intellectual curiosity, and the EXCEL program is in place for third through fifth grade students. Additionally, advanced students who are talented and motivated may have the opportunity to be clustered into the EXCEL classrooms as space permits.

GATE/EXCEL education is characterized by a differentiated curriculum. GATE certified teachers collaborate to plan a curriculum that provides acceleration, depth and complexity to enhance the standards-based curriculum. The Webster EXCEL program is sensitive to students' strengths in a variety of areas. Woven within the academic curriculum are many creative opportunities. Universal themes such as exploration, conflict, and power are introduced and merged throughout the curriculum.
Scholarly behavior, intellectual traits and content imperatives are components that are integrated into the core curriculum. Enrichment experiences enhance the areas of social studies and literature. Students are encouraged to explore, take risks, and to extend themselves beyond their comfort levels. They are encouraged to find balance in their lives by complementing academic and creative strengths.

The Webster PALS and EXCEL programs strive to inspire each child's sense of responsibility for his/her own learning. Throughout the GATE/EXCEL program there is an awareness that gifted students benefit from guidance and nurturing as they explore their aptitudes and develop their unique abilities.




"When participating in a differentiated curriculum, bright, talented students will become analytical thinkers, creative producers and practical problem solvers."



The PALS program is designed to meet the needs of primary students who have demonstrated the need for a more rigorous curriculum at an accelerated pace.



1. How is PALS different from GATE?

GATE identification is not required for participation in a PALS class. District assessments given to all students are used to determine placement in the PALS program. Formalized GATE testing is used to determine placement in the GATE program.

2. If my child is in PALS in 1st grade is he/she guaranteed participation in 2nd grade?

No, all kindergarten and first grade students are re-evaluated each year to determine appropriate placement.

3. When does formalized GATE testing begin?

Formalized GATE testing and identification begins at the end of second grade.

4. How can my school start a PALS program?

Beginning in the fall of 2009, any school interested in starting a PALS program may contact the GATE Office.

5. Can I request that my child participate

in the PALS program?

All parent requests should be directed to the school counselor or principal. Selection will be based upon the multiple criteria approved by the GATE Office.