Gateway Program

Grades 3-5 Gateway Program

Gifted Education works with all elementary schools to support teachers in differentiated instruction and supporting students with options for advanced learning and enrichment. Services include cluster classrooms in grades 3 through 5 at all SoWashCo Elementary schools and the Gateway Program, located at Valley Crossing Elementary School, that is comprised of five classrooms serving selected students in grades 3 through 5. Gateway has been successful in challenging highly gifted students who have demonstrated needs beyond the Cluster Classroom model. Transportation is provided for students who come from any of the sixteen elementary sites across the district.

Gateway Mission:

The Gateway program serves students in an all-gifted peer environment using curriculum with increased depth, complexity and pacing as the primary lens for designing instruction.  Gateway immerses students in an intellectually challenging community that encourages academic risk-taking to develop students’ academic potential and supports their social and emotional needs as learners.


This program:

  • Establishes rigorous academic goals that meet and exceed District 833 curriculum
  • Incorporates multiple learning styles and intelligences by compacting and differentiating instruction
  • Fosters higher level thinking in a community of academically astute minds
  • Creates a cohesive peer community of gifted learners


See below for more details on Gateway interest forms and supporting information:

Gifted Education is available to all gifted learners in a cluster classroom in all District 833 neighborhood schools. Please Note: Gateway cluster classroom placements are initiated when families request a review of a student's cluster classroom placement.

Dates for current 833 families considering Gateway for the 2021-2022 school year will be updated in December, 2020. 

2019-20 Gateway Consideration Process

December, 2020

The Gateway Interest Form and supporting documents are available on the Gifted Education website

** The following dates will be updated in December 2020. 

January 7, 2020

January 8, 2020
Introduction to Gifted Learners and 833 Gifted Education
An optional Parent Education opportunity 

January 7, 2020: District Service Center, Cottage Grove
January 8, 2020: Lake Middle School Media Center

January 9, 2020
5:00-6:00 PM

Gateway (Grades 3-5) Information Session at Valley Crossing: This event is focused on parents. A tour of the school will not be available during the evening.

*For parents of students identified as gifted learners in 833, currently in grades 2 and 3

January 17, 2020 at 4:00pm

Second and Third Grade Family Gateway Interest Forms due to Gifted Education at the District Service Center no later than 4:00 p.m.

*7362 E. Point Douglas Rd. S., Cottage Grove, MN 55016

February 11, 2020

Learning Environment Recommendations for current second and third graders for fall will be mailed to families who submitted Gateway
Interest Forms

February 27, 2020, 

Second and third grade Family Confirmation of Gateway Learning Environment for 2019-2020 due

Information for 2019- 2020: 

  • Gateway FAQ

  • Gateway Interest Form (link coming mid December 2020) 

  • Gateway Placement Criteria
  • Gateway Program Learning Environment Recommendation Process