Academics at Gateway

academics at gateway


Fostering Excellence in all Disciplines

Gateway Middle School's curriculum ensures students are challenged, engaged in their learning, and prepared for a rigorous high school experience. All academic courses at Gateway are standards-based, incorporate Common Core State Standards, and emphasize the process of learning, commitment to community, and integrity. 

Academic Subject Areas


Advisory offers students a safe environment in which they can develop and strengthen their social-emotional skills and build a sense of community within our school. Each advisory meets daily and is made up of 15-18 students in the same grade. The student's advisor provides academic and social support and also serves as the primary contact for families.

Physical and Health Education

Gateway’s physical and health education class fosters healthy minds and healthy bodies by teaching students about nutrition, exercise, and healthy habits. This class also promotes teamwork and communications skills through physical activities.  Gateway’s Physical and Health education class meets California Content Standards in Physical Education and Health.

Visual and Performing Arts

Gateway recognizes the importance of developing students' skills in a range of areas and offers visual and performing to develop students' artistic perception, creative expression, and aesthetic appreciation for a variety of visual and performing arts.

Exploratory Spanish & Heritage Spanish

Gateway students have the opportunity to study Exploratory Spanish or Heritage Spanish in their 7th and 8th grade years. These courses help students develop an understanding of a broad range of Hispanic cultures as well as develop skills in reading comprehension and formal writing.  


The Humanities program is an integrated study of English-Language Arts and History-Social Studies at each grade level. Gateway’s Humanities program meets the California Common Core State Standards in both subject areas. The Humanities courses follow the sequence below.

Humanities 6: World Literature, History, and Geography: Ancient Civilizations
Humanities 7: World Literature, History, and Geography: Medieval and Early Modern Times
Humanities 8: U.S. Literature, History, and Geography

Learning Seminar

Gateway Middle School's Learning Seminar is a centerpiece of the overall academic program. Through this class, all students develop self-awareness as college-bound learners and acquire the reading and learning strategies necessary for success in high school and college. Learning Seminar is tailored to meet each student at her/his individual reading level, so that all students are supported and challenged.  Students learn about their learning style and form an understanding for all kinds of learning styles. The content and skills taught in Learning Seminar are complemented, applied, and reinforced across all subject areas.

Mathematics: Procedural & Conceptual

Gateway Middle School offers students extended work in mathematics each day to meet all aspects of the California Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. The mathematics curriculum emphasizes the learning of both procedural as well as conceptual elements of mathematical understanding. Students learn to apply Common Core Math Practices by creating multiple representations of mathematical problems (visual, symbolic, words), sharing strategies for problem solving, and explaining their mathematical thinking orally and in writing.

Students engage deeply with the "why" of math using math manipulatives, hands-on activities, and real-world examples, and they delve into investigative activities to understand and extend mathematical ideas to the world around them. At the end of the 8th grade year, all students will have completed the California Common Core Middle School Math courses so that they are ready for a college preparatory mathematics program in high school.


The science program prepares students for college preparatory high school science by providing them with a rigorous program based on the California Content Standards for Science and the Next Generation Science Standards. A hands-on laboratory component allows for both student-centered and more teacher-directed learning opportunities.

Gateway's mission-specific goals to develop students' reading, writing, and reflection skills across the curriculum are incorporated.  Daily science classes allow students to learn the fundamentals of scientific inquiry as they practice these learning and communication skills.