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AIM Meeting Schedule & Testing Dates

AIM Master Plan

Board Presentation Documents

We Value Your Feedback

Please take some time to provide your feedback  and/or experiences regarding the AIM program aim@djusd.net. Your input will be reviewed and considered by staff. Input from the community will be made available to the public, however inappropriate commentary will be excluded. 

AIM Mailbox 


AIM - Alternative Instructional Model (formerly GATE)

Dr. Bowes Presents on AIM to Board of Education 4/6/17

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School Board-Approved Recommendations for the AIM Program for 2017-2018 School Year

On Thursday, April 6, 2017, the Board of Education heard an AIM update from Superintendent Bowes that included a program review of work and results for the 2016-17 school year.


After the presentation, public comment and board discussion, the Board of Education voted on two sets of recommendations.   The first set of recommendations were introduced in a 3-part motion authored by Trustees Alan Fernandes and Madhavi Sunder and after discussion:


The Board unanimously voted (5-0) to support:

  1. Identification of traditionally underserved students;
  2. The expansion of AIM services to AIM-identified students to neighborhood and other choice program classrooms; and

The Board voted (4-1 with Trustee Archer dissenting) to support:

  1. For the 2017-18 school year, and each year thereafter, when the number of children identified for the AIM program does not equal a full classroom, the remaining seats may be filled in accordance with the program’s design.

The Board also voted (4-1 with Trustee Sunder dissenting) to approve three recommendations from the Superintendent that called for:

  1. Exploring alternatives for identifying talents and gifts from a wider range of domains beyond language arts and mathematics;
  2. Working to ensure there is one GATE certified teacher at each elementary school and attempting to augment that number in each successive school year;
  3. Reaffirming district commitment to formative assessments and student goal-setting.

(For specific motion language, link to School Board minutes-- Available Friday, April 28.)  


Key Points

  • DJUSD will continue a self-contained AIM class, but will expand AIM program services for AIM-identified students into neighborhood classrooms, using effective differentiated instruction and begin to take steps to ensure the presence of a GATE-certified teacher at each elementary school.
  • DJUSD will begin exploring the identification of gifts and talents from a wider range of domains (beyond English Language Arts and mathematics) to bolster student learning at all levels and to reach traditionally underserved students in all classrooms (beyond just self-contained classrooms).
  • DJUSD will use student goal setting and formative assessments (both already embedded in the DJUSD Strategic Plan), to support the needs of all students, from the struggling to the highest achieving, promoting DJUSD values of a diverse and inclusive culture, student social and emotional health, equity and excellence. 
  • DJUSD will ensure AIM-identified students in traditional/neighborhood classrooms will have their specific educational needs met in their neighborhood or traditional school classroom through an alternative instruction plan, in consultation with an AIM–certified teacher, tailored to meet their specific abilities utilizing various models for program delivery, that may include but not be limited to, math ability rotations, flexible grouping, or other pullout or push-in services.  
  • For the 2017-18 school year, and each year thereafter, when the number of children identified for the AIM program does not equal a full classroom, the remaining seats may be filled in accordance with the program’s design.This gives flexibility to the principal to fill the classroom to meet the needs of the site and program.

Click for Minutes of Motions and Votes from April 6, 2017, Board of Education Meeting, AIM Update Agenda Item. (Coming Soon: Minutes are expected to approved at the May 4, 2017 Board of Education Meeting.)



AIM Program Forms and Information

Program Information

Universal Testing

The Otis-Lennon School Abilities Test, 8th edition (OLSAT-8), is administered in the classroom by all 3rd grade teachers in the Davis Joint Unified School District. 


Please allow your child to test without stress about how “important” the information is and how it will be used.  Proctors will explain, “The test gives adults information about how students think and learn and why they find some things easy and some more difficult.”  Children usually enjoy the testing activities because they are more like puzzles. 


The OLSAT measures a child’s verbal and nonverbal abstract reasoning and provides information about a child’s particular strengths and relative weaknesses.The use of OLSAT information is to screen third grader's for the District's Alternative Instructional Model (AIM) Program (previously known as GATE) and to give educators more information about a student's learning.

The test is sent to the publishers for scoring and results are received and mailed home in January.

Parents receive a print out of the child’s performance and supplementary District information. 


Information from this test will not be maintained in any form in your child’s records unless written permission is provided. In June, any data for which parents have not provided written permission are shredded.


Recently, all DJUSD 3rd grade teachers administered the OLSAT-8 Universal Testing used to screen students for the Alternative Instructional Model (AIM) identification.   The OLSAT-8 is one of multiple measures we use for the AIM identification process. The OLSAT-8 version DJUSD administered was designed to have students answer test questions in a test booklet.  However, the AIM office mistakenly delivered test booklets and Scantron answer sheets to school sites, including inaccurate directions to use the Scantron.  All third grade parents have been notified whether their students' testing environment was impacted.  Copies of those letters  and the follow up letter for next steps are provided below:



Next steps regarding our Universal Testing and re-screening will be posted shortly.


Request to Opt Out of Participating in Third Grade Universal Testing 


Aim Assessment Team Identification Process Narrative

Program Updates

  • On October 7, 2016, DJUSD was notified that the US Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights (OCR) dismissed the complaint alleging discrimination in the AIM-identification process. Specifically OCR determined allegations were “prospective in nature” and information presented contained “no information showing harm has occurred or is occurring”.  DJUSD welcomes the OCR findings dismissing the charges and is committed to continue to work to refine the process on how students are identified for the DJUSD gifted program.  An update for the board of education is expected later this year.

  • In mid June 2016. DJUSD has received a request for information from the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of the Department of Education regarding our AIM program. We have fully complied with this request for information from OCR. We routinely comply with such requests for information from regulators. We certainly comply with the law, and we are committed to offering equitable access to our programs.Over the last 15 months, we have taken a close look at how students are identified for the gifted program, and we have made specific revisions to these processes and procedures. We have been and will remain transparent in doing this. Our assessment of these programs continues, and we plan to present further refinements to the board later in 2016. We look forward to receiving any Department of Education comments on our programs.

  • May 25, 2016 Letter from Interim Superintendent French

  • As of June 4, 2015, DJUSD will no longer accept private testing as a means to identify a student for the AIM program. Families who started the private testing process prior to June 4, 2015, who qualify for AIM may still be placed in existing vacancies for the 2015-16 school year based on space available. Students new to the district (grades 4-10) should contact the AIM office to arrange for assessment. 

Superintendent's AIM Advisory Committee

2015-16 AIM Advisory Committee Dates

Date: September 28, 2015 - Time: 4:00-5:30 - Location: East Conference Room (Agenda and Resources)
Date: October 26, 2015 - Time: 4:00-5:30  - Location: East Conference Room (Agenda and Resources)
Date: November 30, 2015 - Time: 4:00-5:30  - Location: East Conference Room (Agenda and Resources)
Date: January 25, 2016 - Time: 4:00-5:30  - Location: East Conference Room
Date: February 29, 2016 - Time: 4:00-5:30  - Location: East Conference Room (rescheduled to March 10, 2016) (Agenda and Resources)
Date: March 28, 2016 - Time: 4:00-5:30  - Location: East Conference Room (Canecelled)
Date: April 25, 2016 - Time: 4:00-5:30  - Location: East Conference Room (Agenda and Resources)
Date: May 23, 2016 - Time: 4:00-5:30  - Location: East Conference Room (Agenda and Resources)

AIM Advisory Past Meeting Agendas and Information

Relevant AIM/GATE Research

Peters, S. and Gentry, M. (2012). Group Specific Norms and Teacher-Rating Scales: Implications for Underrepresentation. Journal of Advanced Academics 23(2) Pgs. 125-144. Sage Publishing.

Callahan, C. (2005). Identifying Gifted Students From Underrepresented Populations, Theory Into Practice, 44:2, 98-104

Greathouse, D., Shaughnessy, M., Gentry, M., Peters, S. (2015). A reflective interview with Marcia Gentry and Scott Peters: The Hope Scale. Gifted Education International, 31(1), 34-40.

Rogers, K. B., (2007). Lessons Learned About Educating the Gifted and Talented; A Synthesis of Research on Educational Practice. Gifted Child Quarterly 51,382-396. Sage Publishing

Frank C. Worrell & Jesse O. Erwin (2011) Best Practices in Identifying Students for Gifted and Talented Education Programs, Journal of Applied School Psychology, 27:4, 319-340,

UC Davis Researchers AIM Program Study Report - Presented to the DJUSD BOE on June 4, 2015

Frequently Asked Questions: How Does the AIM Program Affect Student Outcomes in the Davis Joint Unified School District? Carrell, Kurlaender, Page, & Kramer, University of California, Davis

Rena F. Subotnik , Paula Olszewski-Kubilius , and Frank C. Worrell. Rethinking Giftedness and Gifted Education: A Proposed Direction Forward Based on Psychological Science., Psychological Science in the Public Interest 12(1) pg. 3–54

DJUSD AIM Identification Evaluation Report (2005) completed as part of the Javits Grant

Relevant Web Resources