Elsinore Middle School

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Guiding Exceptional Minds with STEAM

     The GEMS program (Guiding Exceptional Minds with STEAM) at Elsinore Middle School is a magnet program that emphasizes advanced instruction with STEAM instructional practices. Students will have broad opportunities to explore subjects in depth at a pace that matches their advanced abilities. Students do not have to be identified as GATE to be considered for the program.


Along with the accelerated academics, the program provides a socially appropriate environment for those students who sometimes feel awkward among their peers due to social, emotional, academic, and maturity traits typical of advanced students. GEMS offers an emotional support system.



Applicants for 2021-22 school year:

Decision emails went out on January 15, 2021. Please, check your spam folder if you have not received a decision notice from us. 

important info sign

Incoming GEMS students for 2021-22 school year:

 Remember if you are NOT already scheduled to attend EMS next year AND were accepted into GEMS, you MUST submit an intra-district transfer form by Friday, January 29, 2021, by 4:40 p.m.

Applications for the 2021-22 GEMS program were due on

Thursday, December 10, 2020,

extended to Monday, December 14, 2020, before midnight. 

Late applications will not be considered this year. 


If you did not get to apply this year, you are welcome to apply in November of 2021. Please, monitor this webpage as we do not actively recruit for the 7th and 8th grade classes. 





The Admissions Committee considered the following information as part of the selection process:


* 2018-19 CAASSP test score and level (since 2019-20 tests were not taken)

* Teacher recommendation, parent recommendations, and student input on applications

* Grades, citizenship, behavior, and work habits

* General aptitude in core content areas

* Placement test to be administered online by EMS staff


Have questions?

Please, view our informational video




If you have any questions regarding the GEMS Program or the application process and you were able to join our Q & A session, check the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) or the Next Steps button below.  If you still have questions after that, please contact via Kim Shotts, GEMS Coordinator by email kim.shotts@leusd.k12.ca.us  

Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted

     SENG is a wonderful organization dedicated to educating parents and teachers about the unique needs of gifted students.  GEMS parents get practical information on the following topics related to gifted learners: 

  • Characteristics
  • Motivation
  • Discipline
  • Stress Management
  • Peer Relations and Sibling Rivalry
  • Tradition Breaking 

For more information or to register, go to SENG's website

We love our CAMPS!
The camps are always something that students remember for a lifetime.   

You may direct questions regarding specific camps to the teachers listed below. Approximate cost for each camp & teacher contact:
6th Grade 
Mrs. Powell - field trip coordinator

7th Grade - Catalina Island Marine Institute - cost is $500 approx.

  Mrs. Blakemore - field trip coordinator
Catalina Island Marine Institute Information
(7th grade GEMS camp)

8th Grade 
Ms. Wiertzema - field trip coordinator


GEMS Community Service

The GEMS Program highly encourages its students to participate in a minimum
of five hours of community service per semester. Students should turn them into their science teachers.

Contact the GEMS Coordinator for more information: