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.


We realize that not all students test well, and that we do not always have reliable test data for all students. An eligible student may have transferred into our district, or just missed testing so the program is open to anyone who wishes to apply. While our recruitment is primarily for students entering 6th grade, we have limited openings in our 7th and 8th grade program.


It is recruiting time 2020-style!

Everything is available online: application, general information, placement testing.


The online application is here. 

Click Here for the online Application


We are excited to announce that we will be accepting students on intra-district transfers for the 2021-22 academic year!  If EMS is not your assigned middle school, you are welcome to apply.


Applications for the 2021-22 GEMS program are due to EMS by Wednesday,  December 9, 2020, by midnight.  Late applications will not be considered unless there is a rare surplus of space available.



All applicants will be expected to take a placement exam via Zoom on Saturday, December 10th at 9:00 a.m.  If your student cannot be in attendance that day, the application will still be considered, but if there is an equally qualified candidate who did test, preference will go to that applicant.  NOTE: this exam is just one of the criteria that the admissions committee will consider.



The Admissions Committee will consider 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?  Join one of our Online Information Q & A sessions:

Q & A Session Zoom Links:

Should you have questions about the GEMS Program, please plan to join me for an online Zoom meeting. Please, feel free to attend either of these sessions to get answers to your questions. You will need to have your student log into Zoom using his/her school account since only authenticated users will be allowed to join the session.

Topic: GEMS Information Q & A Sessions
Time: Dec 4, 2020 06:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
        Dec 7, 2020 06:00 PM
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 954 4755 1304
Passcode: 514882


If you have any questions regarding the GEMS Program or the application process and you can not 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: