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.


Recruitment for 2024-25 school year:

Our official recruitment window for the 2024-25 school year will open in January 2024.

Important dates:

Save the date:  January 11, 2024

- Information Night at 6:00 pm in the EMS multipurpose room on Mohr Street. 

Save the date:  January 19, 2024

- applications are due by midnight. Applications must be submitted electronically. A link for the online form will be available soon. 

Please, note:  We will not be having candidates take a placement test this year.

DECISION EMAILS WILL GO OUT in early February. More details will be added as we get closer to the recruitment window. We will use the email address parents provided on the application. Check your spam folder if you do not see the decision email from us by a week after the announced date. 

Prospective GEMS Families: 

Have questions about the GEMS Program?

Please, view our informational video






Each year, the Admissions Committee considers the following information as part of the selection process:


*Previous CAASSP test score and level (none are currently available for this year's 5th grade)

* 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 or common assessments done at the elementary school










Applying Outside of our Normal Recruitment Window


If you do not apply before our deadline this year, you have a couple of options.


1- You are welcome to apply in November of 2023. Please, monitor this webpage as we do not actively recruit for the 7th and 8th grade classes. 


2- You may email [email protected] to inquire about any available spots for you student's grade level.  If space is available, you will be given a link for an online application. 


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 - Astro Camp
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 - Pali Institute
Ms. Katie Casey - 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:

[email protected]