All schools in Capistrano Unified offer the Gifted and Talented Education Program (GATE) for eligible gifted students in Grades 4-8. Students are identified for GATE participation based on assessed intellectual abilities and overall school performance.
Elementary students are placed in cluster groups within the regular classroom. At the middle school level, Grade 6-8 students are placed in GATE cluster classes for social science and English, and have opportunities to participate in accelerated mathematics.
All high schools offer Advanced Placement courses and special academic academies. In addition, San Clemente and Capistrano Valley high schools offer the prestigious International Baccalaureate Program.