Educational Services for Gifted Education Information Guide

Gifted At A Glance

Definition of “Gifted”

The definition of gifted used in PWCS is based on Virginia Regulations Governing Educational Services for Gifted Students. Students who are found eligible for gifted education services demonstrate high levels of academic accomplishment or show exceptional academic potential beyond their age peers of similar experience or environment in one or more specific academic areas.

Gifted Education Program

Gifted students need advanced and complex content that is paced and sequenced to respond to their intellectual curiosity, exceptional problem solving abilities, and rapid acquisition and mastery of information. The Gifted Education Program offers pull-out resource services in Kindergarten through 12th grade for students whose learning needs cannot be entirely met in the general education classroom setting. Minutes and frequency of services vary depending on the grade level. Differentiated classroom services are also provided through collaboration between classroom teachers and the gifted resource teacher.

Goal of Gifted Education

The goal of gifted education services in PWCS is to develop advanced skills in

  • Critical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Conceptual thinking 

… in order to encourage and enable students to become self-directed learners.

Identification Process

The identification process is ongoing throughout the school year. A student may be referred at any time by a parent, professional, Divisionwide screening tool, or self-referral. PWCS uses a multi-criteria approach to identification. Balanced consideration is given to many factors, including aptitude test scores, academic achievement, parent and professional reports, and student work samples. No single criterion is used to determine a student’s eligibility. The gifted identification process begins with the completion of a referral form, available on the Gifted Education website or at your child’s school.

Early Talent Development

In PWCS, all students in Kindergarten through second grade participate in enrichment lessons taught by gifted resource teachers. The lessons focus on nurturing critical and creative thinking skills and expose all students to challenging opportunities. The Early Talent Development (ETD) program recognizes students with gifted potential and provides targeted support to develop that potential. 

Spotlight on Equity

Increasing equitable access to challenging opportunities is a strategic goal in PWCS and is a priority for Gifted Education. Accurate identification of economically disadvantaged, minority, students with disabilities, and limited English proficient students requires purposeful action. Strategies, including universal screening, professional development for educators, community outreach, and early exposure to enriching opportunities, are implemented in PWCS to remove barriers and increase equity.

Gifted “Look-Fors” at Home

Gifted students typically have one or more of the following characteristics, which may be observed at home:

  • Curious, questioning attitude
  • Keen observer
  • Vivid imagination
  • Learns quickly
  • Sophisticated sense of humor
  • Exceptional memory
  • Sensitive to human issues, fairness, justice
  • Strong communication skills
  • Motivated to learn or develop a skill
  • Quick to learn a second language Intense interests
  • Enjoys problem solving