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Gifted Identification Update (August 4, 2020)

Plans are underway to resume gifted identification this fall. The division-level Gifted Identification/Placement Committee will meet throughout the months of August and September to make decisions regarding eligibility and placement for gifted services. Parents/guardians will be notified as decisions are made. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the gifted resource teacher at your child's school.

Delivery Of Services Update (August 4, 2020)

In 2020-21, gifted education services will be delivered virtually through Canvas during the first quarter. Information and sample schedules are available on the PWCS Return to Learn FAQ PageAdditional information will come from your child's gifted resource teacher in the coming weeks.

Gifted Education Program

In Prince William County, Gifted Education Services are available to students who are identified as requiring services in grades kindergarten through twelve.  All Gifted Education Services for kindergarten through third grade are provided within our school building.
For information about Gifted Education Services for fourth and fifth graders, see:

Grades K-3 Gifted Education Services and Curriculum

Students in kindergarten through grade three receive services once each week. The time per class varies according to grade level from 25 to 90 minutes. The goals of the Gifted Education Program are to promote critical, creative, and conceptual thinking, communication skills, and independent as well as collaborative learning skills. Students engage in units that extend and enrich the grade level content in Math, Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies as well as addressing thinking and learning skills. Identified students also receive enrichment and extension daily in the regular classroom during instruction. The gifted resource teacher provides critical and creative thinking instruction to all students in each classroom once per quarter in kindergarten through second grade, as well.

Written Communication With Parents

Differentiated Services Plans are prepared by the resource teacher in collaboration with the classroom teacher each fall. These plans indicate to the parents what specific services are planned to meet the needs of each identified student.

Newsletters are sent home quarterly informing parents of units currently being studied as well as general information about the program. Supplemental newsletters may also be sent as needed. 

Student progress reports are sent home at the end of each semester. The progress report is included in the students' report card and indicates their progress toward achieving the goals of the Gifted Education Program at their grade level.

Announcements and newsletters are also available by email. If you wish to receive information by email, please provide your address to Mrs. Wilco.

For further information about the Gifted Education Program in Prince William Count Public Schools:


The START program lasts through the end of third grade. During the third grade year, all students are evaluated in order to determine whether placement in the SIGNET program is appropriate

Students may be identified for services based on academic ability in language, mathematics, or both.
Prince William County has established a multiple-criteria screening process which takes into account several aspects of a child’s performance, including aptitude testing, parent and teacher narratives, grades, and classroom work samples. No single criteria either includes or excludes a child from placement in the gifted program. 

A student may be referred by a teacher or a parent, as well as by themselves, other school staff, or individuals in the community. Referral forms are available on the Prince William County Schools website under Gifted Education.  They are also available in the West Gate Elementary School office.

Contact Information

The Gifted Resource teacher assigned to West Gate Elementary for Kindergarten through third grade  is Betsy Wilco. Mrs. Wilco can be reached by email at wilcobt@pwcs.edu or by phone at 703.368.4404. Phone calls are welcome, and will be returned as soon as possible. Conferences are encouraged, and may be scheduled at any time during the school year.