Gifted Education Program
In Prince William County, Gifted Education Services are available to students who are identified as requiring such services in grades kindergarten through twelve. At Tyler, all Gifted Education Services are provided within our school building.
Strategies for Teaching and Reaching for Talent
START 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 START program are to promote critical and creative thinking, problem solving skills, and independent as well as interactive learning skills. Students engage in units that extend 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.
Schools Involved in Gifted Needs in Education Today
SIGNET Services and Curriculum
Fourth and Fifth grade students spend a day in the resource room each week. The goals of the SIGNET program are to develop critical and creative thinking skills as well as independent and interactive learning skils. The SIGNET day at Tyler is broken into three main parts: Independent Learning Centers,
Think Tank, and TAG.
Independent Learning Centers allow students to develop their independent learning skills by studying a self-selected topic. They are guided in their learning through center contracts. There are over thirty topics for students to choose from, and many centers have three or more levels of complexity for students to explore, depending on their level of interest in the topic.
Think Tank is a period of time for students to practice their problem solving and creative thinking skills. They work in small groups to solve problems which may be either assigned or self-selected. They generate numerous possible solutions, evaluate them for validity in the given situation, elaborate on and present their solutions.
TAG, (Techniques Achieving Goals) units are designed to extend and enrich student learning in the content areas. Whole group sessions provide opportunity for instruction, small group activities enhance learning, and culminating projects give students the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of the topic and their creativity.
Self-reflection and planning is always a regular part of each SIGNET day.
SIGNET students also receive enrichment and extension daily in their regular classroom instruction.
Written Communication With Parents
Differentiated Services Plans are prepared by the resource teacher in collaboration with the classroom teacher each semester. These plans indicates 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.
Students participating in the START program are identified as potentially gifted. This identification, once established, 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 TylerElementary School office.
The Gifted Resource teacher assigned to Tyler Elementary is Betsy Wilco. Mrs. Wilco can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 703.754.9061. 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.