Gifted Education - Ms. Wilco


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.

The goals of the Gifted Education Program are to promote critical, creative, and conceptual thinking as well as communication, collaborative, and independent learning skills. 

Grades K-3 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. 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. 


Grades 4-5 Services and Curriculum

Fourth and Fifth grade students spend a full day in the resource room each week. 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 two 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.

*Service models may be altered to fit health requirements during the current pandemic, with the full intention of providing the best possible instruction for your child. 

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.

For further information about the Gifted Education Program in Prince William County 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 and in the files portion of this class page.  Paper copies are also available in the Tyler Elementary School office.

Contact Information

The Gifted Resource teacher assigned to Tyler Elementary is Betsy Wilco. Mrs. Wilco can be reached by email at 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.

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.