Gifted Identification Process

What does it mean to be gifted?

Gifted students are those who have higher than average cognitive potential. They are learners who easily process new information, have exceptional memories, are exceptionally creative, and/or have a natural ability for analysis and synthesis. Based on evidence collected during the Identification process, these students may need resources beyond the general classroom for their intellectual needs to be met.

How do I know if my child is gifted?

Prince William County has a process in place for the identification of students who require the services of the program. Students must be evaluated for Gifted Services and be found eligible in order to participate in seminars. If a student does not qualify for the program, it means his academic needs do not indicate that special services are required at the time of evaluation.

I think my child is gifted. How do I recommend him for the program?

Parents, teachers, administrators, peers, students, counselors, or the gifted education resource teacher may all make recommendations for the gifted program. A referral form is available below. The student's parent or guardian must give permission in order for the student to be screened for the program and the identification process to actually begin. The gifted resource teacher gathers information from multiple sources, administers necessary tests, and assembles the committee of professionals which determines if the student requires services.

What are the steps in the identification process?

The identification process may take up to ninety instructional days and concludes at a county-level Identification and Placement Committee meetings. These committees occur near the beginning of each marking period and include gifted resource teachers, core classroom teachers, school counselors and administrators. Information in the following areas is considered…

· Aptitude test scores

-Naglieri Nonverbal Test of Abilities

-Cognitive Abilities Test

-Other available test scores


· Grades and grade level or criterion-referenced state tests

-Grades in math, science, English or foreign language, and social studies

-SOL test scores


· Normed achievement tests or student reports and portfolios

-PSAT (the National Representative Sample Percentiles for each area)

-Student Report (completed in school with gifted resource teacher)

-Student work samples (provided by student and teachers)


· Teacher and/or parent reports

-Teacher Report from core subject teachers

-Parent report completed by parent or guardian


First, a school-level committee compiles and evaluates this information. Second, a county-level committee, composed of gifted education resource teachers, a guidance counselor, classroom teachers, and an administrator, reviews the information Third, the committee decides if the student currently requires gifted services. Finally, the parent or guardian is notified by letter of the committee's decision. Decisions may be appealed; contact Ms. Christensen or Mr. Moreno for more information on the appeals process.

More information can be found on the PWCS Gifted Education website.

Referral Form Gifted Identification