The Prince William County Gifted Education Program is referred to as SIGNET, an acronym for Schools Involved in Gifted Needs in Education Today. The activities used in this course of study support increased levels of complexity. Students identified for gifted education services have instructional time with their age level peers, instructional time with intellectual and academic peers, and time to work independently.


Philosophy: The students served by the Gifted Education Program at the middle school level are unique in both their abilities and achievements. The program recognizes and strives to provide for the diversity of the academic, interpersonal, and emotional needs of each student in an appropriate environment.


Yearly Goals:


Skills:  Different approaches to solving problems

  •  Higher level thinking skills of analysis, synthesis, and evaluation
  •  Originality, flexibility, fluency, and elaboration in student products
  •  Processes and skills that will benefit students in their regular class settings



  •  Curriculum based on the needs and interests of the students
  •  Access to current information and/or innovative practices in fields of study
  •  Interdisciplinary approaches to content areas through problem-based learning and research


Interpersonal Affective: 

  •  Respect for self and others
  •  Productive group and individual work within an intellectually risk-free setting
  •  Fostering the curiosity to be a life-long learner
  •  Meeting the needs of gifted middle school students

Students do not receive a grade in SIGNET classes to encourage risk-taking. Rather than a grade, students receive an individual progress report accessing these six areas:

  • Conceptual Thinking
  • Critical Thinking
  • Creating Thinking
  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Self-Directed Learning

In order to receive gifted services, your child must be identified as requiring services by PWCS. Once identified, this placement is implemented for grades 3-12 across all PWCS. If your child was identified by any other county and transfers to PSMS, he/she will still be required to participate in the identification process here at PSMS to determine eligibility within PWCS. This process is extremely thorough, including six hours of testing, the collection of work samples, and written teacher/student/parent reports.

For more information about gifted education at Potomac Shores Middle School, please email Catherine P. Williams or check out the following links: