Gifted Education


Students at Potomac High School may be referred for Gifted Identification by their parents, teachers, guidance counselors, or peers. Gifted Identification/Placement Committees will meet to review cases and make decisions regarding eligibility. Contact Marilyn McGrath to begin the process or click on the link below to download the referral form. Please bring the completed form to the School Library or the front office to get the identification process started.


Gifted Education Referral Form



Gifted students need advanced and complex content that is paced and sequenced to respond to their intellectual curiosity, exceptional problem-solving abilities, and rapid acquisition and mastery of information. The Gifted Education Program offers resource services from Kindergarten through 12th grade for students whose learning needs cannot be entirely met in the general education classroom setting. Minutes and frequency of services vary depending on the grade level. Differentiated classroom services are also provided through collaboration between classroom teachers and the gifted resource teacher.

Image of PSHS Gifted Teacher

Mrs. McGrath - [email protected]


Delivery of Services

The following options are available for students identified as gifted:

  • Cambridge
  • AICE
  • Advanced Placement
  • Dual Enrollment Courses

These classes are not limited to students identified as gifted, but are seen as a vital part of services in high school. The courses provide acceleration and differentiation as a part of meeting the needs of gifted learners.

Seminar Services

Eighteen hours of direct resource services are offered this year for freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. Nine hours are scheduled for our seniors. Students meet in small groups to discuss topics and refine critical, conceptual, reflective, creative, and collaborative thinking skills. Students select to leave a class to receive resource services. If a student finds that missing class is too disruptive to the academic performance, the resource teacher may work with the parent and student to find the best option. Seminar modules are published on Canvas, and students are encouraged to explore this additional online option.

The curriculum, seminar topics and anticipated sequence are also posted on the Canvas site. If you have any questions, email Marilyn McGrath at [email protected], the Gifted Education Resource Teacher for Potomac High School.

Conference Services

If a student does not want to be removed from the gifted program, but does not want to attend seminar, the student may be placed on "conference" status with parent permission. The student would meet periodically with a resource teacher to discuss academic goals and achievement.

Conference with Independent Study

Students with extremely focused interests can complete an independent study/project instead of seminars. This option allows them to create their own "center"; the student would need to be self-motivated to develop and execute the plan. The resource teacher would act as an advisor and facilitator to the student.

Summer Residential Governor's School Programs

Summer Residential Governor's Schools provide students with month-long learning opportunities on college campuses. Students may apply during sophomore and junior years but may attend only once. Admission is competitive, but tuition, housing, and meal costs are covered by the county. Applications typically become available in October.

Governor's School @ Innovation Park

Students may also apply to attend the Governor's School @ Innovation Park for their junior and senior years. The program is not limited to gifted students but requires strong ability in math and science. Selected students will attend college level math & science courses on the George Mason campus in Manassas. The students return to their base school for lunch and Language Arts & History core classes.

For more information on all Governor School Program options visit the PWCS Gifted Education Program page.