About Us

Frequently Asked Questions

The following list of FAQs and responses begins with general information about the Academy leading into a section on Academics. To read other FAQ pages on this website, visit: Reno School Admissions and the online high school FAQs.

A gifted student raising his hand in a Davidson Academy class

Q:  What age student is accepted at the Davidson Academy the Reno school? 
Any student, under the age of 18, who meets the Qualification Criteria and who can perform at an academic level of advanced middle school or higher in all subjects.

Q: Is the Davidson Academy in Reno a boarding school?
No, the Davidson Academy in Reno is a non-residential, full-time day school. Students not living in the state of Nevada will need to relocate to Nevada with a parent or guardian in order to attend.

Q: Can a student attend part-time?
No, this is a full-time program.

Q: What is the tuition for the Davidson Academy?
For Nevada residents, both options – attending either the online or Reno school – are free, and there is no application and assessment fee. However, if accepted to the online high school, out-of-state students must pay tuition.

Q: Who pays the tuition for Davidson Academy students at the Reno school attending the University of Nevada, Reno classes?
The Academy generally pays for approved University courses that meet a student’s high school graduation requirements for subject areas or levels that are not offered at the Academy. Parents are responsible for any mandatory fees (see University fee schedule). If an Academy student takes approved University courses that are above and beyond high school graduation requirements, their parents must cover the costs associated with the courses, as well as the mandatory fees. There is a scholarship fund available to address the needs of students who require financial assistance to pay for University courses, fees and books. Academy students have the benefit of paying in-state tuition rates.

Q: Are students grouped by grade level or age at the Academy?
Unlike many traditional school settings, the Academy’s classes are not grouped by age-based grades but by ability level. Assessments and an extended diagnostic period are used to initially place students into appropriate levels and concrete academic benchmarks help staff guide them to more advanced classes when ready.

Q: My child is 14 and has earned a number of high school credits. Do these transfer to the Academy?
It is likely that these credits can be transferred. Up to a total of 18 credits from another public or private secondary institution may be eligible for transfer. Academy administrators will consider each case individually and determine what credits can be transferred.

Q: Are students, who have high school diplomas at early ages and are ready for full-time college, considered eligible for the Academy?
No, students with a high school diploma who are ready for full-time college need to apply directly to the college of their choice.

Q: Is daily transportation provided to and from the Reno school?
No, parents will need to arrange transportation for their student to and from school each day.

Q: Are the teachers licensed?
Academy courses are taught by a variety of licensed secondary instructors, university instructors and content-area experts from the community.

Academics

A Davidson Academy teacher assisting students in the classroom

Q: How is the program different from other schools?
The Davidson Academy focuses on the individual needs of each student. Learning opportunities focus on mastery, higher order and critical thinking skills, community engagement, and personal development and responsibility (see Academic Overview).

Q: Are students able to choose from the various options, i.e., classroom, University, or independent coursework?
Each student has a Personalized Learning Plan (PLP) based upon her or his abilities, needs, readiness and passions. The plan is created as a collaborative effort between the student, parents, and Academy faculty and staff. This plan may include multiple learning options such as small group classroom learning, undergraduate university courses, graduate level courses, independent study with a mentor or professional, or college-level research based on the student's demonstrated abilities.

Q: When are Reno students able to take University courses?
The point at which a student may take a University course depends on his or her educational needs and readiness to excel in a college learning environment as determined by academic benchmarks and the Personalized Learning Plan (PLP) process. Once students have completed the core academic requirements set by the Academy or have room in their schedules for electives and are deemed ready for university level work, they have the option to enroll in University courses.

Q:  How does a student attending the Davidson Academy Reno school get to a college class during the day? 
Each student attending a college class as part of their Academy program is accompanied to class by an Academy staff member or official volunteer. 

Q: Do students learn on their own or with other students?
Each student has the opportunity to learn in group settings with other students as well as through independent study.

Q: What type of homework is required of students?
The homework is an extension of classroom discoveries and interactions. It is not busy work but meaningful assignments that engage students in applying information and skills for mastery. Students are responsible for prioritizing their homework assignments and managing their time. The Academy staff is available to guide students with their study skills.

Q: How big are Academy classes?
The average class ratio is around 15-to-1. As the Academy grows these numbers may change. However, the Academy’s focus on a high quality education environment will not change.

Q: Do Academy students receive support and guidance to manage their often intense feelings, emotions and perfectionistic tendencies?
Yes. A component of the learning community at the Davidson Academy is based on exploring, discussing and supporting the social and emotional needs of students. Our staff has been trained in these areas and is available daily to guide and support students.

Q: How does the Academy work with twice-exceptional (2e) students?
Currently, there are students with Section 504 Plans and accommodations. Regarding the learning and teaching style, the Academy considers goodness of fit for the student as a whole. The lessons are as diverse as the instructors. There are many hands-on learning experiences, as well as discussion and lecture-based courses. The Academy has many fixed goals and is flexible in meeting them.

Q: What is the Personalized Learning Plan process?
The purpose of the Personalized Learning Plan (PLP) is to deepen and strengthen the learning experience for all Davidson Academy students. PLPs are consistent with the Davidson Academy philosophy of treating students as individuals who are invested in their own learning. The plan is a series of adaptable documents that are used to guide students through a rigorous core curriculum and help them make elective decisions based upon their interests and commensurate to their levels of ability, achievement and motivation. Students, with adult guidance that includes staff and parents, propose ideas for the personalization process. Personalization is not “doing your own thing” or altering the core; it is the core experience with a variety of options based on student interest and competence. Personalization also refers to adapting individual classroom experiences to provide students with a pace and depth appropriate to their abilities and interests.

Q: What roles can parents play to support the Academy and the education of their student(s)?
Parents are key to guiding and supporting their child(ren) to take responsibility for their learning and to make the most of this unique educational opportunity. Parents are also encouraged to be active participants in helping the Academy achieve its mission and goals. Parents are encouraged to volunteer to lead specific projects such as supporting extracurricular activities and fundraising.

Q: What types of college planning assistance are offered?
Davidson Academy students work with a college planning consultant at the Academy and have access to assistance from an outside consultant as well. Students and parents use Naviance, a web-based college planning tool, to effectively map and track the application process for years prior to the student’s anticipated graduation date. Student receive information to assist them with essay writing and test preparation, as well as how to create a list of schools that are an excellent match for their interests and abilities.

Q: When is school in session?
Please consult the School Calendar.