Academic Investment

When Should My Child Enroll at Davidson Academy?

At the Davidson Academy, we accept students who are academically ready for coursework at least at an advanced middle school level to join our community of gifted learners. We offer a full middle school and high school curriculum at our campus in Reno and through our online school. Unlike in a traditional school system, we group our students by ability rather than age.

As a middle school and high school for gifted learners, students can enter our campus at different stages of their academic career. With the flexibility to join us at any level, parents and students often ask the question: When is the best time to enroll in Davidson Academy? 

We think of an education at Davidson Academy as an investment in your academic future. Our students are exposed to a higher level of academic rigor and opportunities that many won’t find in a traditional school system. We offer independent study programs with university partners, the opportunity to act as a professor and teach a class to your peers, among other unique electives and academic tracks.

As with any investment, the earlier and more you start contributing, the better return you’ll see in the future. A student who joins our community in early middle school will likely see more compounding in their academic investment than a student who starts in high school. From a more curated Personalized Learning Plan to additional connections made, there are many benefits to enrolling at the Davidson Academy as a gifted middle school student.

Understand the Academic Benefits

This idea of compound investing at Davidson Academy is best illustrated with a deeper look at our academic and graduation requirements. In the chart below, you’ll see the graduation requirements for a diploma from Davidson Academy.

Students who begin our program in middle school are able to complete important course work to set themselves up for success in required high school courses. With core classes completed earlier in their time at the Davidson Academy, students have the flexibility to pursue higher level specializations and dig deeper into additional academic areas of interest. For instance, older students who have earned their required credits have the space in their schedules to do lab work through the science department at the University of Nevada, Reno or delve deeper into topics such as literary theory or advanced mathematical modeling.


Beyond the Classroom

Students who begin their education at Davidson Academy early see advantages beyond the classroom as well. Studying at the Davidson Academy is an adjustment for even the most gifted learners. Our classes are accelerated by approximately three standard grade levels, and our teaching methods vary from those of traditional institutions. Our students must learn to think and motivate themselves independently. Adjusting to the schedule and workload at the Davidson Academy can take time. Students who immerse themselves in this environment during middle school adjust more quickly and are more apt to build stronger relationships with advisors and professors than students who start later. Therefore, students who enroll in the Davidson Academy in middle school have the knowledge and confidence to pursue unique learning opportunities throughout high school.

While we advocate for students beginning at the Davidson Academy earlier in their academic careers, we acknowledge that all students are different. Each learner has unique needs, and our Academy is committed to providing a positive, challenging, and rewarding academic experience to any gifted student who is part of our middle school or high school.

High School Diploma Requirements


Required Credits
English 4
Science 4
Mathematics 4
History 3
World Language 3
Physical Education 2
Arts and Humanities Electives 2
Computer Literacy .5
Health .5
Financial Literacy .25
General Electives 4.75
Total 28

Reno campus course offerings >

Online campus course offerings >