Online Campus - Frequently Asked Questions

Can international students attend Davidson Academy Online?
Currently, the Davidson Academy online campus is only available to students living in the United States.

Other than tuition, what additional costs can families expect to pay for Davidson Academy Online activities or fees?
Our tuition covers all course materials for students. Davidson Academy Online does not provide hardware so students will need to have their own computer to access their courses.

If a student is enrolled in Davidson Academy Online and their sibling is also accepted, is there a tuition discount for the sibling?
Yes, there is a 10 percent discount for each additional sibling. The full, personalized tuition rate (determined by FAST) applies for the first student from each family. Then, each additional sibling would receive a 10 percent discount off of that personalized tuition rate.

Can I get a list of technology specifications for the course?
Our courses are designed to work on most devices, but we highly recommend a desktop or laptop computer running either Windows or Mac OS for most coursework. Mobile devices and Chromebooks are appropriate for those rare occasion when a student needs to access a live session outside of his/her normal work space, but may provide a more limited experience. We will check out a drawing tablet to students as some courses will require handwritten work, and these tablets may be unusable or of limited use without a Windows or Mac based device. We use the Blackboard learning management system for course delivery, Microsoft Office 365 for productivity software and email communication, and Adobe Connect for live sessions. Students will need a web camera and noise cancelling microphone or headset for live sessions. Since our live sessions do use audio and video streaming, a robust internet connection is necessary. Additionally, all science and math courses, starting at Algebra I, require students to have a graphing calculator.

What is the minimum age to apply for Davidson Academy Online?
While we recommend that students have 6th grade in progress, we will review an application from a younger student who has qualifying scores if they have completed at least the age appropriate grade (or the equivalent, if homeschooled), and have qualifying IQ, SAT or ACT test scores (see Qualification Criteria).

It seems like the Davidson Institute and Davidson Academy understand that age is not indicative of ability level, so why does Davidson Academy Online have age ranges for applicant eligibility?
While age and ability do not necessarily correlate, it’s been our experience that profoundly gifted students in the posted age ranges have been the most successful at the Davidson Academy.

When will the application process open for the next school year?
The 2019-2020 application is open.

Can students take just one or two Davidson Academy online campus courses?
No. The Davidson Academy online campus is a full-time program and does not offer a la carte courses.

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. Students report having up to 10 hours of homework each week.

Do you have syllabi and a list of texts that will be used for the courses?
Our online courses are modeled from existing face-to-face courses at the Davidson Academy's Reno day school, where instructors often adapt the courses to the specific learning needs of the students. Additionally, almost all of our courses incorporate a variety of resources and primary sources instead of relying on a traditional textbooks. Therefore, we are not releasing text titles or detailed syllabi at this time. Please see our Courses page for detailed descriptions of all courses. 

Are Davidson Academy Online courses aligned to the Common Core State Standards?
Our courses focus on depth and application of concepts designed to engage profoundly gifted students. This often means that the content is beyond the Common Core grade level designations, although the content for most of the topics in our core courses are identified in the Common Core State Standards.

Will the courses have live sessions or utilize pre-recorded videos?
Both. All courses will have regular, live synchronous meetings via web-conferencing as well as pre-recorded videos and other online learning activities. Accepted students will receive their live session schedule after the diagnostic period. Please see the Online Admissions Process page for more information about the diagnostic period.

How many students will be in each class?
Classes are typically capped at 15 students, but often have less. Our focus is on offering classes that our students need, rather than ensuring that each class is full.

Will the classes be semester- or year-long?
All core classes will be a full academic year. Most electives are semester-long classes.

Are the courses self-paced?
Courses are not self-paced, but they are designed for young, profoundly gifted students who have some variation in their preparation. Individual attention will be available throughout the courses to ensure success of all participants.

Will students have the opportunity to collaborate with their classmates?
Yes. Participants will interact with peers through a variety of course activities. It is our goal for this to be an engaged and inspired community of gifted learners.

How will the labs work in the science classes?
The science courses will include hands-on labs. These are typically in the form of lab kits that are mailed directly to each student. Depending on the lab, the students may work through parts of the lab during live sessions or the teacher may provide lab goals and instructions in our learning management system for students. Some labs may require students to videotape themselves doing parts of the lab. Our goal is to ensure that the online science courses have the same level of depth and rigor as our face-to-face courses.

Is Davidson Academy Online accredited?
Yes. The Davidson Academy is accredited by AdvancED.

What courses will be offered in future years?
Our course listings and eligible applicant grade levels will increase on an annual basis. For the 2018-19 school year, we will be adding more advanced high school classes so that our 2017-2018 students have a full slate of quality high school classes.

Which world languages do you offer?
We currently offer Spanish Fundamentals, Intermediate Spanish, Chinese I, and Chinese II. More advanced courses in these two languages are currently under development.

What type of support should parents expect to be providing at home?
Parents should expect to help their students develop routines to work on their courses, interact with teachers and peers, and reach out to teachers through all of the tools available (synchronous lessons, email, discussion boards, office hours, etc.).

Have a question that you want answered? Email online@davidsonacademy.unr.edu to submit your question.