Online High School - Frequently Asked Questions

Can international students attend the Davidson Academy Online High School?
Currently, the Davidson Academy Online High School 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 High School activities or fees?
Our tuition covers all course materials for students. The Davidson Academy Online High School does not provide hardware so students will need to have their own computer to access their courses.

If a student is enrolled in the Davidson Academy Online High School 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 the Online High School?
Students applying for the Academy's Online High School must be 12 years old as of Sept. 30 (in the school year for which they are applying), have completed at least the age appropriate grade (or the equivalent, if homeschooled), and have qualifying IQ, SAT or ACT test scores (see Online High School Qualification Criteria). Students may apply for eighth grade, which is designed to be preparatory for the Academy Online High School. Ideally, eighth grade applicants will have completed one to two years of middle school prior to applying.

It seems like the Davidson Institute and Davidson Academy understand that age is not indicative of ability level, so why does the Davidson Academy Online High School have age ranges for applicant eligibility?
The Davidson Academy Online High School is launching with courses designed for qualified students in eighth grade or their first two years of high school. It is our experience that profoundly gifted students in the posted age ranges will be the best match for this initial offering.

When will the application process open for the next school year?
The application usually opens in the fall of each year for the following school year. For example, the 2019-2020 application will open in the fall of 2018.

Can students take just one or two Davidson Academy Online High School  courses?
No. The Davidson Academy Online High School 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 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 High School 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 High School's 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 the Davidson Academy Online High School 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.

Will World Language courses be offered in the 9th grade and if so which ones?
Spanish I, Spanish II, Chinese I, and Chinese II are currently under development and will be offered beginning with the 2018-19 school year. More advanced courses will be offered in future years.

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.).

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