Gifted Student Stories

Personalized Learning Opportunities at Davidson Academy

The Personalized Learning Plan (PLP) is a hallmark of the Davidson Academy curriculum and experience. We recognize that each individual student has their own needs and we encourage gifted learners to pursue their passions and interests through a customized learning experience. The PLP extends to students who attend classes in person at our campus in Reno, Nevada and online learners who take classes through our accredited online high school. Students applying for the Academy's online campus should be between 11 and 16 years old as of September 30, in the school year for which they are applying.

Gifted students create their PLP with input from parents, a guidance counselor and our Davidson Academy curriculum team. Most importantly, this is an adaptable document and it may include opportunities outside our campus classrooms. Independent study, internships, online high school and college classes and more may be part of a student’s PLP while at Davidson Academy.

The goal of the PLP is to personalize the learning experience to each individual’s abilities and interests. Our team at Davidson Academy remains open to new opportunities for students and is committed to finding the best fit for each learner.

Below, find a couple stories of real students at Davidson Academy and the ways they have customized PLPs to their unique interests and needs.

1) Course Credit Through Independent Study

A 12-year old gifted student at Davidson Academy Online has a strong interest in neuroscience. He’s been mentoring under a professor at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis over the summer to deepen his knowledge of the field and gain hands-on experience. When the summer comes to an end, the student is invited to continue studying with the professor and his students during the academic year. To allow this student to pursue his passions, without falling behind in his coursework and class standing, Davidson Academy allows him to use this valuable time and experience for school credit. Now, the student is able to continue his valuable neuroscience coursework and continue to build a relationship with his mentor, without missing a beat on his path to a Davidson Academy diploma.

2) Telepresence Opportunities

Before joining Davidson Academy as a full-time student, a 13-year old had been taking courses online through the Davidson Institute’s Young Scholars program, an à la carte program offering accredited, year-long, advanced middle school courses adapted from the curriculum at the Academy.

This student has a passion for Calculus. After taking the Davidson Academy Online Calculus I course he decided to take the AP Calculus AB and BC exams. The student scored 5 on both exams, allowing him to bypass our Calculus II course and go directly to Calculus III. However, no other online students were enrolled in Calculus III this year, which meant this student would have been in a digital “classroom” without classmates. Recognizing that this was not ideal, we researched other options that would provide this student with a more collaborative Calculus III experience. Working with the student, his family and instructors, we agreed that the best outcome would be for him to take the Calculus III course at the Reno campus through the aid of a telepresence robot. This allows him access to a high-level mathematics course with a Davidson Academy professor while having virtually the same classroom experience as his classmates in Reno. We have plans to expand the use of telepresence robots for other online students taking high-level courses, as needed.

The Davidson Academy curriculum is built around each individual gifted learner, whether they are located on campus or signing on to our accredited online school. These are just a few of the many ways real students have taken advantage of opportunities both inside and outside the classroom to fit their academic needs.