Student Insights

More than Just a School

For both the Reno campus and the Online campus, the Davidson Academy is designed to be much more than just a school. At the Academy, students experience friendship with like-minded peers, extra-curricular activities, community involvement and more. A number of Academy graduates comment on this below.


On the Social Environment...

Vivek Y.

The Davidson Academy is welcoming. One of my first experiences with the DA was in a beginning of the year social event. At the time, I was an incoming student and I didn’t really know anyone there. But fortunately, I wasn’t alone. I sat down next to a small group of new students. I didn’t realize that these people would end up becoming some of my best friends years later. One of the great things about the DA is that most people have a similar story. Many people come to the school with stories of feeling excluded at previous schools, but at the Academy, everyone finds a home. It is easy to build friendships here.

Amanda B.

When I first came to the Academy, one of my biggest concerns was making new friends . . . On my first day, I realized that everyone was very friendly, witty, and overall lots of fun to hang around with. Stereotypically, it may seem that the intelligence level would hinder the social environment; however, at the Academy it just makes the social conversation more interesting and fun.



Nathan M.

The social environment here is very warm and accepting of different people and viewpoints, and it’s collaborative instead of competitive. If a friend asks me how I did on an assignment, it’s not because they want to know if they did better than me; it’s because they care about my academic growth and want me to succeed. In short, my experience here at Davidson has been amazing, and some of the memories I’ve made here are priceless. If you have the opportunity to attend, I would highly recommend doing so; I wouldn’t trade this experience for the entire world.

Rhiannon M.

The community at the Davidson Academy is truly incomparable, and I definitely wish I would have known before I started just how welcoming everyone would be. I made lots of friends easily, and I was happy to find that everyone was very accepting and friendly. You may think that we’re all 'nerds' here; while it’s certainly true that we value academics, there is so much more to us than that! Many students pursue a variety of extracurricular activities, from sports teams to orchestras to speech and debate.

Justin O.

Our small collection of students has a remarkably wide range of interests. In the same day, you could find yourself talking about topics like existentialism and differential equations, in addition to your typical brand of sophomoric humor and conversation . . . with an intellectual twist. Enough chatting with students like these would inevitably teach you something new nearly every day, even without access to classes like ours.

Arturo G.

When I first came to The Davidson Academy I worried about fitting in. I was worried that I wouldn’t find friends that had similar interests as me and I was unsure whether it would be worth leaving my friends from my old school. I quickly realized, however, that everybody at the Academy, both students and staff members, were and still are super friendly. The students here have a wide variety of interests and I am positive that you, like me, will find at least one person who has a similar interest.



Lillian C.

At the Academy, there is a place for every student, young or old, no matter their interests. We have students creating musical languages, working with lasers and debating like pros. Whatever your interest, no matter how esoteric, you are sure to find someone who can relate. Even if you aren’t sure what your passion is, there is still a place for you to discover it.


Hannah H.

Beyond having academics of the highest caliber, the culture at Davidson really encourages a unique and intimate community—students are always approaching each other, connecting over their interests and collaborating, regardless of whether they are both sophomores or separated by five grade levels. For instance, while organizing my school’s TEDxDavidsonAcademy event just last year, our team consisted of sixth graders and seniors alike working together to pull off the event. That kind of dynamic permeates the academic, extracurricular, and social spheres within Davidson.

On Academics...

Sky N. (Davidson Academy Online student)

If you’re reading this, then you probably know that the academics offered here are truly unique in a critical way. It’s not just the courses, or the teachers and faculty, or the students, or whatever--it’s the integral combination of all those individually intriguing aspects of the Davidson Academy (DA) that make this place what it is. It’s the ways all these elements interact--the ways that the teachers and students learn from each other, laugh together, solve problems together; the ways the teachers and faculty plan meticulously for the sake of the students’ well-being and education; the ways that both teachers and students interact with the enlightening coursework.

Caroline S. (Davidson Academy Online student)

Throughout my years as a student I have been to private, public, magnet, and online schools, but none of those experiences compare to Davidson Academy Online. The live sessions are stimulating and engaging, the teachers are invested in my learning, the work is actually interesting, and my peers are amazing! I finally feel like I am learning in an environment fit for me. Davidson has helped be become a successful student too. I’d always had trouble taking notes, planning, and studying but DAO has let me create my own strategies for each! The school is meant for gifted kids and it shows in everything they do. Thanks to Davidson I finally feel at home at school.

Morgan H.

When I first came to Davidson in 8th grade, I felt immediately welcomed and supported by my caring teachers and newly challenging classes. At a time when the adjustment can be a difficult one, I was simply fascinated by the way in which we were exploring unique concepts and real-world applications of our studies that would never have made it to my previous public school curriculum.

Matthew B.

Like everything else, classes at the Davidson Academy are totally unique. Because the school is so small, the classes are too; depending on the class, you’ll be working with anywhere from five, to at most around 20 other students. This means that unlike traditional lecture-style teaching, classes at the Academy are very personal, and focus a lot on each student getting really involved in the material. This year I’m taking an elective about post-apocalyptic literature taught by our resident philosopher, where we read about human-controlling fungi, prepare for a zombie apocalypse, and try to model human society using only pleasure and pain (spoiler: it doesn’t work very well!).

Isabella N.

When I started at the Academy, I thought that I would go into a STEM field such as astronomy. However, it was my Davidson Academy classes that prompted me to better appreciate the humanities. Classics had characters and themes I could, with the right frame of mind, apply to the books I wanted to read. I didn’t have to take philosophical concepts at face value; I could question and elaborate upon and argue against the writings of famous philosophers until I reached a greater understanding of how I thought the world works. I know a lot of STEM students who have come away from humanities classes at the Academy with a better appreciation of how those fields impact their work.

Aman P.

One of the (many) amazing things about the Academy is that students aren’t bound to take classes by age. Like many students, I started taking high school classes my first year here, and over time those amounted to enough credits for an early graduation. To be honest, my decision to graduate early was a tough choice: it’s going to be very hard to say goodbye to the Academy two years before I need to. So why did I even choose to graduate early? It’s because the Academy inspired and fostered passion in me. Between the motivated students, the enthusiastic teachers, and the helpful administration, it’s difficult not to feel excited about learning.

Timothy N.

I came to the Academy after being homeschooled for much of my life. I will admit that this school challenges me, but that is exactly what it is supposed to do! The school is designed to push you in every aspect; though you may be strong in one subject (math, or history for example), expect to be challenged in every subject, even the ones you know a lot about. That said, it is not as scary as it might sound, because every class has an extremely dedicated teacher willing to guide you in your learning career.

Aiden C.

One thing is very clear. The school is here to help students who want to learn. You can see this quality in its specialized learning plan. Every year, during the first few weeks of the school year, the DA develops a personalized learning schedule for each student. This way, rather than being separated by grade, students are placed into classes based on their academic ability. One student may be taking a class for advanced math and another may be taking a class for advanced writing skills. More importantly, these classes are taught wonderfully.