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Who We Serve

The Davidson Academy is the first free public school of its kind for profoundly gifted middle and high school students. Profoundly gifted students are three standard deviations above the norm on the bell curve, so they are at the extreme end of the intelligence, or IQ, continuum. Unlike traditional school settings, the Academy’s classes group students by ability rather than age.

We were founded on the principle that the brightest minds deserve the attention and resources they need to flourish. Since then, the Davidson Academy has been steadfast in providing access to gifted education. Our dedicated and visionary staff lead the conversation around gifted youth with empathy and understanding at both the Davidson Academy Reno campus and online campus.

The Davidson Academy strives to reach students and families wherever they are. We work one-on-one with families to ensure the student’s education path is rigorous, but not rigid. Our vision for more access for families to pursue gifted education led to the development of the Davidson Academy Online campus, based on the model of the Reno, Nevada campus.

By creating a community where students feel like they belong, we combat the isolation they may feel when they are struggling to find a place in the world around them. We are proud to provide a sense of trust and stability for families and a place for students to strike friendships with intellectual peers. The community we continue to grow is a key differentiator for the Davidson Academy.

To attend either the Davidson Academy Reno campus or online campus, students should score in the 99.9th percentile on accepted intelligence and/or achievement tests; perform at a required academic level; exhibit intellectual and academic achievement; demonstrate motivation, social and emotional maturity, and an overall readiness for a fast-paced educational environment.

For Nevada residents, both options – attending either the online campus or the day school in Reno – are free. For online campus students living outside Nevada, the Davidson Academy uses a flexible tuition model that takes into consideration annual family income, cost of living adjustment based on location of primary residence, the number of dependents in the household, and other relevant factors to determine a personalized tuition level for each family.

 Some common characteristics of profoundly gifted students can include one or more of the following:

  • An advanced ability to learn and process information rapidly.
  • An extreme need for constant mental stimulation.
  • A need to understand the world and for it to be logical and fair.
  • An ability to relate a broad range of ideas and synthesize commonalities among them.
  • An insatiable curiosity; endless questions, inquiries and appreciation for nuance.
  • An inborn sensitivity and awareness of life.
  • A need to explore some topics in greater depth.
  • A sense of frustration with regard to mundane or repetitious processes.

Profoundly gifted students may also:

  • Demonstrate different or unusual interests compared to their same age peers.
  • Reach developmental milestones earlier and faster.
  • Read early or understand math concepts at a very young age.
  • Hold themselves and others to high standards.
  • Exhibit asynchronous development, which can manifest as uneven intellectual, physical, and emotional development.

Read the Academy’s Safe and Respectful Learning Environment (SRLE) policies (PDF).

Read the Academy Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) (PDF)
Notice of Completion – Crisis & Emergency Response Emergency Operation Plan (EOP (PDF)

“Nowhere else will you find a place so supportive, or as willing to do whatever it takes to help students realize their full potential. If you have a passion, I can guarantee you that it will not only be made accessible to you, but that its exploration and development will be encouraged. In short, being a student at the Davidson Academy has been an immensely positive experience for me, and one that I hope you may one day share.” ~Davidson Academy Student