Here you'll find answers to frequently asked questions about the Davidson Academy's academic offerings.
How is the program different from other schools?
The Davidson Academy focuses on the individual needs of each student. Learning opportunities focus on mastery, higher order and critical thinking skills, community engagement, and personal development and responsibility.
Are students able to choose from the various options, i.e., classroom, University, or independent coursework?
Each student has a Prospective Learning Plan (PLP) based upon their abilities, needs, readiness, and passions. The plan is created as a collaborative effort between the student, parents, and Academy faculty and staff.
When are Reno students able to take University courses?
The point at which a student may take a University course depends on their educational needs and readiness to excel in a college learning environment as determined by academic benchmarks and the Prospective Learning Plan (PLP) process. Once students have completed the core academic requirements set by the Academy or have room in their schedules for electives and are deemed ready for university level work, they have the option to enroll in University courses.
How does a student attending the Davidson Academy Reno campus get to a college class during the day?
Each student attending a college class as part of their Academy program is accompanied to class by an Academy staff member or official volunteer.
Do students learn on their own or with other students?
Each student has the opportunity to learn in group settings with other students as well as through independent study.
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.
How big are Academy classes?
The average class ratio is less than 15-to-1. As the Academy grows these numbers may change. However, the Academy’s focus on a high quality education environment will not change.
Do Academy students receive support and guidance to manage their often intense feelings, emotions and perfectionistic tendencies?
Yes. A component of the learning community at the Davidson Academy is based on exploring, discussing and supporting the social and emotional needs of students. Our staff has been trained in these areas and is available daily to guide and support students.
How does the Academy work with twice-exceptional (2e) students?
Currently, there are a number of students with Section 504 Plan accommodations or Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) attending both campuses. The educational planning for each student with a disability is based upon processes that address legal requirements for educational settings, evaluation, placement, reevaluation, and procedural safeguards. The Academy special education services team consists of Academy staff members, as well as contracted professionals who specialize in relevant areas of assessment and practice.
What is the Prospective Learning Plan process?
The purpose of the Prospective Learning Plan (PLP) is to deepen and strengthen the learning experience for all Davidson Academy students. PLPs are consistent with the Davidson Academy philosophy of treating students as individuals who are invested in their own learning. The plan is a series of adaptable documents that are used to guide students through a rigorous core curriculum and help them make elective decisions based upon their interests and commensurate to their levels of ability, achievement and motivation. Students, with adult guidance that includes staff and parents, propose ideas for the personalization process. Personalization is not “doing your own thing” or altering the core curriculum; it is the core curriculum experience with a variety of options based on student interest and competence. Personalization also refers to adapting individual classroom experiences to provide students with a pace and depth appropriate to their abilities and interests.
What roles can parents play to support the Academy and the education of their student(s)?
Parents are key to guiding and supporting their child(ren) to take responsibility for their learning and to make the most of this unique educational opportunity. Parents are also encouraged to be active participants in helping the Academy achieve its mission and goals. Parents are encouraged to volunteer to lead specific projects such as supporting extracurricular activities and fundraising.
What types of college planning assistance are offered?
Davidson Academy students work with a college planning consultant at the Academy and have access to assistance from experienced outside consultants as well. Students and parents use a web-based college planning tool, to effectively map and track the application process in years prior to the student’s anticipated graduation date. Student receive information to assist them with essay writing and test preparation, as well as how to create a list of schools that are an excellent match for their interests and abilities.
When is school in session?
The Davidson Academy academic school year generally follows the University of Nevada, Reno calendar.
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