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May 2019

What's New in Gifted Education | Davidson News
Legislative & Policy News | On the Web | In the News | In the Spotlight

What's New in Gifted Education

Davidson Academy Online Now Offering Single-Course Enrollments

For the first time, single-course enrollments are now available through the Davidson Academy's online campus. Two English and two math courses will be available for single-course enrollment beginning Fall 2019.

Please view the Single-Course Enrollments page and our infographic below (PDF version). Learn more and apply by May 15. Email if you have any questions.

The Davidson Academy's online campus is a game changer for profoundly gifted students. Open to students academically performing at or above seventh grade living anywhere in the United States, the accredited online campus builds off the one-of-a-kind, exceptional framework put in place by the Davidson Academy Reno Day School. The result is a robust online community where students thrive.

Scientific Innovation at Google Global Science Fair

Twenty-eight Americans comprise 100 of the Regional Finalists for the Google Global Science Fair. The finalists’ projects address a number of crucial, timely issues, including: A freely accessible learning–based web application for the early detection of dyslexia; a novel deep learning approach to improving heart disease diagnosis; and a machine learning algorithm that identifies plant diseases based on pictures taken from a smartphone. Google will announce the 20 Global Finalists in July. Congratulations to Davidson Academy student Yatin Chandar (featured below), who was the U.S state winner for Nevada!

Study Examines Disconnect With Gifted Students

A study conducted by the National Center for Research on Gifted Education found that students in gifted classes are more likely to spend time on critical thinking, creativity and so-called "extension activities" than on advanced material. Three-quarters of the schools surveyed said they did not use a separate curriculum for gifted courses. Among the key findings (view the full list):
  • Gifted services are not equally distributed across schools within districts. The variance between schools in a district is greater than the variance across districts in a state.
  • Gifted programs seldom focus on core curriculum such as math and reading.
  • Gifted students start ahead in reading and mathematics achievement at third grade but don’t grow any faster than other groups by fifth grade.
Read more in The Hechinger Report and Gifted Issues Discussion Forum.

Davidson News

Davidson Fellows Scholarship

The Davidson Institute offers $10,000, $25,000 and $50,000 Davidson Fellows scholarships to students 18 and under whose projects have the potential to benefit society, and are at the college graduate level. Application categories are in the STEM fields, humanities and outside the box. The 2019 class of Davidson Fellows will be announced this August.

Davidson Young Scholars

The national Davidson Young Scholars program provides FREE services designed to nurture the intellectual, social, emotional, and academic development of profoundly intelligent young people between the ages of 5 and 18 (students must be between the ages of 5 and 16 when applying). Benefits of the program include:
  • Consulting Services
  • An Online Community
  • In-person Connections
  • Community Service Endeavors
  • Summer Programs (fee-based)
Read success stories to see how the Young Scholars program has helped make a difference in the lives of these students. The application deadline is the first of each month.

Legislative & Policy News

CALIFORNIA – Gifted programs in the Sacramento school district could face a series of pending budget cuts. Source: Sacramento Bee

ILLINOIS – Chicago Public Schools is considering a plan that would offer gifted students more options beyond seats in its sought-after test-in programs. However, some parents and advocates feel it sets the bar too high for most children to qualify. Sources: Chalkbeat, Midwest Academy for Gifted Children

NEW YORK – Despite efforts to make New York City gifted education programs more inclusive and fair to all students, disparities in admissions remain. However, some high-performing New York City middle schools have made diversity gains. Sources: Chalkbeat, The Wall Street Journal

OKLAHOMA – Plans for the Moore school district to discontinue a weekly class for local gifted students has raised concerns with numerous state advocates for gifted education and parents. Source: Norman Transcript

TEXAS – Sen. Jane Nelson submitted an amendment to restore a gifted and talented allotment for the state, negating a recently-proposed school finance proposal that would have eliminated extra funding for gifted and talented students. Source: Texas Association for the Gifted & Talented

VIRGINIA – A $20,000 grant from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation will help create a new science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) program in Clarke County. Source: Local DVM

On the Web

Institute for Educational Advancement (IEA)

The Institute for Educational Advancement (IEA) seeks to meet the specific needs of gifted students so that they can reach their full intellectual and personal potential. IEA provides customized programs that match each student's unique gifts and talents with the most appropriate mentors, schools, and other learning environments to maximize intellectual and personal development. IEA also offers the Gifted Resource Center (GRC), a free public tool serving as an online database of resources appropriate for the gifted learner.

Gifted Social Media and Blogs

Gifted organizations and advocates across the country are connecting through social media and blogs. Many are listed in the following articles: If you know of additional gifted blogs or social media pages we can add to the Davidson Gifted Database, please contact us at

Featured Articles and Resources

The Davidson Gifted Database features articles, resources and state policies to help students, parents and educators pinpoint gifted information:
  • In the book Danielle: Chronicles of a Superheroine, futurist, inventor, and author Ray Kurzweil writes about a precocious girl who uses her intelligence and accelerating technologies to solve the world’s biggest challenges. Danielle’s journey casts a hopeful vision of humanity’s future.

  • The Online Foreign Language Program Comparison takes a look at the most popular online foreign language programs used by Davidson Young Scholars. Languages include Spanish, Chinese, Ancient Greek and more.

  • The Online Social Science & Humanities Program Comparison takes a look at a number of popular online social science and humanities programs. These programs can be utilized in a variety of ways; enrichment, tutoring, curriculum replacement, independent study, etc.

  • Experience campus life and learn about a field of interest in an intensive week-long, residential certificate program through Rutgers Pre-College Summer Academies. Choose from academies in engineering, leadership, physical therapy, and political engagement, each featuring field trips, hands-on projects, guest speakers, and interactive classes.

In the News

Discuss these stories and more on the Gifted Issues Discussion Forum.

In the Spotlight

Yatin Chandar, Student at the Davidson Academy ~ Experiences Attending a School for Profoundly Gifted Students

My name is Yatin Chandar, and I am a senior at the Davidson Academy. I have attended the Academy for almost seven years, and I have nothing but praises for its staff, its culture, and its student body. As I work through the college application process and prepare myself for wherever the next four years take me, I think that there is no better time to reflect on and share my experiences at this fantastic school.
The main thing that I appreciate about the Academy is its relative lack of structure. There is no set way to go about your educational career (as long as you get enough credits to graduate, that is). This gives students a lot of freedom to explore their interests or find out where their interests lie. Freedom is a very broad term, though. What, specifically, makes the Academy different?

You take whatever classes you want and have fun while taking them. The Academy’s Personalized Learning Plan makes this possible, and it creates an educational experience that is like no other. The combination of a multifaceted student body and individually customized schedules means that no two classes have the same set of students. I see high school students and middle school students in the same classes, a rare or even nonexistent occurrence in other schools. All of this means that the Academy community is very supportive and tight-knit, and students learn from and make friends with people that they would otherwise never see. These effects are exacerbated by the Academy’s small population. Most of the classes at the Academy have a maximum of around 15 students, making student-to-student and student-to-teacher communication more frequent and connections to the material and to peers much deeper.

Obviously, the Academy does not have enough instructors and classes to cater to everybody’s interests. This is common to all schools. What makes this school unique, however, is its freedom to let students fill the gaps. Do you have knowledge in a particular field and want to share it with others? Make a class! Do you find people that are interested in the same things as you are and want to share that interest? Form a club! The Academy has more than 25 clubs ranging from electronic music production to running, which is a lot considering that we have less than 160 students. When I was in eighth grade, I created a class that enabled students to learn about aviation and aerospace engineering and participate in competitions. Five years later, I have been able to meet, teach, and share my interest in all things flight with many of my peers and have a lot of fun competing in rocketry competitions and airplane design challenges.

Lastly, the Davidson Academy is located on a university campus. This is a large part of the Academy’s power as a school and as an open field for students to explore. By being a part of the University of Nevada, Reno, the Academy has the educational resources of an entire university. Labs, higher level classes, and maker spaces are all available to Davidson students. In my opinion, it is one of the most valuable aspects of the Academy. Because universities have a much wider variety of classes and areas of study, and because Academy students aren’t tied to specific majors, they are able to take essentially any course they want to, as long as they meet the requirements. I was able to conduct research in a robotics lab at the university, and the knowledge I gained was instrumental in establishing my future educational and career aspirations.

If you are a student that wants to challenge yourself and develop your passions without limits, I highly suggest applying to the Davidson Academy. Everybody - your teachers, your peers, and your administration - will be with you every step of the way.
“People stereotype precocious kids, particularly if they have mathematical talent, by assuming they are going to be a scientist. It’s like saying if you’re tall you’re going to be a basketball player. There are a lot of tall kids who don’t want to play basketball. It’s the same with academic talents. We need to really encourage kids to get in touch with not only their gifts, but what they are passionate about.”

-- David Lubinski, co-director of the Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth (SMPY) at Vanderbilt’s Peabody College (Source)
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