Reno, Nev. (August
– U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings will be in
Reno Tuesday, August 22 at Lawlor Events Center to celebrate the
opening of The Davidson Academy of Nevada, on the University of
Nevada, Reno campus.
The Davidson Academy, the first free public school of its
kind in the nation serving profoundly gifted students, will open
August 28 with an inaugural class of more than 35 students ranging
in age from 10 to 16. An individualized learning plan for each
student will enable the teachers to guide students through the
appropriate level and pace of each curricular area. While
approximately half of the students are from Reno, many of the
families are moving to Reno to attend the Academy (www.DavidsonAcademy.UNR.edu).
"As our world grows more competitive, we must run faster and better
prepare our students to compete. That's why President Bush launched
the American Competitiveness Initiative to increase academic rigor
in our schools and strengthen math and science education,” said
Secretary Spellings. “The Davidson Academy is leading the way,
challenging students with more advanced coursework and equipping
them to succeed in college and the workforce."
Approximately half of the gifted students in the United States, an
estimated 1.5 million, are underachieving because they are not
challenged by their school curriculum and up to 20 percent of high
school dropouts test in the gifted range, according to the
Handbook of Gifted Education.
“The current, one-size-fits-all approach to education is not working
for our brightest students,” said Bob Davidson, co-founder of
The Davidson Academy. “Davidson Academy students will be key to
moving our state and nation forward with their talents and
innovations while supporting our nation’s position in the global
To be eligible to
attend The Davidson Academy, students must be at the middle or high
school level across all subject areas and score in the 99.9th
percentile on IQ or college entrance tests, such as the SAT or ACT.
At The Davidson Academy,
if students master a semester’s worth of course material in a few
weeks or a month, they may move ahead at their own pace,” said
Jan Davidson, co-founder of The Davidson Academy. “We tailor
learning to each student, giving them the opportunity to learn in
greater depth and at a faster pace than they
would in a typical, grade-based schooling
Davidson Academy students will have the
opportunity to proceed through undergraduate and graduate coursework
at the University of Nevada and students will also be able to pursue
research with professors.
“Our campus is an ideal place to nurture these bright young people,”
said John Frederick, University provost and executive vice
president. “We strive for excellence from all our students and value
the vast intellectual ability of this inaugural group of Davidson
Academy students. It’s a great opportunity for us, and the
University’s faculty and student body are eager to welcome these
exceptionally bright young people and provide them with new academic
The Davidson Academy is
located on the University campus at 1670 N. Virginia St. in Reno and
will be expanding into a permanent location on campus within the
next few years.
1999, the Davidsons founded the Davidson Institute for Talent
Development (www.DavidsonGifted.org), a national non-profit
located in Reno to support America’s brightest youth. In 2004, the
Davidsons co-authored Genius Denied: How to Stop Wasting Our
Brightest Young Minds, published by Simon & Schuster (www.GeniusDenied.com).
and Interview Opportunities: Davidson Academy students and faculty,
Bob and Jan Davidson and University administrators are available.
Please contact Julie Dudley if you are
interested in attending the opening or to schedule an interview.