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August 2008


(Reno, Nev.) – The Davidson Academy of Nevada, a free public school for profoundly gifted students, will begin its third school year this month with 73 students housed in the newly remodeled second floor of the Jot Travis Building on the University of Nevada, Reno campus.

The first public school of its kind in the nation, the Academy opened in August 2006 with an inaugural class of 35 students that increased last year to 44 students.  This year’s student body ranges in age from 9 to 17. Approximately half of the students are from northern Nevada and the others moved with their families to Reno to attend the Academy

The new 30,000-square-foot Academy facility has 11 classrooms, student study areas, three music practice rooms, an art room, school library, and a sports and activity area.  The Academy features security access controls as well as access to wireless Internet and smart classroom technology in all classrooms.

We’re very excited to start the school year in this wonderful new facility,” said Colleen Harsin, director of The Davidson Academy. “In addition, the new location at the center of campus will allow the students to more actively participate in college activities.

According to the Handbook of Gifted Education, 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.

“The current, one-size-fits-all approach to education is not working for our nation’s brightest students,” said Bob and Jan Davidson, co-founders of The Davidson Academy. “At The Davidson Academy, these students are given opportunities to do advanced work in a variety of fields so they can reach their full potential in their areas of interest.” 

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 tests or at the extreme for their age groups on aptitude tests. 

The Jot Travis Building is the former home of student government offices and the campus bookstore, both of which are now located in the new Joe Crowley Student Union.

In 1999, the Davidsons founded the Davidson Institute for Talent Development (  a national non-profit located in Reno and that supports our nation’s brightest young people. In 2004, the Davidsons co-authored, with Laura Vanderkam, Genius Denied: How to Stop Wasting Our Brightest Young Minds, published by Simon & Schuster ( For more information on the Davidson Institute, or to learn more about The Davidson Academy, please visit and