Gifted & talented students in grades 9–12 pursue challenges suited to their unique abilities.
Laurel Springs offers experiences for gifted & talented students that develop the intellect, encourage achievement, and nurture academic and personal goals. Our students participate in a more elaborate, in-depth study of major topics, and engage in problem solving that integrates knowledge across systems of thought. In addition, our teachers encourage students to demonstrate leadership qualities, high-level practical skills, and a capacity for creative thinking.
As a distance learning program, we are able to create an individualized learning plan that is built upon each student’s strengths and needs. This process allows the teachers to collaborate with each student to develop a path focusing on his or her areas of interest and future goals.
“The Academy allowed me to take advantage of many Honors and AP course offerings with strong and consistent teacher support. The symposia, online seminars, and forums for Academy students helped me to develop relationships with my peers. I completed in-depth projects in my areas of interest, and my teachers were always available to assist. With Academy support, I managed my athletic training schedule and academic demands, including college courses, which allowed me to complete my high school education one year early.”
- Matej Silecky, Class of 2011
The Laurel Springs Gifted & Talented Academy offers families all the opportunities of an elite private school including certified teachers, excellent curriculum, school counseling, mentoring, and college placement services. Curriculum options include Honors and AP courses, as well as opportunities to conduct in-depth research projects on topics of the student’s choosing.
To learn more about the Gifted & Talented Academy, please complete our inquiry form.
How the Gifted & Talented Program Works
High school students in the Gifted and Talented Academy work independently and with their teachers, and also collaborate with like-minded peers through online discussions, seminars and classes. The Academy offers virtual classroom experiences and the advantage of working in small, intimate groups, so students can get to know each other and feel supported by their peers and teachers. Academy students are placed in the most appropriate courses for their learning level, regardless of their chronological age.
The Academy teacher group is a small cohort of teachers with specialized training and experience in gifted education. They are trained to create unique learning paths within their courses, enabling students to pursue greater depth and breadth in the content area, based on individual needs. Academy teachers specialize in the art of differentiated instruction for various types of gifted learners. One-to-one communication is the basis for an educational dialogue that encourages students to move beyond what they could achieve in a traditional setting.
Academy students are encouraged to stretch their capability of complex analysis, evaluation, in-depth exploration and critical thinking. The Academy Project is an opportunity for each student to conduct in-depth research in an area of particular interest. The development of superior writing and research skills is an important aspect of this program component. Our Academy students present their research through an original piece of writing or through an exhibition, such as a film, photography collection, or the creation of a website. Students are encouraged to explore an area of interest to them. Some examples of past Academy Project topics include endangered species, autism, Irish dancing, bone injuries, and dog training. These research projects are often developed around a student’s specific gift or talent, providing an exciting journey of deeper involvement and understanding of his or her favorite artistic, musical, athletic, or intellectual pursuits.
The Academy’s series of symposia on advanced topics feature guest speakers who are professionals and experts from a variety of disciplines. Our symposia speakers have included an astronaut, a film producer, an environmental activist, and an Antarctic explorer. Academy students work independently and with their teachers and also collaborate with like-minded peers through online discussions, seminars, and classes.
The Academy program coordinator holds conferences with families to stay current with each student’s progress and individual needs. These conferences discuss academic plans, course choices, support options, and other program components. A dedicated Academy school counselor is assigned to each student. This school counselor helps students create a long-term academic plan that includes coursework to best fit individual needs and abilities. The Academy’s 12-month enrollment period offers increased flexibility. Additionally, students can opt to stagger courses according to their own schedule and preferences.
The Laurel Springs Gifted & Talented Academy admits students in grades 9-12 on a year-round basis, though most students follow a traditional fall to early summer schedule. The ideal candidate has a proven record of academic excellence, high achievement in areas of personal interest beyond academics, strong test results, and recommendations from teachers and mentors.Students who are interested in applying for acceptance into our Academy program should complete and submit the following forms for our Academy selection committee to review. It is important to complete and submit all documents to be considered for Academy acceptance.
High school tuition for enrollment in the Laurel Springs Gifted & Talented Academy is $12,000 for a full year, and $6,500 for a semester, which includes:
- Up to 6 courses/6 credits per year, with personalized teacher service and curriculum materials
- Symposia participation
- Elective and PE Portfolios as required or desired
- Mentor-teacher services
- Personal college coach with weekly meetings
- Learning style profile and consultation with learning success coach
- Lab kits, enrollment fees, shipping costs and sales taxes (CA residents only)
Additional courses are $1,600 each for a full year and $800 each for a semester.
For more information about admission requirements and the application process, call 877-925-1451.