Students Pursue Challenges Suited to their Unique Abilities
At Laurel Springs, we understand the unique needs and abilities of gifted children. As a distance learning program, we are able to create an individualized learning plan that is built upon each student’s strengths and needs. Additionally, Academy students are placed in the most appropriate courses for their learning level, regardless of their chronological age.
Laurel Springs offers experiences for gifted and 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.
Hear directly from Laurel Springs Gifted & Talented Academy student, William, who shares why online learning works for him as a gifted student.
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.
How the Gifted & Talented Program Works
Full-time Upper School and Middle School students in the Gifted & 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 Project provided me with the opportunity to explore research design, application, and presentation – from the initial plunge into a new topic to communication of the final product. With the end goal of a virtual classroom presentation, I was inspired to delve deeper into Lincoln Douglas debate structure, theory, and application; explaining my understanding and experience of competitive debate required me to condense a year-long project into a few slides with concise, informative, and engaging material. I believe the Academy Project experience has not only prepared me for collegiate level research, but also for its communication to a wide variety of audiences.” ~ Megan Smith, Class of 2014
Meetings with Remarkable Men and Women Symposium
The Academy’s symposium 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. These live webinars encourage active discussion among Academy students and inspire collaborative learning. Academy students work independently and with their teachers and also collaborate with like-minded peers through online discussions, seminars, and classes. To read more about our past speakers, visit our Guest Speakers page.
The Academy Lounge
The Academy Lounge meets twice each month and the first meeting is a topic specific, multi-media engaging experience led by the teacher. Students come to the first meeting having completed a designated task related to the topic pre-assigned by the teacher. The second lounge event builds off of the monthly topic and is student-centered, in which students lead the discussion via their own presentations. Students share their thoughts and knowledge about the particular topic in discussion. Some of the monthly topics have included The Hero’s Journey, Creativity and Innovation, and Every Summer has a Story, What’s Your Story?
Academy Learning Plan
Every student at Laurel Springs School takes our Learning Styles Profile. Students in the Academy receive a one-on-one interpretation of their learning styles profile with our learning styles coaches. The results of the learning styles profile are then used to create the Academy student’s individualized Academy Learning Plan (ALP). Together with the student and parent, our Dean of the Academy works to set desired outcomes for the school year. This ALP is designed to be a goal setting instrument that provides the structure needed to address academic and social-emotional needs through identified educational support for student success. These personalized goals are established at the initial start of the program.
The Academy’s 12-month enrollment period offers increased flexibility. Additionally, students can opt to stagger courses according to their own schedule and preferences.
Tuition for the Academy Program
|School of Record (only)||Middle School||Upper School|
|Full Year Course||$1,600||$1,600|
- 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 for Upper School and monthly meetings for Middle School
- Learning style profile and consultation with learning success coach
To learn more about the Gifted & Talented Academy, please complete our inquiry form.