Gifted students in grades 6–8 pursue challenges suited to their unique abilities.
Our Gifted and Talented Academy offers experiences for students that develop their intellect, encourage achievement, and nurture academic and personal goals. Academy students in grades 6-8 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 Academy teachers encourage students to demonstrate leadership qualities, high-level practical skills, and a capacity for creative thinking, with the understanding that gifted middle school students may experience asynchronous development of intellectual, social and emotional skills. Each Academy student benefits from a personalized learning plan that is built upon his or her strengths and needs. As part of a distance learning program, this process allows Academy teachers to collaborate with individual students to develop a path that focuses on areas of interest and future goals.
The Laurel Springs Gifted and Talented Academy offers families all the opportunities of an elite private school including highly qualified teachers, excellent curriculum, academic counseling and mentoring. Curriculum options include acceleration in all academic areas, 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 and Talented Academy Works in Middle School
Middle 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.
Academy students are encouraged to stretch their capability of complex analysis, evaluation, in-depth exploration and critical thinking. They present their research through an original piece of writing or through an exhibition, such as film, photography, or the creation of a website. 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.
We enrich the experience for gifted students by offering worldwide symposia on advanced topics, introducing 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 teachers are trained to create unique learning paths through courses, enabling each student to pursue greater depth or breadth in the content area, based on his or her individual needs. Our teachers specialize in the art of differentiated instruction for various types of gifted learners. One-on-one communication is the basis for an educational dialogue that encourages students to move beyond what they could achieve in a traditional setting.
Admission to the Gifted and Talented Academy
The Laurel Springs Middle School Gifted and Talented Academy admits students 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, strong test results, and recommendations from teachers and mentors. The Gifted and Talented Academy continues through grades 9-12 to provide a smooth transition for Academy students as they progress from middle school to high school. Students are placed in courses according to their ability level, not chronological age.
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.
- Academy Checklist
- Academy Student Questionnaire
- Academy Parent-Guardian Recommendation
- Academy School Administrator Recommendation
Tuition for the Middle School Gifted and Talented Academy is as follows:
- $6,000 for a full year or $3,500 for a semester for a student who takes one high school course
- $7,500 for a full year or $4,250 for a semester for a student who takes two high school courses
Academy tuition includes the following benefits:
- Up to 6 courses/6 credits (3 credits for semester enrollment), with personalized teacher service and curriculum materials
- Symposia participation
- Elective and PE Portfolios as required or desired
- Mentor-teacher services
- Personal academic counselor
- 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 the Academy’s Admissions Coordinator, Beth Probert, at 877-925-1451, or email BProbert@LaurelSprings.com.