Davidson Academy of Nevada

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Davidson Academy of Nevada
1164 N Virginia St
Reno, Nevada, 89503
United States
Type public school
Established 2006
Director Colleen Harsin

The Davidson Academy of Nevada is a public school located in Reno, Nevada. The school, founded by Jan and Bob Davidson in 2006, is for profoundly gifted secondary students, and is the first public school of this kind in the United States.[1] It is located in the Jot Travis Building on the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno. As of the 2013-2014 school year, 133 students attend the Davidson Academy.[2] The Davidson Academy provides each student with a personalized learning plan, designed to give them an education specifically catered to their individual, unique needs. Unlike traditional school settings, the Academy’s classes do not group students by age, but by ability. The school is designed to provide an educational setting where the abilities, strengths, and interests of highly intelligent young people are encouraged and supported. Eligible candidates of the school must score in the 99.9th percentile on accepted intelligence and/or achievement tests; perform at a required academic level; exhibit intellectual and academic achievement; are, or intend to be, residents of Nevada; and other criteria.[3] As ranked by the Washington Post's Jay Mathews, The Davidson Academy is one of the nation's "Top-performing schools with elite students."[4][5]

The average class ratio for students to teachers is currently about 15:1.[6] The Academy's current director is Colleen Harsin.[7] The school is a division of the Davidson Institute for Talent Development, a nationwide nonprofit organization established by the Davidsons to support the needs of profoundly gifted children through information resources, networking and educational opportunities, family support, advocacy, and scholarships.[8]


The Academy was created following state legislation in 2005 that designated it as a “university school for profoundly gifted pupils.” The Davidsons decided to create the Academy as an outgrowth of the THINK Summer Institute, upon learning of the interest shown by many of the parents of the students who attended the summer program.[9] [10]

Awards and honors[edit]

  • Ranked as one of the nation's "Top-performing schools with elite students" in 2014 by the Washington Post's Jay Mathews.[11]
  • The Davidson Academy Mathcounts Team took first place in the state competition for Mathcounts.[12]
  • The Davidson Academy Spanish Knowledge Bowl team took second place in the Knowledge Bowl, and the Language Expressions team took first place.[citation needed]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ New academy for highly gifted students opens at UNR 2006 Las Vegas Sun, October 4, 2005
  2. ^ Davidson Academy School Profile 2013-2014
  3. ^ Davidson Academy of Nevada Overview
  4. ^ Are We Failing Our Geniuses? 2007 Time Magazine, August 16, 2007
  5. ^ No genius left behind? Reno academy caters to smart students 2009 USA Today, August 4, 2009
  6. ^ Davidson Academy - Frequently Asked Questions
  7. ^ Davidson Academy - Colleen Harsin Bio
  8. ^ Oh Baby! Look Who's Reading the Paper". NBC's Today Show. 2009-4-22. http://allday.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2009/04/22/1903068.aspx
  9. ^ Some New Help for the Extremely Gifted". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/26/education/26gifted.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&sq&st=cse
  10. ^ Nevada Legislature". http://www.leg.state.nv.us/NRS/NRS-392A.html#NRS392ASec010
  11. ^ "Top-performing schools with elite students" Washington Post
  12. ^ Official Site

External links[edit]