The Mirman School
|Mirman School for Gifted Children|
Contendite Ad Astra
"Reach for the Stars"
|Los Angeles, CA, USA|
|Headmaster||John Thomas West III|
|Enrollment||Lower School: 210
Upper School: 110
|Color(s)||Blue, White, Gray, and Maroon|
|Athletics||Basketball, Baseball, Volleyball, Soccer, Flag Football, Track & Field|
Mirman School for Gifted Children is an independent, co-educational school for gifted children located at 16180 Mulholland Drive in Los Angeles, California, United States with 330 pupils aged 5 to 14. Mirman School is accredited by the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges WASC for grades 1-9.
The Mirman School was founded in 1962 by Dr. Norman and Mrs. Beverly Mirman, who started the school in their home. A year later, the school expanded to a facility on Pico Blvd. and classes were held there until the current Mulholland campus was opened in 1971. Soon after, at its new location, the school expanded to contain a middle school located on the same campus.
Mirman is one of a handful of schools for the highly gifted (IQ of 145 or above) in the United States. Instead of having traditional grade levels, Mirman School consists of a lower school and an upper school; the lower containing rooms 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 and the upper consisting of four years. Each lower school classroom contains approximately 18 students in Rooms 1 to 25 students in Rooms 5. Some of these students leave after the second year of Upper School and matriculate to a conventional seventh grade class. However, the administration of the school encourages students to stay through Fourth Year Upper School when they can matriculate to either 9th or 10th grade, or in some instances seek early admission to various colleges.
At the Lower School, there are two classes for each academic level (or grade). Each class has a primary teacher and assistant teacher who instruct the students in reading, mathematics, English, history, social studies and other miscellaneous subjects. In addition, there are additional teacher/specialists who teach separate classes covering science, drama, music, computer skills, and Spanish. There is a strong emphasis on community service, good citizenship and diversity. For example, each Room 1 student is paired with a Room 4 "buddy." Throughout the year, the "buddies" share classroom activities and special events together. Similarly, upper school four students are required to work one period a week in a lower school classroom acting as both a mentor and aide.
The Upper School, in contrast, has no main teacher. Instead, each student takes eight different classes and moves among the classrooms throughout the day. Rather than storing all school supplies within a fixed desk, as the students do in Lower School, Upper School students have lockers as an area to store books and school supplies. The classes for the Upper School are: Science, a world language (either Spanish, Latin, or French) History/ Anthropology, English, Mathematics, P.E., Art, and an elective. As for electives, students may choose to attend one elective which meets four days a week, or two different two day a week electives. On Wednesday, the Upper School has a program called LEAP (Learning Enhancement and Achievement Program) which gives students the ability to choose which classes they attend from a list of about 8 choices each period. The primary purpose of LEAP is to support the academic and artistic programs by providing students time for working on class assignments or independent projects. Students can also select classes that enhance the learning in all of their classes. The art class is available for three hours in the morning for students who wish to do extended work on art projects. Throughout the day there are a variety of choices available for all of the Upper School students. It can also be used for taking missed tests, working on class assignments, or getting extra help wherever it is needed. LEAP has been an important part of the Upper School curriculum for the past 20 years.
Field trips are common at the Mirman Lower School. In the Lower School, there are several field trips throughout the year. In Upper School, while daily field trips are scarce, in the fall the 1st year Upper School students do a three day primate and plant study at the Los Angeles Zoo and the County Arboretum as part of the science and anthropology curriculum. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th year students take overnight trips during the week. The 2nd and 3rd year trips stress team building activities. In 2012 the 4th year class visited Washington D.C. During the school year the Upper School students will visit places such as the Getty Villa, and go on local community service trips.
Notable alumni (exhaustive list of alumni with wikipedia entries)
- Benjamin Karney, Professor of Social Psychology at UCLA
- Jonathan Zasloff, Professor of Law at UCLA
- Nathan Myhrvold, Former CTO of Microsoft, Co-founder of Intellectual Ventures
- Chris Silbermann, President of ICM Partners (Major Talent/Literary Agency)
- Crispin Glover, actor (Back to the Future, The Doors, Alice in Wonderland)
- Masi Oka, actor (Heroes)
- Kristy Wu, actress (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
- David Dorfman, actor (The Ring, Drillbit Taylor)
- Philippe Cousteau, Jr., son of Jacques Cousteau
- Charles Matthau, son of Walter Matthau
- Nick Sagan, son of Carl Sagan
- Sho Yano, child prodigy
- Madalyn Aslan, author
- Mirman School website
- "Where Bright Minds Can Shine" by Elaine Woo, Los Angeles Times - 22 November 2000.