Live from the Davidson Academy
For those wondering why I haven't been posting... I took a vacation out west doing some hiking, camping, and wedding attending. Now I'm back on line. Yesterday, I drove across Nevada from Salt Lake City. I landed in Reno, where I'm now blogging live from the Davidson Academy, the nation's first public school for profoundly gifted students.
The kids and parents all showed up this afternoon for a ribbon cutting ceremony (quick, given the 95 degree heat!) Tomorrow we'll be hearing from Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings and other VIPs.
The school will be starting next week with just shy of 40 students from around the country. Any Nevada resident student who qualifies can attend free of charge -- and several of the families of these profoundly gifted kids became Nevada residents to attend.
School hasn't started yet, so it's hard to render a verdict, but I can say this. You rarely see kids so excited about school. I spoke with a young lady in the parking lot who told me "I can't wait for school to start!" This is a sentiment you rarely hear cross the lips of very gifted kids in regular schools. So I'm thrilled for them. The higher-levels literature teacher reports that the curriculum will be quite connected -- kids may read Darwin's Origin of Species as they're studying evolution in science. I'm typing at a computer that's perched next to a stack of math textbooks of various levels, all thrown together so kids can work through them without the artificial structure of grades dictating what they're ready to know. And people who've spent a lot of time around gifted kids can appreciate this last observation: Some "misbehavior" (noisiness during the Davidsons' board meeting from a few kids who were still here) involved what appeared to be a very raucous and advanced game of Scrabble.
You've got to love it.