Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
This page answers some common questions regarding the admissions
process and general practices at Da Vinci Academy.
How does Da Vinci differ from other schools?
The school's mission, faculty, and curriculum strive to serve
the unique needs of gifted students. Our curriculum is built
to be acclerated and enriched to provide students with more
challenging work. In each of our grade levels, students will
learn essential skills in core areas following a mapped scope and
sequence. In addition, teachers modify and differentiate
according to the students' abilities and learning styles.
Within each class, teachers adjust their instruction to meet
different levels and different paces. Class time is
structured to include time for group work, individual work, or for
kids at similar levels to work together. This
differentiation allows teachers to keep students challenged and
progressing according to their particular strengths and
Where do Da Vinci Academy Alumni attend high school and
Visit our Alumni Page to
How do I know if my child is gifted and would qualify for
admission to Da Vinci?
The term "gifted" has different meanings to different people,
but it helps to start with an understanding that gifted children
are wired differently than other kids. As a parent, you
probably have picked up on ways that your child sees, thinks,
feels, communicates, and interacts with the world that are just
different than other kids the same age. Typically, you can
see that your child is bursting with intellectual curiosty and has
a need to always be learning, thinking, creating, or asking
questions. When parents call us, they are seeing signs that
their child needs an alternative to a more traditional school
program. Some students come to Da Vinci already succeeding in
school and just needing more of a challenge. Other families
come here because their children are bored and frustrated with
school, and the parents want to reignite their child's passion for
learning. Doing well in school may come easily to gifted
children, or it may be a struggle when the environment is not
conducive to how they think and learn. For more information
about understanding gifted children, please visit our Resources for
Parents of Gifted Children.
In terms of qualifying for admission, we take as broad a look at
each applicant as possible. There is both science and art in
identifying a good fit at Da Vinci. On the "science" side, we
require IQ testing for admission to grades 1-8, and for Pre-K
and Kindergarten we conduct an early childhood
assessment. IQ testing is done by recommended psychologists, and
the results provide very helpful information about a student's
strengths and learning style. We look for students with a
Full Scale score in the 95th percentile or higher on the Wechsler
(WISC or WPPSI) IQ test. The early childhood assesment for
PK-K admission provides age equivalency scores in cognitive and
language areas. We look for students to score at least one
year ahead of their chronological age.
On the "art" side, it is all about getting to know the child and
the family through the application process. We seek a lot of
parent input on the child's background, development, interests, and
school experience. Most important, though, is having students
spend at least one full day in our classrooms. The student
visit is the best way for the school and the family to know if
enrolling at Da Vinci will be a good fit. During the visit we
asess students on their current academic level, but we also look
for how they participate and interact with our current
students. Probably more than anything, we look for kids to
exhibit intellectual curiosity and a spark for learning that can be
fostered in our program.
Is there a deadline for applying to Da Vinci Academy?
Da Vinci Academy accepts applications for any grade level
throughout the year. Current families have an opportunity in
February to re-enroll for the next school year, and after that
point available spaces may be offered to new applicants.
Does Da Vinci Academy accept new students during the school
Yes, if a spot is available or becomes available during the
school year, we will consider new student applications and offer
enrollment spots to qualified candidates as space allows.
Is there a waiting pool if a particular class is full?
Yes, families who would like to be considered if a spot becomes
available in a class that is full will be added to the waiting
pool. The Director of Admissions will stay in communication
with these families about the status of any spots that become
available. Admissions decisions from among the waiting pool
applicants will be made to admit students who best fit our
Is there a grade-level birthday cut-off date like in public
Da Vinci Academy can consider students for a specific grade
level even if the student has a birthday past the typical September
1st public school cut-off date. For example, a family looking
for 2nd grade whose child does not turn 7 until Sept
25th. We can consider this student for 2nd grade, provided we
feel that the student is ready and capable of succeeding
academically and socially in that grade level within our
program. Applicants with birthdays past September
1st will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Does Da Vinci ever grade skip (accelerate) students?
Our curriculum eliminates the need for most cases of grade
acceleration because students can have their academic needs met
while remaining with their same-age peers. However, the
school will consider acceleration if it is clearly in the child's
best interest. This is a decision that is never taken
lightly. Parents interested in considering grade acceleration
should discuss the topic with the Director of Admissions or the
Head of School to fully understand the school's grade acceleration policy and
What are the normal school day hours?
Monday to Friday all grade levels begin classes at 8:45 AM, and
parents may begin dropping children off in the carpool line at
8:25 AM. PK3 students dismiss at 11:15 AM, with an option to
stay until 12:00 PM through lunch and recess ($5 per day).
PK4 and Kindergarten classes end at 2:15 PM, and classes for Grades
1-8 end at 3:15 PM.
At what age does the Pre-K program start?
We offer a half-day (morning) PK3 for children who are 3 by the
start of the school year. Full-day PK4 is for children age 4,
with some case-by-case flexibility if students turn 4 after
September 1st but demonstrate readiness to begin our program.
Is there Before and After school care available?
Before School care is available every school day from 7:00 AM
until the school opens at 8:25 AM. After School
care begins after 2:15 PM dismissal for PK4 and K, and after 3:15
PM dismissal for grades 1-8. Parents can pick up children as
late as 6:00 PM. Parents can arrange ahead of time if they
will need Before or After care, or they can use it as needed.
The cost is $5 per hour (rounded to 15-minute intervals), with
accumulated time billed monthly.
Does the school serve lunch?
Families can choose to bring lunch from home or pre-order from
the catered hot lunch menu.
Does the school have uniforms?
The students wear uniforms Monday-Thursday, and then may wear
their own school-appropriate clothes on Fridays. The uniforms
consist of polo shirts and other approved tops from Land's End with
the school logo embroidered on them. Shirts come in several
colors and can be work with black, navy, or khaki chino-style pant
or shorts. Sweaters and girls' jumpers are also available
through Land's End. Students wear white oxford shirts for
field trips and special events.