School Choice & Charters

Stanford Online School to Serve Highly Gifted

By Christina A. Samuels — August 29, 2006 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

A self-contained program for the profoundly gifted, in the 5,000-student Madison school district in Phoenix, was once the perfect place for 12-year-old David Sell.

But the district goes only through 8th grade. And David, who has already completed calculus and advanced classes in science and English, needed a new, challenging course of academics. His parents considered moving to other states in order to take advantage of programs they believed met David’s academic needs.

But with Stanford University’s announcement that it is creating an online private high school for the gifted this fall, David can be challenged at home.

“I think this is a huge solution for a big problem,” said Dr. Miriam Sell, David’s mother and a family physician in Phoenix.

Parents of profoundly gifted children are used to cobbling together academic solutions—a college class here, a summer enrichment program there. Since 1990, Stanford’s Education Program for Gifted Students has been one of those options. The university has offered online courses since 1990, and summer on-campus enrichment programs since 2000.

The Online High School, which will offer a cohesive curriculum, is a natural outgrowth of those programs, said Raymond Ravaglia, the deputy director of Stanford’s program for gifted students.

Full-time students will pay $12,000 a year to take classes through the online school, which offers courses in such subjects as multivariable differential calculus and quantum mechanics.

David Sell, who has taken Stanford online courses before, is looking forward to the new challenge.

“It allows me to take courses at my own pace, and I don’t have to be dragged down by other people,” he said.

Joseph S. Renzulli, the director of the National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented, in Storrs, Conn., sees both good and bad in such offerings as the Stanford online school.

“People that can afford it can take advantage of it,” Mr. Renzulli said. “Public schools aren’t doing enough for children who need high levels of challenge.”

A version of this article appeared in the August 30, 2006 edition of Education Week


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Recruitment & Retention Webinar
Be the Change: Strategies to Make Year-Round Hiring Happen
Learn how to leverage actionable insights to diversify your recruiting efforts and successfully deploy a year-round recruiting plan.
Content provided by Frontline
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Critical Ways Leaders Can Build a Culture of Belonging and Achievement
Explore innovative practices for using technology to build an environment of belonging and achievement for all staff and students.
Content provided by DreamBox Learning
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Professional Development Webinar
Strategies for Improving Student Outcomes with Teacher-Student Relationships
Explore strategies for strengthening teacher-student relationships and hear how districts are putting these methods into practice to support positive student outcomes.
Content provided by Panorama Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School Choice & Charters Opinion The Biden Administration Is Right: Charters Need to Be More Accountable
The proposed changes to the federal Charter School Program are just common sense, write Jitu Brown and Randi Weingarten.
Jitu Brown & Randi Weingarten
3 min read
Illustration of students and teachers holding puzzle pieces.
<b>F. Sheehan/Education Week and iStock/Getty</b>
School Choice & Charters What's Behind the Fight Over the Biden Administration's Stance on Charter School Funding
Proposed new rules for federal charter school funding have drawn the ire of many in the charter school community.
8 min read
Publish Charter school parents stage a counter protest as thousands of public school teachers, administrators and supports march through the streets of Sacramento during a protest held at the California State Capitol urging state legislators to provide more funding for public schools in Sacramento, Calif., on May 22, 2019.
Publish Charter school parents stage a counter protest during a march in Sacramento, Calif., that advocated for more funding for public schools in 2019.
Jessica Christian/San Francisco Chronicle via AP
School Choice & Charters Opinion Families May Like Their School But Want More Options. That’s Where Course Choice Comes In
Educational choices have grown inside each school as a result of the pandemic. Families should take advantage of this.
3 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
School Choice & Charters Mich. Public School Advocates Launch Effort to Stop DeVos-Backed Proposal
The former secretary of education is backing an initiative that advocates say would create an unconstitutional voucher system.
Samuel J. Robinson,
4 min read
Student with backpack.