Our Three Schools
The National Academy is proud to be able to offer three distinct schools for students of different abilities.
At the National Academy, we believe in differentiated education...
NOT every student is gifted, in the same way that not every student has special needs.
While calling every student gifted may be seen as many schools as "motivating," "equitizing," and creating a positive environment, it is almost always either a lack of knowledge about intellectual giftedness and its causes. Only around 2 to 5% students can be really, clinically considered gifted and these students have been proven to learn better and thrive both academically and socially in an environment built for them with peers of similar intellectual ability, and calling every student "gifted" undermines the needs of these students.
In many macronational schools, lack of understanding about this topic is because gifted students less visibly show their needs than students with intellectual disability or have other special needs. While both neurodivergent in the same amount on the IQ spectrum, these students are treated very differently: in fact, students who have intellectually disabled receive ten thousand times more funding than the gifted student in the United States, which is quite simply the pinnacle of unfairness.
Giftedness cannot be measured by a math or reading test. It doesn't mean a student will do well in school, those are "bright" or "talented" students, which are NOT synonyms for giftedness. Programs that put students with just material above grade level is not a true gifted program, although many genuine gifted programs do incorporate this.
What it means is that they think differently, interact differently, and have special needs, just like their counterparts on the other side of the intelligence spectrum. Effective learning happens when they are near fellow gifted students and they are in a way "too smart for their own good" on occasion: they need differentiated education, but unlike students with intellectual disabilities, they do not show it because they know that they have to suppress it in order to feel normal and accepted. There is ZERO reason to believe that there wouuld be a difference in funding.
This is why our in-person courses have true gifted programs, and why we have three different schools in one...
Our in-person courses are all taught in environments in which gifted children are provided with their needs met. Although we have very rare in-person courses, as the Academy grows, we hope to enlarge these programs and their availability: to give gifted students the type of education they need with the peers they will thrive in.
Programs that put 25% or even more of the school district in a "gifted" cluster (such as California's GATE) without doing anything for them is NOT what we are aiming for. We aim to have 2 to 5% of the population, of truly clinically gifted students, to have an environment and education that suits them (similar to Irvine's APAAS).
Just like students with intellectual disabilities, which are amply protected by macronational schools, gifted students need differentation: and the most crucial element of this is being with their gifted counterparts.
To make sure no gifted student, and no intellectually disabled student, is gone undetected, we require mandatory IQ testing for all students taking core courses. Many of our school's, and even our nation's, founders and top contributors are gifted and have felt the impacts, social and academic, of being gifted.
This resulted in three different schools for our three very different students...
National Gifted Academy (NGA)
A clustered, individualized, small-group program with trained teachers on gifted students.
National Academy (NAFSG)
The high-quality general education program for all, with options for acceleration or deceleration.
National Special Educational Academy (NSEA)
Our national program for children of various special educational needs, so far with one department for intellectual disabilities.