Parents of high achieving students may find that boarding schools are a better fit than the traditional school setting. Gifted students may feel isolated from their peers, or public schools simply may not be able to offer the resources they need to reach their full potential. Many boarding schools that cater to gifted students require an application for admission, as well as a high grade point average, state residency, recommendations from a teacher or principal or an interview.
Thomas Jefferson School
Located in St. Louis, Missouri, the Thomas Jefferson school is a co-ed boarding school for students in grades seven through 12. Thomas Jefferson stresses the development of cultural literacy and analytical thinking, and recognizes that the teenage years are a formidable time for the creation and nurturing of these skills. They offer a small student to teacher ratio in addition to a rigorous curriculum. Students must take the SSAT and schedule an interview. No state or national residency restrictions are imposed.
North Carolina School for Science and Mathematics
Opened in 1980, the North Carolina School for Science and Mathematics was the first state-supported residential high school and quickly became the model for 18 similar institutions in 15 other states. The school is based on the premise that investing in human and intellectual capital produces global economic returns that benefit the region. There is a state residency restriction in place, and students are evaluated on SAT-1 scores, teacher and counselor evaluations, transcripts and attendance at the school's Discovery Day.
Phillips Exeter Academy
Located in New Hampshire, Phillips Exeter Academy was founded in 1781 and currently serves 1,000 students in grades nine through 12. Exeter is famous for its Harkness teaching method, where a seminar-style class is hosted with a teacher and only 12 students. Admitted students with a family income of less than $75,000 are permitted to attend the school at no cost. Exeter looks for determined, driven students who are already involved in extracurricular activities and have a love of math and science.
The Putney School
The Putney School in Vermont promises students a "progressive education for a sustainable future." As a progressive school, Putney focuses on application of the material rather than tests and rigid assessment styles. In addition, the school is designed to function as a community where students are involved in many aspects of running the school. Applying students will take the SSAT, supply four recommendations, complete essays and schedule an interview. Offers of admission are based on "personal promise and demonstrated academic achievement."