About Loudoun School for Advanced Studies

 
 

Loudoun School for Advanced Studies is a private secondary day school in Ashburn, Virginia, enrolling students in grades 6 through 12. The school was founded in 2008, and was the only secular, co-educational private secondary high school in Loudoun County when we opened (we added a middle school a few years after we opened).

This is a unique school, which exists to show what is possible in secondary education when you start with a clean sheet, go deep into the research, and make student long-term success your goal. Our design and practices--expert faculty, small classes, rich content, healthy social climate, student freedom, and connections between school work and the larger world--are supported by the body of research on what is best for student learning. We encourage you to dive into the most recent work on the human mind, adolescent development, adolescent motivation, deeper learning, and long-term success in a rapidly changing world, and you will see that what we do is what is best for young learners.

Because of our faculty, mission, and institutional freedom, we are able to strike a balance few schools can manage or even endeavor. We deliver excellent courses in humanities and STEM, while most selective secondary schools focus only on the latter. We provide academic challenge and individual support, rather than relying on a high pressure, assessment-driven culture. Our academic program is creative and innovative, but we also prepare students for admission to highly selective colleges. We provide a great deal of adult facilitation, while leaving a lot of room for student freedom. Most importantly, we are committed to serious academic work and to daily happiness.

For the 2019-2020 school year, we have updated our name from Loudoun School for the Gifted, to better reflect the reality that a student’s mindset, effort, and resilience will distinguish them and determine their long-term outcomes more than academic labels. The work you do matters more than anything else. That’s why our new name focuses on the work students do at our school. By contrast, the term “gifted” reflects an older, in some ways discredited, way of thinking about human potential. We refer you to the work of Dr. K. Anders Ericsson on expert performance as just one example of what the research shows: no one is born an outstanding performer, they become one through deliberate practice; that is, by working with experts (like our teachers) who take the time to work on deep learning and real growth.

Please schedule a visit to see for yourself. We’re proud of what we do and love sharing it with parents and students who want to see how engaging and inspiring school can be.