From Our Executive Director
We are so pleased that you are interested in learning more about what we do at Loudoun School for the Gifted.
We are here to deliver academics in a thoughtful and engaging way, and with our unique program, extraordinary faculty, and “small by design” community, we are able to do so. Our students come to us for deep learning and engaging experiences, so we provide an environment where each student is able to spend every day with adults and peers who share these aspirations. It is a life-changing experience for our students.
We also strive to deliver each student, at the end of their time with us, whole and confident. Through our classes, experiences and projects, we hope to send them on their way with a strong idea of what they can do and where they are headed.
While academics is our top priority, we also know that it is difficult to truly learn in an environment that is not ideal for deep learning. So we pay equal amounts of attention to the community we build and the experiences we offer both inside and outside the classroom. We know a student cannot learn to their potential if they are unhappy socially, lacking true academic engagement, or feeling tremendous pressure academically without adequate amounts of warmth and encouragement.
Sharing how we work to deliver on our unique mission is a role I embrace with great joy and purpose. I have the pleasure of getting to know each student and family from the beginning of their time with us. I consider this a great gift as I watch each student grow and find joy in their experience with us. I have also experienced the great joy of being a parent here and seeing in my own home the benefits of attending this school.
In the sections below, you will find pages that describe various aspects of our admissions and enrollment process. I encourage you to schedule a conversation with me during the school day to learn more and see what we do in person.
I look forward to meeting you.
Come Take a Look
Individual Conversations Are Better than Open Houses
We do not host open houses, or information sessions, because we prefer to speak with parents and students as individuals. This is true for students in our classes, and it's true for families throughout our admissions process.
Learning more about our school is entirely stress-free without any obligation.
Schedule a Meeting at School
We invite you to schedule a meeting with our Executive Director, Susan Talbott, to tour our unique space, see our community at work, learn more about what we do and begin a conversation about your child. These individual meetings go hand-in-hand with our “small by design” philosophy and our seminar approach in the classroom.
If our initial conversation and review of a student's academic record suggest there is a good academic and social fit, students are invited to spend a full day with us to experience classes with our students and teachers.
You can schedule a meeting with Ms. Talbott directly on her calendar here.
Call our Admissions Office
You are also welcome to call Ms. Talbott directly at (571) 758-5855 or send her an email.
We will help guide your family through the application process with individualized attention in a relaxed atmosphere.
We use the federal definition of gifted in evaluating applicants: "The term ‘gifted and talented,” when used with respect to students, children, or youth, means students, children, or youth who give evidence of high achievement capability in such areas as intellectual, creative, artistic, or leadership capacity, or in specific academic fields, and who need services or activities not ordinarily provided by the school in order to fully develop those capabilities." (No Child Left Behind Act, P.L. 107-110 (Title IX, Part A, Definition 22) (2002); 20 USC 7801(22) (2004))
We look for "evidence of high achievement capability" in students' grades, work product, teacher recommendations, and assessment(s) of cognitive proficiency and reasoning.
Loudoun School for the Gifted requires that all applicants complete the WISC or Stanford-Binet test, which are administered professionally, or the Test of Relational Reasoning (TORR), which is administered at our school. These tests help us assess an applicant's readiness to reason about the complex, ill-structured questions that are at the heart of our academic program. While test scores are required, we have a holistic admissions process, so test results are just one element of our admissions review. Evidence of exceptional academic achievement, intellectual curiosity, sophisticated reasoning and problem solving, or meaningful leadership are very persuasive.
If an applicant has completed the WISC or Stanford-Binet within three years, we will accept those results. We can also provide the names of local professionals who administer these tests for a fee (about $500).
Our preferred assessment is the TORR for high school applicants, and the TORRjr for middle school applicants, which are administered at our school and scored independently by The Disciplined Reading and Learning Research Laboratory at the University of Maryland, which is led by Dr. Patricia Alexander. The TORR is a test of fluid cognitive ability, and is administered without cost to applicants.
We welcome students who want to join during the academic year. We often find our best 9th and 10th grade students join us during the year, because they've given their traditional school a chance, and have found it wanting.
We spend so much money educating each one of our students, Loudoun School for the Gifted is the best value in secondary education.
Superior faculty, challenging texts, personalized attention with small class sizes, and a phenomenal social environment are why parents continue to invest in a Loudoun School for the Gifted education.
You will find the answers to the questions most asked of our Executive Director here.