Experts in
Gifted Education


For 50 years, the Nueva School has led the field of gifted education with our dynamic, inquiry-based approach. We provide what gifted learners need: a community of faculty and peers who understand, nurture, and challenge them in an exciting, interdisciplinary academic program. 

We weave project-based learning, social-emotional learning, Design Thinking, and Global Citizenship into rich experiences that help our students develop their unique strengths and learn to make choices that benefit the world.

What is giftedness?

Gifted learners are those who demonstrate outstanding levels of academic aptitude (an exceptional ability to reason and learn), intellectual engagement, and curiosity. They often display unusual talent in other domains, such as athletics, music, dance, or the arts. While no two students are the same, research shows that gifted students share common characteristics and behaviors.

Common traits among gifted learners

The Institute for Educational Advancement provides the following traits of a gifted learner. Students often exhibit a variety of these traits:

  • Has an extensive and detailed memory, particularly in a specific area of interest.
  • Has advanced vocabulary for their age; uses precocious language 
  • Has communication skills advanced for their age and is able to express ideas and feelings 
  • Asks intelligent and complex questions
  • Is able to identify the important characteristics of new concepts and problems
  • Learns information quickly
  • Uses logic in arriving at common sense answers 
  • Has a broad base of knowledge; a large quantity of information
  • Is reflective about learning 
  • Understands abstract ideas and complex concepts 
  • Uses analogical thinking, problem solving, or reasoning 
  • Observes relationships and sees connections
  • Finds and solves difficult and unusual problems
  • Understands principles, forms generalizations, and uses them in new situations
  • Wants to learn and is curious
  • Works conscientiously and has a high degree of concentration in areas of interest 
  • Understands and uses various symbol systems 
  • Is enraptured by a specific subject 
  • Has reading comprehension skills advanced for their age
  • Has advanced writing abilities for their age
  • Has strong artistic or musical abilities 
  • Concentrates intensely for long periods of time, particularly in a specific area of interest 
  • Is more aware, stimulated, and affected by surroundings 
  • Experiences extreme positive or negative feelings 
  • Experiences a strong physical reaction to emotion
  • Has a strong affective memory, reliving or re-feeling things long after the triggering event

Parent of a Nueva Student

"Our son has always asked a lot of questions and is incredibly curious. We needed him to be in a place that embraces his curiosity, fosters it, and encourages it. At Nueva, our son hasn’t found his ceiling. His teachers engage him in his subjects in the way he needs, with complexity, creativity, and depth."

Why gifted education?

Gifted learners have specialized educational needs.

They need educators who understand that gifted learners may experience asynchronous development — when their cognitive, emotional, and physical development is not aligned. Intellectual skills may be far advanced, while social skills are catching up; they may be capable of reading texts far beyond their current age, while struggling in math (or vice versa).

The Nueva School meets these needs with our dynamic educational model that unlocks students’ potential. With skill and sensitivity, our expert teachers provide opportunities and resources that meet students where they are, no matter what grade they are in or topics they are pursuing. With avenues of deep learning always available to them, students quickly become practiced explorers who know their questions really matter. And with each passing day, their passion for lifelong learning is ignited.

Nueva provides stimulating and open-ended learning experiences designed for our gifted learners. We offer a community of faculty and peers who understand, appreciate, and nurture their talents and interests.


We believe all gifted learners have the right:*

  • to know about their giftedness
  • to learn something new every day
  • to be passionate about their talent areas without apologies
  • to have an identity beyond their talent area
  • to feel good about their accomplishments
  • to make mistakes
  • to seek guidance in the development of their talents
  • to have multiple peer groups and a variety of friends
  • to choose which of their talent areas they wish to pursue
  • not to be gifted at everything

*Adapted from the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) "Gifted Children's Bill of Rights."



How We Identify Gifted Learners

Parents are usually the first to identify that their child’s extraordinary abilities and interests are different from other children. When looking for ways to foster their child’s specialized learning needs, parents turn to the Nueva School.



In considering students for admission, we look for:

  • intellectual curiosity and engagement
  • independent thought and depth of ideas
  • creativity and flexibility in approach to problem solving
  • divergent and critical thinking
  • the ability to listen to, build on, and contribute ideas

Sharing Our Expertise

Nueva was founded as a private school with a public purpose: to share our resources, talents, knowledge, and innovation with the larger gifted education communities. We reach out to the broader community of students, teachers, homeschoolers, administrators, and clinicians, contributing Nueva’s resources and innovation through programs and publications.

The Gifted Support Center provides education, insight, guidance, and emotional support to help parents understand gifted learners. It gives parents access to practical resources to help them address the needs of their child.



Resources on gifted learning

The Association for the Gifted, a division of the Council for Exceptional Children, supports the needs of gifted learners through advocacy, professional learning, and resources.

The Center for Talented Youth at Johns Hopkins, a "nonprofit dedicated to identifying and developing the talents of academically advanced pre-college students around the world," offers summer, online, international, and family programs. 

The Davidson Institute for Talent Development offers summer programming and a database of resources, aiming to "support profoundly intelligent young people ... and to provide opportunities for them to develop their talents to make a positive difference."

The Gifted Development Center is a for-profit service of the nonprofit Institute for the Study of Advanced Development. It offers assessment for gifted children, advocacy guidance for parents, and counseling for individuals and families.

Hoagies' Gifted Education Page is a homegrown central repository of "all things gifted," including the archive of the Education Resources Information Center Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education (ERIC EC).


The Institute for Educational Advancement provides a detailed definition of giftedness, hosts the online Gifted Resource Center, and offers camps, programs, and services for gifted youth, as well as consulting for parents, families, and educators. 

Mensa is an organization for people who score in the top 2 percent of the general population on any one of more than 200 accepted, standardized intelligence tests. It also offers more than 150 national special interest groups.

The National Association for Gifted Children aims to "support those who enhance the growth and development of gifted and talented children through education, advocacy, community building, and research."

The Renzulli Center for Creativity, Gifted Education, and Talent Development at the University of Connecticut is the only federally funded gifted research organization. The center hosts an annual conference, knows as Confratute.

SENG (Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted), whose mission is "to empower families and communities to guide gifted and talented individuals to reach their goals: intellectually, physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually," offers an online resource library and hosts an annual conference.