Da Vinci Academy (DVA) is a program of choice that uses student interest in the arts, sciences and/or technology as the foundation for advanced learning in all content areas. Selected students in grades six through eight work closely with multi-talented, creative teachers who guide the students in developing deep understanding of subject matter through direct instruction, collaborative exploration and discovery.
Instruction is interdisciplinary. There is strong emphasis on technology across the curriculum. State standards are integrated into thematic units centered on issues of importance to adolescent learners — my place in a global society, resolving conflict in the 21st century, etc. Emphasis for all students is on applied learning experiences that help them function with increasing competency as researchers, creators, problem solvers, or practitioners in a field.
Problem-based study using a variety of research strategies, group activities, and independent work allows students to pursue their areas of individual interest in depth.
It is the goal of DVA to instill in young people lifelong intellectual curiosity and commitment to learning by building an extraordinary educational foundation on their strengths and interests.
The dual emphasis on rigorous academic standards and creative productivity creates a dynamic learning environment that inspires authentic learning, motivation, innovation and enjoyment!
How is DVA Different?
All Hall County middle schools offer a variety of excellent courses and activities that meet diverse learners’ needs. DVA differs, however, in its special focus on the arts, sciences and technology as well as its totally integrated curriculum. Daily “hands-on, minds-on” learning focuses on the individual strengths and interests of each student.
DVA features a “Museum of Inspired Learning,” offering students opportunities to research and create museum-quality exhibit galleries. Students work with their DVA teachers and with professionals in their fields of study as they develop expertise and communication skills. Each grade level builds and presents a museum that is open to K-5 school groups at which DVA students share their findings when they serve as museum docents.
All DVAstudents have the opportunity to earn high school credits in their areas of strength and interest, thus getting a head start on advanced coursework in high school (e.g., Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, Honors Mentorship Program) and early dual enrollment.
Parents are an integral part of the success of this program. They commit at least 15 hours of volunteer work a year and, if they live outside the SHMS zone, provide transportation for their children to and from school. In return, DVAoffers their children an opportunity to thrive in an environment dedicated to meeting the needs of the passionate learner both academically and creatively.
Who May Attend DVA?
Any Hall County School District student who will be in the 6th grade in the following school year may apply during the annual application period. Out of district students may apply and will be considered …
The application process begins in October and dates for informational meetings will be posted on this website and the county website. Applications are only accepted for rising 6th graders.
DVA is designed for students who love to learn, particularly those with strong interests in the arts, sciences and/or technology. Students who are curious and who learn best in a creative educational setting are prime candidates for this program. Intrinsic motivation, resourcefulness, and a problem-solving disposition are characteristics that applicants should possess. Selection is based on evidence from students’ applications, recommendations from teachers and/or others, and school transcripts of (a) intrinsic motivation to excel; (b) interest and advanced ability in the arts, sciences and/or technology; (c) creativity; and (d) ability to work well independently and in small group settings.
Diversity is valued at Da Vinci Academy. It is a learning community in which all students feel connected and supported while, at the same time, their individuality is respected.