High Ability Students

Our objective is to support each student in achieving their academic goals.  Students meet weekly with a faculty advisor and mentor, and at least once a semester one-on-one with the Head of School or the Dean to discuss academic goals and plans.

Renaissance School excels at serving the unique needs of high ability students. We are flexible and tailor the academic experience to the individual student.


We have clubs, learning labs, tutors, guided focused studies among the many tools at students’ disposal to strengthen core skills and stretch to new heights. A student with drive can achieve their dreams at Renaissance School!

We regularly:

  • Accelerate and enrich student learning in areas of strength
  • Facilitate dual enrollment in college courses at UVA, PVCC, and other national and international schools
  • Plan individual student class schedules around competitive or pre-professional practices in arts, athletics, or other domains
  • Support twice exceptional students with existing IEPs that play to their strengths while building necessary skills
  • Promote student-driven learning through Academic Distinction and Independent Study programs

Because we serve students with unique talents and needs, we target enrollment of just 15-20 students per year. A truly tailored high school experience for high ability students is only possible with both flexibility and a high faculty-to-student ratio, and that is our goal. We are aware that a “small school” is not for every student,  but it is the perfect environment for a motivated high ability student. We have many students who are achieving at the highest level in their fields, including but not limited to:

  • One of only 45 World Science Scholars, worldwide
  • One of only 12 22x20 Civics Interns, nationwide
  • One of only two high school teams to be invited to pitch to the UVA Darden School of Business iLab
  • One of only two published BioTrek student scientist teams in Virginia
  • Multiple Jefferson Scholar finalists
  • Multiple festival award-winning filmmakers
  • Multiple English Speaking Union Shakespeare Monologue Contest-Winners
  • Multiple elite student art portfolios
  • Multiple elite athletes in golf, equestrian sports, fencing, and other sports

We are here to guide our students towards excellence in all of the areas that motivate them.

We encourage all students who are creative, passionate about learning, and willing to work hard to apply. Standardized testing does not always adequately identify ability, especially if students are highly gifted, twice exceptional, multilingual, think originally, or have unique personal or cultural circumstances - all of which are characteristics that describe students we are proud to call RHS alumni.