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Traditional, worksheet-based education is not right for everyone. If you feel that your child would perform better and be happier in a challenging, hands-on classroom, apply today.
What We Look For
Joule exists to serve the gifted community. There are several ways that giftedness manifests, all of which we celebrate here at our school. Here are just a few examples of the type of students we admit:
Some students seem to have a knack for designing and constructing machines. They also seem to have a knack for dismantling them - like your computer, the vacuum, the toaster, and maybe even the plumbing in your bathroom if they can get their hands on it. Every small piece of string or scrap of plastic seems to find its way into their pockets to be used for a project later. They might not be interested in traditional schooling and their grades may be mediocre, but if you asked them to build a machine to transport your cat down the stairs, they would do it, and it would be like no machine anyone had ever seen before.
Some students cannot seem to stop creating art or performance pieces, even though you desperately need them to spend at least a few minutes on boring, practical things like remembering to put on pants. Their spelling tests come home covered with pictures of unicorns, or you ask them to clean their room and find them conducting a magic show instead. They seem to have an unlimited reserve of ideas in their heads, and they might seem much more interested in those ideas than the world around them. They love music, painting, dance, and creative writing.
Given a task or worksheet, these students will fly through it and then wait - and wait - until their teacher gives them more work to do, or they'll pull out a book and start teaching themselves advanced math or Greek mythology. They might procrastinate just to give a bit of extra challenge to a project (or just because they don't think the work is interesting or challenging enough). They may have difficulty making friends because students their age aren't interested in the same things. While they do well in school, they might be bored, frustrated, or irritated if they are not allowed to learn material at their own pace, and instead have to kill time between lessons.
There are many more types of gifted kids in the world, and we welcome them all here at the school!
Here are a few things you should know about the admissions requirements below:
1. All ages are a RECOMMENDED GUIDELINE. Your child will be evaluated holistically and a program determination made based on their academic, emotional, and social level, not their physical age.
2. Joule is a school for gifted children, but that does not always mean "academic whiz kids." Dual exceptionalities and giftedness in non-academic areas such as the arts are normal here. The curriculum is rigorous, but it is also tailored to each student's academic level. We look for creativity and self-motivation in applicants; they do not need to be on the honor roll.
3. We accept the following evidence of giftedness for students 6 and older: traditional IQ tests, prior enrollment in a public GT, TAG, or GATE program, or portfolio evaluation (contact the School for more information, as portfolio requirements vary by age). For students 5 and younger, we look for the ability to be successful in our primary program, which includes academic and socioemotional readiness.
Requirements by Age
We do not require IQ testing for children 6 and under. Young children are instead evaluated on their academic and developmental readiness for our curriculum and schedule.
There are two options for young children at Joule. Kindergarten is our base program for students who do not yet know how to read, and students in Kinder are typically 3-5 years old. Bridge is an advanced program for students capable of lower elementary work, but who are too young or otherwise developmentally unready for the full-day schedule of the elementary classes. Students in Bridge are usually 5-7 years old, but may enter sooner based on academic and social aptitude.
We do not have a preschool or daycare program on campus, and therefore all students must demonstrate a basic readiness for kindergarten-level work in order to be accepted. To apply for Kindergarten, your child must be at least 2 1/2 years old, able to count objects to at least 20 independently, and know their entire alphabet and letter-sound associations. Students must be potty trained to the point where they require no assistance at the toilet and no longer take naps.
If your child can already read and compute above a kindergarten level, even if they are under age 5, then they will be evaluated for enrollment into Bridge instead. Bridge students have a slightly longer school day with additional academic classes, so they must show social and developmental readiness for the advanced schedule.
Students who are developmentally in between programs are enrolled in Kinder and can float to Bridge for specific subjects.
Students in the elementary grades and higher must be evaluated for giftedness before applying to Joule. Most parents provide us with independent IQ test results, available from local psychologists, and/or evidence of enrollment in a public school gifted program. Either of these will fulfill the admission requirement.
For IQ testing, we only require that a student score in the 98th percentile in one or more subtests, as is the case for Mensa admission. Many times, a student will score in the 98th percentile only in a single subtest such as Visual-Spatial ability, and those scores do qualify - that child is a Builder! The WISC-V is the most common test used for evaluation at Joule, but we can accept others - please contact the school for questions about individual test types and results.
Families who do not have these documents can request a portfolio review and on-campus academic testing. The fee for this evaluation is $500, and the school may request standardized test results, copies of artistic or written work, or other documentation as part of the review. The most unique portfolio we've received included a video of the student performing a magic show, so do not hold back! We welcome the opportunity to learn more about your child and determine if Joule might be a place where they can thrive academically, socially, and emotionally.