Designed for the Educational and Emotional Needs of Gifted Students
Gifted and talented students and those with high abilities need gifted education programs that will challenge them in regular classroom settings along with enrichment and accelerated programs to enable them to make continuous progress in school. All Helios teachers are trained extensively in gifted education. They understand the nuances of gifted students and the importance of incorporating social-emotional learning within the curriculum. We provide compassionate education for gifted students, helping them harness their talents and grow into confident, caring, competent individuals.
An Intentionally Small, Connected, and Caring Community
Gifted children thrive in a warm and kind learning environment where they feel safe to take emotional and academic risks. We’re a K-8 school of about 150 students on a spacious, four-acre campus. Our school culture is authentic, unpretentious and relationship-driven. Walk around and you’ll sense the intellectual and emotional vibrancy of our students’ days as they interact and problem-solve with other students, staff and families. You might see a middle school student facilitating a Ga-Ga game for kindergarteners, our Director of Technology popping in on a science class as a guest expert, or a parent serving as judge in a middle school mock trial. It's all part of a close-knit, connected community that we work hard together to create.
A Passionate Faculty, Invested in our Mission
Our Helios faculty and staff comprise a cohesive, positive community of professional educators who are passionately devoted to providing exceptional experiences for gifted children. Supportive of one another, and embodying lifelong learning, our teachers have high standards for performance and integrity — not just for their students, but also for themselves. Our teachers hold degrees in education and other professional fields and participate in continual professional development, presenting at conferences of the National Association of Gifted Children and the National Association of Independent Schools.
When we hire faculty, we look not just for subject matter expertise, but for kindness, approachability, and a student-centered, collaborative philosophy of education. Our teachers are not simply expert educators but also models for their students of how to live and work as gifted adults.
An Engaging Program Providing Depth and Complexity
Gifted learners thrive in a climate of intellectual depth and complexity. Our curriculum is built around this axiom, providing students the opportunity for independent and collaborative work with true cognitive peers across the K-8 spectrum. Students at our school learn in mixed-grade groups, in home room and in specialized subjects. After Kindergarten, classes are grouped in two-year grade spans (1st/2nd, 3rd/4th etc). In specialized classes like math, class placement is based on learning needs rather than grade level. Our semester-long science and humanities themes are project- and inquiry-based, asking students to produce thoughtful and authentic work such as self-published short stories, ecosystem games, and expert debates.
Students are Given Voice, Agency and Meaningful Learning
We know that gifted students require voice and agency in their own education. We provide this throughout class work, as well as from programs such as our Imagine Lab, Wilderness Village, Community Meeting, Electives, and Passion Projects. Helios students know how to help a friend set up a tent in the rain, how to safely operate a miter saw, and how to stand up and confidently present their original research to a group of peers and adults.
We also know that academic knowledge and intellectual talent are far more meaningful when coupled with a commitment to kindness and social justice. This value is interwoven into our program and curriculum to encourage students to use their learning to enrich the lives of both their own families and the larger community.
"The thing I like the most about Helios is the way they empower the students to solve their own problems and advocate for themselves."
- Helios Parent