Help your gifted child
flourish
at Menlo Park Academy

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We support you! The first step in the journey of advocating for a gifted child is to recognize that their needs are unique. Menlo Park Academy is a tuition-free, K-8 public school haven for over 600 of Northeast Ohio’s gifted children.

Gifted children are an at-risk group of learners. They need a dynamic environment customized to their individual needs like children find at Menlo Park Academy. Our innovative model offers more density and complexity, and moves at a faster pace than a typical school. Students are also afforded the opportunity to interact and build friendships with their intellectual peers.

We look forward to meeting you at an information session, tour, or sharing a call about your child’s abilities, needs, and desire to belong. Connect with us at any point in your journey by emailing us or calling the office at 440-925-6365.

jennifer ingraham

Jennifer Ingraham

Associate Director of Admissions

explore admissions

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Why Menlo?

Learn about Menlo’s approach to education to help gifted children thrive.

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Admissions Process

Explore the steps from the initial inquiry to the first day of classes at Menlo.

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Admissions Events

Attend Information Nights, Testing Days, or schedule a Shadow Visit.

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Is My Child Gifted?

Discover the State of Ohio’s criteria and key indicators for gifted children.

why menlo?

Why Menlo Park Academy?

Menlo provides social-emotional learning and support programs, understands the common attributes of asynchronous development (intellectual growth exceeding their age/emotional maturity), and engages children in fostering meaningful friendships as they find acceptance.

Our Approach to Education

Menlo is consistently ranked as one of Ohio’s top schools by the Ohio Department of Education and among Niche.com’s top charter schools, and among the top ten public schools in Ohio, in large part because of our Core and Encore curriculum.

admissions process

1

Inquiry

2

Qualification

3

Shadow Day

4

Application

Attend an Open House or Information Session to learn more about the definition of gifted children, how gifted learning differs from traditional classrooms, Menlo Park Academy’s unique approach to gifted education, and get answers to questions about enrolling.

TOURS

Interested in touring our 80,000-square-foot educational learning space? Our Admissions Team would love to show you around! Contact us to schedule an in-person tour.

OPEN HOUSES

Experience our flexible learning spaces, talk to teachers, participate in activities and see why gifted children thrive here. Open Houses are great for the whole family to attend and explore our community.

INFORMATION NIGHTS

This “Q & A Session” event is perfect for parents and guardians to learn more about Menlo Park Academy. Information Nights are deeper dives on all things Menlo, including what it means to be gifted and key indicators of gifted children.

Qualifying for enrollment to Menlo Park Academy begins with submitting your child’s results for gifted identification on a state-approved assessment. There are three options that parents can pursue to qualify a child as gifted:

1. GIFTED IDENTIFICATION AT CURRENT SCHOOL DISTRICT

If your child has been identified as gifted, please submit a letter from the school’s gifted coordinator stating the identification. Alternatively, you may also submit your child’s test report for a state-approved assessment (such as NWEA/MAP, IOWA, CogAT, and WISC-IV).

2. GIFTED TESTING AT MENLO PARK ACADEMY

Menlo Park Academy provides free testing for prospective students ages 4 and A Half and older. For more information and our testing dates, please see our calendar for upcoming testing days.

3. PRIVATE GIFTED TESTING

You may have the child tested by an independent facility or psychologist. Referrals are available upon request.

Beginning in the Fall, we invite prospective students to experience firsthand what daily student life is like at Menlo Park Academy. Prospective students can experience classes, engage in discussions with teachers and current students, and begin building friendships that last a lifetime.

While Shadow Days are not a required step for admission to Menlo Park Academy, they are encouraged to help prospective students understand our unique approach to gifted education and our academic standards.

WHAT TO KNOW FOR YOUR ON-CAMPUS SHADOW DAY

  • Before your visit to Menlo Park Academy, our Admissions Office and your student host will contact you about what to expect during your campus visit.
  • Plan to arrive at 8 a.m. and enter the building through the North Doors (nearest the flagpole). Our receptionist will greet you, and a member of the Admissions Team and your student host will be there to welcome you.
  • Kindergarten Shadow Days frequently wrap up after lunch, and grade 1-8 Shadow Days wrap up between 2-2:30 p.m. Our Admissions team will recap the highlights for parents to conclude the day.

Once your child has qualified, you can complete an application for enrollment and submit the necessary paperwork to the Admissions Office.

There are two types of documents and a deposit to submit with your application:

1. BIRTH CERTIFICATE

A copy of your child’s notarized birth certificate.

2. PROOF OF RESIDENCY

A current utility bill, mail from a government entity, bank statement from the past 30 days, mortgage, or current rental agreement.

3. DEPOSIT

Provide a $100 deposit to secure your child’s seat, which is applied to the Materials and Activity Fees for the school year. If seats are unavailable, the Admissions Office will place your child on a waiting list until an opening is available. No deposit will be due during a waitlist period.

Siblings

If you have a child who is a sibling of a current Menlo Park Academy student that you would the school to consider for enrollment, complete a New Sibling Application, which you can request from the Admissions Office.

Completing this application will place your child in a priority enrollment position and temporarily reserve a spot for your child if one is available. If the sibling has already been identified as gifted, please submit those testing results with the application.

Families can sign up their sibling(s) for a Testing Day by emailing our Admissions Office. Students must be 4 years, 11 months of age in order to be tested by Menlo Park Academy. If your family prefers to have your child tested by a private psychologist, please contact the Admissions Office for a physician referral.

Once your student has qualified, a $100 deposit is required to secure your sibling’s seat. This $100 deposit will be applied to the Materials and Activity Fees for the school year. If seats are unavailable, the Admissions Office will place your child on a waiting list until an opening is available. No deposit will be due during a waitlist period.

Re-Enrollment

Each year, families have the opportunity to re-enroll their students at Menlo Park Academy with priority enrollment positions during at dedicated re-enrollment window during the fall. The Admissions Office provides this courtesy to current families so they can guarantee their child’s seat for the following year before accepting new admits.

Re-enrollment is available to all existing Menlo Park Academy students (with the exception of grade 8, who will transition to high school).

To request a Re-Enrollment Form, contact the Admissions Office.

To secure your child’s spot, please submit:

  1.  A completed Re-enrollment Form.
  2. A $100 deposit to secure your child’s seat. This $100 deposit is applied to the Materials and Activity Fees for the school year. (Families will be invoiced via email for this deposit once they submit a re-enrollment form.)

Re-Enrollment Forms received without the deposit will be held on a temporary basis; your child’s spot is not fully secured until the deposit is received.

admissions events

See the Menlo Difference for Yourself

Ready to discover if Menlo Park Academy is right for your gifted student? Throughout the year, our Admissions Team offers Open Houses, Information Nights, Tours and Shadow Visits to give you and your student a glimpse into a day as a Menlo Wizard. We also offer free Testing Days to determine if your student qualifies.

Tours

Interested in touring our 80,000-square-foot educational learning space? Our Admissions Team would love to show you around! Contact us to schedule an in-person tour.

Open Houses

Bring the whole family and learn more about Menlo Park Academy, Ohio’s only tuition-free school for gifted children in grades K-8. Take a tour, experience our flexible learning spaces, talk to our teachers, participate in activities, and see for yourself why gifted children thrive here.

Information Nights

Our virtual Information Nights are “Q & A Session” events, perfect for parents and guardians to learn more about Menlo Park Academy. Information Nights are deeper dives on all things Menlo, with most of the event devoted to your questions. With our Information Nights, you will gain a detailed overview of:

  • Key indicators of gifted children and what it means to be “gifted.”
  • How gifted learning is different from traditional classrooms and Menlo Park Academy’s approach to curriculum.
  • A whole-child approach to learning through an exemplary program designed to be rewarding for gifted children.
  • Why Menlo Park Academy is right for your gifted child and the qualification criteria to enroll.
  • Answers to many of the common questions that parents ask during the enrollment process.

Testing Days

Our Admissions Team holds free Testing Days throughout the year for prospective students. Testing is proctored by current Menlo Park Academy faculty members, and results are shared via email within one week of testing.

For students in Pre-School through Second Grade: The NNAT (Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test) is a nonverbal test, using shapes and figures to evaluate the problem-solving and reasoning abilities of a child without relying on their language skills. It is typically a 30-minute assessment.

For students in Grades 3-8: The CogAT Test measures the level and pattern of cognitive development of a student compared to age mates and grade mates. These general reasoning abilities, which start developing at birth and continue through early adulthood, are influenced by experiences gained both in and out of school. It is typically a 2.5-3 hour assessment.

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is my child gifted?

What Does Gifted Mean?

The state of Ohio defines a gifted child as one who “performs or shows potential for performing at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared to others of their age, experience, or environment.” Students are identified as having superior cognitive ability by scoring two standard deviations above the mean on an approved intelligence test. You can visit the Ohio Department of Education’s website to see its list of approved assessments. Ohio law defines gifted students as “at-risk” in the public education system, enabling the creation of a public school catered to serving their needs.

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Key Indicators

No gifted individual is exactly the same, each with his own unique patterns and traits. There are many traits that gifted individuals have in common, but no gifted learner exhibits traits in every area. This list of traits may help you better understand whether or not your child is gifted.

start the admissions process

We know how important it is to find the right school for your gifted children! Menlo Park Academy was started by parents just like you — moms and dads who wanted a place where their children could thrive. A school where they would be academically challenged, while also achieving emotional and social success. A place where they would find like-minded peers. Menlo Park Academy is all that and more!

Click below to start the admissions process.