For now, our needs are adequately met by our facility. We are committed to providing a safe, attractive, comfortable, and fully-equipped learning environment for our students and staff, while being fiscally responsible and matching our needs to our budget. That being said, our facility will need to expand as our student body grows.
We are committed to inclusion to the greatest possible extent and agree with the following statement of Steven Frank Hawley and Karen Hawley Miles, co-authors of The Strategic School: “Imagine if we were to embrace a vision that blurred the distinctions between special education and general education, requiring all teachers to be experts in differentiated instruction and focusing special education dollars on delivering a higher quality of instruction.”
All students have access to their own Google Chromebook for research and writing. There is also a class set of conventional laptop computers for tasks that are beyond the capability of Chromebooks. Special use Mac computers and iPads are be available for use at school for comprehensive projects involving graphics, sound, video, etc.
Strong research shows that success in 9th grade is crucial to a student’s success in high school. Our advisory program is designed to give high school students the tools they need to succeed, such as the adoption of an academic mindset, effective organizational and study skills, knowledge of and advocacy for the way the student learns best, how to work successfully in a group or independently, respectful and responsible behaviors, etc.
As students grow and mature, their needs change. Topics such as career planning; college searches, applications, and financial aid; internships; job shadowing; and the extended individual project for upperclassmen will require dedicated time during the school day.
Students will be assessed against the content standards for the individual course rather than being compared to their peers. Evaluations will be based on demonstrated proficiency, from “Needs Significant Help” to “Mastery”. These levels will correspond to letter grades on a student’s official transcript. Because our goal is learning, students will be encouraged to revise and improve their work and grades.
According to Trusting Teachers With School Success, by Kim Farris-Berg, Edward Dirkswager, and Amy Junge, there are approximately 150 teacher-led schools in the US. Teacher-led schools are defined as schools in which teachers may have decision-making authority in areas such as determining the learning program and materials, setting the schedule, setting school-level policies (such as homework, grading policies), selecting, evaluating, and retaining colleagues, determining budget, etc.
Is New School High associated with the National Heritage Academies or Prep Net schools in Plymouth-Canton?
No. New School High is an independent, self-managed, not-for-profit school that was founded by people who live in the Plymouth-Canton community. National Heritage Academies and PrepNet schools are founded and fully managed by companies that are based in Grand Rapids.
As students grow, it is appropriate that they extend their learning beyond the school and out into the community. Older students need and want greater autonomy and responsibility. Prior to graduation, all New School High students are encouraged to design and complete either an internship in career exploration, a community service project, a sustained project in the arts, or a research project. Most students will begin work on these goals in grades 11 or 12, however, some students may be ready for these challenges earlier. The student’s Individual Learning Plan will reflect the sequence that is most appropriate for that individual.
Class sizes vary, depending on the activity. Labs, direct instruction, and discussion sections will be no larger than 20 students. Project-based learning will be groups of 2-8. Independent study will be supervised time for students to work on their own.
“All charter schools are funded through the State School Aid Act. A charter school receives funding through the per-pupil base foundation. By law, this amount may not exceed the per-pupil base foundation received by the local school district where the charter school is geographically located.” (MDE Charter School Q&A) This means our school cannot receive more funding per student than the local district, which is Plymouth-Canton Community Schools. Charter schools may also apply for grants and accept donations.
Our families are essential to the success of the school and of its students. We encourage parents to volunteer in the classroom, join us on field trips, and offer their expertise in any number of ways. Parents are invited to participate in the monthly Parent Advisory meetings for regular dialogue with the school leader and to share information and ideas about education.
The advantage of a small school is its ability to banish anonymity. Knowing our students well allows us to match their interests and goals with the resources they need. We place great value on our community partners and our vast network of professionals and experts in diverse fields to broaden the learning opportunities of our students. Collaboration with the community is essential to our program and may take the form of speakers, guest experts, on-site project-based learning/research, service learning, student internships, project mentors, career exploration, or employment. We are committed to expanding our vibrant network of partnerships to many other non-profit organizations, institutions of higher learning, and businesses for our mutual benefit.
Does New School High have the same information and data on its website that traditional public schools have?
Our programming is determined by the interests of our students. Groups have included competitive economics/personal finance team, Drama Club, Table Top and Electronics Games Club, Cobra Strikes bowling team, Chinese culture and language group, basketball club, basketball team, our FRC team: Human Error, and a political discussion group. If our students want a particular extra-curricular, we will support them.
It is important that students feel connected to their school through traditions and celebrations that mark important times. Dances, activities nights, school trips, and special events are all ways New School High encourages students to widen their circles of friends, try new things, and have fun.
There is no admission requirement for a student to attend New School High or any other public school academy. “Charter schools must serve anyone who applies to attend up to enrollment capacity; that is, they may not screen out students based on race, religion, gender, or test scores.” (MDE Charter Schools Q&A)
New School High is a public school academy and complies with all state and federal requirements regarding the separation between church and state. Students and staff enter the building through a separate entrance and there is a division between the side of the building used by the school and the side used by the church. There are no religious symbols in the areas used by students and staff. The church does not and cannot have influence on the curriculum or activities of the school.
Below are guidelines to abide by regarding dress code at NSH:
All students must wear tops with a non-revealing neckline. Low cut, open back, bare midriff, off the shoulders, spaghetti straps, bare sides, see through, etc will not be permissible. Female students may wear sleeveless garments which adequately cover undergarments and adhere to the aforementioned guidelines.
No obscene language and/or illegal substance advertisements (to include alcoholic and tobacco advertisements) may be worn on clothing or accessories.
Students should not wear sunglasses in the learning environment, unless a doctor’s note is provided to the office staff.
Skirts, dresses, and shorts must be fingertip length or longer. Garments worn over leggings must follow the fingertip rule.
Nighttime attire is not acceptable in the school setting. This may include, but is not limited to, blankets, robes, slippers, and house shoes, unless a school spirit event is scheduled.
Students are required to wear appropriate shoes at all times. Students need to wear closed toe shoes at all times.
Students should not wear excessively tight or revealing clothing, such as fishnet or see through garments, may be worn.
Students are prohibited from wearing any sign, symbol, logo, or garment, which has become synonymous with any gang, cult, or unauthorized club or organizational activity.
New School High has adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and the Michigan Merit Curriculum (MMC). “Local education agencies and public school academies are required to adopt a model core curriculum per Section 380.1278 of the Revised School Code.” (MDE Charter School Q&A)