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North Central Academy is not just different — it's better. That's because we don't teach subjects, we teach students. Among the ways NCA is different:

Academics through Creativity

NCA serves elementary students with the proven best practices in education, melding together brain science, character education and effective instruction. Our students not only learn to appreciate the arts, but have rich opportunities to actively participate in creative work and learn relationship building. We develop students' minds and bodies, the complete person. We promote development through the arts,  language development through poetry, auditory and visual development, and more. North Central Academy provides brain-based learning through the arts.

Safe, Loved, Learning

North Central Academy creates a loving environment where kids feel safe so they can learn at a higher level.

Common sense dictates that a safe, happy child is more productive than a student who is distressed. For this reason, the North Central Academy model is to first create an environment that is nurturing and supportive, and based on relationships rather than coercion. North Central Academy is a school for all types of students. Our program is designed to offer a safe, nurturing place where students learn to love learning. By combining proven knowledge of human development, best practices in education and strong character education, we will help each child to discover his or her inherent gifts.

 

Character through Education

At North Central Academy, we teach students to do the right thing, because it is the right thing to do.

We believe that proper behavior leads to good character, which leads to arts and academic excellence. It's as simple as that. Good character is an important part of every student's success, both in school and beyond. That's why the character traits of respect, kindness, responsibility, optimism, getting along and work ethic are continually modeled, taught, assessed and reported to parents at all grade levels.

Making the Grade

North Central Academy uses a competency-based grading system to ensure quality work. Students earn an A, B or N ("not yet") in grades K-6.

Students are expected to do quality work, demonstrating they have fully learned a concept before progressing to the next level. This works to the advantage of all students. Those who need a bit more support to master a topic will get it. On the flip side, once a concept is mastered, the student will be allowed to move on, eliminating the requirement of simple seat time. The students who seek the opportunity to advance will be given the chance.

Know Your Teacher

At North Central Academy, we set the stage for teachers, students and parents to form real relationships that serve as the basis for students' success.

We keep classes as small as possible and allow teachers to keep the same students for several years — not by necessity, but by design. This means teachers and students don't have to spend several weeks or even months learning about each other and forming friendships on a yearly basis, allowing us to get to the business of teaching and with much more efficiency. Our multi-age grouping allows differential instruction by development, as opposed to age, and encourages continuity of relationships. Students stay with the same teacher and many of the same classmates for several years. Students progress seamlessly through the curriculum by mastery as opposed to arbitrary annual deadlines.

Learning New Signs

NCA students learn American Sign Language from kindergarten on. Teachers use American Sign Language in the elementary grades to introduce new vocabulary sight words. This provides students with a more concrete learning experience, as well as the richness of learning elements of a new language. This allows even non-reading students the opportunity to develop vocabulary and make a more permanent imprint of the new language skill.

 

Family-style Lunches

North Central Academy students eat family-style lunches with their teachers, allowing for deeper relationships and a more healthful eating environment. Students are expected to use good manners and eat healthful lunches. This setup also helps to avoid many of the conflicts that often occur during the institutional environment of a cafeteria, fostering a safer, more nurturing place of learning.

Less Homework
You send your kids to school to learn, and that is where we will teach them. Compulsory homework has proven ineffective and even detrimental to quality education. We expect our students to read at home, but the teaching occurs at school.
Nutritious Snacks
Students are encouraged to eat snacks during the day to help maintain the energy level required for quality work. Parents are expected to send healthful food items.
Uniforms

Research clearly indicates that students who wear uniforms are more productive and successful. Teachers and students alike wear uniforms, fostering a sense of community and unity.

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