I attended this school, and NSA in general for a long period of time, and have went through a lot of struggle in the process. The staff (Lot of which aren't there anymore; one of them is a certified teacher @ a different school.) are very dedicated to helping their students succeed. Of course, the students may not realize this at the time. The school really takes me back to when I was much younger than I am now. I am very grateful for the staff going out of their way to help me succeed Thank you <3
NSA has done some very good things for my 15 yr old son. He is now atending school every day. he is more cooperative than he was in his previous school thanks in large part to the counseling he is getting at NSA. He needs more rigerious academics. I believe NSA should promote higher academic goals. the teachers and staff seem very dedicated to helping the children and they are hard workers. NSA is trying hard to involve parents and this should be strengthened. Doug Boltin is a very dedicated leader and educator. Cheers, Jim Eisenmann
NSA has been a Godsend for our son. He struggled with school refusal and emotional outbursts since kindergarten. Finally finding our way to NSA in 5th grade, in the last four years he has learned to regulate himself, accept help and direction, engage academically, and gained self-confidence. The teachers and staff are very skilled and caring. The ratio is 1:1 whenever that is needed. The entire community works toward the individual success of each child, meeting them "where they are" and working from there. Individual and group therapy take place all day alongside academics due to the culture and the presence of a school psychologist in the classroom. Older students have the opportunity to mentor younger students and lead by example (classrooms are either mixed 6-8th grades or 9-10, 11-12.) Family Therapy is offered. Afterschool activities include sports, computers, service learning, cooking; just to name a few. The teachers and staff at NSA have helped our child and our family so much. He is now poised to re-enter mainstream school and he wouldn't be there without the love, care, and support he has received from the NSA community.
We are so grateful that NSA is available to students in our district! The NSA staff is knowledgeable, supporting, and compassionate. Our son gets the social-emotional support that he needs so that he can reach his academic potential, create friendships, and contribute fully in the classroom. Our homeschool was simply unable to provide the support that he needed, despite years of working with social workers, special education staff, and administration. Our goal is to eventually get him to a place where he has gained the skills he needs to succeed in the mainstream education environment, and I believe that NSA is the right place to give him those skills.
I was able to find a diamond mine in Highland Park! My child and family were blessed to find and attend N.S.A. The academics, support and excepitional level of communication were remarkable. I wanted my child to attend a school where the needed support was available and a school that was most like gen. ed. So with thier sports teams, fund raisers, yearbooks, academics, field trips and community service; N.S.A. was a great fit for us. When my child leveled out of N.S.A. I was very sad. I was sad to not have the support anymore. I was also sad because I would miss the staff who were unbelieveably resourseful. I feel that N.SA. saved my family. Almost anything is do-able at N.S.A.
I am not a parent, I am a student. I went to school here almost 20 years ago. I was in at a hard time in my life where I didn't want to be in school anymore. I hated everything about my previous school. They did not help me and I struggled. I came here much to my displeasure at the time, kicking and screaming so to speak. What I found though was a very caring staff, who helped me understand that there wasn't anything wrong with me I just learned differently than others. I gained self respect, a diploma, great friendships, and above all else Self confidence. It has helped me today in my life as I raise children like myself and advocate for many more. Although I am far from my old school, I support it, whole heartedly. M. Bauer
My son has attended this school for over one month. For him, this is a low stress, success driven school. His two most important reasons for liking this school are: 1. that the expectations are communicated directly to the students and are very specific. There are no gray areas, so making points is a good possibility. 2.Secondly, they teach to all the children, and if one doesn't understand, they continue to teach so all understand. This makes him feel safe and gives him the the feeling of potential for success. There are very real restrictions, but he is not the type to be upset by that.
This is an alternative education school. It has an elementary, middle and high school component. It Is therapeutic in nature and the elementary school has a behavior modification program with levels, privileges and consequences for various behaviors; documented and monitored by the hour . We liked the small class size, the small group instruction. We liked the teachers and the counselors. We feel the administration is committed to children and their success. However we did not like the use of quiet rooms or restraint. I feel it can be disregulating to some children, anxiety provoking and decrease self esteem, resilience and future behavior. My child did not like being in a room with 100% disabled children, all w/a myriad of issues. It made him feel very badly about himself. The program was also out of district, my child did not feel any sense of community. I believe in inclusion within district.
This school is designed for children with emotional and behavioral problems. The Elementary School is separated from 6th -12th grade. The class sizes are about 10 or under and the staff to student ration is about 1-2. There is a strong behavioral approach using the Circle of Courage as a model. The 'quiet room' is used when students have a 'major incident' where they are in danger of hurting themselves or others. The children are on a behavioral level system, allowing more privileges as they progress from 1 to 5. The students work at their own academic level, even though they are placed in an age appropriate grade. There is an after school recreation program and a summer program. This school serves a real need for this type of student who otherwise may be in a residential school.