The teachers at Nova are not knowledgeable about learning disabilities. They are not able to differentiate instruction or provide specially designed instruction. They refuse to allow the accommodations or provide the modifications listed in the IEP and cite the school's "creative approach" charter as the basis. Even basic lesson plan format, like checking for understanding, re-teaching, and allowing for guided practice, is not understood or followed. Their exclusionary teaching approaches are supported and vehemently defended by the principal and higher level supervisors. Since the teachers do not possess the foundational skills necessary to support general learning, they are unable to build on those skills and support disabled learners. There is no way to advocate for alternative approaches in this hostile environment.
Nova High School exists because the dedicated students and staff that work there provide a unique experience in learning. I removed my son from SSD middle School system due to incompetency and an unwillingness to be flexible. As my son had developmental problems from birth and needed an approach to learning that was not available elsewhere, Nova filled that niche. My son is engaged and supported in Nova's envirnment and support this very special school. It is set up for students that have a desire to learn. Thanks Nova!
I am a recent NOVA graduate, and I have to say that NOVA saved my life. Traditional schools never worked for me, some were bad enough that I was literally able to write the answer is Fish on my math work and I would get an A+ NOVA actually got me to think about my work and learn. I will agree with a previous review saying " no one cares about fundraising or leadership there and the school will probably die soon." BUT from my first-hand experience, I feel that it is mainly because of all the cuts the district has done the past few years. From what I can tell, most of the newer students have been kids that the district placed there when they wanted to go somewhere else, which is why no one is doing fund raising.
Something is broken and I don't know how to fix it. The lack of organization and communication is appalling. I am very open-minded, which is why we sent my child to Nova in the first place. But whenever a problem arose instead of dealing with it head-on trying to correct it, we were told our child should drop out and go somewhere else. After 4 years we received a letter that arrived while I was in the hospital on bed-rest. It came after I had been admitted stating our child was going to be expelled. His Senior credits had been denied by the principal and I believe it was a retaliatory act. A family member called the principal to explain I was in the hospital and we were promised no action would be taken until September AFTER meeting with him to discuss the situation. However, he has been conveniently unavailable and won't return our phone calls and our child WAS "dis-enrolled" while I was still in the hospital after being promised that would not occur. I'm taking this up with the district. Our child did not do anything wrong and deserves to graduate. As an aside, no one cares about fundraising or leadership there and the school will probably die soon.
I need to add this to an earlier review in order to address a pejorative remark that someone made. One parent said that the only type of student who will excel at Nova, is one who would excel elsewhere. Familiarize yourself with their demographics. A large percentage of Nova students transfer in mid-way through high school because they were in danger of dropping out, or had dropped out, of another school. My son, who was in the APP program in middle school, racked up180 truancies at Garfield. He moved to Nova and graduated ON TIME by taking DOUBLE credits his senior year. This is because they got him to buy into what they were doing, whereas Garfield just did discipline. Check the facts before you trash a school.
Nova has my 5th child now; it's been 6 years since I've posted. I feel this outstanding and flexible school should be defended. First, please note that students are NOT routinely graduated. Check their SAT scores; they are among the highest in the state. One of my 5 was shown the gate for not attending class. Yes, you CAN get kicked out of Nova, but they will try to engage the student first. OSPI awarded ONE school in all of WA state the lang. arts award...NOVA. There's a reason for this. Before that child leaves school to start forging checks or burglarizing your house and car, they try to work with them, find their interests and passions, and build a curriculum (but real work) around that topic if it's what it takes to keep them in school. This is not a slacker school, but it is also not sink-or-swim. Students see the faculty and administration (outstanding!) as part of "we", not "us" vs. "them". This is especially critical for very bright students with power issues. This is how drop-outs turn in to high-scorers. And this is why my children and I love Nova.
This is an add-on to the last comment This school is really fantastic, its the only alternative school in Seattle so we better keep it loved as much as possible. Thats my review, please consider visiting Nova if your looking for schools. You won't be disappointed. I LOVE THIS PLACE!!!! One thing that has changed that I notice this site didn't change.
Nova empowers students to find their own voice. The grading system does not allow a student to fall through the cracks- if you don't "pass" the class then you don't get full credit. This system makes sure students comprehend the subject before moving on. There is a culture of mutual respect and a true diverse community. Our student finds the curriculum stimulating and engaging. The teachers are extremely supportive and caring- they love teaching. This is our second year at Nova and our family feels accepted and included. There is a huge amount of parent involvement. Their new building is slowly transforming to represent the current Nova students.
Because it is original school, where true learning and discovery take place.
This alternative high school is student-focused and student-led. Its curriculum integrates writing, arts, and social justice and creates a safe environment for students 'outside the box' who prosper under a non-traditional learning plan. The teachers are devoted to the students and the school, which has been a part of the Seattle school district for decades. The students leave this school knowing that they have been valued as individuals and how to think about more than just themselves. It has literally renewed the lives of many young adults who thought they would never find a society to believe in and belong to.
the students who excel at this school are the kind of students who would excel anywhere. It has nothing to do with this school. It is, ironically, one of the most elitist, insular environments I have ever come across. The strident, suspicious of all outsider attitude of the staff should be a clue to the real nature of this school. It is an hypocrisy.
i think the only possible way to know nova ir rght for you is to go to a average school like center or ballard , and if that works for you , stay there . nova is a school for students who do not excel at normal boring schools . am a sophomore who went to the center school , and i m very shocked when i was looking at this website to see that center has a higher rating . just because nova is not in the best location and the people are not clean cut and wealthy do s not mean it is a bad school , and it hurts me to see that the world is still based on materialistic thoughts .
As a Nova graduate, I would recommend this school to any student who is committed to learning. The teachers were motivated and didn't seem to be waiting for their retirement. I received one-on-one assistance in math. I was able to learn about government by participating in student committees, and about economics by helping with the lunch program. There was a mutual respect between teachers and students, which seemed to lead to students behaving well on their own. I stay in contact with several Nova graduates, and they are all successful in their adult life.
I would think carefully about sending a young person to this school. Many of the teachers are quite good, decent people. The philosophy of the school and curriculum may sound wonderful, but in practice I see immature, bored students hanging out and accomplishing nothing. One should always be suspicious of schools that are tolerant of any and all behavior and schools that have an unusually high amount of 'super seniors' That is, seniors who take extra years to graduate for no other reason than not to be bothered to grow up and get and join the adult world
I am a student at Nova, I've been reading the reviews to this school and personally I disagree. The school has no structure. Also, the ONLY way that it prepares you for college is if you ACTUALLY want to go to college and work EXTRA hard to get everything you need done. I don't feel like I'm getting a good education at Nova at all.
I think this school really helps out children that needs extra helps and it's a good school for a child that's trying to find their way.
This school is a wonderful asset for talented youths with power issues. Because students have more say in what they study and how the school is run, they are often more willing to complete high quality work and participate in building their school community. The teachers have a personal relationship with the teens they teach, and every student chooses a mentor-teacher who advises the student on academic and sometimes personal matters. I have had 4 teens attend this school, and seen countless others hug their mentors and sob at the parting of graduation. I have never heard a student or parent speak badly of this school.
this school has a lot to offer kids planning to attend a 4-year college.
I have sent three teenagers through Nova and presently have a fourth enrolled there. I highly recommend this school because the staff are extremely involved in the lives of their students, and the ability for students to pursue individual interests is great. This site's higher than average rating both for graduation and dropouts may be accounted for by the fact that some students take five years to graduate rather than four. My daughter was able to graduate in just three years because the number of credits a student can attempt in a quarter is not limited, and Running Start is also an option. I recommend this school very highly for capable, creative teens who need a great deal of academic freedom and a solid mentor-student relationship. Because their administrator will be new this year, I am rating principal leadership unknown (but promising).
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