The New Community Curriculum
At the New Community School, our goal is to improve language skills while appropriately challenging the intellect.
Students at The New Community School take English, science, history, and math every year. These classes are composed of an average of six to eight students. In addition to the academic curriculum, these classes focus on developing independent study, writing and organizational skills. Specific math placement is based on skills testing and readiness. Placement in English, history, and science is by grade level.
The fifth daily academic class in a student’s schedule is most unique. Language Fundamentals is a highly individualized course using direct instruction to extend and improve academic skills such as reading, spelling, vocabulary, handwriting, organization, and understanding of the basic structures of English. In middle school, class assignments are based on skills and exist in a small group of three to four students. In the upper school, the class is totally individualized with usually two students per teacher. Regular informal assessments and annual standardized testing help parents and students measure progress on these skill improvements.
While students are acquiring basic skills, they cannot be expected to demonstrate academic skills they do not yet possess. Accordingly, the school makes appropriate accommodations, allowing untimed tests, oral testing, reading of assignments, etc. in order to give a student full access to the academic curriculum and to ensure successful, productive experiences.
Throughout the academic program, students are encouraged to take greater control of their learning. They begin to determine for themselves when they do not understand a concept, to initiate appointments with teachers in order to get help when needed, and to make the best use of the resources available to them.
A Well-Rounded Program
In addition to academic classes, students also receive regular instruction in health, physical education, and practical and fine arts. An electives program includes a wide array of courses in both the practical and fine arts, including drama, visual arts, woodworking, photography, and much more. (For a more complete description of courses and requirements offered, please see Course Descriptions)
TNCS’s academic year is 180 days in length. Upper school students receive .4 credits per semester for health, physical education, and practical and fine arts classes. They receive a full credit for academic courses, which meet for 150 clock hours and require a significant amount of out of class preparation. They also receive a full credit for their language fundamentals class. The number of credits required at The New Community School meets or exceeds public school requirements.