At last - we have finally come to our High School. That short period of time when classes really start to count - that is to say - count towards a diploma. That little piece of paper that sets you on your next journey in life - and this piece of paper is crucial because it can determine which path you take.
At Noble Academy, our High School course content, pace, and academic rigor follow standards set by the NC Standard Course of Study. Graduates earn at least a minimum of 22 credits for graduation that include all required coursework. We also offer a dual enrollment opportunity with GTCC for our students in 11th and 12th grade who are academically ready for this challenge. Our students have the opportunity to play varsity sports, run for Student Council, be inducted into the National Honor Society, join a club, and attend homecoming and the prom. So our High School is a lot like all the others - except that all of our students experience some form of a learning difference and all of their classes are set up with accommodations that help them learn the way they need to learn.
So enough about curriculum - let’s get to the meat of what we do that helps our students Build Great Futures for themselves! To start with, the planner system continues from Middle School to High School but this one is more geared towards developing strong habits (building structure and developing organization and preparation skills) to carry with them to their post-secondary situation. What I mean by this is that a student using this planner can become accustomed to jotting down when things are due weekly, obligations, meetings, etc. This planner allows our students to visualize the full year. It also has a DUE DATE and DONE column by each day of the week along with a NOTES section. However, where it differs and is my favorite part are the resources added that students can flip to at any time like the periodic table, a world map, a map of the US, most commonly misspelled words, and math shapes and angles. I also particularly like the specific pages that reference community expectations, school policies, passwords, school calendar, and a section on Need To Talk To Someone. When the student embraces this type of planner, they realize how important it is to their High School success and beyond. As our students enter post-secondary education, it will be crucial that they know how to create this type of system for themselves in order to keep organized and efficient. Having these skills in your toolbox is important at any stage of life, but when you receive a syllabus on the first day of class in college, and it is really not mentioned much beyond that date, it will be imperative that they know to immediately enter all important due dates into their planner - and hopefully they will gather the resources and important information they believe they will need to access during that year.
We also address various skills in our seminar time which our High School students receive every school day for 25 minutes. Our freshman class seminar focuses on learning strategies, planning and test taking, time management, and executive functioning skills. Our sophomore class dive deeper into self-advocacy, team building, communication, and collaboration skills. Juniors begin addressing ideas for a career by creating a research path that ventures backwards revealing all the steps needed to take
in order to make a fresh start towards that particular career. As seniors, we pivot towards acquiring essential life skills such as tipping, completing applications, laundry, learning to ask for your accommodations, inquiring about a job, etc. Seniors also complete a three-week internship in the spring. In addition, social emotional learning, wellness, and mindfulness is woven throughout these seminar classes during the school year. It should be noted that during the first quarter of the school year in seminar classes, a big focus is on helping our students prepare for their Parent/Teacher/Student conferences. During these conferences, students will speak to their presentation slides where they have identified what their strengths and weaknesses are, list what accommodations work best for them, and set goals for their school year success. This process helps our students to really delve inward and also provides time to practice their public speaking skills.
Well, it has been a pack-filled October. I hope if you have followed this monthly blog that you have learned a few things that are unique about each of our schools (Lower, Middle, and High). No matter what grade a student may first enter Noble Academy - there are definitely pieces that they can obtain and build upon as they progress through the grades that will help them Build Great Futures for themselves. To celebrate the end of Dyslexia, ADHD, and Learning Differences Awareness Month, Chere Flowers, Director of Development, interviewed one of our graduates, Jaylon Smallwood. Stay tuned for that blog! Au revoir!
By Christy Avent, Director of Enrollment Management