New Heights Curriculum
At NHCSB, we prepare EVERY child for college. Period. And in order to do that, our curriculum and instruction are the foundation of our early college model. Unique program components include:
Summer Reading Packets: Keeping the learning process alive during the summer is very important here at New Heights! Please follow this link to retrieve your Summer Reading and Math Packets.
Individual Learning Plans: Students begin developing an individual learning plan during the 8th grade Summer Bridge program. This plan starts with a vision board project – where do you want to go – and then is followed up in Advisory with research related to how they are going to reach the goals they set in their vision board – how will you get there – and finally, during the 10th and 11th grade, – what skills do you need to reach your goals. Finally, a completed vision board that will be shared with the entire school at graduation.
College Portfolio: Students must complete a “College Portfolio” which they will begin to gather in the 9th grade, including letters of recommendation, multiple college essays, a statement of intent, a resume, at minimum two completed college applications, and examples of academic work or accolades earned in the Upper School in addition to volunteer experience and work experience. The college portfolio will be a focus of the Summer Bridge program before the start of the 11th grade and will be completed during the summer before the 12th grade.
System of Supports: NHCSB approaches student support from multiple angles. We believe students must be academically, socially/emotionally, and motivationally engaged to succeed in school and in life. The school offers students multiple stages of support including advisory, co-teaching, special education and EL services, and after-school enrichment or tutoring services. In addition, we have a robust counseling department and community outreach workers to provide social/emotional support to students and families.
Student-Teacher Relationships: Strong student-teacher relationships drive everything from classroom management to home-school communications. Relationships are built on the principles of “KTECH”, the NHCSB school culture.
College Success Strategies: Woven throughout the NHCS day, students and staff will incorporate the following practices into classroom expectations. These skills include: taking good notes, planning schoolwork, timely completion of homework, arranging a place to study without distractions, providing encouragement to students and helping them to overcome fears related to learning difficult material, supplementing planned content with “just in time” content that responds to students’ needs and interests; and providing opportunities for students to conduct original research.
Summer Bridge: Our Summer Bridge program, located on the both the NCHSB campus (3 weeks) and the Massasoit Community College campus (1 week), presents students with time to focus on academic skill building as well as college preparation.
Advisory: Every student will be in a designated student advisory that will meet weekly during last period. The cultural purpose of this period is to provide students with a smaller community with which to build camaraderie with their peers and with one particular teacher.
- Advisories will compete in a weekly on-time attendance competition.
- They will travel together on field trips to college campuses or other events.
- They will stay together until they graduate.
- The academic purpose of advisory is to appoint a teacher to keep track of a smaller group of students’ academic and behavioral progress.
- Advisories also allow for collective time for any pertinent updates, announcements, and collection of important paperwork.
- Discussion of current events.
- Study time for Interim Assessments (IAs).
- Small group instruction.
The advisory group will also be a vehicle through which students will develop a system of support in which they will encourage each other’s successes and help each other at times of need. Advisory groups will be a compilation from all four cohorts to further build our whole school community.
Extracurricular activities: NHCSB currently offers boys and girls basketball and cheerleading. We are continuing to expand our offerings as the school grows, furring the 2017-18 school year, from a middle school to a middle-high school. In addition, we offer teacher-lead enrichment activities after school.
When students arrive at NHCSB:
- The Curriculum Team will utilize the students’ most recent standardized state assessments in addition to the NHCSB testing to determine the level of support students will need to be successful. The level of support will guide their membership in one of four inclusion learning groups. Every group is named after a college attended by a member of our staff.
- Students will attend double blocks of mathematics and English in both the middle and high school.
- The NHCSB staff will provide extensive supports and services for all students through EL staff, special education staff, paraprofessionals, after school tutors, social workers, counseling staff, and the Community Outreach Coordinator.
- During the 9th or 10th grade, ALL students will complete the Massasoit Community College prerequisite courses in Math and English to ensure students are, in fact, academically prepared to be successful in college courses.
- During the 10th grade, all students who pass the prerequisite courses will complete two English courses taught by college faculty at NCHSB.
- During the 11th and 12th grade all students who pass the 10th grade courses will attend Massasoit Community College full-time and receive additional support at NHCSB and at Massasoit Community College to complete college homework as well as prepare college portfolios. EL and Special Education staff, in addition to New Heights’ teachers, will travel to the college with students to ensure their success.