Director Update: August 2023

August 22nd, 2023
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NCA Families,

New Century Academy will celebrate its 22nd school year. The first day of school will be Tuesday, August 22nd. Our school day will run from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm. New Century Academy continues to be a school of choice, serving students who enjoy a smaller environment and more personal attention. We seek to help students become better people, learning from each other and embracing differences. We see each student as a unique opportunity and work hard to make sure that students feel accepted, regardless of their situation in life. At NCA, be here – be you – belong!

Students will continue to refine their project based learning (PBL) skills by working closely with teachers and peers in a mixed grade level PBL classroom. A chromebook is available for every student. PBL is a real-time collaborative platform that meets students where they learn today. This is done through student-directed projects. Students work on projects alone or together, anytime and anywhere with teacher oversight. PBL Advisors help students connect their interests with state standards and core content. PBL also allows students who may be behind in credits to work at their own pace to catch up. Solving problems that students can relate to generates inspired learning that students feel can make a difference.

Our mission is to help students learn to communicate and work together to achieve. Whether working in the project spaces, entertaining student center, coffee shop, or humanities center the students have opportunity to collaborate. Students participate in cooperative discussion that stimulates critical thinking. Inside these environments, you will often find educators learning along with students. We encourage students to practice skills that businesses need to make their business stronger. This collaboration and creative, critical thought can also lead to new business ideas and the next generation of entrepreneurs.

There is much to look forward to at New Century Academy! NCA continues to be a place where parents and students feel safe and satisfied. Our parent satisfaction surveys typically yield results of 90% or higher and our mobility rate continues to be under 5% over the past 5 years. We want students to go home happy and healthy with lots to share about what they’ve learned from their teachers!

Staff and students will continue to grow and develop the leadership program started several years ago. Staff from school and several community members have been working hard to develop exciting leadership experiences. A big shout out to Andrea Moore of District 423 and Mary Hodson of the Hutchinson Area Chamber of Commerce for their partnership with Kelsey Dolge of New Century Academy.

Drama club is returning to NCA! This is a student directed drama group that will plan performances and even an effort to build stage extension units to increase our ability to provide a meaningful and spacious performance for all.

Lastly there is a lot going on in the shop! If you drive by the school you’ll notice the new greenhouse constructed by staff and students. The plan is to grow produce that will be used in the school kitchen along with many other plants to be used to bring nature inside the building. We all feel better when we grow together! Staff and students also have plans to continue the work started last year on an aquaponics program. Students last year enjoyed new laser engraving equipment and we are excited to see how this program develops. Learning how to fix and build are important parts of all project based learning. Students will develop real world skills that they can use in everyday life. There is even discussion about bringing back Robotics!

We believe that every child needs at least one caring adult to be successful. The home district may not meet the needs of students who are less traditional. What if you don’t fit into that traditional mold? Maybe you are looking for a school that meets your needs as an individual. This is the advantage of a small PUBLIC-TUITION FREE Charter School. Our smaller class sizes are by design. We believe we can help students reconnect to learning by giving them more control over their education. If you are a student who needs a place that you belong, feel safe and can find empowerment, then NCA is the school for you! If you are a parent who wants their child to find excitement again in their education, then NCA is the school for you!

Jason Becker, Director

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