Director Update Fall 2019

September 4th, 2019
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NCA Family,

Another school year is on the horizon for students who choose New Century Academy in Hutchinson, a 6th – 12th grade Public Charter School. The first day of school will be Monday, August 26th. As we start our 18th year serving the families of Hutchinson and surrounding communities we welcome, for the first time, 6th grade students to our campus located at 950 School Road SW. We are excited to offer a complete 6th – 8th grade middle school experience! New Century Academy continues to be a school of choice, serving students who enjoy a smaller environment and more personal attention. We offer a welcoming environment that seeks to help students become better people, learning from each other and embracing our differences. At New Century Academy we see each student as a unique opportunity and we work hard to make sure that students feel accepted, regardless of their situation in life. At New Century Academy, come as you are!

Continued Discovery with New Project Based Tools

Students will continue to refine their project and problem based skills this school year. A grant awarded last school year through the efforts of our winning Samsung for Tomorrow Team will allow us to provide a chromebook for every student in the classroom. Staff will also receive google training in August as we prepare to transition to a google classroom school. Also, staff will receive training to implement a new project based platform called ProjectPals. This is a real-time collaborative project based learning platform that meets students where they learn today, digitally. The platform allows students to work on projects alone or together, anytime and anywhere with teacher oversight. ProjectPals will allow students and teachers to archive their projects in order to look back upon, share with the community, and to see the impact being made within each project.

Collaboration That Teaches Real Work Skills

It has always been part of our mission and vision to help students learn to communicate and work together to achieve. Two years ago when we moved into our current location, we remodeled the building to allow for as many collaborative spaces as possible. Whether working in one of the two open project spaces, entertaining student center, conjoining humanities center or at the high tables in the cafeteria space the students have plenty of opportunity to learn together. Many of the classrooms are set up in a Socratic format in which students participate in cooperative discussion that stimulates critical thinking. Inside these collaborative environments you’ll often find educators learning along with students. Our approach encourages students to practice skills that will be more valuable to them in the work world of today in which businesses need people who can critically think and work with others to make their business stronger.

Students will also have the opportunity to learn in several real time, live work environments within the school. Students can learn work skills through our food service department, maintenance department, administrative offices and our very own coffee shop. The coffee shop is open all day and available to students, staff and parents of New Century Academy students. Our hope is to continue to find opportunities within the school where students can obtain real time work experience that will transfer to their first job or career during or after high school.

Leadership and Transition with a Purpose

Students will also have opportunities to connect with our community through volunteer or transition programming. Specifically, students in our Special Education programming will be connected with businesses in and around Hutchinson to learn work skills that could transition them to employment. These students will also learn valuable life skills that will help them transition to life on their own. Many of the students with learning challenges in our public school systems today are underserved and unprepared to transition to life on their own. It is our goal to support these students and provide as many valuable connections in and around Hutchinson.

As a Stillman Leadership School through the program, all students will have continued opportunity to serve the public through our volunteer efforts. This year our main focus areas will be Literacy, Poverty, Mental Health and Physical Health. We will continue to work with the City of Hutchinson to give back to our community through service projects. This also includes our continued work each year through the Hutchinson Leadership Institute, a long standing and successful program that has extended first to the youth at New Century Academy for the past several years.

Why We Do This Work

We believe that every child needs at least one caring adult to be successful. It is our job as public education to serve our students and families, not the other way around. This has often been lost in many traditional public schools as they continue to meet the needs of a certain type of student. While this might be an easier approach when attempting to educate a larger number of students in a big school, it may not meet the needs of students who are less traditional and maybe non-conforming. What if you don’t fit into that traditional mold? What if you’re looking for something different? Something that meets your needs as an individual. This is the advantage a small PUBLIC-TUITION FREE Charter School can offer. We have a smaller staff to student ratio on purpose. Our class sizes are designed to be small on purpose. We believe we can help those students who need to reconnect to their education. We also believe we can help those students who need more or who believe in having more control over their education. If you are a student who needs a place you can feel that you belong, are wanted and can find empowerment, then New Century Academy is the school for you! If you are a parent who wants their child to find excitement and curiosity again in their education, then New Century Academy is the school for you!

New Century Academy will host an open house on Thursday, August 22nd for students and families enrolling or interested in enrolling for the 2019-2020 school year. The open house will run from 6 – 8 pm. New and returning students can pick up their schedules, reconnect with classmates and meet the staff. Students and families interested in checking out what New Century Academy has to offer, please feel free to stop in anytime during our summer hours from 9 am to 2 pm Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. We look forward to seeing you all soon!

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