New Summit Academy continues to offer its students once-in-a-lifetime travel and immersion opportunities!
This past month, students and staff traveled to either Peru or South Africa, engaging with local cultures, performing community service, marveling at the beauty of these nations, and having some fun! Here are just a few of the activities that students experienced in their travels:
-Whitewater rafting the Apurimac River
-Learning how graffiti is used for positive social change
-Working in the Sacred Valley alongside the Amaru indigenous community
-Spotting hippos and rhino while on safari
-Hiking through the Andes on the Auzangate trek
-Exploring Machu Picchu
What a month for New Summit Academy!
Earning Honor Status at New Summit Academy means so much more than making good grades (although, that’s part of it too!)
An Honor Student is recognized by his SCAFA Advising Team as consistently guiding his behaviors according to the NSA value system and excelling in the areas of scholarship, citizenship, character, community service, and leadership.
While earning Honor Status allows the students additional privileges, this flexibility comes with a higher level of trust earned over time, and Honor Students willingly accept the responsibility of helping out their peers as well as the community as a whole.
NSA students are beginning the quarter by planning for their continued growth with their SCAFA (which stands for Self, Community, and Future) Teams.
On the first day of each quarter, NSA has a special schedule that allows students to each meet with their Academic Advisor, Experiential Education Mentor, and Case Manager – who make up their SCAFA Team – to review their quarterly goal plans and set concrete steps to achieve those goals.
When not attending SCAFA Meetings, students are working to unpack from their home visits or Recreational Aventuras, organizing their iPads for the upcoming quarter, participating in community service in Atenas, and expending some adolescent energy on the basketball court, on the soccer field, or in the gym.
SCAFA Day is one way we work to set up our students for success this quarter!
New Summit Academy celebrated a very special graduation day this spring, as we proudly sent eight young men into the world, prepared for success.
This graduating class served as leaders and role models for our students, and every student graduated with honors – a feat never before seen at NSA!
These students have been hard at work this past quarter, writing and polishing their transition plans, working side-by-side with their families to come to agreements on their plans, and meeting with the Transition Team and administrative staff to complete a final review. The grads then took one final trip together, celebrating their accomplishments at the summit of Chirripo, the highest peak in Costa Rica.
Some of our recent graduates will return to finish high school, while our senior graduates will be attending Juniata College, The University of Denver, Lehigh University, and the University of Oregon.
Congratulations to these amazing young men; we look forward to their many successes!
NSA has always believed that non-traditional education is the most effective way to reach a greater variety of learners and to better prepare them for our rapidly-evolving world. We have spent the past 15 years engaging students in experiential, collaborative, problem-based learning, and now we are sharing it with the world!
This May, Heather Tracy and Martin Naffziger, our Executive Director and Director of Learning and Outcomes, traveled to Chicago to present: Why (and How) Non-Traditional Education Must Be the New Traditional.
The presentation, given in front of a crowd of diverse educators, outlined the trends in adolescents and the world we are preparing them for, and how a different set of skills must be developed to best set them up for success.
While in Chicago, we also had the chance to host a current and alumni parent meet-up, sharing updates and memories. Families of graduates from as far back as 2013 met and mingled with families of students graduating this May, so it was a truly special occasion.
Thanks to all of our families for your continued support!
NSA’s host country of Costa Rica provides our students with an incredible opportunity to learn the Spanish language. NSA students do spend time in the classroom studying grammar and vocabulary, but the beauty of our Spanish program is that this classroom study is designed to prepare students for, enrich, and reflect on all of the immersive, cultural experiences that we offer.
This month alone, students practiced their Spanish skills by:
- Exploring the history behind the Oxcart Factory in nearby Sarchi
- Volunteering with children at Hogar de Vida
- Learning about the traditional “trapiche” mill and watching sugar cane be turned into sugar
- Visiting Costa Rica’s National Theater in San Jose
- Surfing some of the nation’s most beautiful beaches
- Spending Sundays sharing cultural customs with their homestay families
There is no better way to learn a language than by immersing in it, which is just what our students do at NSA!
Blog authors may be students, staff, parents or colleagues. We're all-inclusive! Just enjoy!