This month brings exciting, hands-on experiential learning for our students and staff!
Below is a quick introduction to the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that our community will be engaging in during the coming weeks:
Wilderness Advanced First Aid & CPR Certification
Students and staff will work together in this week-long, professional-level certification program, guided by the Wilderness Medicine Institute. Lessons on risk management and prevention, site surveys, CPR, and emergency treatment will be paired with hands-on simulated emergency scenarios where students will put their knowledge into action.
South Africa International Aventura
Some of our more senior students will travel to South Africa for what is sure to be a life-changing adventure. After getting to know Cape Town and introductions to local communities, students will participate in wildlife safaris, team-building exercises with local nonprofits, visits to museums and historical sites, and even a workshop with a local artist on using graffiti to bring positive change to communities!
Peru International Aventura
Many of our NSA students will travel to Peru to experience the Sacred Valley as few visitors ever get to do. The journey begins with an introduction to the ancient city of Cuzco and exploring the Incan site of Machu Picchu and Pisac. Students will then raft the Apurimac River before hiking the challenging but stunningly beautiful Ausangate Trek!
Costa Rica Orientation Aventura
Our newest NSA students will spend a week on two separate trips, with some relax time on campus in-between, getting to know the beauty and fun that Costa Rica has to offer. The first leg will introduce students to the Pacific Coast, where they will spend time on the beaches and sea kayaking. White water rafting on the world-famous Sarapiqui and zip-lining through the rainforests of Arenal make up the second trip. What a way to start at NSA!
SCUBA Certification in Bocas del Toro
To round out the August Experiential Session, a group of students and staff will travel to the archipelago of Bocas del Toro in Panama to earn their SCUBA Certifications. Bocas is world-renowned for its stunning beaches, coral reefs, and populations of marine mammals. This Aventura is sure to be remembered!
No other school on the planet engages its students in experiential learning like 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!
Later this month and into March, our seniors at NSA will be receiving mail and emails with exhilarating news about college acceptances and merit scholarships.
Already, in early February, the excitement is growing as decisions come in almost daily. So far this month, we have had students accepted to some incredible schools, including:
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