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!
Our May 2020 graduating class consists of nine young men who have left an indelible, positive impact on our community. That impact has been felt outside the walls of NSA, especially at our local children’s home Hogar de Vida.
These grads, and many of their peers, have dedicated afternoons and weekends throughout their stay to build connections with the children through play, sing-alongs, art projects, games and just having fun.
This week, the graduates carried ice cream and cake to the children for one final afternoon of fun. The children had plenty of hugs for our graduates, who have gained so much from their experiences with Hogar de Vida.
Many thanks to Daisy, who continues to facilitate our ongoing relationship with this tremendous organization!
This past week, students returned from Integrated Aventuras in the rainforests and cloud forests of Costa Rica with stories to tell. Some of the highlights of the trips included:
• Working hard on mangrove reforestation projects along the shores of the Golfo Dulce
• Learning techniques for finding the highest quality coconuts
• Developing the most efficient teamwork techniques for moving 4.5 cubic meters of gravel over two busy days to create rainy season-resistant flooring for new trails
• Having the wind and current at their backs and high tides that coincided with arriving and leaving camp which made loading and unloading gear much easier
• Seeing a pod of at least 30 dolphin at sunrise while crossing the Golfo Dulce
• Catching mackerel, red snapper and tuna, and spotting sea turtles, different sting rays and even a whale shark!
• Creating the perfect shelter in a two-hour “team-building” exercise (though it miraculously didn’t rain, so the final design unfortunately wasn’t put to the ultimate test)
• Celebrating two student birthdays, marked by setting an NSA record completing an excruciating 3km hike in just 37 minutes
• On the last day of Aventura, making a bonfire by the river and roasting s’mores Costa Rican style
• Students being vulnerable with each other about the bittersweet feelings of moving on, processing the great connections they’ve made during their time at NSA and preparing for the transition as graduation approaches
Blog authors may be students, staff, parents or colleagues. We're all-inclusive! Just enjoy!