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OUR ACADEMIC PHILOSOPHY
At NOCCS, we provide a learning environment where children can develop their imagination and lend their hearts and minds to pursuing important ideas and questions about the world around them.
Our elementary program is split into teams who collaborate in providing an excellent education to every child: Integrals (Arts, Music, and Dance), Kindergarten & 1st Grade, 2nd & 3rd, and 4th & 5th teams each focus on a different group or aspect of the entire elementary experience of our students. Students loop for two years with teachers such that ideally they have three lead teachers over the course of their six years at NOCCS, and the same arts educators throughout that experience.
Critical to having respect for children and their learning is the notion that we hold high expectations for all students.
We believe that all children are capable of learning and demonstrating understanding and skills related to high and rigorous academic standards.
TEACHING FOR UNDERSTANDING
At NOCCS, we use a teaching framework called Teaching for Understanding, which was developed by teachers and researchers at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
In Teaching for Understanding classrooms, teachers carefully design thought-provoking tasks that call on students to demonstrate a deep understanding of important subject matter.
Using various forms of inquiry, students ask probing questions, test their theories, make inferences, connect what they learn to the real world, and ultimately, apply their understanding in unique, real-world, public contexts.
At NOCCS, we know that social emotional development is just as important as academics.
That's why we developed the NOCCS Stars program, where our staff actively seek out students demonstrating REAAL behavior (Respectful, Equitable, Accountable, Ally, and/or Leader).
Further, Lead Teachers give out bimonthly awards for students engaging in academic conversations through our NOCCS Talks Awards.
It is heart-warming and uplifting to hear our son say that he is learning to be accountable for his actions and to be an ally to his classmates.
A SAFE AND WELCOMING COMMUNITY
At NOCCS, we work hard to ensure that all students feel safe and welcome.
We all have tough days, and when our students experience them, we work together to help them navigate through difficult situations and make things right.
When students exhibit aggressive or threatening behavior, they have the opportunity to leave the classroom, take a break, and engage in a restorative conversation with a staff member.
In guiding our students through this process, we help them to become better citizens of the world around them.
ACHIEVING EXCELLENCE TOGETHER
We know that children, educators, and families do their best work in a caring community of learners that cultivates in students a deep respect for each other’s work, experience, contributions, and perspectives.
And that's what we strive to create every day at NOCCS.