What type of learning experiences will students participate in?

A wide array of experiences are possible.  Learning specialists and students confer on the focus, time and location of learning activities.  Adaptive learning (adjust to student response) platforms and face-to face instruction are utilized to develop core skills in reading and math.  A strong foundation in these areas allows for deeper engagement in project and community based learning experiences.

What does a typical day look like?

Norris Academy offers learning lab hours beginning at 8:00 am and extending through the evening hours.  Each student’s schedule is unique. Student need determines the amount of structure and flexibility built into the schedule.  Students meet daily with their learning specialist to review progress toward goals, assess time management and make needed adjustments to the learning plan.  A calendar system is utilized to build and monitor student schedules and the learning experiences they are participating in.

How does the learning environment support student engagement?

The Norris Learning Lab is a flexible environment with purposeful space to increase engagement and support students’ learning needs and preferences. Spaces exist for individual and small group work, collaboration, and technology enabled learning.  The learning lab offers a variety of career cluster labs (i.e., creative expression, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math), business, tech ed, hospitality) that offer space for hand-on learning or skill development to prepare students for authentic vocational and community based learning experiences.

Who is eligible to enroll?

Norris Academy is a public school District that is accessible through open enrollment, IEP placements (tuition), Residents of the Norris Adolescent Center and others seeking service agreements or an innovative and supportive school placement.

What support structures are in place to support student success?

The learning and wellness teams at Norris work interdependently to support the needs of each student.  The Learning Diagnostician serves as case manager and IEP coordinator.  Learning specialists meet daily with students to  review progress and adjust the learning plan.  A diverse group of Youth Coaches provides the needed support to fully engage in the learning plan.  Families and other school personnel are always encouraged to actively participate in the process.

Are certain skills required to enroll at Norris Academy?

No, Norris Academy adapts to the needs of all learners.  The experience begins with a comprehensive diagnostic assessment that identifies each student’s strengths and immediate areas of needed growth.  Students begin with a structured and highly supportive schedule and are gradually released to more independence as they demonstrate success while engaging in their own personalized plan.

How do students earn credits?

Norris Academy offers a competency based curriculum framework. The learning plan prioritizes the needed competencies and identifies the most relevant and urgent competencies for a student to complete.   Learning progressions are used to track competency attainment in the core academic areas through grade 8.  High School credit is earned by demonstrating mastery in all of the competencies identified in a particular course.   When a student withdraws from the academy, their mastered competencies are reviewed and credit assigned.