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Academic Vision

At Novitas Academy, our main goal is for boys age 14-18 with learning disabilities to be successful in life by mastering 21st Century skills. This is achieved by using a blended learning approach that includes Project Based Learning, technical and entrepreneurial classes, and online credit-recovery classes as needed. Flexibility is the key at Novitas! Each student’s learning differences are identified and acknowledged, with a tailored Individual Academic Plan to meet their needs.

A student’s typical day includes the option to take one or more classes at the local technical charter school. This is followed by a tutorial period, where a certified Novitas teacher works one on one with each student to assist them with any academic challenges associated with the new material from their charter school class. Students then attend core classes (English, History, Math, and Science) taught by certified instructors using an exciting hands-on, project based learning approach designed to meet Common Core Standards.

ENRICHING AND INDIVIDUALIZED LEARNING: In a traditional school, students typically experience a passive learning environment. At PRTA, students are immersed into an amazing educational experience that stimulates the senses. Research shows that true learning takes place when stimulated neurons fire at many locations at the same time. PR2TA students learn through visual, auditory, and tactile multimedia experiences. They enjoy a social environment with their peers that facilitates positive thoughts and emotions. Students have the ability to excel when they are ready to advance or get extra help, if needed. Classes are tailored around the students’ needs and interests.

REAL WORLD APPLICATION: Students often complain that school is boring or that they cannot relate to what they are asked to learn. PR2TA classes are designed to teach students all of the important standards, but using projects and instructional strategies that make learning fun and relevant. Students are able to choose topics and projects that important to them.

COLLEGE PREPARATORY: PRTA prepares students with the skills and knowledge necessary to be informed and productive citizens in the 21st century. Students are accepted into a wide variety of public and private universities and colleges. Some students choose a technical or vocational school to prepare them for their career choice.

ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES: From their incredible virtual classroom environment to the amazing variety of Advanced Placement, Dual Credit and Distance Learning coursework; PR2TA works hard to find, implement, and create the best technologies available for students. Payette River Technical Academy’s campus boasts a 3D printer, laser cutters and engravers, a steel cutting CVC machine, a T-shirt press capable of producing 2000 shirts per day, and the largest robotic arm of any school in Idaho.

Visit the Payette River Technical Academy Website

Internship Program

Novitas Academy offers an internship program where students volunteer to help local businesses or apply locally for a job. This guided process helps students build their resumes, develop a strong work ethic, take direction from an employer, discover a new interest or help them become more focused on their goals by deciding what they do not want to do. This program helps clarify their 10-year-plan and sometimes opens a student’s eyes to the need for further education and encourages them to become more motivated to work hard in school. Although students can get work experience on-campus, the internship program is a network of opportunities with local businesses and organizations.

Students have the opportunity to internship locally with:

  • Auto repair shop
  • Plumber
  • Electrician
  • HVAC
  • Construction
  • Retail
  • Food service

Common Core Standards

What are Common Core Standards?
Today’s students are preparing to enter a world in which colleges and businesses are demanding more than ever before. To ensure all students are ready for success after high school, the Common Core State Standards establish clear, consistent guidelines for what every student should know and be able to do in Math and English Language Arts from K-12.

Why Common Core for my child?
Traditional Standards have, in the past, been set from state-to-state, making it extremely hard for students to transfer from one school to another without ending up with gaps in their learning. Common Core Standards allow an easier transition for both student and school.
Traditional Standards focus on rote memorization of dates and facts, rather than critical thinking and problem solving. Common Core prepares students for the demands of 21st century life and careers.

Who developed Common Core Standards?
Common Core Standards were drafted by experts and teachers from across the country and are designed to ensure students are prepared for today’s entry-level careers, freshman-level college courses, and workforce training programs.

The Common Core focuses on developing:

  • critical-thinking
  • problem-solving
  • analytical skills

Who Participates in Common Core?
Forty-three states, the District of Columbia, four territories, and the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) have voluntarily adopted and are moving forward with the standards.

Project Based Learning

Project Based Learning is a dynamic classroom approach in which students actively explore real-world problems and challenges and acquire a deeper knowledge of their subject matter. Students will be actively engaged in their learning and involved with community members and professionals throughout this process. The teachers at Novitas have been trained to implement the nationally recognized Project Based Learning model to design projects around each student’s interests. This unique approach makes the classroom culture at Novitas both academically rigorous and engaging.

Credit Recovery

Novitas Academy is a leader in flexible credit options, so it is only natural that we offer the option for credit recovery or elective credits through an online accredited program. We currently offer classes through Apex Learning, a virtual school that provides a rigorous, standards-based digital curriculum and features robust and relevant real-world content, through which students develop the higher-order thinking skills necessary to demonstrate their knowledge and prepare them for college and career success. Their digital curriculum helps students meet educational standards, while providing teachers with the tools to personalize learning for every student.

Apex Learning recognizes that students come to school with different levels of academic readiness. Their research based program removes barriers to learning by delivering a personalized learning experience, so each student receives the support they need to excel. Each lesson includes multiple opportunities for students to explore, apply, practice, and confirm their learning – helping students visualize concepts and extend their learning. This active learning approach develops critical thinking skills and deep understanding that prepares them for success.

Entrepreneurial Training

academics.jpgPayette River Regional Technical Academy is a school of choice that combines career development and 21st century skills to provide advanced academic opportunities. In addition, specific career clusters and pathways are provided in order to prepare students for immediate employment or to give them a head start on their post-secondary training. Each career pathway also has an entrepreneurial piece involved in which students use their new found knowledge and skills to produce a product. For example, the culinary arts program offers catering services, and the graphic arts students design and produce t-shirts and logos for non-profit companies.

Electives offered include:

  • Agricultural Science and Technology
  • Culinary Arts
  • Visual Arts and Graphic Communications
  • Business Management
  • Family and Consumer Sciences
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Automotive Technology
  • Health Sciences (Sports Medicine, Nursing)

Specific career clusters and pathways include:

  • Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources
  • Architecture and Construction
  • Arts, A/V Technology, and Communications
  • Business Management and Administration
  • Education and Training
  • Finance
  • Government and Public Administration
  • Health Science
  • Hospitality and Tourism
  • Human Services
  • Information Technology
  • Law, Public Safety, Corrections & Security
  • Manufacturing (Welding, Fabrication)
  • Marketing, Sales, and Service
  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
  • Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics

Payette River Regional Technical Academy also provides the following:

 

Social Studies

Novitas Academy’s Social Studies curriculum is Project Based and is integrated with ELA and current State Social Studies Standards. Each carefully planned project begins with the identification of standards each project will meet, and the end product acts as the assessment of student mastery of those standards. Social Studies courses offered include:

  • U.S. History
  • Geography
  • World History
  • Government
  • Economics

Social Studies project experiences include, but are not limited to:

  • Comparing Classical Greco-Roman society with American society
  • Examining the roles of upstanders and bystanders during the Holocaust and relating them to another historical or present day event
  • Creating a multi-media presentation recommending a social program that came out of the Great Depression to Americans today
  • Preparing a presentation predicting future events in economics and the environment based on their understanding of the history of the global economy

English Language Arts (ELA)

Novitas Academy’s ELA program is taught through Project Based Learning and novel studies, following Common Core State Standards. Since Project Based Learning is cross-curricular, often times there will be History and Speech standards included. Each carefully planned project begins with the identification of standards each project will meet, and the end product acts as the assessment of student mastery of those standards.
ELA classes offered include English 9-12. ELA project experiences include, but are not limited to:

  • Creating digital biographies of people students know or important people from history
  • Writing and performing a non-biased podcast based on an important cultural event
  • Researching and reporting about who was actually to blame for the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet
  • Mock trials for a banned book

The possibilities are endless!

Science

Novitas Academy’s Science program is taught through Project Based Learning, using the Next Generation Science Standards. Each carefully planned project begins with the identification of standards each project will meet, and the end product acts as the assessment of student mastery of those standards. Science classes offered include, but are not limited to:

  • Biology
  • Environmental Science
  • Entomology
  • Physical Science

Science project experiences include, but are not limited to:

  • Working with real scientists within their specified field
  • River water testing and cleanup
  • Pneumatic canon building
  • AM Radio fabrication
  • Fisheries and pond design
  • Examining the technology and physics of sailing while building sail cars that can move upwind,
  • Creating a multimedia presentation on the different types of materials and technology used to block sound from traveling through a barrier.

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