The NCCL School Way
Empowering every student with the skills and confidence to tackle the unknown and positively impact the world.
NCCL School provides a different kind of education. We guide each student on their unique journey to self-discovery and personal excellence, going beyond academics to develop the whole child. Our approach creates confident, creative, resilient problem solvers who thrive in the classroom and in life.
Whole Child Education: Social-emotional growth, not only academics. Developing the whole child has been our focus since our founding in 1971. In addition to robust academics, we integrate social-emotional growth into everything we do, focusing on kindness, empathy, cooperation, and respect for all. We also emphasize the arts to nurture the inherent creativity of every child. Our well-rounded approach prepares students to solve problems in the classroom, on the playground, and in the community.
Learning as a Journey: Focusing on the process, not the product. We believe learning is a journey, not a destination. The trek includes ups and downs, accomplishments and obstacles, tangents and deep exploration. We support students throughout the journey, emphasizing curiosity and persistence, making it safe to take risks.
Experiential Learning: Learning through experiences, not lectures. We emphasize hands-on education, where students learn by doing, creating, and questioning. Student-led explorations uncover real-world issues and prompt students to address them collaboratively. Through personal and active engagement, students internalize lessons and become empowered agents for change.
Multi-Grade Classrooms: Teaching the individual, not the masses. We group students from multiple grades in the same classroom. Spending more than one year in the same classroom deepens student-teacher relationships and allows teachers to understand each student’s strengths, struggles, and interests. Our small classes include at least two full-time co-teachers to ensure each student receives individualized attention.
Community of Learners: Students learn from students, not just teachers. Students and staff pursue knowledge together through open dialogue and diverse perspectives. We emphasize peer learning, where students actively share and help one another. Parents, former teachers, and alumni regularly engage with students through workshops, presentations, and cultural enrichment activities.
Connected Curriculum: Integrated disciplines, not disjointed classes. Our interdisciplinary, immersive curriculum expands and reinforces learning. Students make deep connections between concepts by exploring topics over time and across subjects. We also provide teachers with space and flexibility to tailor teaching to the unique needs and interests of the class and the individual. Our curriculum is rigorous without rigidity and meets or exceeds all state and national standards.
Comprehensive Student Assessments: Teaching the student, not the test. Teachers provide parents with comprehensive reflections on their child’s development. Rather than standardized tests and traditional grading, teachers use non-competitive assessments to allow students to progress without pressure.
Learning Beyond School Walls: Learning in the world, not just the classroom. We frequently engage people and explore places that extend our understanding and broaden our perspectives. Trips and real-world experiences, from museums to mountains, are integral to our learning philosophy. Service-learning projects allow students to apply concepts and strengthen relationships with the community.
Community of Individuals: Embracing individuality and inclusion. Staff and students are encouraged to be themselves and celebrated for their individuality. As students find their unique voices, we empower them to incorporate their identity and interests in the classroom. Students and teachers connect their passions with classroom topics to deepen understanding and express themselves.
Community of Collaborators: Respect for a person beyond their position. We value the contributions of everyone within our community, including staff, students, and parents. Our leadership structure, with no head of school, provides all staff members a voice in decisions. School Committees and Community Meetings allow parents and staff to contribute to school-wide changes through consensus. We empower students to raise issues and propose solutions through weekly All-School Meetings.