Our Philosophy

The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be ignited. — Plutarch​

Our Vision

Empower every student with the skills and confidence to

tackle the unknown and positively impact the world​

Our Mission

Provide a robust academic & cultural foundation, which

inspires the joy of discovery in each child and fosters

curious, creative, critical thinkers

Because of our small size and emphasis on community, children are in a supportive environment where exploration and self-challenge are not only invited, but nurtured. In addition to an 11:1 student to teacher ratio, children spend an average of two years in each homeroom. This allows teachers to really get to know where each child’s strengths and struggles are and help them work through all types of challenges— whether they be academic or social.

At NCCL School, social and emotional development is emphasized as much as academic development. We feel it’s important to help children build healthy relationships with their peers and adults and understand that principles like trust, caring, and cooperation form the foundations of these relationships. Ultimately, we hope children become responsible, open-minded, and kind adults who see themselves as world citizens.

We value the arts. Through art children get in touch with their emotions, thoughts, and dreams. Art teaches children to take risks, problem solve, share ideas, and persevere. We study art history, draw, paint, and sculpt. We perform an annual school play, sing songs each week at All-School Meeting, and everyone participates in music classes. Art enables children to express themselves, discover their relationships with their peers, families, and their world.

We evaluate students at NCCL School by assessing their progress in each subject area but we also look at their attributes as a learner — the level and range of curiosity, how they work independently and within a group, and how well they sustain their effort. This allows us to look at the whole picture. Parents receive written reports three times a year and have conferences twice a year where information is shared. Evaluating children in this way helps us see each child as a unique learner, rather than a grade.

We strongly believe that a diverse group and parent involvement allows for a more robust and integrated community. We see diversity in many ways and this has important implications for admissions. We strive to have a diverse group of families, as well as children who have a range of skills and abilities.

Much of what we do at NCCL School is about giving children the space, support, and time necessary for growth. When we do this, children take chances. They immerse themselves in projects, take on challenging problems, and ultimately, responsibility for their own learning. When we provide an atmosphere conducive to these principles, we ignite in children the kind of passion for learning we have ourselves.