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What, How, Why, Who?

Curriculum

Ninth Grade

The 9TH GRADE question: "WHAT?"

In 9th grade, students are questioning the world around them with an interest in the dynamics of change. With this in mind, the our curriculum introduces the study of historical revolutions, thermodynamics, and anatomy.

English, History, and the Humanities: The Novel
Grammar, Vocabulary, Spelling, Public Speaking

Expository and Creative Writing

Journal Writing
Poetry
History of Drama

American History 1607-1940 American Government and Modern History
History through Western Art

Modern World Languages:

Spanish-Level I, II, or III

Advanced Levels III and IV

Science and Mathematics: 

Algebra I or Geometry 

Codes and Number Theory
Physics of Heat
Introduction to Organic and Inorganic Chemistry

Human Anatomy

Geology

The Arts, Music, & Movement:

Black & White drawing
Copper Work and Blacksmithing

Chorus

Theater

Tenth Grade

The 10TH GRADE question: "HOW?"

By 10th grade, the students develop a more harmonious worldview, revealed in questions such as, "How do the processes of the world bring contrasts into balance?" The 10th
grade students study balance and harmony as they manifest in mechanics, poetry,

and ancient cultures.

English, History, and the Humanities:

The Art of Poetry
Dramatic Production
Grammar, Vocabulary, and Writing Short Story and Essay Writing Ancient Cultures

Greek History

Social Studies

Modern World Languages: Spanish-Level I, II, or III

Advanced Levels III and IV

Science and Mathematics:
Euclidean Geometry & Surveying Descriptive Geometry
Geometry, Algebra II, or Trigonometry

Physics of Motion
Inorganic Chemistry
Human Physiology
Climatology

The Arts, Music, & Movement:
Color Theory and Watercolor Painting

Geometric Floorcloths
Chorus

Theater
Band & Orchestra
Physical Education
Eurythmy

Eleventh Grade

The 11TH GRADE question: "WHY?"

Between 10th and 11th grades, the student embarks on what will be a lifelong quest for knowledge of self and others. Students encounter the tales of Parzival and Hamlet. In the sciences, students learn about the physics of electromagnetic fields.

English, History, and the Humanities:

Parzival, Dante, and Shakespeare

The Canterbury Tales
The Romantic Poets: Blake to Keats

Grammar and Vocabulary

A Study of Comparison and Contrast

Dramatic Monologues
Western Civilization: 1348-1850 Medieval History

World Geography

Modern World Languages:

Spanish-Level I, II, or III

Advanced Levels III and IV

Science and Mathematics:

Projective Geometry

Algebra II, Trigonometry, or Calculus

Physics of Electricity and Magnetism

Inorganic Chemistry II
Human Embryology

Botany
Advanced Physics Elective

Advanced Biology Elective

Advanced Chemistry Elective

The Arts, Music, & Movement: Observational Drawing and Painting

Paper Marbling and Bookcraft

Theater

Chorus

Band & Orchestra

Physical Education

Eurythmy

Twelfth Grade

The 12th GRADE question: "WHO AM I?"

As seniors, students explore the nature of existence through such sources as American transcendentalism, Russian literature, evolutionary theory, and modern history. Internships and independent senior projects reflect the students' emerging individuality.

Science and Mathematics:
Calculus,

Topics in Applied Mathematics, or

Advanced Topics in Mathematics

Astronomy
Biochemistry
Zoology

The Arts, Music, & Movement:

Portraiture
Bookbinding

Theater
Chorus

Band & Orchestra

Physical Education

Eurythmy

English, History and the Humanities:

The Birth of American Literature

Dramatic Production
Literature and Modern Poetry

Poetry or Russian Literature Elective

20th Century History

Philosophy and Ethics

History of China
History through Architecture

Economics

Modern World Languages:

Spanish-Level I, II,or III

Advanced Levels III and IV

Nova Offerings

Immersion Learning

For many of us, we learn best by doing. When we make or do something with purpose beyond ourselves, in service to a greater goal or community need, we engage in the learning on a deeper level. While Nova High values academic learning activities for their own sake, we recognize that an overly abstract approach to learning can lead to disengagement for some students. We want to fully engage the will forces of our students, starting with meaningful, purpose-driven projects that are analyzed and reflected on through academic and artistic lenses.
This approach simultaneously integrates many areas of learning while building a sense of self-sufficiency and agency in teenagers. It is very important to us that students see themselves as active creators and directors of their own learning—not simply passive consumers of education. Immersive learning experiences, such as building a straw bale structure, tilling the soil, planting and harvesting a garden, sewing a garment, or baking bread all build practical skills of self-sufficiency. At the same time, immersive modalities offer opportunities for academic integration through mathematics, science, composition, drawing, and social studies.

Trips

Trips at Nova High are an integral part of the curriculum, and are designed to provide students with expansive, beyond-campus experiences to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of the world around them. The excursions and expeditions—local, regional, and eventually international—are planned and based on the developmental capacity of each grade level. Activities on these trips will include exploring natural landscapes, visiting historical sites, experiencing different cultures, and engaging in relevant hands-on activities. Community service work is incorporated for some trips. Nova High trips serve to enrich students’ skills, creativity, comprehension, and self-awareness. We are partnering with experts to help facilitate trips, such as the outdoor experts at Kroka

Language Immersion

 

Rudolf Steiner placed great emphasis on the importance of learning World Languages. While many people emphasize the practical importance of acquiring a second or third language, Steiner often focused on the social and even spiritual implications of learning another language. At Nova High, we are supplementing regular ongoing academic second language learning with immersion blocks that are focused on listening and comprehension. These immersion blocks give students a chance to immerse themselves in the spirit of another language through a context-rich dialogical environment. Students listen and respond to two native speakers conversing using props, drawings, activities, and mime to enhance comprehension. We offer Spanish as the primary foreign language but plan to expand language offerings as our school evolves. 

Friday~Off Campus

With a four-day academic week, Fridays are freed up to enable students to connect with their community, themselves, and the world around them. They rotate between blocks of science, internships, community service, and learning folk arts all via local artisans, homesteaders, and master teachers. Science blocks are spent off campus when possible, engaging with the environment to learn in real time the phenomena they are studying. Students are surveyed before placement in small groups as interns to engage with real businesses, community members, and teachers throughout the Sandpoint area. Community service is integrated into academics, with projects focused on local impact as an opportunity to learn and give back to the community. Sandpoint is a vibrant community filled with talented adults who are eager to share their expertise with our students and pass on the wisdom gained when creating or building with their own hands. 

Theater, Music & Art

At the heart of Nova's vision is the conviction that performing arts are ideal vehicles for adolescent intellectual and personal development. Our program is infused with drama, music, and movement that awakens in each student a unique capacity for inquiry through discipline and artistic expression. Performance at Nova builds confidence and community spirit, preparing students for success in all of life’s endeavors. All-school productions include a holiday choral festival and a major musical. In addition, each class works in depth on a play, enriching the production with historical, literary, and cultural exploration and research. For a deeper look into all that goes into a play, read Drama and the Education of Youth, a research paper by Eric G. Müller. The art curriculum is developmentally driven yet open to expansion so teachers can explore areas of expertise within the community. 

Outdoors

The outdoors curriculum at Nova High integrates students' experiences in nature with their studies, deepening their understanding of both. For example, students in biology and ecology apply their knowledge in the field, while those studying humanities can explore literary themes in nature. The program fosters a sense of connection, responsibility, and stewardship with the land, promoting a sense of community and preparing students for active engagement with their environment. We are surrounded by pristine land here in the Idaho Pan Handle with extensive access to experts in the fields of survival skills, deep nature studies, and folk arts. Our approach is complemented by its relationship with nature, and Nova High strives to foster a love and reverence for the land and nature surrounding us. Here are some of the emotional benefits to teens engaging in the environment around them. 

Cooking Ingredients

Culinary Arts

It is important now, more than ever, that adolescents understand that everything they put into their bodies impacts their well-being, for good or for ill. At Nova High, students are nourished on a regular basis so they have the opportunity to experience in their bodies what healthy eating routines feel like. This may include a daily breakfast and lunch option. Students learn to prepare foods, developing practical skills and the self-sufficiency needed to keep themselves nourished as they enter adulthood. 

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