About This School
Alternative schools are public schools that offer nontraditional education for students whose needs cannot be met in a regular, special education, or vocational school. While alternative schools are distinct from regular, special education, and vocational schools in their teaching approach or classroom environment, they can provide similar services and/or curriculum for students. Alternative schools include schools for potential dropouts, residential treatment centers for substance abuse, schools for chronic truants, and schools for students with behavioral problems. See Nova High School's test results to learn more about school performance.
In 2011, Nova High School had 20 students for every full-time equivalent teacher. The Washington average is 19 students per full-time equivalent teacher.
Student Ethnicity (2011)
Students Per Teacher (2011)
Subsidized Lunch (2011)
District Spending (2010)
Grade 10 Writing Performance
Nova High School Reviews
School is what you make it and and the Students make this one Great
Don't be dissuaded by the nay-sayers below. Yes, there is a sub-culture of users who ditch class just like EVERY OTHER PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL. The difference at Nova is that they aren't expelled for it by the authority figures, but rather are held accountable by their peers. There are many students at Nova whose success was the result of a second or third chance or attempt to take responsibility for themselves and make the right choices. It is the community of Nova, the student and faculty community working together that make this possible. Supportive, not blaming; forgiving, not judging; encouraging, not dismissive like the reviews here.
This is a brilliant school. My fifth and youngest child currently attends. Students there are given a tremendous amount of creative freedom, and this works really well for the highly capable student who might otherwise leave school due to power issues. The first year there is often rough, because that is when they learn no one will punish them for skipping class. They are held accountable by their wish to be successful, and they love the staff there, so don't feel the anger some students do when they choose not to go to class. In the long run, by the time the student graduates, s/he has done a lot of the work in self-management that often takes place during the freshman year of college, and so Nova grads have a leg up when they reach higher education, if that is what they want to do after high school. The population is far more diverse than it was ten years ago, and this is because the staff there has made a concerted effort to reach out to all demographic groups. They have many students who have dropped out of other high schools, but end up graduating from Nova, and it's not just a matter of handing out credits for work not done, which doesn't happen; rather, students are mentored and assisted in whatever way meets their needs. For a school that houses so many students who are homeless or former drop-outs to come up with the highest SAT scores in the district says a good deal. It's a really strong school.
I am a former student of Nova high school and all I have to say is that it's a school where you put full trust in your child to know what's right for themselves. So if your child is irresponsible, and can't do what's good for themselves than they don't belong here. But if they're able to keep they're studies in line without your help, then it's a wonderful school with a very diverse student body. Student and teachers will not tolerate bullying of any kind, whether if it's racial profiling or just calling someone gay. If your child passes their classes at their current school but has troubles with bullying, then Nova is a wonderful place full of progressive thinkers and amazing people who will accept them for who they are. They allow the students to set up what classes they take and every aspect of their learning is student oriented. The term "drug school" is a complete misrepresentation of the school. As any other school there is some use but none more than Ballard high school and none of it is promoted. Other than that I would recommend this school to any parent with a child who has trouble fitting in at school, Nova students don't care if your black, white, gay, or straight there's always a place for them at Nova.
Our teen was using drugs & alcohol, began 'hanging out' at NOVA and then stopped attending her school. She wanted to transfer to NOVA. I was told by her therapist that NOVA is "a drug school". After learning that they don't report attendance, we told our teen that NOVA was not an option. I agree that it's probably a really good school for students who are motivated and focused. But it's also a school that attracts students who are failing at other schools mostly because of their bad choices. If you have a teen who is at risk (using drugs & alcohol, running away, defiant, etc.) this school will enable them to continue down that path.
My daughter, now a museum director with a master's degree in environmental studies, graduated from NOVA in 1993, and I have never seen a collection of brighter, more talented, high school graduates than her graduating class. I have kept up with many of the students who graduated with her, and their prestige continues to climb. Their numbers include medical doctors, university professors, international jazz singers, and the list goes on.
I must agree with the former parent...it's really bad. It is not a place to excel, except by students who would excel anyway anywhere else. Note the number of super seniors--students who take a long time to graduate for no other reason than they do little work, earn few credits, and spend time hanging out doing nothing. Vendors have actually called the school to ask if it was true that Nova students had no attendance requirement because of the numbers of them "legitimately" hanging out at shopping areas during school hours. But this is okay because some just take longer to finish high schools than others. As you can imagine, these students hanging out were simply having a personal day off, among many...wow. A terrible school.
The NOVA experience is phenomenal. Teachers at NOVA are committed to teaching excellence, high academic standards and believe and practice the tenets of social justice.
Much like A. S. Neill's Summerhill, NOVA is built on the principles of self-expression, self-motivation, and individual responsibility. For students who wish and their is much to ignite all so they do"wish," the NOVA experience prepares students to be citizens of a multicultural world.
really bad. they dont teach ,they just support, the bright students who can teach themselves. most teachers in most seattle schools dont teach anymore.
example they just speak french or spanish and expect the kids to learn it.
its easy for teacher to do nothing and get thier paychecks that way.. they have esoteric reasons and teaching methods ,which are usless and DONT WORK, so they can get paid for doing very little.....