Northwoods Community Secondary School is a charter school which is located in Rhinelander, Wis. When people hear that we’re a charter school, some think “slackers,” “stupid kids” or other horrible things because they don’t know what we do, how we act or anything about us.
We are project-based, which means we choose our projects, our deadlines, our tasks and how we should do them. Our math is also on the computer and we all go at our own pace. We are all in different places so it is much easier to move at your own pace. Instead of going from class to class, we learn social studies and science through our projects, which are based on the Wisconsin state standards (called scope and sequence). Let’s say you do a project on chemical reactions. You wouldn’t just have to write an essay; you could do experiments on it and do fun, creative things with it.
The students here are just incredible and amazing, and are some of the nicest, most wonderful people I’ve ever met. I’m not saying we don’t fight, because we have our share of good fights, but we go into a room and talk things out on our own. It’s our choice, which shows we have courage and proves we care and that we really don’t want to fight. When I need help, there are always classmates willing to help and to motivate me, and to push and drive me into working hard. They have a great sense of humor and they listen to my ideas, and it’s so easy to talk with them.
My advisor, Ms. Larsen, is one of the most understanding, sweet and caring teachers. She drives me to do my work; she helps me through the days when I need someone there. She guides me through the lessons.
I came to this school because I wasn’t doing well at JWMS. A friend talked to my mom about NCSS and they got me an interview and a tour of the school, and I talked to Mr. Losch and Mrs. Tooke. I will say at first I didn’t want to come to this school because I thought I would be leaving my friends, and I wouldn’t make any new friends. But I decided to give it a shot. On the first day of school, when I found out we had to go to CAVOC, I was really upset because I didn’t know anyone and I was forced to talk to people I didn’t know. I was mad at first, but after the first couple of weeks I started getting the hang of it. I made friends, enemies and a best friend, Charli. She is still my best friend. I didn’t realize what a true friend was until I met her. She understands me and we spend lots of time together.
Coming to this school is the best thing I ever did. Meeting these amazing people has helped me gain confidence. I am able to laugh, have fun, learn and be myself.
So NCSS isn’t just some school; we’re a “family.” We take care of each other. We build bridges with the community and families; we are a part of the community.