By Kiley Pelletier
To everyone who voted “yes” on the referendum, the students of NCSS say “thank you.” With your help, you have allowed the district to continue many beneficial programs and opportunities that help our students. One of the opportunities for students is Northwoods Community Secondary School. NCSS offers its students a great sense of community. After all, “community” is in the name of the school. NCSS’ model allows frequent opportunities for quality one on one with the teacher and it begins to feel like a family. It’s great to have a group of people you trust and are comfortable with when you’re struggling.
A peer recently shared with me that they value being able to work at the speed that is best for them. If a student struggles to grasp a concept, they can take the time needed to fully understand it and be comfortable with the material. Or if a student excels in a subject, they can breeze through it. Students that are highly interested in a subject can take more time to go further in depth. In a traditional school, everyone is expected to complete assignments at the same pace. This can be problematic for students who need more help on something as they often fall behind. Students who already understand the subject are often left bored. NCSS provides students with the chance to spend however much time they need to in a subject.
Instead of being asked to write a paper for every project, students are able to make any product they like that demonstrates their learning. Students have made documentaries, written songs, and made models of their favorite subjects. Because of this, students are taught the importance of creativity. We can choose to base our projects on any subject as long as it fits the criteria set by the state. This allows students to learn about things they’re interested in which keeps them engaged.
NCSS’ physical education standards require a certain number of hours of physical activity from students per year. A student can earn these how they like as long as their heart is pumping and they’re using some major muscles. This allows students who aren’t as interested in physical activity some often desired privacy and freedom that they can’t always get in a traditional gym class. Students who are interested in a specific sport can focus all their efforts on that.
NCSS gives students the chance to give their opinions on different topics. When teachers are considering making changes, students are often asked for their thoughts or suggestions which the teachers take seriously. At the end of every quarter, my advisor asked us what went well during the quarter and what they’d like to change.
The NCSS population loves all of these things about their school and greatly appreciates all of you who voted “yes” for the referendum. By voting “yes”, you have helped to continue to give students the great opportunities that NCSS offers. By voting “yes”, you have given district families an option for their middle and high school students that want to speed up (or slow down) parts of their learning, have a greater voice in the topics they explore, and in how the school day operates.