At its regular board meeting on Tuesday, January 17, 2017, the Novato Unified School Board unanimously approved a comprehensive, personalized learning school within Novato High School, called the No Bells Initiative (NBI), for the 2017-18 school year.
Located on the Novato High School campus, this school within a school will offer students the opportunity to choose and design their own learning experience in a rigorous, project-based, design-thinking environment. The curriculum will fulfill not only NUSD’s graduation requirements but will also meet the A-G UC/CSU entrance requirements. NBI’s enrollment will be limited to 100 ninth graders for the 2017-18 school year.
The school will have its own schedule with no “bells” to signal the beginning or end of learning; class work periods and modules will be based upon faculty mentor-guided individualized learning progress and long-term projects. Each faculty mentor will work with no more than 25 students: every student will meet every week with their mentor to continuously support progress through all four years of high school.
The curriculum is structured into Personalized Learning Plans, exploring practical skills and critical thinking challenges through projects and internships. Grades and test scores will be based upon authentic assessments of project results, performances, exhibitions and portfolios. Assessments will include peer and team feedback.
“I am delighted that we can truly engage every NBI student by helping them build a personalized learning experience which will equip them for college or career,” said Matt Baldwin, Principal of Novato High School. “The program is not only college preparatory, it also requires students to earn at least one full semester of college credits through our partnership with College of Marin.”
Anna Pilloton, Director of School and Community Partnerships College of Marin
at College of Marin, said, “We are very pleased to offer Novato students college credit for College of Marin classes, which are fully CSU/UC transferable. This gives every student a genuine college experience and many a financial head start towards a certificate or degree.”
Information and a presentation will be made during Novato High’s Open House and 8th Grade Parent Night on Thursday, January 26, 2017, at 6:00 pm, located at 625 Arthur St., Novato, CA 94947.
Program and application information for this new program can be found on the NBI webpage goo.gl/YCrwlZ or at www.nusd.org under NUSD Initiatives or under Parents. For more information, please contact Matt Baldwin, Novato High School Principal, [email protected] or 415 898-2125.