BELLEVUE, Neb., March 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- NGL Academy, a new independent high school – among the nation's first designed to use the innovative Next Generation Learning (NGL) curriculum and platform developed by the Omaha-based Opportunity Education – will open its doors on the campus of Bellevue University to an inaugural class of approximately 15 ninth-graders in August.
Founded by businessman and philanthropist Joe Ricketts, NGL Academy begins accepting applications for Grade 9 starting March 23.
"We need to prepare young people to succeed in the jobs of the future, and since we don't know what those jobs will be, we need to teach them not just specific skills but more generally how to acquire skills," said Ricketts. "In essence, NGL Academy is a school designed to teach students how to learn."
This emphasis on acquiring learning skills is at the core of NGL Academy's approach. "We want to produce graduates who know their minds, are members of their community, and who have a plan for their lives," said Mark Smith, Director of the School. "Success in life and realizing their dreams is what the school is all about."
While the school's structure may be different, the learning that students do will encompass traditional subject matter while branching out in new and interesting ways. "We will be carefully observing the work of our learners and looking to student creations to demonstrate student understanding," said Raymond Ravaglia, NGL's Chief Learning Officer. Ravaglia founded the acclaimed Stanford Online High School and was previously Director of Pre-Collegiate Studies at Stanford University. "The focus at NGL Academy won't be on a steady diet of examinations," he added, "but rather on a steady examination of actual student work as evidence of student learning. Of course, we need to prepare our students to do well on exams, but this should not be the main goal."
While realizing the dreams of students may be the goal of NGL Academy, realizing the dreams of students' parents is also part of the story. To this end, students who are admitted to the school will receive near full-tuition scholarships as part of the Ricketts Family Scholars program. This level of scholarship support will ensure that all qualified students who are admitted to NGL Academy will be able to attend. "The only way to break the cycle of poverty is to provide students with an education that will empower them to achieve their dreams," Ricketts explained.
"We are pleased to host NGL Academy here on our campus at Bellevue University," said Dr. Mary B. Hawkins, Bellevue University President. "Bellevue University has been recognized many times for our innovative learning models so it is natural that we have a partnership with NGL Academy as they launch their school in Nebraska."
Developed by Opportunity Education over the past two years, the NGL platform and curriculum combine the latest developments in learning science and innovative technology to create a learning environment that puts a priority on relevance and engagement. This in turn draws students in, resulting in more enthusiasm for school and deeper learning.
Parents interested in enrolling their children or finding out more about NGL Academy can get additional information online at www.ngl.academy or by telephoning the school at (402) 403-1267.
Motivated by a desire to make quality education accessible to children everywhere so they can improve their standard of living and work towards a brighter future, Joe Ricketts created Opportunity Education in 2005 to provide essential educational opportunities and resources that are critical to effective schooling.
Bellevue University celebrated its 50th Anniversary this past year and graduated its 50,000 graduate in January, 2017. The University is Nebraska's largest private, non-profit, fully-accredited University and currently serves more than 13,000 students. Bellevue's motto, "Real Learning for Real Life," emphasizes their career-relevant bachelor's, master's and Ph.D. programs.
Fast Facts about NGL Academy
- Designed and led by veteran educators, integrating the best of their insights with a new face-to-face school experience.
- Learning is student-centric, built on student-driven exploration, relevant presentation of material, and deep engagement in learning.
- Teachers act as mentors, supporting the learning of students, and offering resources, questions and challenges but never just lecturing to them.
- A low 6:1 student/mentor ratio. Most mentors have advanced degrees. All mentors are focused on making each child succeed.
- A "whole student" approach fostering self-skills, social skills, and global competencies along side academic knowledge.
- Engagement in the community through service learning or internships providing students opportunities to act in the world, to discover what motivates them, and to learn how to become the agents of their own destiny.
- Located on the Bellevue University campus with a twice-a-day bus service from northern Omaha to Bellevue provided by the school.
- Extensive scholarship program available for students.
- Accepting applications for Grade 9 starting March 23, 2017
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SOURCE NGL Academy