Gender: all male
For boys with learning disabilities or learning difficulties Novitas Academy in Idaho provides a safe, therapeutic, and nurturing learning environment in order to facilitate a successful transition into early adulthood. They inspire students to believe in themselves, their dreams, and their visions, encouraging them to be innovative, entrepreneurial, outside-the-box thinkers.
The mission of Novitas is to provide students who are experiencing learning disabilities or differences a safe, therapeutic, and nurturing learning environment in order to facilitate a successful transition into early adulthood. At Novitas Academy we inspire our students to believe in themselves, their dreams, and their visions. We encourage our students to be innovative, entrepreneurial, outside-the-box thinkers, as well as to pursue their interests and passions.
We are dedicated to improving the lives of the boys with learning disabilities and difficulties. We believe in the power of inspiration, finding ones strengths, positive relationships, mentoring and goal setting. We are a strengths-based program who believes in building a relationship with our students and supporting their goals and dreams. Our goal is to help our boys reach their goals.
Our overall model of change is one of relationships. Our founder is certified through the Arbinger Institute to teach The Anatomy of Peace to our students, parents, and staff. The general philosophy is that if you have a heart of peace and see people as people and whose thoughts and feelings count as much as your own, you will have a positive way of being. Thus in return, your interventions and efforts will likely be more successful.
We truly believe that each of our students has potential and something to offer the world. As illustrated, in Malcolm Gladwell’s book, David and Goliath, we believe the challenges, hardships, and obstacles that our students have faced have given them advantages in other areas. If our students learn to believe in themselves, work hard, and develop the resiliency to persevere, they will not only overcome; they will excel.
Here at Novitas Academy, we can very effectively help boys with learning difficulties. We are aware there are many educational options for your family and our hope is that you and your child choose us. Our approach is refreshingly different and instead of forcing the students to do what we want them to do; we join with each student to help them reach their goals and realize their potential through building their self-esteem and self-confidence.
We believe that difficulties such as dyslexia, learning differences, ADHD, anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and any number of other challenges can actually provide an advantage. They force the child to look at their problems differently, to be more creative and determined, more of an out-of-the-box thinker, and more of a team player.
WE HAVE A GROWTH MINDSET
The book Mindset, by Dr. Carol Dweck, illuminates the importance of having a growth mindset. Like her, we believe that if our students are determined, work hard, and persevere; they can improve their intellectual ability, athletic ability, musical ability, artistic ability, social skills, emotional intelligence, mental health, and even their attitude and motivation. This is quite the opposite of individuals with the fixed mindset, who believe that people cannot improve their abilities much through working hard, practicing hard, or studying hard. At Novitas we have seen our students catch up to and actually overtake those that are born gifted because we believe they can, and teach them to believe in themselves that they can.
We begin the educational process by building relationships between student and staff, and then set in motion the student thinking about their life, their future, and their values with our college and career assessment system. This assessment process includes exploring:
- The Strong Interest Inventory
- Myers Briggs type indicator
- California Personality Inventory
- Worksheets about where and what type of college they would like to attend
- Subjects of interest
- Projective drawing of themselves in college
- Two card sorting tasks:
1. What is most important to them in a college
2. What is most important to them in a career
- Worksheets about the lifestyle they hope for
- Career opportunities the student shows interest in
- Personal values
This assessment paves the way for a deeper understanding about themselves and provides them deeper direction and attainable goals to work towards. This process is also important, in that they see we are trying to build a relationship with them and that we truly care about their future and helping them reach their goals. The relationship building sets the foundation and tone for the relational and collaborative problem solving approach we take. Through this process it allows students to start trusting more and become less resistant to our efforts as they realize we are simply trying to help them get where they want to be.
The next step in our program is instruction in Career & Character Development classes, which we feel are some of the most important classes to teach and are not offered at most schools. Our Career & Character Development class provides the opportunity for students to earn credit while learning about careers, college, themselves, their interests, and motivations. We also discuss values, ethics, hazards of substance abuse, drug prevention, bullying, STDs, anger-management, coping skills, social skills, the Anatomy of Peace, the RULER approach, life skills etc. This is a focused time that we can discuss relevant topics and provide psychoeducational groups. Students read some of the previously mentioned books in this class as well Strengths Finder 2.0 and What Color Is Your Parachute? Discovering Yourself, Defining Your Future.
THE TEN-YEAR PLAN
An integral part of this class is assisting our students in developing a Ten-Year Plan for their future. This course facilitates the in-depth exploration of three fundamental questions:
- Who am I?
- What do I want?
- How am I going get it?
Who am I … It ties into individual, group, and the family therapy, identity development, and the work we do to help a student understand and clarify his values and interests.
What do I want … It flows out of knowing oneself, the assessment process, goal setting, individual interests, passions, and motivations.
How am I going to get it … It necessitates that a person make a plan, sets goals, and takes consistent action to reach those goals. This step relates to the student’s individual treatment plan, individual academic plan, 10-year-plan, courses they need to take, belief in ones-self, determination, perseverance, and sustained effort.
These questions drive the academically-integrated curriculum, making it relevant, rigorous, and relationship-rich. The course culminates with students developing an individualized, online, 10-year plan that motivates them to envision a self-sufficient, productive life beyond high school, college or post-secondary training.
These questions drive the academically-integrated curriculum, make it relevant, rigorous, and relationship-rich. The course culminates with students developing an individualized, online, 10-year-plan that motivates the student to envision a self-sufficient productive life beyond high school.
The Career Choices and Ten-Year-Plan curriculum has been found to significantly reduce dropout rates, increase academic achievement, reduce the amount of classes a student fails, reduce suspension rates, improve conduct, and create an overall school setting built on an academic framework and supporting a college-going culture. Students are given access to their online 10-year plan for ten years as well as the other valuable tools on the website.
We supplement this with ten years of access to Latitudes by YouScience. This online program includes a series of scientifically proven exercises. The results provide an assessment of a student’s aptitudes, personality, and interests combined to reveal sixteen dimensions of your unique potential. It shows a student personally and precisely where they are most likely to succeed in life, in college, and in their career.
In a nutshell, our program and expert staff help students prioritize, set goals, and discover the direction they want their life to go. Providing continuous access to our two online tools for ten years empowers students to adapt to their changing interests, increasing knowledge, and current life situation as they live tout their life.