If this is your first experience with a DAF supported NAF Academy concept, you may not be fully familiar with the vital purpose and role it serves. The NAF model we implement and support may also look quite different from the high school model you experienced when you were in high school. A NAF Academy includes the following unique features:
A Small Learning Community – A typical Academy takes the form of a personalized, small learning community within a high school, with a subset of students and teachers who are together for a three or four year span. The joining of a group of students for several periods each day with teachers whom they come to know well, provides a family like atmosphere, nurturing close student-teacher ties and improving learning outcomes.
College preparatory curriculum with a career theme – The Academy focuses on providing students with the skills and experience necessary to attain entry-level jobs in the career field, as well as the academic preparation for post-secondary education. Academy students take a mixture of career and core academic classes, organized around an industry theme. These courses are linked to academic and industry standards and encourage high achievement. The career classes are designed to expose students to the full range of careers in that field, and to show students how their academic subjects relate to each other and the career field. Special projects require students to bring together interdisciplinary academic skills and apply these to project-based learning experiences inside the classroom, as well as work settings outside the school.
Partnerships with employers, communities, and higher education – Here is where you come in. The remainder of this document outlines roles, responsibilities, and recommendations on how to make the most of this partnership.