Special Education Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Question and Answers to some of our most Frequently Asked Questions
Why is there a 210-day school year?
New Alliance Academy offers support that extends beyond the typical school year. It gives students the opportunity to tie up all facets of their academic work, as well as enjoy unique activities and projects. Our students tell us they appreciate spending additional time in an environment in which they are known and respected. It also promotes continuing dialogue and therapeutic support.
This extra time has allowed staff and students to visit New York City, travel to West Point, go behind the scenes at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, learn how a high-tech recording studio works and scamper through an outdoor challenge course. During the summer months, our students have produced their own art festival and rock concert, visited college campuses, even participated in a bridge-building competition. These are new experiences for many students, experiences that proved to be successful, healthy and rewarding. Graduating seniors have a shorter summer, since New Alliance commencement takes place on the last school day in June.
My child is intellectually motivated. Will New Alliance prepare them for college?
New Alliance takes academic life seriously. Our curriculum meets the New Jersey Core Content Standards and the new Common Core Standards. We never forget that our students are counting on us to prepare them for the world beyond high school. Our teachers are highly trained in their individual disciplines. They encourage and challenge our students.
Every year, juniors and seniors are provided with an SAT review course. Our personalized learning approach offers students who are ready the opportunity to participate in honors-level coursework. Throughout the school year, students meet regularly with a college and career counselor. They create plans for their future, compiling lists of colleges, universities and programs that complement those interests and exploring opportunities for financial aid. Our students who go on to college find themselves well prepared.
Can you describe the type of student that is enrolled at New Alliance Academy?
Each student arrives with a unique personal situation. Some are preoccupied by thoughts of an early trauma. Others are dealing with anxiety, depression or mood changes that prevent them from making academic and personal progress. Many have had difficulty feeling accepted and successful.
New Alliance Academy is a collaborative community of peers, therapists and educators. By building on existing strengths, students discover their academic, social and artistic talents along with leadership potential. The results are improved self-image, confidence and coping skills. Through solving problems in individual, group and family therapy as well as in the classroom, students come to know themselves, to be aware of their emotional responses and to build self-assurance.
Why does New Alliance Academy use block scheduling with 80-minute classes?
At New Alliance Academy, we believe variety and in-depth study heighten the educational experience of our students. Each academic course meets three days a week for two 80-minute classes and one 40-minute class. Each weekday is different. This research-supported approach to learning allows teachers and students to go deeper into course material, focus on essential questions and thoroughly practice new skills. The schedule allows more time for experiencing the novel in English, the lab in science and the debate in history. New Alliance Academy students develop 21st century learning skills like inquiry and problem solving that encourage teamwork and respect for the contributions of all.
If I become a student at New Alliance Academy, will I graduate from there?
You may graduate from New Alliance Academy if that’s the best plan for you, or you could move on to graduate from your home school district or a different school entirely.
Graduates from New Alliance Academy will receive a New Alliance Academy certificate as well as a diploma from your district high school. Your transcript is prepared by your school district and has the district's name at the top. You can participate in the New Alliance Academy graduation ceremony as well as your district high school's.
Some students have come to New Alliance Academy in the middle of their senior year. They finished their coursework and utilized the services and supportive environment of New Alliance to get ready for the next phase of their lives, whether college, work or other post-high school programs. Other students entered New Alliance Academy as juniors, stabilized their emotional lives and got their academics on track, then decided to either move on or stay at New Alliance Academy to graduate.
You can also come to New Alliance Academy as a freshman or sophomore. You will pick right up where you were in your district or previous school and gain the additional credits you need for graduation.
Whatever your situation, we decide together what’s the best path to graduation based on your growth and your needs.
As a student at New Alliance Academy, may I utilize services and join teams in my district?
Yes, you may fully utilize services in your home school district. You are always a student of your district. You can participate in sports teams and all extracurricular activities and even get guidance help. As a New Alliance Academy student, you and your parents can get additional advice from our college counselor. Colleges visit New Alliance Academy, and we will help you obtain financial aid. Since we are a College Board national test center, you can take PSATs and SATs here with a small group. If you choose, we will help you apply for extra time and other modifications. As always, it depends on what you need and what path you choose.
And even though you're attending New Alliance Academy, you can attend your district high school's Senior Prom.
We support and confer with you, helping you decide which activities are best for you.
How may I refer a student to New Alliance Academy?
Once a Child Study Team recommends a student for admission to New Alliance Academy, we will review a students academic and medical records. The student and their family will attend an intake during which the student will meet with the Executive Director and Principal. Students also have the opportunity to be introduced to teachers, learning strategists and therapists. The initial review, as well as the review of educational and treatment records, will assist the family, student and school in determining if New Alliance is the best possible educational placement. We have a rolling admission policy, so students who are eligible for out-of-district placement may begin classes at any time during the year.
New Alliance Academy offers open houses for school districts. Call (201) 225-0046 for more information.