• About NRHS – A School of Educational Innovation

    The educators of North Rowan High School, supported by the Rowan-Salisbury System, recognize that all students have unique gifts and intelligences which are revealed as a passion that is personally engaging and fulfilling. We recognize that these intelligences are not all currently supported and nurtured by traditional educational systems. Our students need skills such as communication, collaboration, and creative and critical thinking to discover success in their life after high school graduation. We believe that challenge based learning (CBL) offers a distinctly different approach to connect core content with these skills.

    The North Community Schools are a one-to-one environment where teachers and students are empowered by Apple technology and a District Strategic Plan that promotes problem based learning, blended learning, and personalized instruction. Leveraging this environment, we believe CBL allows student to grow and apply learning in an area that is connected to their passions.

    Emerging from community collaboration and planning, the True North initiative seeks to support nurture and cultivate students’ gifts and talents for academics, careers, and life.  In this way, students develop their personal compass which has its own True North. This purpose will be accomplished through school design that engages students in challenge based learning experiences and that leverages opportunities both at school and across our community.

    We have engaged partners to walk alongside us as our educators continue to design this new approach to education. Those partners make it possible for us to access resources, challenge our thinking, and dream on a larger scale for the greatest benefit to students. In the outset of this multiyear journey, the educators of the North Community seek to prototype new school design, instructional practices, and professional learning to move towards the True North vision.

    See more about our instructional and strategic design at our school blog www.truenorthreflections.weebly.com


    What is Design Lab?

    Inspired by the Buck Institute for Education, New Tech Network, and Digital Promise, Honors Design Lab I will allow students to work on projects over an extended period of time that engage them in solving a real-world problems or answering complex questions.

    Students will move through the design thinking process to develop prototypes and test solutions based on their empathetic observations and research.  Students will utilize off-campus experiences, expert and community adult engagement, and maker lab access to connect projects to both their community and the core content classes.  Students will demonstrate their knowledge and skills by developing a public product or presentation for a real audience. 

    As a result, students will develop deep content knowledge as well as critical thinking, creativity, and both collaboration and communication skills in the context of doing an authentic, meaningful projects. Students will take ownership over their own learning, developing a growth mindset through effort, practice, and challenge.  They will learn how to learn and monitor their progress to be successful on tasks, school, and life.       

    Honors Design Lab 1 and 2 are year-long courses, intended to be taught in collaboration with a CTE course of complementary scope (Entrepreneurship 1 and 2).  See the full course description here.

    Follow our 9th Design Lab on Facebook and our 10th Grade Design Teacher's Blog.

    What is advisory?

    Advisory is an opportunity for students, throughout their high school experience, to engage in a small learning community with the support of a teacher advisor.  Although advisory takes a less traditional approach to instruction, focusing more on mentorship and self-discovery than traditional lecture-based courses, its goals are founded in the very classic understanding of family and experiential learning.  In advisory, students find a small peer group and an adult advocate to serve as their high school family.  This family helps students discover their passions, set goals for the future, work through challenges that arise in the pursuit of their goals, and celebrate their successes along the way.  Through such a nurturing and consistently supportive process, students find their resiliency, self-confidence, problem-solving ability, and character develop to a greater level of maturity.

    Course Goals

    Students who complete this course successfully will be able to:

    1) Develop positive interpersonal relationships with staff and peers
    2) Establish SMART goals and access academic and social support as needed to reach these goals.
    3) Apply learning from their core curriculum to their real-world experiences and passions
    4) Develop a long-range plan for careers and college
    5) Participate in creating a school culture and school community through character development
    Check out this resource to learn more about the advisory concept:  
    Ark, Tom Vander. (2015, April 21). The Role Of Advisory In Personalizing The Secondary Experience. Retrieved from   www.gettingsmart.com/2015/04/the-role-of-advisory-in- personalizing-the-secondary-experience
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