Curriculum-1 Curriculum-2 Curriculum-3 The curriculum of NSH is designed to help students in grades K-8 develop and utilize their full potential in all areas of life: intellectual, social, emotional and physical. This goal is accomplished by offering an individualized academic program that allows each child to achieve at his or her best. Because our students tend to be precocious intellectually but are as yet unable to master developmental tasks in the emotional domain, we provide small, academically-rich classrooms which provide individual attention, stability and support.

Student/Teacher Relationship
A pupil:teacher ratio of 1:6 makes it possible for us to achieve our goal of an individualized academic program within a group setting. Each student is taught at his or her actual level of achievement and not an outside standard determined by others in the class. Because language is the route to both intellectual expression and healthy emotional development, speech and language skill-building permeates all subjects in the curriculum.

Social Development
Social skills development is integrated into all aspects of the school day. NSH’ focus on teaching social/emotional skills does not interfere with academic achievement—quite the opposite. Students who can work successfully in a group setting and have emotional issues under control are able to devote their full energy to mastering intellectual tasks. The ability to perform as a contributing member of a group is mandatory for success in today’s adult world.

Community
Cross-age grouping is part of the instructional philosophy of NSH and an important technique used to develop academic and social skills. Younger students who need help in transitioning into lower elementary school are purposefully admitted so that younger and older students can benefit from helping/being helped by each other. We find the biggest motivator of all to be the chance to work with a “big” or “little" buddy. Children who need a safe place from teasing, who are working through adoption issues, are gifted and talented, or who have a variety of diagnoses such as ADHD, Asperger's, OCD, ODD, Sensory Integration, Separation Anxiety, Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) or Selective Mutism that interfere with their ability to succeed in school and social situations are helped by our unique social-emotional curriculum. We can also help bright children who have dyslexia or disgraphia complicated by low self-esteem arising from these conditions.

Individualized Education Program
Consistent with an individualized curriculum, no one program or curriculum package is used. Careful attention is paid to covering the subject-matter objectives recommended by national professional organizations including the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), The National Council of Teachers of English, the International Reading Association, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). In addition, NSH teachers regularly review the curriculum objectives for HISD and local private schools to ensure that our students will master the skills and concepts needed for a smooth transition to mainstream schools, including performing well on local and national tests.

Academics
Academic objectives are integrated into high interest, theme- and project-based classroom activities. The goal is for learning to become so motivating it becomes its own reward. The centerpiece of this approach is the “Newspaper Class”, a distinctive class. Students produce their own monthly newspaper, learning to function in the various roles required to achieve a team result. Self-esteem and subject-matter mastery grow as students experience success during their time in school.

Students admitted to NSH are expected to make a successful transition into some of Houston's finest public and private schools. Parent Helper work assists parents and students with that process.

Home-Like Atmosphere with Motivators
The physical environment is an important part of the curriculum at NSH. We believe our home-like setting is conducive both to maximizing learning potential and social-emotional growth. Students learn to work together in small groups with students at different age/grade levels like a “family.” Each child has a daily “Community Service” project which might be watering the plants, taking out the trash, or cleaning up after lunch. In this way, children master the skills they can apply at all stages and tasks of life.

Children who have not enjoyed learning or school in other settings benefit from built in motivators throughout the day. Our schedule is highly structured, but there are many well-managed choices students make throughout the day. As they progress through their tasks, they learn that work is followed by rewards such as learning centers, lunch, and Social Skills time at the end of the day. Little by little, work becomes its own reward as intrinsic motivation grows.

Technology
Every classroom is equipped with iPads. Many textbook publishers have partnered with Apple to create applications to elevate students’ understanding of daily lessons which NSH students take advantage of in the classroom. Each student learns differently, and technology provides one more avenue of creativity, communication and collaboration in the classroom. We use this as a motivational tool because students enjoy learning about and using technology, but it is also a vital necessity for today's students to master all aspects of technology. Carefully monitored use of the internet for research, software utilizing the latest techniques for mastering a variety of subjects, and other educational uses of technology are integral parts of each student's day. Animation and Robotics are also offered to students who have achieved the appropriate skills level.

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