The Nova Project

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The Nova Project
300 20th Ave E.
Seattle, Washington 98112
Type Alternative, Public
Established 1970
Principal Mark Perry
Faculty 25 (June 2008)
Enrollment 345 (May 2010)
Information (206)-252-3500
Dead Rat
Black & Black
The former Horace Mann School, site of Nova for most of its history.

The Nova Project, also known as Nova is a small alternative high school. The Nova Project is located at 300 20th Avenue East in Seattle, Washington, and is operated by the Seattle Public School District.


Created by students, parents and teachers in 1970, throughout the history of the school the student body has been made up mostly of people who don't accept traditional education systems because of exclusive environments and rigid teaching methods. Some students were understimulated by traditional education while others have social or personal risk factors in attending traditional High School. Many students value Nova for its student-led curriculum, which allows students who are under-stimulated by regular schools to work ahead at their own pace. A Nova student can pursue a rigorous, personalized academic plan that may be unavailable at a large, impersonal school.

The grading system is competency-based and is credit/no credit with 80% mastery required for credit. Each student is guided by a coordinator who helps them design a personal learning plan drawing on the many courses offered to create a balanced education. Students at Nova, as with other Seattle Public Schools, may participate in the Running Start program and take classes at a local community college.

In early summer of 2009, Nova was relocated to the Meany Middle School site, where it was co-housed with SBOC. This was one of many actions taken by the district during their budget cut period, starting in late 2008. The Horace Mann building where it was previously housed has been mothballed by the district.

In March 2011, Nova was honored with an award for Language Arts from OSPI, and was the only Seattle Public HS to receive an award that year. From the OSPI website, “Washington’s Achievement Index is designed to identify and recognize the states highest-achieving schools over a two-year period. The index provides a fair and consistent measurement of Washington’s public schools…” Nova and other award winners will be honored at a state celebration on April 27. By honoring the school with this award, OSPI recognizes Nova as one of the Seattle Public Schools.

Today Nova Alternative High School continues to operate in the Meany building. Its goal is to be a democratically governed learning community of broadly educated, creative, and independent thinkers who work collaboratively and demonstrate a high degree of individual responsibility.

Notable Staff, Alumni and Former Students[edit]

For several years, there have been rumors that Sir Mixalot attended Nova, but Nova students asked him and found that this was not the case.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 47°37′21″N 122°18′20″W / 47.62250°N 122.30556°W / 47.62250; -122.30556