The Nova Project
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|The Nova Project|
|300 20th Ave E.
Seattle, Washington 98112
|Faculty||25 (June 2008)|
|Enrollment||345 (May 2010)|
Black & Black
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 overstimulated 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 2005, Nova students who took the SAT averaged 237 on the verbal section and 347 on the math section.
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
- Reiko Aylesworth
- Stephen Funk
- Rose McGowan (Also went to Roosevelt High School)
- Bonnie McKee
- Joe Szwaja
- Brisa Roche
- Stefan Gruber (alumni and teacher)
- Michael Oliver Warren (student & original design team of Nova (1970) also attended Queen Anne High School prior to and after NOVA)
- Terrance McKittrick Philosopher and comic critic.
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.