The Value of Community
NEIA’s campus experience emphasizes what community means in terms of responsibility to oneself and others. Our goal is to cultivate a community that understands the expectations their fellow community members have for them—not just living for themselves, but for others as well.
This also provides students with a sense of ownership and belonging. We empower students to identify their unique strengths, bring them to the community, and gain confidence as they see their contributions create impact.
At NEIA, students aren’t simply participating in classes, activities, or extracurriculars. They are responsible for their place within those communities. NEIA is about understanding your impact, seeing how you fit inside the ecosystem and discovering how you can effect change.
A focus on human-centered design creates citizens who will be more thoughtful and empathetic when they go out into the world.
Activities focus on sports, arts, and endeavors to encourage teamwork, explore individual passion, and focus on physical health. We believe that individual and team activity develop and deepen a student’s capacity to engage positively both with themselves and the world around them. Activities include athletics, special interests, student leadership, student government, community service, and student clubs.
Teamwork is central to healthy adolescent development. At NEIA we curate team experiences on athletic fields, in robotics labs, on arts stages, language clubs, or among nature. School pride, friendships, winning or losing with grace, and leadership skills are intentionally taught, cultivated, and assessed.
When a NEIA innovator experiences individual passion they take risks that build resilience and grit; they push themselves to the edge of what they previously thought possible and enter into a state of flow. At NEIA we coordinate individual activities at the school level, like tennis, art studio, or martial arts, that feed these passions. We support innovators who have developed specific passions, whether club-level sports (hockey, soccer, figure skating, swimming, etc.) or advanced arts and design pursuits. Students engaged in off-campus pursuits can share those details with an advisor.
Take better care of yourself, so you can take better care of others.
As adults, this is something we hear often. Busy with the things we must do and those we want to pursue, many of us need to train ourselves to be mindful, thoughtful, and inclusive. Taking better care of ourselves benefits those around us too. But why wait until adulthood to acquire this skill? Like many other things, it can be taught, it can be reflexive, and it can set students up to be better citizens, leaders, and innovators.
At NEIA, we achieve this by taking a human-centered design approach to our community. Instead of compartmentalized buckets for physical health, mental health, academics, civic engagement, and so on, our philosophy is to take a holistic approach to wellness. Our practice is rooted in our curriculum as well as daily student life at NEIA.
Each student innovator is connected with a caring and compassionate adult, an advisor, who is committed to seeing each student thrive throughout their time at NEIA. Advisors establish a uniquely personal connection to help students find their passion, develop their ideas, and impact their future.
One-on-one meetings between the advisor and advisee occur at least once every two weeks. These meetings take the form of lunches in the dining hall, reflective walks around campus, or coffee chats. Advisors ensure that the most pressing concerns—be it an academic challenge, study habits, social-emotional learning, college process, or identity—of an advisee are heard, addressed, and advocated for as needed.
Each advisor has a small group of advisees, who form unique bonds outside of the academic experience and across grade levels. Advising provides students with ample opportunity to be both a mentor and be mentored by their peers. Advisory groups combined with individual advisor/advisee relationships ground and guide a student’s unique experience so that they leave NEIA prepared to focus on what’s next.
Living is an extension of the student experience, providing a second home, and deepening the students’ sense of belonging to the school community. The experience guides students on their path to becoming more active members of their community who are personally and socially responsible, academically prepared, and seek cultural competence and global-mindedness.
Rooms and community gathering areas are meant to be warm, welcoming, and restorative. The connectedness of the campus environment ensures that living spaces are an extension of the school. Student life bridges the curriculum with a focus on wellness, weekly community meetings, gatherings, feedback circles, and peer leadership of dorms.
The living experience at NEIA is designed to ensure students develop into the innovators we know them to be. Through their experiences at NEIA, students become compassionate, independent, just, responsible, tenacious, collaborative, kind, and personally responsible citizens.