NEIA Partners with Dartmouth College’s Rassias Center for World Languages and Cultures

PIN Points

  • NEIA partners with the Rassias Center for World Languages and Cultures at Dartmouth College to offer students a robust language learning program.

  • NEIA will feature the first Rassias Center satellite location to offer in-person Spanish and Mandarin classes with virtual reinforcement. 

  • NEIA’s larger vision to bring in resources from outside the school community to create a unique learning experience for students.

New England Innovation Academy, the nation’s first middle and high school with a human-centered design curriculum, is partnering with the Rassias Center for World Languages and Cultures at Dartmouth College to offer students a robust language learning program with a unique approach that speeds language learning and increases language retention.

Through the partnership, NEIA will feature the first Rassias Center satellite location to offer in-person Spanish and Mandarin classes with virtual reinforcement.  The partnership plans to offer other languages in a virtual setting. The Rassias Center’s commitment to the effective instruction of language and culture presents an exciting approach to language learning for NEIA students. The Rassias Method® (RM), which has been in place at the College for over 50 years, uses a five-point philosophy and set of reinforcement techniques that engage and inspire students to learn language and culture for effective communication.

“We’re thrilled to bring Dartmouth’s Rassias Center’s language program to NEIA,” said NEIA Founding Head of School Tom Woelper. “Like all of our curriculum, the Rassias Method provides a new way of thinking about learning and focuses on the real world experience and goal of better communication through language. We look forward to the opportunities afforded to students by both live and virtual programs with the Center and to bringing more quality partnerships like this to NEIA.”

NEIA, an independent school that prepares the next generation of innovators to pursue and shape a better world, focuses on innovative, relevant and future focused learning. The experience is powered by empathy, curiosity and collaboration, and the Rassias Method, which focuses on connections among students and teachers as part of language learning, is a natural fit.

“The model trains students and teachers to build bridges and create a global community, very much in keeping with NEIA’s focus on community and belonging,” said Helene Rassias-Miles, Executive Director of the Rassias Center. “The Rassias Method brings a different kind of energy into the classroom with the drill experience – it has the rhythm of mathematics and creates a path through the ear to memorization. With the fast pace, there’s little time for students to consider the fear of failure they might experience when practicing a new language. The Rassias Method® (RM) is designed to create a current of enthusiasm for language and culture that traditional programs cannot capture.”

One of the school’s central tenets is that real world immersion and partnerships outside of the school community — including universities, local community groups, government and businesses — are critical for preparing the next generation of innovators with the cultural dexterity and global focus that this era demands. A partnership of this type, where a K-12 school leverages a college program for its core curriculum, is unusual and indicative of NEIA’s larger vision to bring in resources from outside the school community to create a unique learning experience for students.

NEIA will open in the Fall of 2021 to its first class of students.

About NEIA

New England Innovation Academy (NEIA) is the first human-centered design middle and high school in the U.S. A new global school for day and boarding students in grades 6-12, NEIA is preparing young innovators with a future-focused approach, human-centered design, and real-world inclusion. Set on a 26-acre campus in Marlborough, Massachusetts, NEIA offers a custom curriculum that encourages students to build empathy, take risks, and engage in hands-on community, environment, and industry projects. For more information, visit

About Dartmouth College

Founded in 1769, Dartmouth is a member of the Ivy League and consistently ranks among the world’s greatest academic institutions. Dartmouth has forged a singular identity for combining its deep commitment to outstanding undergraduate liberal arts and graduate education with distinguished research and scholarship in the Arts and Sciences and its four leading graduate schools—the Geisel School of Medicine, the Guarini School of Graduate and Advanced Studies, Thayer School of Engineering, and the Tuck School of Business. Dartmouth College educates the most promising students and prepares them for a lifetime of learning and responsible leadership, through a faculty dedicated to teaching and the creation of knowledge.




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After our first full week into summer, we want to look back on a year-long project that yielded impressive results for three of our amazing rising 12th graders.

This past fall, NEIA 11th graders pitched products that could add value to people’s lives by curing diseases or ailments. This is part of the BioTrek Program: a joint initiative by ARMI (Advanced Regenerative Medical Institute) and BioFabUSA. Students pitched their amazing ideas to Tim McCauley, their peers, and a panel of judges made up of NEIA staff members. 

Throughout these presentations, our students walked through all phases of the Biotrek journey. First, identifying a problem. Second, engineering a solution using bio-manufacturing techniques. In the third phase, they developed a business and financial model for their product. The final phase was this event: pitching to their peers and judges. They are trying to solve real medical issues, such as endometriosis, chronic lung disease, color blindness, and osteogenesis (just to name a few). 

The winners moved on to the Final Presentations judged by representatives from ARMI and Biofab, which decided
who would represent NEIA against other schools in the Biotrek Championship. The winning group chosen to go to the championship was Endopexy, created by Milena, Lila, and Max H.

Milena, Lila, and Max’s hard worked paid off as they were the winning team of the championships. We are so proud of these three innovators for working hard the whole year and being recognized in such a highly competitive program.

This project-based learning program continues to be a very valuable experience for our innovators. You can clearly see the intersection of subjects like science, math, entrepreneurship, and communications. It is the perfect example of how integrated academics lead to exciting projects and connections.

#NEIA #BioTrek #Innovation #entrepreneur #entrepreneurship #integration

This weekend, three of our 11th grade students: Vicki, Owen, and Langston, won first place at the Entrepreneurship for All - EforAll All Ideas Pitch Competition for their idea around the NEXTGEN Summit, a conference that Langston initiated this spring at NEIA.

Owen explains the idea to execution as follows, "My mother is an alum of the Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll) Business Accelerator Program. One night while scrolling Instagram, she found a post by EforAll about an All Ideas Pitch Competition happening. She sent me the post at 11:20 p.m. and we were signed up for the event by 12:15 a.m. A few weeks later we were selected to table at the event with the potential of being able to participate in the final pitch competition. We landed a spot in the pitch competition, and it was a huge success as we not only won the first place prize of $1000, but also won the Fan Favorite prize for an additional $500. We were by far the youngest attendees at the event and were pitching with people who were already well removed from college."

We are so proud of our innovators and commend them for their efforts to not only seek new opportunities each and every day but to thrive within them.

#NEIA #PitchCompetition #EForAll #NEXTGENSummit #NEXTGEN #FutureOfEducation #Innovation #Entrepreneurship

That’s a wrap! We will see you soon, innovators. We miss you already.

#LastDayOfSchool #Summer #NEIA #innovators #summerbreak


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