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North Point Academy expanding sites, student population

Sam Corey
Staff Writer

Administrators call it an alternative choice school.

North Point Academy students engage in an independent learning model — which coincidentally has become more relevant today with distance learning in effect — and earn credits that lead to graduation. Students can dual-enroll with a high school in the Nevada Joint Union High School District or enter the program full-time.

Today, the academy is growing.

In January, North Point added a location at Bear River High School; on March 10, the alternative school added another location at Grizzly Hill School; and between full-time, part-time and dual-enrolled students, North Point has more students than ever — almost 200 — considering the wider Nevada Union High School District population, according to Karla Aaron and Michael Hughes, counselor and principal at NU Tech and North Point, respectively.

“North Point is naturally expanding,” said Aaron.

The Nevada Joint Union High School District had about 4,500 students throughout all of its schools in the late 1990s. Today, it’s about 2,500.

Students attend North Point often to be more engaged in non-school activities, like community service projects, working, or they may be training for a particular profession. One enrolled student is on track to becoming an Olympic equestrian, according to Aaron.

“There are not two students doing the same thing,” she said.

One thing Aaron and Hughes appreciate most about North Point is its prioritization on choice. While students have a clear structure, there are no constraints on their master schedule, according to the administrators. And if the program isn’t working well for students, they can transfer to a different school site with credits they’ve earned at North Point.

In order to gain acceptance to the program, students simply need to be on grade level with their studies.

“The ability to self-pace is really good,” said Hughes.

The only downside: some students aren’t very good at studying at their own pace.

“The reality is they need someone standing over them,” said the principal.

To contact Staff Writer Sam Corey email scorey@theunion.com or call 530-477-4219.


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