High School

Northern Academy seeks to:

  • Provide outstanding instruction in academic subjects, which meet or exceed New York State standards for Grades 6-12, where Grades 6 through 8 represent Middle School, and Grades 9 through 12 represent high school;
  • Help students develop a solid professional foundation in dance, music, or fine arts to foster a life-long ability for art appreciation, or to become professional artists;
  • Inculcate in students a profound respect for moral character.

The academic curriculum at NAA covers all basic New York State Board of Regents requirements. Wherever applicable, state-recommended syllabi are used as guidelines. The arts training consists of sequential pre-professional courses that lay a solid foundation in dance, music, or fine arts.

Download the latest Curriculum Guide

Download a list of Academic and Arts Electives

Academic classes offered at different grade levels are outlined below, where one credit is equivalent to 180 days of instruction. In addition, the school provides additional learning opportunities and/or arts training, which enhances students’ overall career goals.

Northern Academy of the Arts provides several services to help students succeed in the academic world.

Throughout their time at Northern, students meet with faculty advisers to discuss course selection, ways to improve their academic experience, and long-term goals for their future. In addition, they work with their assigned homeroom teacher who also is assigned as a second advisor.

Learning specialists are a resource for students who have already sought help and could benefit from supplemental coaching in time management, organization, and general study skills.

Northern Academy of the Arts offers English as a Native Language and academic tutoring.

Preparing for College

Navigating the college admissions process can seem complex for students and families. To facilitate a smooth passage, we pair each student with a teacher advisor who will work closely with the student and family.

As a college preparatory school, Northern Academy initiates our students’ college planning process from middle school in life skill classes. The college planning at Northern develops an individualized road map to success for the student, which includes academic work, character development, special interests and skill sets, as well as the college application.

How is college planning being done at Northern?
Typically, a comprehensive service starts from 9th grade until graduation. All high school students will attend college planning classes each year that specifically addresses: course selection, college and career exploration and community service opportunities.

In addition to group lessons, students will receive individual sessions with a college counselor. Experienced counselors will seamlessly integrate Northern’s academic and extracurricular programs with their unique planning process, which utilizes social and corporate resources.

Through this process we are able to tailor the college process to the specific needs, abilities, and interests of each students. To keep parents better informed of the college process, we offer each year a Parent College Information Night at the end of September.

What can parents learn from college planning?
College planning can help break down myths about college, such as “my teen can make a good living without a college education”, or “I don’t have the money and my teen can’t afford to take out loans to pay for college”.

Parents can learn why they should help their children go to college and how they can encourage their children to apply. They can also find out about different types of colleges and choose those that are most affordable.

What is the goal of college planning?
The college planning adviser will coach the student on how to best utilize his/her time and resources during the 4-year high school experience. The adviser guides students toward developing a well-balanced and unique profile that can be competitive for the college of the student’s choice.

The student will be mentally and academically ready for college life through the planning. The process can also transform the student to be a responsible citizen with high moral standards.

Graduation Requirements

Grade 9-12 (high school) students are required to take classes in the following curriculum areas:

  • English Language Arts (4 credits)
  • Social Studies (4 credits)
  • Science (3 credits)
  • Mathematics (3 credits)
  • World Languages (3 credits in one world language)*
  • Health and Life Skills (1/2 credit)
  • Physical Education (2 credits)

* Students may obtain credits by exam in a world language. Students must pass the AP exam in a world language in order to meet the requirements of taking 3 credits of courses in that world language.

Academic Track:

  • 9 credits of academic electives
  • 1 credit of fine arts courses, 1 credit of music courses, and 1 credit of fine arts, music, dance or theater courses

Dance Track:

  • 8 credits of dance courses
  • 2 credits of academic electives
  • 1 credit of fine arts courses and 1 credit of music courses

Fine Arts Track:

  • 8 credits of fine arts courses
  • 2 credits of academic electives
  • 1 credit of music courses and 1 credit of dance, music, or theater courses

Music Track:

  • 8 credits of music courses
  • 2 credits of academic electives
  • 1 credit of fine arts courses and 1 credit of dance, fine arts, or theater courses

The total number of credits required for high school graduation is 31.5 credits.

High school ENL students

  • ENL I classes are counted as 1 credit of ELA course and 2 credits of academic electives.
  • ENL II classes are counted as 1 credit of ELA course and 1 credit of academic electives.
  • ENL III class is counted as 1 credit of academic electives.

All high school ENL students are required to complete at least one year of ELA courses at grade level and pass a specified English Language exam.

Other Requirements

  • All students are required to participate in the weekly student assembly and school cleaning. Students are required to take the Ethics and Etiquette course at each grade level.
  • Transferring senior students must successfully complete one full semester of courses at Northern Academy in order to graduate.
Summary of Diploma Requirements

To receive a Northern Academy diploma, a student must:

  • Complete all the required curricular areas and credits as detailed above
  • Be clear of any existing or pending discipline action
  • Meet all other school requirements

The following table presents a summary of high school graduation requirements, including the requirements for transfer students:

Talented and Gifted Students

At NAA, talented and gifted (TAG) students who master a subject significantly more quickly than their classmates will be exposed to some of the material covered by the next grade. For example, math TAG students in Middle School might take the equivalent of a High School-level algebra course. AP courses will also be provided for TAG students in high school.

These classes are designed to meet or exceed all U.S. High School diploma requirements. High school students are required to take the following courses:

  • English language arts (4 credits)
  • Social studies (4 credits)
  • Science (3 credits)
  • Mathematics (3 credits)
  • World languages (3 credits in one world language)
  • Health and life skills (1/2 credit)
  • Physical education (2 credits)
  • Music (1 credit for non-track, 8 credits for music track)
  • Fine arts (1 credit for non-track, 8 credits for fine arts track)
  • Dance (8 credits for dance track)
  • Dance, fine arts, or music (1 credit for non-track)
  • Other electives (2 credits of academic electives for non-academic track, 9 credits of academic electives for academic track)
  • Courses on various academic subjects
  • Projects
  • Music lessons, performance opportunities
  • Dance lessons, performance opportunities
  • Fine Arts lessons

A unique feature of health education at Northern Academy is its emphasis on developing students’ knowledge, skills, and habits in order to achieve a healthy body, mind, and spirit. Students are encouraged to maintain that sense of well being throughout their lives. Students are gaining the know-how and ability to create and maintain a safe and healthy environment and learn to manage their personal and community resources as responsible citizens.

Included in the life skills classes are highway safety and traffic regulations, fire drills, fire/arson prevention, and the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse. The importance of conserving natural resources is also taught.

Through physical education, students in all grade levels acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to establish and maintain overall fitness.