nova is different


Nova is an alternative public high school in Seattle, WA.  It is open to all high school students across Seattle.

Mission Statement for Nova High School: Nova is a non-graded, inquiry-based learning community commited to the success of all students through application of learning, performance assessment, building a diverse safe, supportive democratic community.  Additionally, Nova's personalized advisory system provides a teacher/advisor for every student at a ratio of 24:1. At Nova, students and staff are both learners and teachers. 

Nova is committed to a student-centered education.  Students choose their classes and are directly involved in creating their schedules.  In the classroom and through independent learning contracts, students can follow their own interests while creating unique and individual ways to demonstrate their learning.

This philosophy of student involvement extends beyond the academic to the school and its governance.  Students take responsibility not only for their own learning, but also for the institution in which their learning occurs.  Nova students have an equal vote with staff members on issues including allocations for the school’s budget, hiring decisions, and planning for the school’s future.

Learning to take responsibility for one’s own education is an educational experience in itself.  Nova’s coordinating system and active committees provide a network of supports, enabling students to grow into this responsibility.

Stats from 2015–16 Seattle Public Schools School Year Report

  • Number of Students: 344
  • Number of Teachers: 17
  • Students per teacher: 20
  • Average daily attendance: 99.7% 

Special thanks to Audrey Irish for providing artwork featured on this page.