Nova Individualized Learning Center is a private special education day school approved by the Exceptional Student Services Department of the Arizona Department of Education.

The Center is designed to meet the individual emotional and academic needs of students placed by an Arizona Public School District who have been determined to need a full day program in an off-campus, therapeutic setting. The length of time a student attends Nova is based on their accomplishment of IEP goals and is determined by the multi-disciplinary team. The Center follows the procedures and standards of the Arizona Department of Education Exceptional Student Services Department and operates as an “extension” of the student’s sending school district. All services are provided by Arizona State certified, highly qualified teachers and highly trained instructional support staff under the supervision of the Center’s Director.

The Center uses individualized instruction, mastery learning, concise, positive behavioral strategies, and a high staff to student ratio to promote academic success and healthy social development. Throughout the day, students progress through classes designed to meet their unique Individual Education Program (IEP) goals and objectives. Class sizes are a maximum of ten students with a certified teacher and highly trained teaching assistant to provide instruction for each student. We use a variety of multi-sensory teaching techniques, remedial programs, and project-based learning to help students progress academically. Students are assigned to homeroom groupings according to age, academic and social/emotional development, and given academic instruction according to their present level of functioning in each academic area. All of Nova’s curriculum is aligned to/with AZCCRS. Each student’s home school curriculum is followed as closely as possible and all goals and objectives are developed to master grade-level Common Core Standards in order to make the transition back to their district as smooth as possible. When appropriate, high school students will receive career/vocational education, monitored work training with “partnering” local businesses, and will be assisted in postsecondary transitioning.

An important aspect of our philosophy is to provide our students with the opportunity to socialize with general education peers from neighboring public schools whenever possible. It is our goal to have Nova be as “normal” a school experience as possible. We will have a Student Council, competitive sports with a school mascot, and “earned” field trips, social activities, and dances with general ed. peers, as well as “Peer Buddies” for tutoring.

Nova uses a positive behavior management program that utilizes logical consequences, problem-solving strategies, and a token economy system to foster appropriate social behavior and improve self-esteem. This program is based on the philosophy of teaching the student the value of making correct choices and positive reinforcement for making them. We use a “Tiered Behavioral Support Program” which includes cues, verbal reminders, and classroom sit-outs. If behaviors continue to escalate the student is escorted to a “Support Room” away from the classroom and supervised until the student is ready to process with staff about the problems creating the inappropriate behaviors and discuss “better choice alternatives” to inappropriate behaviors. All staff members are Safety Care and CPR certified in the event a student becomes a danger to themself or to others. Nova provides different levels of counseling intervention dependent upon the student’s needs. All students participate in our EQ-based Social Skills program. We address topics such as identifying emotions, “Knowing Yourself and Choosing Yourself”, anger management, conflict resolution, relationships, personal responsibility, and using “Words that Work”. In-depth counseling/therapy is available as needed.

Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, P.E., Art, Counseling, and Social Skills Training are all provided on-site.

Parent groups are offered monthly to provide support, behavioral strategies, and information on community resources available to give parenting assistance and respite when necessary.

“NCI PROGRAM” (Nova Crisis Intervention Program)

We offer a program designed to provide a short-term intervention for students in public schools who have been suspended for behavioral infractions or other issues. The multi-disciplinary team or home school determines the number of days that the student is assigned to the NCI Program and the criteria the student must meet in order to return to their home school. The NCI Program provides a highly structured environment. Students have limited privileges and must earn their way back to their public school classroom based on the criteria established by the sending school. The students bring schoolwork from their home school teachers, sit at desks and complete their assignments with assistance from Nova’s teachers. Their NCI time is to demonstrate the following behavioral expectations:

  • Follow staff directions
  • Stay on task
  • Take responsibility for actions and behavior
  • Use appropriate language and be respectful of others
  • Demonstrate the ability to make good behavioral choices

A daily “Assessment Report” is used to determine the student’s progress. These daily reports are sent to the home school teacher and the parent/guardian indicating whether or not the student made his day and how many days of NCI are remaining. The goal of this program is to provide a short-term intervention for students demonstrating unacceptable public school behaviors. It is designed to motivate the students to accept more responsibility for their behavior and a greater appreciation for their home school environment.