The Novus Academy is a place full of wonder and whimsy. It is a sea of colors in a world of beige. It is a breath of fresh air. It is family, it is hope, it is home, and it is a place where lives are truly changed. Where others say, “you can’t,” Novus says, “‘you can’t yet,” and that makes all the difference.

In designing and selecting professional development opportunities that harness and reflect best practices in education, The Novus Academy believes these are the key tenets for a high-quality experience: authenticity, contextual learning, a creative climate, and reflection and transference. With these tenets at play, the development is largely effective because it:

> Is content focused: focuses on teaching strategies associated with specific curriculum content – includes an intentional focus on discipline-specific curriculum development and pedagogies in areas such as mathematics, science, or literacy.

>Incorporates active learning: engages teachers directly in designing and trying out teaching strategies, providing them an opportunity to engage in the same style of learning they are designing for their students.

>Uses models of effective practice: provides models of instruction to teachers with a clear vision of what best practices look like, including lesson plans, unit plans, sample student work, observations of peer teachers, and video or written cases of teaching.

>Provides coaching and expert support: supplies expertise about content and evidence-based practices, focused directly on teachers’ individual needs.

>Offers feedback and reflection: provides built-in time for teachers to think about, receive input on, and make changes to their practice by facilitating reflection and soliciting feedback.

>Is of sustained duration: provides teachers with adequate time to learn, practice, implement, and reflect upon new strategies that facilitate changes in their practice.

>Supports collaboration: creates space for teachers to share ideas and collaborate in their learning.

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