Northcoast Preparatory and Performing Arts Academy (NPA), an International Baccalaureate World School charted through the Humboldt County Office of Education, was founded in 2000 to create a respectful, nurturing, safe, and inspiring learning atmosphere where the arts, academics, and responsible citizenship are equally valued.
The school’s curriculum is based on confronting primary source documents, critical thinking, travel, musical, and dramatic performances, community service, analytical and creative writing, and university-level courses. Global awareness and international experiences are a vital part of the school’s program in which students are exposed to the most emotionally compelling, intellectually demanding and aesthetically enriching materials possible.
The school’s educational philosophy was inspired by Dr. Sinichi Suzuki’s belief that every student is capable of learning at a high level and by the humanitarian approach to learning developed by Ake Leander at Nordens Folkhögskola, Biskops Arnö in Sweden, where both the school’s Principal and Head of School have studied and taught.
Because the fine arts and global experiences are an important part of the school’s educational philosophy, students participate in and experience numerous performances, concerts, and exhibits throughout the year, and many of these performances are shared when they travel abroad. They produce two major dramatic productions and contribute numerous concerts and art exhibits to the local community. When they travel on national and international cultural study trips, they give performances in the countries to which they travel. They have performed at International Festivals and schools and given workshops in China, Scandinavia, France, Spain, Japan, Mexico, Thailand, Bali, Ghana, Vietnam, and Guatemala. In addition to the cultural aspects of these trips, the students often work in orphanages and engage in other service-related activities.