The mission of the Northcoast Preparatory and Performing Arts Academy (NPA) is to provide high school students with an educational program that is intellectually stimulating, emotionally compelling, aesthetically enriching and personally relevant with a strong emphasis on community building and responsible citizenship. The programs of the Nordens Folkhögskola, Dr. Shinichi Suzuki, and the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) have influenced the formation and articulation of the school’s mission.
Nordens Folkhögskola on Biskops Arnö in Sweden, at which NPA’s Principal taught for several years, was created after World War II to promote healing and communication among the Scandinavian countries. In this folk high school “the most important pedagogical method is dialogue” (Nordens Folkhögskola Mission Statement). Like this folk high school, NPA endeavors to create an accepting intellectual and social atmosphere in which teachers and students engage in a lively exchange of ideas, cultural viewpoints, and personal life choices. Theory and practice are integrated across the whole breadth of its multidisciplinary curriculum; the students’ educational experiences are not limited to the classroom, but include many local, national and international trips, college lectures, workshops and projects.
Another source of inspiration for the Mission of the Northcoast Preparatory and Performing Arts Academy comes from Dr. Shinichi Suzuki—known for the Suzuki Method of teaching music and the teaching methodology used in the Talent Education Schools—who insisted that every child is a gifted child. NPA affirms the belief that all students, given the opportunity, can achieve at high levels.
Along with the IBO, a recognized leader in the field of international education, NPA also encourages students “to be active learners, well-rounded individuals and engaged world citizens” (IBO Mission Statement).
NPA’s fundamental commitment is to provide students with the opportunity to understand what it means to live respectfully with one’s self, with others, and with the planet. Examples of this commitment are an ongoing emphasis on international-mindedness, the development of international service projects, our relationship with our sister schools abroad, and the examination in the curriculum of ethical and social questions. As an institution NPA is distinguished by the pursuit of excellence in the performing and fine arts programs; a commitment to high standards; the development of connections between the students and people of other countries through travel, service, performance, and mutual exchanges; the efforts of the faculty to nurture socially competent civic leaders who are aware of their own intellectual and cultural heritage; and by a belief in the importance of a true liberal arts education for high school students.
Young people learn best when they are in environments that are emotionally and physically safe, environments that provide healthy opportunities for intense emotional expression, such as theatre arts and music, environments that encourage them to sharpen their intellectual skills, environments that introduce them to their rich intellectual and artistic human heritage, and environments in which they are respected in all ways. It is the mission of this high school to provide such environments in the classroom, in extracurricular activities, on fieldtrips, and in international travel and exchange.
The faculty, students, and parents are the heart of NPA as an institution. The vision of the faculty and the needs of the students are the driving force behind NPA’s ongoing development. The administration and Board serve to support the faculty, students, and parents in meeting the current and future needs of the school. NPA recognizes the importance of retaining the autonomy required to pursue its vision. Staying true to its vision as it develops is an essential criterion in evaluating the worth of new practices and policies.
Parents play an essential role at NPA, both as individuals and as part of the larger parent community. While high school may be a time of increased independence on the part of students, the supportive role of parents in high school remains just as important as it has always been. Students thrive when they receive support and appreciation for their accomplishments. At NPA parents are strongly encouraged to remain actively involved in their child’s education and to look for opportunities to share in their child’s intellectual journey. In addition to supporting their own child, parents are also strongly encouraged to look for ways to participate in the activities of the parent community, which provides invaluable assistance with the day-to-day needs of the school and with annual events and projects. Without the support of the parent community, NPA could not function as it does.
In light of the above influences and values, the mission of the Northcoast Preparatory and Performing Arts Academy is:
- to provide a rigorous liberal arts education and performing arts program
- to develop breadth of mind in students and strong analytical and evaluative skills
- to gain an understanding of core elements of our western heritage
- to instill respectful values
- to foster and uphold the highest standards in regard to personal integrity and conduct
- to promote a desire for excellence in one’s chosen pursuits
- to encourage responsibility for choices made
- to create an atmosphere conducive to emotional, intellectual, and creative discovery
- to provide opportunities for community involvement and leadership
- to create a caring, responsible, and sustainable community
- to initiate a journey toward lifelong learning, creativity, and social awareness
- to foster and promote international understanding and exchange