What makes NCA different?

North Central Academy is not just different — it's better. That's because we don't teach subjects, we teach students.


NCA serves students with the proven best practices in education, melding together brain science, character education and effective instruction. Our students not only learn to appreciate the arts, but have rich opportunities to actively participate in creative work and learn relationship building. We develop students' minds and bodies, the complete person. North Central Academy provides art, music and physical activity for students at all grade levels.

North Central Academy creates a loving environment where kids feel safe so they can learn at a higher level.

Common sense dictates that a safe, happy student is more productive than a student who is distressed. For this reason, the North Central Academy model is to first create an environment that is nurturing and supportive, and based on relationships rather than coercion. North Central Academy is a school for all types of students. Our program is designed to offer a safe, nurturing place where students learn to love learning. By combining proven knowledge of human development, best practices in education and strong character education, we will help each student to discover his or her inherent gifts.

At North Central Academy, we teach students to do the right thing, because it is the right thing to do.

We believe that proper behavior leads to good character, which leads to arts and academic excellence. It's as simple as that. Good character is an important part of every student's success, both in school and beyond. That's why the character traits of respect, compassion, integrity, responsibility, honesty and self discipline are continually modeled, taught, assessed and reported to parents at all grade levels.

North Central Academy uses a competency-based grading system to ensure quality work. Students earn an A, B or N ("not yet") in grades K-6. Students in grades 7-12 are graded on a traditional A-F scale.

Students are expected to do quality work, demonstrating they have fully learned a concept before progressing to the next level. This works to the advantage of all students. Those who need a bit more support to master a topic will get it. On the flip side, once a concept is mastered, the student will be allowed to move on, eliminating the requirement of simple seat time. The students who seek the opportunity to advance will be given the chance.

At North Central Academy, we set the stage for teachers, students and parents to form real relationships that serve as the basis for students' success.

NCA teachers keep the same students for several years — not by necessity, but by design. This means teachers and students don't have to spend several weeks or even months learning about each other and forming friendships on a yearly basis, allowing us to get to the business of teaching and with much more efficiency. Our multi-age grouping allows differential instruction by development, as opposed to age, and encourages continuity of relationships. Students stay with the same teacher and many of the same classmates for several years. Students progress seamlessly through the curriculum by mastery as opposed to arbitrary annual deadlines.

Compulsory homework has been proven ineffective and even detrimental to quality education. After school hours are meant for opportunities to enrich education with extra curriculars, participate in team building through sports, and spend quality time as a family. We expect our students to engage in reading at home, but the actual teaching occurs at school. 

At North Central Academy, our students are expected to adhere to our uniform policy. Uniforms take the competition out of dress, returning the focus to who you are, rather than what clothes you can afford. This allows students to focus on expressing themselves through music, art, sports or academics rather than clothing.

You may view our uniform policy here. Uniforms are available through local vendors as well as Land's End, giving our families easy access to affordable uniforms.