NEO College Prep’s Upper Campus is home to our network’s high school. It very uniquely brings every I CAN Eighth grade scholar together to begin their high school experience. The students in high school receive a very different curriculum than that of the K-8 students and that of the other local high schools. NEO College Prep has a schedule that mimics a typical college schedule: classes are 90 minutes and alternate daily. This begins teaching the students the importance of organization and studying daily, regardless of when you have the specific class or see the teacher. All students are required to take Spanish, as this course is considered a core content class and not an elective.
Students must also participate in community service and obtain a minimum of 100 hours before they can apply for graduation. This is approximately 25 hours more than the surrounding school districts. In collaboration with the community service opportunity, students work with a college counselor to learn about college; starting with requirements of admission to identifying strengths and career opportunities. Throughout the college prep course students learn all aspects of what is required to get into but also to link collegiate skills to their daily life. Students also have the opportunity to visit colleges; we ensure the students tour small and large school settings as well as public versus private schools. This makes the decision of where to attend school much easier when the time comes.
Students travel in cohorts—after much research it has been proven that students traveling together from one class to another creates a level of unity and enforces students to work together towards the common goal of success. This is an aspect that many high school scholars do not receive. The only time the students are not in their cohorts is during their Elective Courses. Each semester students take one elective course based upon their interests. These classes are all academically challenging and push students to really think about their future. Samples of the elective courses offered are:
- Wildlife Biology and Zoology
- Public Speaking
- Creative Writing
- Multicultural Literature
- Current Events
Additionally, students who qualify for Advanced Placement (AP) courses have the opportunity to take these classes for FREE. The students are able to work in the computer lab with a teacher on their AP courses and will have the chance to take the AP Exam in the spring, potentially earning college credits. The students in NEO’s AP program are able to impress college admission counselors, further develop college-level academic skills, save money, select a major sooner, take more elective classes in college and have the chance to add a minor or second major with more ease. We encourage students to apply for the AP program and provide the necessary tools to be successful in these courses.
Students in their sophomore year will take the Ohio Graduation Test (OGT). It is our goal that all students will pass all 5 OGT’s the first time they are taken. In order to ensure this takes place, students are given practice assessments beginning in their freshman year. Teachers use this data to guide and create intentional lessons that align to the state and national content standards. Additionally, we offer Saturday Academy in order to provide the extra assistance students may require. Once students pass the OGT, preparation for the ACT and SAT begin. In order to achieve high test scores, students will take classes to ensure they are prepared for these college bound assessments.
NEO is in the process of building relationships with local colleges and universities to ensure our students are able to participate in Post-Secondary Enrollment Options. This will provide our qualified high school students with the opportunity to gain valuable college life experience and earn credit while supplementing their high school college preparatory curriculum. We believe that motivated and dedicated high school students who participate in this program profit immensely from the opportunity to interact with college students, faculty, and experience first-hand the benefits and advantages of a college or university.
As our high school continues to grow so does our athletic and extra-curricular programming. This year our students have the opportunity to participate in basketball, cheerleading, dance, yoga, track and field, student government association, and journalism. Our students involved in athletics are required to attend round robin study sessions twice a week to ensure their academics remain a top priority. We also have a group of students who will be traveling to Costa Rica this summer, which will enforce their Spanish language and cultural skills. We hope to continue building this program and taking students to countries all over the world!
NEO Upper Campus is looking forward to an EXCELLENT rating on the state report card. This is in part to the dedicated students who have the drive to be successful but also due to the dedicated teachers. The HS teachers are a very special group that truly feels as if the students are their own children. They stay late assisting students with academics, coaching them in sports and providing counseling when they run into troubles. The teachers are the heartbeat of the high school and ensure that the students are successful and always making decisions based on our mission, that 100% of our graduates will attend a four year college or university.