FAQs

What is New Directions Learning Community (NDLC)?
New Directions Learning Community is a public charter school in Kaukauna, Wisconsin. NDLC is a free, public school that will be a part of the Kaukauna Area School District. NDLC believes that literacy empowers people. Literacy (reading, writing, and speaking) is the backbone of our school because it allows people to have a voice and make informed decisions.

Who can attend NDLC?
CurriculumNDLC was established in 2011 with approximately 100 students in grades 1-3 with the intent of expanding to grades K-4 in the following years. The charter will be available to any student in the KASD and surrounding area. Enrollment selection will be based on a lottery system.

What type of curriculum will NDLC follow?
NDLC will provide a workshop-based curriculum aligned to the Wisconsin Model Academic Standards and Common CORE Standards. The workshop approach is built on individualized instruction aimed at growing readers, writers, and problem solvers for the real world. Key components of the workshop include explicit strategy instruction as well as teacher directed choice in independent reading, writing, and mathematics. This structure will also provide extended periods of time to engage in authentic reading, writing and mathematics. Inquiry Circles will be used to implement science and social studies standards.

How will NDLC stay current with best practices?
NDLC will have an affiliation with Columbia University (NY) Teachers College to stay up-to-date with curriculum and staff development. An affiliation with Teachers College means that Columbia staff developers will facilitate intensive teacher training throughout the school year and during the summer. NDLC is committed to using best practice (research-based teaching methods that have proven results) to guide instruction and improve student learning in all core academic areas. Teachers will grow professionally through frequent labsites in all subject areas, book studies, off-site training provided by outside consultants, and ongoing collaboration with each other.

How will NDLC ensure student success for ALL students?
Teachers at NDLC will look at the strengths and needs of each learner to formulate a customized learning plan that nudges a child forward. NDLC believes in growing student leaders through shared responsibility in the classroom (both in environment and academics).

How is NDLC held accountable?
NDLC will be held accountable to the district and to the state through formal data that measures student growth. Students will take both the MAP and WKCE testing. These assessments will help us monitor student growth and individual needs.

How will parents be involved at NDLC?
Partnerships with parents will be an important component of NDLC. We believe that family engagement and leadership are integral to student learning. NDLC will be a place where parents feel welcomed and honored for their unique contribution and for their perspectives on their child’s learning style and well being. Parents will have the opportunity to collaborate with staff and one another. An inventory of parent skills and talents will be used to help them feel a part of the school community. Parents will also be invited to school events and activities, on a monthly basis, that will promote and develop a positive home school connection.

How will NDLC benefit the Kaukauna Area School District?
Charter schools offer choice for families as well as economic development for the community. Over the next three years, the government will be investing $1.2-1.5 million in elementary education in Kaukauna through the charter grants. There will be a possibility of another $250,000 after three years with successful dissemination grants.

How is NDLC unique to Wisconsin?
NDLC is the first charter school in Wisconsin to feature a complete workshop model across the curriculum. The school will be a state-of-the-art professional development laboratory for current and future teachers and administration in the Fox Valley area and beyond.