Academic Program

An NPS education strives to grow students who are confident, skilled, curious, and compassionate, with a strong sense of identity rooted in the School’s Core Values.

The NPS curriculum offers a rigorous, yet balanced and developmentally appropriate, academic program. We not only teach students strong academic skills but also how to apply them as they explore, question, and think about the ever-evolving world they will inherit. NPS prepares students in these key competencies: creativity and innovation, critical thinking and problem solving, communication,
and collaboration.

Creativity and Innovation
NPS students are encouraged to take risks, try new things, and think of novel ways to solve problems. Teachers recognize that creativity is the path to invention and innovation, and work collaboratively on STEAM and Arts Integration projects at all grade levels. This collaborative spirit helps students expand their ideas, become confident learning from mistakes, and revel in the unexpected. Whether they are improvising in music class, tinkering in the makerspace, experimenting with colors in the art studio, or testing hypotheses in science class, students are encouraged to explore the world around them.


Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving
Thinking and questioning come naturally to young learners. NPS teachers are highly skilled in harnessing their students’ natural curiosity and teaching them to think critically about the world around them. NPS teachers use a variety of best practices, as a framework for lessons to support and expand children’s understanding. Students at NPS are making meaning of their world as they gather information, form opinions, and integrate new information. Students are guided to think critically and generate various solutions and approaches, knowing that the process of learning is even more valuable than any one answer.

One of the hallmarks of the NPS program is our focus on communication. Throughout their academic and social experiences, students are encouraged to be flexible thinkers and utilize oral, written, and non-verbal methods to share their ideas and wonderings. Morning Meeting is a staple at NPS where students at all grade levels engage in language rich interactions. From crafting and performing monologues in drama class to leading chapel, students develop their ability to share thoughts and opinions confidently and in a respectful manner. They value the opinions of others as they learn to appreciate the many voices of our community.

All children are taught to work and play together respectfully through the framework of our strong social-emotional learning (SEL) program. Led by our two school counselors, faculty and staff are trained in SEL practices and integrate this training into the daily curriculum. Throughout the day students are invited to work together, listen, share ideas, and problem-solve. NPS students are connected to both the local and global communities through projects in and out of the classroom. As students move through the grades, their sphere of exposure expands from that of their family, to the cultures and traditions of their classmates’ families, to those of the world at large through a hands-on, integrated social studies, art, drama, music, and service learning curriculum.


Contact Us

Heidi Bachman
Director of the Lower Division
(Age 3 - Grade 1)

Annabelle Dunn
Director of the Upper Division
(Grade 2 - 6)

Susanne Rusan
Director of Curriculum & Instruction