Northfield principal Avi Tropper recently briefed the Stapleton Development Corporation (SDC) on the programming for the new high school. The school will offer International Baccalaureate Diploma Program coursework for all students. Though classes won’t be tracked, there is, within classes, the option to perform higher level work. He’s a strong believer in community service, which is a component of the IB program.
In addition to the IB curriculum, students choose two focus areas for their electives and stay with those areas the entire four years. Tropper pointed out that when given nine “pathways,” such as multiple areas in the arts, writing, politics and law, business, computer science, biomedical science, engineering, and economics, most students know what areas interest them. He also pointed out that colleges like to see students pursue an area more deeply and stick with it rather than have a shallow exposure to more areas. Students will also be able to choose a no-prerequisite elective class each semester, allowing them to explore interests outside of core classes and elective pathways.
In addition to academics, Tropper puts a strong focus on the social-emotional culture of the school to create an inclusive atmosphere where kids work together and all students will flourish. Advisors will stay with their students the entire four years and have reduced teaching loads to have time to work individually with their students. He will accomplish that type of staffing by having no vice-principal, relying instead on distributed leadership among the teachers.
Regarding sports teams, he says if there are enough students to form a team, they’ll make that sport happen. All students will have a physical activity period every day, either through their sports team or their choice of a physical education class.
Uniforms? Student government will make a recommendation.
Open campus? No.
Hours? 8:45am to 4:45pm.
School year? 185 days—two weeks longer than the minimum required.
Click here to view a brochure about the Northfield High School. It is scheduled to open in August 2015 with 325 ninth-graders and will expand by one grade each year. It sits on a 20-acre site on the southeast corner of 56th and Central Park Blvd. Click here to view a rendering of the site plan and a rendering of the school exterior, both provided by LOA Architecture.
Tropper can be reached at Avi_Tropper@dpsk12.org, visit Northfield.dpsk12.org, or call 303-842-1101.