NOVA Academy

aka NOVA Academy Early College High School   |   Santa Ana, CA   |  http://www.nova-academy.org/

Mission

The mission of NOVA Academy Early College High School (NOVA Academy) is to inspire, educate, and prepare all students to be successful in college, career, and in life.

Ruling year info

2006

Chief Executive Officer

Mrs. Renée Lancaster

Chairman of the Board

Dr. Sanford Otsuji

Main address

500 West Santa Ana Blvd.

Santa Ana, CA 92701 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

32-0079174

NTEE code info

Educational Services and Schools - Other (B90)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Academic Support Programs

NOVA Academy implements personalized approaches to learning and alternative instructional options, which allow access to and progress in the rigorous standard-based curriculum.

The NOVA Academy Tutorial and LINK Programs, designated academic sessions for schoolwide supplemental instruction and tutoring, provide individualized support by peers, instructors, and qualified tutors to students struggling academically.

The InNOVAtion Summer Institute prepares new students for their time at NOVA by bridging the transition from middle school to high school. Typically held in June, all incoming Freshmen are expected to attend this orientation program, where they build and strengthen relationships with the classmates and teachers, establish a familaity with the campus and student resources, and participate in a variety of school acitivities, including college tours. InNOVAtion attendees also complete assessments in English, Spanish, Math, and Socio-Emotional skill levels, so that NOVA instructors and counsellors are better equipped to provide specialized academic support for each student.

Seminar, a skill-building class offered at each grade level, pairs students with a dedicated instructor to guide their academic and study habits. College Pathways, one of the most crucial sections of the Seminar curriculum, informs students on the college admission process, covering a wide array of topics including: application proccesses, admissions essays, financial aid. Studebts enrolled ijn early college classes are also provided additional support for their college course work.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents

Students have access to social/emotional support programs such as our family class where students meet weekly with a small cohort, so they can build relationship and provide peer-to-peer support. Through our partnerships with USC and Cal State University, Fullerton, and Cal State University, Long Beach, our students may also receive therapeutic counseling from interns enrolled in a Master's of Social Work program. Families can also benefit from monthly seminars and workshops designed to help them provide support to their student.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Adolescents

In order to empower NOVA students for success in post-secondary education and prepare them for them for a future of professional achievement, NOVA Academy utilizes the Early College Model.

The NOVA Academy College Opportunity Program offers socioeconomically disadvantaged students the unique opportunity to complete up to two years’ worth of college credits while earning their high school diploma. Through partnerships with local colleges and universities, NOVA Academy offers approximately 30 unique classes each semester, presented in a variety of formats, including classes taught onsite at NOVA, online, and on-campus at partnering post-secondary institutions. Due to the vast catalog of college classes offered, NOVA students are able to select college courses that reflect their personal academic goals, thus giving them a head start on their college plans and a clear path towards their full degree.

The College Opportunity Program is crucial to the success of many disadvantaged students, many of whom are the first in their families to pursue a post-secondary degree, and would otherwise lack the requisite financial resources for a college education. By providing NOVA students the opportunity to complete up to two years of college courses while in high school, costs to families for their child to attend college can be halved, thus making their student more likely to complete a four-year degree with this financial barrier significantly reduced.

By providing students early access to college courses, NOVA ensures that its students are fully equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to transition to the academic rigor of post-secondary education and go on to pursue their professional and academic ambitions.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents

Where we work

Awards

Best High School - Silver Level 2015

U.S. News and World Report

Best High School - Silver Level 2016

U.S. News and World Report

Best High School - Silver Level 2017

U.S. News and World

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of students per teacher during the reporting period

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents

Type of Metric

Other - describing something else

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of program participants who receive a secondary school diploma or GED

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents

Related Program

Academic Support Programs

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Quantity of Graduating Senior in Spring 2018. Rate of graduation: 98%

Number of students enrolled

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

At NOVA Academy, we know that youth from challenged backgrounds encounter many obstacles and often do not have robust resources and support systems in placed, making a traditional pathway to higher education challenging to navigate. They may experience more life stress, miss more school days, or have difficulty with learning a second language.

Many of our students come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Beside the disadvantage of socioeconomic inequity, these students must then face the accumulating challenge of education disparity - too often continuing the cycle of poverty.

Besides poverty, students can face a host of other barriers to academic success. Many face the challenge of not having adults in their lives how can serve as role models and guides in terms of navigating the transition to college.

Through our Early College Model, our goal is to provide a blended high school/college curriculum that complements our overarching mission and goal of helping our students achieve fulfilling and enriching lives.

NOVA Academy is driven by an unyielding resolve to instill, support, and further the ambition, character, and success of its students. In order to fully address the academic, social-emotional, and vocational needs and ambitions of its students, NOVA utilizes two key program models as the foundation of its academic and developmental strategies: Early College High School and Whole Child.

NOVA’s use of the Early College High School offers students the means to pursue their college dreams while fueling confidence and long-term success.  Through mindfully crafted academic support systems and partnerships with neighboring colleges, NOVA inspires and fosters academic excellence among its students, both in early college courses as well as challenging AP and Honors classes. This value is promoted by all facets of NOVA’s work through the convergence of rigor and support, thus creating an environment that promotes a love of ideas while encouraging discovery, creativity, and engagement.

In addition to the Early College Model, NOVA Academy’s philosophy and methodology are guided by The Whole Child - a holistic approach to education that centers on the development of each student’s social, emotional, intellectual, and physical well-being. This model repositions the NOVA staff beyond the role of traditional faculty, utilizing instructors and administrators as the facilitators and pillars of a safe and engaging environment to challenge and nurture its students.  In recognition of the critical role of the family in creating a sense of belonging and security, NOVA Academy not only operates a multitude of family engagement programs but provides a “Family” class to its students - engendering close personal connections and mutual understanding among NOVA students and teachers. By emulating a familial support system within the context of an academic environment, NOVA Academy seeks to instill compassion in its students; inspiring hope, building bridges, and developing a community of caring individuals.

In order to empower NOVA students for success in post-secondary education and prepare them for a future of professional achievement, NOVA provides early college access through dual enrollment in high school and college courses. NOVA Academy’s College Opportunity Program permits all NOVA students meeting program admission requirements to enroll in college courses while earning their high school diplomas. Prior to enrollment in an early college course, students are counseled as to the nature of the class, and advised of whether a specific course is fully transferable to University of California baccalaureate programs as Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC)  or a career-based exploratory course.

Classes are offered each semester through neighboring post-secondary institutions including the University of California at Irvine, Concordia University, and Santa Ana College. Programming consists of courses offered both on the NOVA campus and college site taught by university professors, and online college courses available at NOVA Academy via campus-wide Wi-Fi. In addition to tuition-free enrollment in early college courses, NOVA provides students with college textbooks and materials, transportation to and from Santa Ana College, and exam and application fees for eligible students. Last year, NOVA Academy students completed over 300 college credits across 120 different early college courses.

NOVA Academy also provides students with the opportunity to earn college credits outside of the dual enrollment program through 10 different Advanced Placement classes. In addition to AP courses, NOVA offers honors classes at most grade levels to increase academic rigor and encourage student enrollment in AP and College courses.

To ensure the success of its students in these challenging courses, NOVA provides several academic support programs, with specific activities designed for Early College students. Support programs include: LINK/Tutorial— a school-wide supplemental instruction and tutoring program implemented as part of the standard campus schedule; summer school credit-recovery and enrichment courses; the Summer InNOVAtion program— an orientation and skill-assessment program for incoming students, wherein freshmen are provided with an extensive roadmap to best achieve early college success at NOVA. Ongoing efforts to augment these programs and best promote academic excellence is a top priority for NOVA Academy. Another major focus includes further implementation of Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in English-Language Arts and math. In order to be better prepared for success both professionally and in post-secondary academia, all NOVA students also enroll Seminar, a unique class designed to augment each student’s study skills, academic discipline, and learning methods.

NOVA Academy’s hybrid approach to The Whole Child and Early College High School model has resulted in remarkable academic success for its students. California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) scores indicate that NOVA students meeting or exceeding state standards in English Language Arts (ELA) has been consistently 20-25% higher than the state average for the past three years, and 38-40% higher than the Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD). NOVA’s 2018 CAASPP scores in math also indicate increased student proficiency from the prior year, and 2017-18 student enrollment in AP and Honors courses nearly doubled that of 2016-17.  Over the last three years, NOVA’s graduation rate has increased by 3.8% and consistently exceeded both the state and SAUSD averages.

Notable Achievements:

1. 2019 recipient of the California Distinguished Schools Award
2. Highest-level accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
3. Recognition among US News & World Report's "Best High Schools in America" every year since 2015


Ongoing Endeavors:

1. Full implementation of new afterschool programs, including Northrop Grumman's CyberPatriot and Autodesk's TinkerCAD curricula
2. Subsistence of acclaimed project-based education in college and career readiness, and expanded early college programming
3. Expansion of academic, technical, artistic, and career-based extracurricular programs

Financials

NOVA Academy
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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NOVA Academy

Board of directors
as of 10/08/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Dr. Sanford Otsuji

Cornerstone West Payment Systems

Term: 2016 - 2019


Board co-chair

Dr. Susan Garrett

California State University, Fullerton

Term: 2016 - 2019

Sanford Otsuji

Cornerstone West Payment Systems

Susan Garrett

California State University, Fullerton

Karen Lester

Lester Foundation

Norm Lester

Lester Foundation

Brenda Gonzales

Parent Representative

Gloria Grana

Community Volunteer

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes