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NOVA Community Stories

Even on a Snow Day

"That’s what NOVA meant to our daughter. It was her school, it was her time, it was her place. It was offering something so special, something so worthwhile, that she was willing to go even on a snow day."

One parent's experience of transformation at NOVA: 

“Our daughter was extremely bored with elementary school. We tried all sorts of extra enrichments and also worked with her teachers and her public school principal to find solutions for her. Nevertheless, she became more and more withdrawn and dissatisfied by 5th grade. We enrolled her in a local private school in 6th grade, and she was a bit intrigued for a few months until she had figured out all the new patterns and expectations, and then she unplugged again. We enrolled in NOVA for 7th grade based on an accidental, random chat with an acquaintance. Honestly, we didn’t really know of any good school option by then, but we were looking for something that might make a difference for our daughter. Going to NOVA for us involved a one hour commute each way, 6 AM wake up times, and a lot of carpooling and planning since we had lots of small children, too. But, wow, the effect was almost immediate—her smile came back! That spark in the eyes and her interest in new things returned! And probably the most telling moment was when we had our first snow day that year. I went down to her room, gently woke her up, and told her, “Hey!  It’s a snow day!  You can sleep in, and we’ll break out the sleds and snow gear later and play in the snow.  But sleep in for a while.”  

She sat up in bed, with a confused look on her face. “No, Dad, it’s ok. I want to go to school.”

I was bemused. “Uhm, no, school is cancelled. The roads are covered with snow and it’s a snow day.”

As I said it, I remembered all the happy memories from my own childhood of snow days, hot chocolate, a thousand sled rides down the little hill near my house, eating fresh snow, big snowflakes falling all around me as I walked through the new blanket of snow making that unique sound of gentle crushing with every step.  She had similar memories, too, because we’d shared years of snow days together, as father and daughter—she loved snow days!

“Really, Dad. Someone will be there at NOVA. Let’s go. We’ve got all-wheel drive on the car. I can play in the snow this afternoon when I get home. Please take me to NOVA.”

That’s what NOVA meant to her. It was her school, it was her time, it was her place. It was offering something so special, something so worthwhile, that she was willing to go even on a snow day!”

Parent Testimonials

Being Accepted—No Matter Who You Are

"During elementary school years, my second child took only deli meat and cheese sandwich for lunch. Every single day...Little did I know why he limited his lunch options until he started attending NOVA."

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Student Stories

Learning is a Journey and a Gift

"When I was in 5th grade, school was already pretty disappointing. Pointless work, and school was losing its meaning for me. Sixth grade at NOVA turned that upside down, and suddenly school was fun again and I couldn’t wait to go to NOVA every day."

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Parent Testimonials

Even on a Snow Day

"That’s what NOVA meant to our daughter. It was her school, it was her time, it was her place. It was offering something so special, something so worthwhile, that she was willing to go even on a snow day."

Read the Story