FAQ

What kind of school is New Directions? 
N.D.C. is a K-8 alternative school for students with challenging behaviors.

What is a non-traditional learning environment? 
A non-traditional learning environment is one in which the teacher is better able to meet the individual needs of the students because of the small class size and the use of a variety of instructional strategies.

Who are the children that attend New Directions? 
These children are K-8 students from all the middle and elementary schools in Portsmouth who have been removed from their zone school because of behavior problems.

How do these children get there? 
The principal makes referrals to a hearing officer who makes a placement decision.

What does the daily and yearly schedule look like? 
The students have a five period day. They receive instruction in the four core areas (Math, Science, Social Studies, and English) on their current grade level.

How do the children get to and from school? 
The students are picked up and dropped off at the corner nearest their houses by a Portsmouth Public School bus.

What can the parents expect from the parental involvement sessions? 
Parents can expect tips on how to support their child's education and progress reports on their child's behavior and academic status, as well as information on support services that may be available to them.

What do students have to do in order to leave N.D.C? 
They must demonstrate that they have the ability to act appropriately in both academic and social settings.

How long do students usually stay at N.D.C? 
Students stay at N.D.C. for the amount of time necessary to demonstrate that they have the skills necessary to be successful in a regular school setting. It varies from 45 days to a whole school year.

What percentage of students return to their zone schools
in a timely manner? 

Approximately 80% of the students return to their zone schools in a timely manner.

What happens to the students who cannot make it at N.D.C? 
They are referred back to the placement committee for re-evaluation. They may be re-assigned to the Tidewater Regional Alternative Education Program or recommended for a long-term suspension or an expulsion.

How is teaching at N.D.C. different from teaching in a regular school? 
A smaller student population enables teachers to work closely with students and to provide them with extra help and attention. No child can be left behind in this type of setting. Patience and flexibility are essential to classroom management at N.D.C.