Academics come first at New Liberty. Our educational structure (competency-based education, scheduling flexibility, and Blended Learning) allows us to personalize learning for individual students, and help them to learn in the formats that resonate with them. Students work towards skills or competencies, in academic, social-emotional, and workplace subjects, which create a well-rounded program of study.
New Liberty is competency-based. Competency-based education (CBE) is a modular system of competencies and benchmarks that offers each student a personalized, self-paced route to high school graduation. In a competency-based educational system, educators must decide what the necessary knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors are, decide how to deliver the curriculum to ensure competency in that particular content, and then design assessment tools that are able to determine whether the desired competency level was achieved. New Liberty staff used the Common Core, Massachusetts State Frameworks, Next Generation Science Standards along with other resources (Appendix E) to develop our competencies. Our competencies fall into three domains: academics, professional readiness, and essential habits (the core habits of stable adults). These competencies and their underlying benchmarks can be combined and recombined into traditional courses and a wide variety of innovative competency development opportunities (CDOs) to create individualized graduation progressions.
The Professional Readiness (PR) at NLIS helps prepare students for life after graduation. Our goal is for students to be able to go out into the world of work/college with the knowledge, skills and tools to be successful and achieve their goals. NLIS students are required to participate in at least one work, internship or other related experience while in school. NLIS is working to increase the real-world experiences our students participate in to build their skills and professional networks. Students also build their professional toolkit by learning to write and update their resume, cover letter and references, interview and conduct a job search.
We work closely with each student to understand their strengths, interests and aspirations as we collaborate with them to develop an individualized postgraduate plan whether that leads directly to work, college, trade/technical school or other opportunity. Students receive guidance throughout the planning process to include assistance with college/trade school applications, financial aid, scholarships, employment applications, and so much more.
We believe success derives from successful habits, which is why staff at New Liberty focus on supporting students in creating the habits that will push them toward their full growth potential. Each of our students receives an education in 21st century learning skills they will take with them into the working world and beyond to become productive in both personal and professional settings. Our Essential Habits include social-emotional skills like being an active listener and responsible decision-maker, executive functioning skills like being organized, planful and mindful, and 21st century skills such as collaboration and leadership.