The New School seeks to inspire students through curiosity
The New School, a co-educational independent school serving students age one through 10th grade, has offered excellence in education in Northwest Arkansas since 1971.
Located at 2514 New School Place, on a 26-acre wooded campus in Fayetteville, the school continues to grow and expand to meet the ever-changing demands of educating young people in Northwest Arkansas.
The New School’s recent construction of three new buildings to accommodate its recent expansion into high school will be completed in time for fall classes. A ribbon cutting, scheduled for Sept. 7, will officially mark the opening of the J.B. Hunt Family Innovation and Academic Center and The New School Athletic Center.
The first building, which is a 36,000 square foot academic center, features science labs and collaborative spaces. Fifth and sixth graders will be housed on the first floor, seventh and eighth graders on the second, and ninth through 12th on the third floor.
“What’s unique about the Johnelle DeBusk Hunt Academic Building is that the designs were inspired by our faculty,” stated President and Head of School Dennis Chapman.
“We have collaboration spaces in the corridors to promote small group work as well as “collabs” for science. They are a mix of classrooms and laboratories. We have four of those — each one is 1,250 square feet. It’s a state-of-the-art facility for teaching and learning.”
From the academic building, there is a connecting bridge to the Innovation Center. The New School is the only school in the state that features a connecting bridge between two buildings. The Innovation Center is a two story, 9,000 square foot building that features two makerspaces.
“We view this space as not just a great opportunity for our students, but also to serve as a community resource for Northwest Arkansas educators to learn more about the Maker Movement.”
The Innovation Center also features a woodshop, robotics, classroom spaces, a commons area, and a beautiful patio from which the students are able to see the entire campus.
The third building is a two story, 18,000 square foot athletic center with a full-court gym. It features seating for about 450 spectators and features the Blankenship Fitness Center on the mezzanine level, which will have weight and conditioning equipment for student-athletes.
Class sizes are ideal at the school with two sections of 18 to 20 students per class, with individualized learning groups within each class. The New School specializes in a personalized curriculum.
“It’s really individualized to each student,” noted Chapman. “We take students, where they are, and bring them up to the next level.”
The New School’s philosophy is sparking curiosity through hands-on learning, which integrates well with the school’s STEAM approach to education (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics).
The school had 100 percent retention of students this year in ninth and tenth grade, after recently adding the grade levels. The Class of 2020 also scored 80 percent on their advanced placement tests, compared to the state average of approximately 35 percent.
In addition to the students, the faculty at The New School is exceptional as well. “We’ve been able to recruit locally, regionally, and nationally for our faculty,” added Chapman. “We have an amazing group of teachers. All teachers are specialists in their field of study and are great at engaging the students, as well as sparking a love for learning. That’s our mission — to inspire a love of lifelong learning in our students.”
For more information about The New School, call (479) 521-7037, or visit www. thenewschool.org.