The credits required for an academic diploma at The New Community School are as follows:
English: 4 units
Mathematics: 3 units, to include Algebra I and Geometry*
History & Social Studies: 3 units, to include at least 1 unit each of World History/Geography, U.S. and Virginia government, and U.S. and Virginia history
Laboratory Science: 3 units, to include both Biology and Chemistry
Health and Physical Education: 2 units**
Practical and Fine Arts: 1 unit
Electives: 6 units. Typically these include additional credits in math, history, science, language fundamentals, and fine and practical arts.
Language Fundamentals: 2 units***
Total: 24 units
* Modifications of these specific math course requirements may be made by the Head of the School for students whose specific language learning disability includes severe difficulty with mathematics. Students with fewer units of college preparatory math will, however, have fewer college options available.
** In order to complete two units of health and physical education, students are required to complete two full years of health and physical education classes (typically 9th and 10th grades) plus a full semester of health class in the 11th grade. Juniors and seniors are required to take an additional semester of physical education class unless they have successfully completed the required units and are participating in varsity sports at TNCS. They may opt out of one quarter of P.E. class for each varsity sport they participate in. Students do not accumulate additional credits for work in physical education beyond the required two units.
*** Required each year at The New Community School.
In addition to the academic diploma requirements, The New Community School requires several courses specific to certain grade levels. Middle school students are required to take a keyboarding class each year until they demonstrate that they have achieved minimum competency in keyboarding. All students in the high school who have not acquired these skills will continue to take a keyboarding class as one of their electives each year. All students must also pass the Computer Applications class, typically taken either in middle school or in 9th or 10th grade, unless they can demonstrate that they already have mastered the skills taught in that class. The SAT Prep class is required of juniors. All seniors must take and pass Ethics and Civicism, a one-semester course that includes a requirement of thirty hours of pre-approved, supervised community service.
Transitioning: What TNCS Credits Mean to Others
Diploma requirements at The New Community School meet or exceed Virginia State standard diploma requirements, and with the exception of foreign language, meet or exceed the units required for entrance to most colleges. Courses in foreign language are not offered, because the introduction of a second set of language patterns seems counter-productive for students who have not yet mastered the patterns of their own language. Both the English and history departments provide students with many opportunities to become more aware of other cultures and heritages. In addition, language remediation often includes the study of Latin roots, prefixes, and suffixes, as well as the influence of other languages on the English language. Many colleges that require foreign language will consider waiving that requirement for otherwise well prepared students with documented learning disabilities. Typical graduates of The New Community School exceed the units in math, history and science required for college entrance.
Credits earned at The New Community School are accepted for transfer by both public and independent schools. The New Community School is accredited by the Virginia Association of Independent Schools (VAIS) and is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). Eighty-five percent of the school's graduates attend college immediately following graduation.