What Italo Napolitano loved most about Norfolk Christian Schools (NCS) was the fact that he felt at home. At NCS, he was able to connect with everyone, from teachers to classmates. “The relationships made there felt pure,” he enthuses.
NCS is the only faith-based K12 school in Hampton Roads to be accredited by the highly-respected Virginia Association of Independent Schools. Here, you’ll find state-of-the-art facilities, programme offerings that aren’t at any other Christian school in the area, and an elite academic preparation that rivals any specialty academy.
Napolitano envisioned all of the above before arriving at NCS. What he didn’t expect to find was a family for life. His teachers doubled as mentors, helping students acclimate to life in a new place as much as they are to promoting success in the classroom. As international students also live with host families, they often become like children to their host parents, creating relationships that last far beyond their years in school.
“I did not expect teachers to be so friendly and open to dialogue with students,” Napolitano shares. “There were real relationships with them.”
Exceptional college prep, with a 21st century spark
NCS produces stellar graduates. They attend some of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the country and go on to serve the world in hundreds of callings, from neurosurgeons and college presidents to professional athletes and missionaries. Recent graduates are attending 25 of US News and World Report’s Top 50 colleges with 90% of them being accepted to their first choice school.
Exceptional academics individualised for each student, supported by teachers invested in their success make this possible.
The school offers 14 Advanced Placement classes and five Dual Enrollment classes. Many seniors earn enough credits to have their first year of college complete. English as a Second Language takes place after school with additional help provided for navigating homework and project instructions.
For students who are interested in the field of robotics, there’s good news. NCS has collaborated with the Navy’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Centre (MARMC) for a STEM project. Students have an unrivalled chance to learn from top-tier naval engineers and engage with cutting-edge robotics technology as a result of the collaboration.
“Having MARMC in town working with the community presents a great opportunity for our kids to learn from the people who actually make their careers from working in STEM fields,” says Upper School science teacher, Dave Fisher. “It is helping them become better problem solvers and critical thinkers.”
Through this programme, students are exposed to underwater robotics, and familiarised with working underwater devices. “The robotics programme has been a great success, I have learnt step by step how to build a basic robot that works underwater,” says student Gongming Xu. “The process gave me satisfaction and it is definitely an experience I will never forget.”
That’s not all. The school conducts ESL classes and daily after-school sessions to help students perfect their English and ensure the nuances of assignments and homework are well-understood. Students are also given individualised support and guided every step of the way of the college admissions process with help from the College Counselling department.
“Choosing to spend my high school years at NCS is the best decision I have made,” says alumna Anyi Li. “The school not only leads students toward academic excellence, but also regards mental health and social wellbeing as inseparable from success.”
Teachers are not only invested in their students’ academic pursuits, but also their social-emotional health — building robust relationships that go beyond the classroom. “My teachers are incredibly empathetic, supportive, and encouraging,” Li shares.
NCS produces stellar graduates. Source: Norfolk Christian Schools
Memories for a lifetime
Ask Napolitano to choose one favourite memory from NCS and he’ll say it’s impossible. There were too many. If he really had to choose, however, he would say it was his school trips to Boston and New York as well as his Thanksgiving experience. “I would say that those are the most memorable experiences: bonding on trips with your classmates while visiting astonishing cities; camping five days without technology with your friends; spending an American holiday with your American family,” he shares.
If you’re wondering where Napolitano is now and what he’s up to, Karen Graves, one of his teachers at NCS who has since retired and is spending some time in Italy, can tell you.
“Italo is about to start his master’s programme in robotics engineering and is writing his 50-page thesis in English!” she shares, beaming with pride. Learn more about how NCS nurtures success stories here.