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First day a success at New Vistas High School in Portage

Student Carnell Little (foreground left) waits introduce himself tell his favorite kind music for an ice breaker exercise his english

Student Carnell Little (foreground, left) waits to introduce himself and tell his favorite kind of music for an ice breaker exercise in his english class during the first day of school at New Vistas High School in Portage, Ind. Tuesday September 4, 2012. Neighbors' Educational Opportunities is operating the school, as well as Adult Education. | Stephanie Dowell~Sun-Times Media

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To learn more

Visit the website www.neoadulted.org or by contact the school at 850-4448.

What is New Vistas?

New Vistas High School was formed to offer students an alternative option for attaining a high school diploma. New Vistas is aimed at students who wish to re-enter high school (no matter their age), who need an accelerated pace or extra time for credit completion, and who seek an alternative learning atmosphere.

Source: New Vistas website

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Updated: September 4, 2012 11:31PM



PORTAGE — Overcoming an early morning lack of telephones and Internet, the first day went smoothly at New Vistas High School.

Officials said about 163 students registered for classes at the new charter school at 5391 Central Ave., also the home of the Portage Adult Education Center. The school has 11 teachers.

“It’s better than I expected,” said Principal Donald “D.J.” Knotts. “The students were ready to go.”

Knotts said a handful of students still needed schedules drawn up, but the rest settled into their classes.

Kyle Abramson, 19, of Lake Station, is finishing his senior year with classes in government, earth science, American literature and Algebra 2.

“I still need 10 credits,” he said. “I heard about it here and signed up. I’m hoping I can graduate and continue my education.” Abramson said he wants to study psychology in college.

Student demographics run the gamut at New Vistas, a school aimed at students who struggled in a traditional school setting or for others who want to work at a faster or slower pace. A few students are pregnant, a few are in their 40s and 50s, but most are high school age or slightly older.

The school is operated by the not-for-profit Neighbors Educational Opportunities Inc., which also runs the adult education center where students can study for GEDs and take classes to learn English.

Rebecca Reiner, president of NEO Inc., said one student didn’t speak English and he was routed into an adult education English class, as well as his New Vistas classes.

The daily schedule includes an advisory period, four core academic periods, and an optional fifth period for tutoring, career exploration, credit recovery, and service learning. Fridays are half-days except for students who need to attend a make-up lab, serve a detention, or receive tutoring.

“I got to see a lot of classes today. It was a lot of ‘meet and greet.’ We’re working out the kinks,” said Knotts.

Those kinks involved the failure of phone and Internet service, but Knotts said an administrator quickly solved the problem.

“If today was an indication of how the school year will go, we’ll have a great year,” said Knotts.



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