By Stacey Bomser
NSU University School is the only Junior Kindergarten through 12th grade private school in the area to be part of a major research university. Since 1971, it has utilized the unique resources, dynamic faculty, and exceptional facilities available on the Nova Southeastern University campus to personalize education for students at all levels.
Head of School William Kopas, Ed.D., shares more about NSU University School’s teaching philosophy and college-preparatory curriculum.
How would you describe NSU University School? For the past 46 years, NSU University School has provided a challenging and personalized education within a supportive environment for students of average to gifted abilities. Our students are prepared for productive lives and leadership roles through a program that focuses on academic excellence, extracurricular participation, and service to others.
What is NSU University School’s teaching philosophy? We are a progressive private school that utilizes the latest research in learning theory to maximize student potential and bring out each student’s special gift or talent. We differentiate and personalize instruction for a wide range of student abilities. Our holistic instruction is oriented towards experiential learning opportunities that reflect real-life programming.
Please describe your curriculum. Our college-preparatory curriculum is aimed at students with high academic standards. It is thematically based and integrates technology, real-world problem solving, collaboration and critical thinking. Our Early Childhood and Lower School programs stress the fundamentals of learning and how to learn while challenging students appropriately. Middle School expands on this philosophy and Upper School offers Advanced Placement, Honors and Regular levels of coursework that prepare students for college and beyond. Many of our high school students are involved in university level research projects and work directly with NSU professors throughout the campus.
What are the advantages of being part of a college campus? NSU University School is located on a 28-acre campus in the heart of Nova Southeastern University, affording students a safe and secure environment within a thriving scholarly community. Furthermore, our personalization, qualified and passionate educators, and connection to the university enables students to reach their potential and gain a strategic advantage. Within a rigorous and supportive environment, students achieve success in academics, athletics and the arts, and contribute to their community and various service organizations.
Please describe your students. NSU University School students are engaged and collaborative learners, innovative thinkers, and globally aware citizens who are prepared for college and life. Our inquiry-based curriculum, differentiated approach to learning, and opportunities for mentorship provide students and graduates with the knowledge, skills and confidence for success in and beyond the classroom. In addition, NSU University School students are civically-minded. Beginning in Lower School, students participate in charitable efforts which continue through high school. On average, a graduating class will have performed over 50,000 hours of community service throughout the four years of Upper School.
What are the credentials of your faculty? Our faculty value the importance of education. Over 75% have advanced degrees and a number also teach classes at NSU in both undergraduate and graduate programs. NSU University School teachers understand that every child learns in his or her own way, so they continually develop new instructional approaches in order to reach every learner. All staff members receive training in differentiation.
What is your background? This is my third year as Head of School at NSU University School, after serving five years as Upper School Director. Before coming to NSU University School, I was principal at Canisius High School in Buffalo, New York. Before that, I served in a variety of administrative capacities including assistant principal, dean of students, and summer school director for 16 years at Brophy Prep in Phoenix, Arizona. I received my Doctorate in Education from Nova Southeastern University and my Masters from Northern Arizona University. I earned my undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, where I was a member of four Big Ten Championship swim teams. In addition, I was an individual Big Ten Champion and a Big Ten Scholar Athlete.
Speaking of sports, what types of extracurricular activities does NSU University School offer? We offer abundant opportunities for students including athletics at all levels, visual and performing arts programs, as well as a multitude of clubs. The NSU University School Speech and Debate team is ranked in the top 1% of all teams in the United States and we have had four National Champions in the past three years. Our Robotics team is world ranked and has won two of the last three state championships. Our athletic teams are regularly recognized by the Florida High School Athletic Association for athletic and academic excellence.
How can prospective families learn more about NSU University School? Our next Open House will be on Thursday, November 16th at 9:00am. Prospective families will have the opportunity to tour our spectacular campus and see how our teachers inspire students with innovative classroom lessons and 21st century teaching strategies. To RSVP, visit www.uschool.nova.edu/openhouse or call 954-262-4506.
NSU University School is located on the Nova Southeastern University Campus in Davie. The address is 3375 SW 75th Avenue. For more information call 954-262-4506 or visit www.uschool.nova.edu.