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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Nutmeg changes: Internet academics 2005

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I always recommend Milk of Magnesia, or Fletcher's Castoria, or even just plain prune juice. They are all gentle on the stomach and cause the desired result, where some can just be pure AGONY, and you think your INSIDES will come busting out, and...what's that? Consternation, and not...oh... :ermm: Nevermind.

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  • 1 month later...
Guest sehoy13

I'm a new member and this is my first post. My two sons never attended an academic school.


My eldest son attends Nutmeg as a post-graduate. He just turned 18 and is a sophomore in college. He takes online classes (just 12 hours per semester) and has Nutmeg officials proctor some of his exams as required by his professors. He is making A's, retaining his academic scholarship for next year. More than that, I am impressed with his time management. (I wish I would do as well...)


My 15-year-old son is attending Nutmeg's summer program right now and was accepted into the year-round program. He won't attend next year, although that has more to do with my inablility to let him go just yet. I also recognize that he will do better academically with one-to-one attention right now. When he turns 16, we'll re-evaluate.


I have mixed feelings about the changes at Nutmeg, but my kids are very different individuals. Ballet has forced me to examine my own expectations, fair and unfair. It's a learning process for me.

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sehoy13, thank you for commenting on this thread - we're glad to have you posting here at Ballet Talk for Dancers and look forward to hearing more from you regarding your sons ballet journies. :clover:

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Guest sehoy13

Thanks for the warm welcome. Ballet is still a confusing and different world for me and my husband even after three years of constant learning. This discussion board is the best thing I have found for answers. Believe me, this struggle of academic plans vs. ballet careers stops me dead in my tracks at least once a week.


As for Nutmeg, I know that when I requested information from Torrington High School the response was cold, distant, and scary. This was around March 2005. If this is how the public school there would treat an adult with concise, specific questions, I can only imagine the disdain such an institution might dump on my kid. For that reason alone, I think the move to Keystone is highly appropriate for teens coming from many different backgrounds and regions who are a long way from home and the adults who love them.


Also, searching through newspaper archives and discussion boards in that community, I found many references to the poor condition of the public school buildings (unrepaired leaks, flooding) as well as other problems. To be fair, I never saw these buildings myself.


My younger son isn't going to Nutmeg this year because I honestly feel he needs another year at home before we turn him loose. Every family has to weigh the pros and cons along with a specific child's personality and needs.

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Not a parent!

At my smaller dance school, something similar called the Dancing Arts Academy is offered. Students find whichever online home schooling program they prefer, whether it is Calvert, Univeristy of Nebraska, Keystone, etc. The schedule is as follows Modern 7:30-9 9-12 schoolwork 12-1 lunch 1-3:30 ballet class and coaching and then regular ballet class 3:45-5:15 with the exception of mondays when it is jazz class 3:45-5:15. Last year the schedule was more like 7:45-7:45 each day, which was a ridiculous amount of class. This is definitely not for everyone, regardless of how much they love dance. However, lots of people really love it, and a program that requires so much personal motivation seems to work well with dancers especially, since most are very dedicated and hard working people in general. It really depends a lot on the person. Also, dancers get accepted into top schools in spite of this alternative form of education. I know of one girl who is going to Umass at Amherst and majoring in dance and another who was accepted to Harvard and is going to Columbia as well as taking part in ALvin Ailey's college level program. I am still thinking about whether I want to do this next year, but I do know of lots of people for whom it works well.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have some happy news about Nutmeg's academic program. I chanced to visit Nutmeg a week or two ago, and met the new academic coordinator. She seems wonderful! We talked about her plans in detail. The students will be following the online Keystone academic program, which she will supervise. In addition, she has MANY plans for supplemental lessons, outings, and social opportunities with area HS students. She is an experienced educator of HS-age students, and she has much experience with putting together enrichment opportunities as she has homeschooled her own children.


Personally, this woman is dynamic, cheerful, friendly, and engaging. I would guess that Nutmeg is lucky to have her.

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Great news, Treefrog! Thank you. We are very happy to hear about that.

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  • 5 years later...

This has been an interesting thread. I am interested if anyone has a more recent update/opinion of Nutmeg's use of the Keystone High School. My daughter is only 14 and starting at Nutmeg as a freshman in just a couple weeks.


I have a lot of thoughts in light of this topic but mainly I feel that an assumption is often made in saying that standard high school would be beneficial. My daughter was in school at 5th grade as well as dancing what I THOUGHT was a lot of classes back then (HA! Little did I know!). What caused us to consider other schooling options? My 10 year old was coming home from school complaining about how much time was wasted at school. The poor child was so driven and so busy - she was aggrivated that the teacher's and less focussed students were wasting her time when they talked about things other than the lesson. In her mind she was there to learn and that's what she wanted to do, not talk about the weekend.


In 6th grade, we brought her home and cyber schooled her. She pretty much did her lessons on her own and the first year was a difficult transition, but also a life skills learning year. She learned so much about orgaization and prioritizing and planning - skills that go way beyond what she covered in social studies or any other subject that year. We also got to spend time with her and direct her in our values and not the popular values of the kids her age. (We hardly spent time with her when she was in school she was always going to dance class or doing homework when she was home and never getting to bed at a decent hour.) We have cyber schooled for 3 years now at home.


Looking at starting HS this fall, dd asked to go to HS and we met with the counselor. We were both so excited for her because A. I loved HS and B.the counselor really sounded like they were going to work with us and her ballet schedule. She seemed very supportive of my daughter's dream...at least in the spring. But now that school is right around the corner, they are trying to fit my dear square peg daughter into their pre-planned round hole schedules. Everything we talked about in the spring has been thrown aside, all the way down to forcing her to take gym despite documentation from her physical therapist and not even giving her the electives that she was so looking forward to. My daughter was already second guessing her decision to go to public school, worrying about homework and such - because if she doesn't have an A she completelt stresses out.


So when the opportunity to go to Nutmeg surfaced about a month ago it was like a God-send. She has the advantage of having experience with online self-paced classes and having been through the learning curve of the first year. She can persue the classes she wants (and Keystone does offer both Honors and AP courses) and dance more than she thought possible with out the stress of not fitting in, friends not understanding why she can't be at the football game because she has Nut rehearsal AGAIN, teachers being inflexible about homework and missing days of school for performances and having that effect her grades - which would not sit well with her.


It is a real shame that most public schools are not interested in supporting a child's dream. I know that if my daughter could not persue her dream, she would not be as driven in other areas either. To prevent her from dancing and not just dancing but dancing at a level that enables her to be challenged to learn more in her dancing on a daily basis would leave her as an empty shell. I think if more children were supported in their areas of interest and accepted for who they are rather than pushed along in the standard school schedule and criticised for the ways that they do not fit in we would have much fewer wayward teens.


Sorry - I have 3 square peg children and I get a little soap boxish sometimes. They are all different and all have different needs and while most school systems in our country are making strides, all is not well. And the strides that I do see are more for lower achieving students - which is great - they need it (I have one of those too). There are few programs for gifted students (my third) although by HS it's better if you haven't lost them yet. BUt the reality is - at least at our school districts - they have TAKEN AWAY all the programs & allowances for students who are gifted OUTSIDE of the school's curriculum. Ok - off my soap box. *blush*

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they are trying to fit my dear square peg daughter into their pre-planned round hole schedules. Everything we talked about in the spring has been thrown aside, all the way down to forcing her to take gym despite documentation from her physical therapist and not even giving her the electives that she was so looking forward to. My daughter was already second guessing her decision to go to public school, worrying about homework and such


uggg..., lorrainegd, I feel your pain. Your post actually made me get stomach queasy. Years ago we had a similar situation...only it was a very prestigious private boarding school at which my husband served as a department chair and had a 15 year teaching history. They STILL talked out of two sides of their mouth, gave us the run-around and, in the end, denied DD's requests for adjustments to the cookie-cutter schedule to accomodate her training. Long story short, we are no longer at that school, DD homeschooled for high school, and it was at that point that she really dug in and committed herself primarily to training and fit in academics as she could. Though she looks back and wonders about her decisions, she knows it was best. These opportunities are "god sends" as you said. Congrats on your daughter's open doors and your support of her walking through them!

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When we faced this situation five years ago we were similarly frustrated. Our publich HS would absolutely NOT let DS out to go to dance class early. We do have a flex-time (i.e. study hall) so were hoping that could be last block so at least every other day he could leave early. They decided to move that time slot to 2nd block. He was literally forced to make a choice - school or dance. We tried the home school Keystone and it really didn't work for him. It meant every evening AFTER dance I would work with him through his assignments. I was really tired. So a residency became the only option. Ironically we were told if DS had been a better student they would have tried to better accommodate him. They didn't get the fact that he wasn't a better student because of the impact of the system.


It's been five years now. And things are changing, but it is a slow process. Our county is now offering online courses for students. Only a few but there's progress. Many other surrounding counties have been doing this for a few years. Something as simple as having that option could have kept my own son in his regular high school for at least a few years. And saved us a tremendous amount of money.


I hope your DD enjoys her time away. And it's great that she is already mentally prepared to tackle an online curriculum by herself. Good luck this year.

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We have "recent" Keystone experience, although not much yet. My dd is a Junior in high school and after a grueling and un-balanced year last year of trying to juggle challenging academics (6 honors & AP classes) at a private school and 16-20+ hrs of dancing a week, we knew we had to do something different.


Last Spring I exhaustively researched online high schools and ended up choosing Keystone. The main reasons were that they offerred the AP & advanced courses dd wanted at a much lower cost than similar online college-preparatory competition such as Kaplan College Prep. Keystone has college acceptances at all the colleges one would care to get in to, they are regionally accredited, the online content is solid and at times even quite creative. They have decent standardized test scores, including AP scores mostly above national average. This is important for college admissions since because Keystone exams are not proctored and therefore essentially open book, admissions folks need more than just the Keystone GPA to look at and so will pay attention to test scores as a measure of the student's relative abilities. All the colleges dd is interested in have accepted or have told me they would accept Keystone transcripts. That said, there are other "less rigorous" course options at Keystone and depending on your dk's goals they must choose courses very carefully. I have directly heard a college counselor say some of the Keystone transcripts they've seen from residential ballet programs have been rather "micky mouse" and so they have had their doubts about the strength of the program. Again pointing to the importance of SAT/ACT & AP type test scores.


Feel free to PM me if you have more spefic questions.


To the credit of our local private school, they were very willing to accomodate our dd's needs - and would have allowed her to graduate with fewer credits, leave school early most days, and schedule back to back blocks of "study hall" or "independent credits" - but that still did not really give us the flexibility and relief from pressure we were looking for.


So dd started her Junior year at Keystone several weeks ago. She is taking AP Literature, AP Calculus, Psychology (for SS credit), and Physics. This is considered a fairly tough load at Keystone, but they have been fine with it. She will be able to take only 4 credits this year and 3 next year since she was ahead from her years in private school. So far its been great, although we are still experimenting with a "weekly schedule". One of the best things is how "unstressed" she is -- she can come home from ballet at 9 pm and just relax instead of having 4 hrs of HW ahead of her. She is also enjoying what she is learning, both in school and at ballet, even more! There is a lot of writing and discussion board posting and you have to be proactive as a student in initiating contact with your teachers (we are still working on this :dry: ) Also she is a very focused and driven kiddo, so this independence works well for her. Finally she is not really socially driven and doesn't mind missing the "high school experience" and such. In fact she seems to have more time to socialize with her good buddies.


Then the icing on the cake, and partly the reason for making this switch, is she can take more and more ballet class and really devote herself to her training. So far so good!

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