Student Experience

Students at The Norman Howard School are offered a truly unique academic experience, enriched by activities, friendships, community events, supports, and atmosphere of acceptance.

Before joining our community, parents may ask, "will my child miss out by leaving public school?" Our students remain engaged with their home community through friends, sports, church, and other activities. Students share, and parents agree, that the new experiences and relationships formed at The Norman Howard School enhance their lives and well-being in meaningful and measurable ways.

Please explore some elements that combine to create The Norman Howard Experience. Click on each image for more details:

Student Support Services
Inclusive Community
Experiential Education
Outstanding Academics
Supportive Counseling
We're committed to providing an environment for all students to thrive. Many of our students benefit from support managing the social aspects of school and life. Along with our distinctive, school-wide Skills for Life program, students access individual or group counseling with our two licensed counselors.
Post-High School Transition Planning
Planning for successful post high school transitions paramount. The Norman Howard School is home to a multi-disciplinary Transition Planning committee, led by our Transition Counselor, dedicated to identifying opportunities for students and families and for assisting with all transitions.
Skills for Life
Skills For Life is our integrated, school-wide social skills program supporting healthy relationships, effective communication, and decision-making, the building blocks of Social Emotional Learning. Classroom teachers collaborate with counseling staff to implement this social skills / pragmatic language program through weekly, explicit instruction in self-awareness, social awareness, self-management, responsible decision-making, and relationship skill-building.
School-wide Strategies
Speech-Language Services
The emphasis of the Speech-Language Program at The Norman Howard School is the link between communication skills and academic success.
Speech-language services are provided in a collaborative framework between the speech language pathologists and classroom teachers, parents, and other related services.
Speech-language goals are interrelated with the goals of the classroom and academic curriculum is the "content" of therapy.
Nursing Services
Important supports we provide are health, wellness and nursing services.
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Inspired Educators
Our faculty are inspired educators, motivators, confidence-builders, passionate advocates, and empathetic experts. Each staff person contributes their unique skills to a school culture that places the student success at its core. We work alongside students, parents, and involved professionals to help every student understand their learning capabilities and manage challenges which have made school difficult in the past. Teachers are certified in Special Education and/or their content area.
A Sense of Belonging
Students and families share that what sets us apart is the sense of belonging that they experience when they walk through our doors.
For many, school had come to mean isolation, anxiety, or failure. Here, we set out to discover or reignite each child's desire to learn in the ways they are best suited.
School Culture
We are a welcoming community. Students often share, "I wish I had come here sooner" because they are bright, capable, talented kids who felt left behind, misunderstood, or anxious every day in their prior school. We are a very diverse group who accept and support each other to succeed. We celebrate what makes each of us unique and contribute in our own ways to a healthy, safe, and fun school culture. We "get you" here!
Friendships that start at The Norman Howard School last a lifetime. Each student comes with individual interests and strengths and we offer many clubs and groups to join. Students share that the bullying and school anxiety that prevented them from liking school are not a problem here. Most look forward to coming to school every day.
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Outdoor Education
Outdoor education is a major component of Science education here. Students go regularly to Genesee Country Museum, Cummings Nature Center, and partipate in Pack, Paddle, Ski trips.
Service Learning
As part of Participation in Government and other opportunities within our classes, students participate in service learning.
Cooperative Games
Cooperative Games are team-building activities students and faculty look forward to most! They are times to build relationships, trust and confidence among classmates and teachers. These activities intentionally support Social Emotional Learning in an engaging and fun atmosphere. All classes participate four times per year.
Enriching Experiences
Our school has 36 years of expertise in student success. This comes from embracing and supporting each child’s individuality, defining students by their strengths, and believing our students deserve a safe setting to explore their abilities and engage effectively. A great deal of learning happens outside the classroom.
Visual Arts
We provide arts education and also offer a culture that embraces creativity, expression, and design through visual arts classes, industrial arts, ceramics, photography, and several art clubs.
Experiential Learning
Experiential opportunties reinforce and enhance classroom learning.
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Industrial Arts
"Make anything you please, as long as it fits through the door" is the motto of our unique Industrial Arts program. A "makerspace" before it became buzz, this space offers the computers, tools, saws, materials, and inspiration for students need to complete amazing projects. Recent creations have included lighting, guitars, skateboards, bird houses, ergonomic chairs, benches, desks, and more.
Science Program
Our Science program is truly exceptional. Classrooms abound with plants and creatures, and enthusiastic teachers impart their love for science and the world around us upon their students by making learning exciting. Frequent field trips (to x x x ) enrich learning, and students have opportunities to interact meaningfully with their environment as a means to understanding the world.
Our academic program is designed to allow students to experience success, to help them understand the nature of their learning challenges, to provide them with the skills and strategies for overcoming their academic difficulties and social challenges.
Our school offers a wide range of technology to engage today's learners and to help them acquire and demonstrate their knowledge and skills. Smart Board and projection devices are used in most classrooms to enhance group instruction, writing and editing. The latest model desktop computers, laptops, and mobile devices for individual use enrich and create multi-sensory learning experiences.
8th grade is part of a 1:1 iPad implementation pilot, with plans to expand to other grades.
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What our students are saying...

The Norman Howard School lets me be who I am.

- NHS Student

Such a GREAT school and WONDERFUL, AMAZING & LOVING teachers. I'm still proud to say I went there.  

- NHS Alumni

At my old school, I felt like a ghost. Here I feel like a person.

- NHS Student

I wouldn’t be where I am today without Norman Howard.

- NHS Alumni

Front Campus
Main Entrance
P. Ken Dennis Theater
Main Office
Main Floor
Health Office
Betsy McIsaac Learning Library
Small Classrooms
Classroom Technology
Industrial Arts
Industrial Arts
Middle School Classroom
Photo Lab & Dark Room
Reading Classroom
Science Lab
Cafeteria & Multi-Purpose Room
School Lobby
Bus Drop-Off

501(c)3 Nonprofit Organization

Are you an inspired educator seeking a unique and vibrant setting?  

Please visit our Careers Page!

Tax ID: 11-9904502  | 501(c)3 Letter

Charitable State Register #: 02-66-84

United Way Donor Designation: 365

© Copyright 2016 by The Norman Howard School. 

Contact Us

  • YouTube - White Circle

275 Pinnacle Road

Rochester, NY 14623

Tel: (585) 334-8010


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