As students attending NDA there are two major activities that you need to be concerned with.

1.  Come to school ready to give your absolutely best effort in regards to academics.

2.  Follow all school rules and directions of staff.

This will hopefully highlight and make you more aware of some of the common information that you need in order to meet these two, very important goals.  These pieces of information are not all inclusive of the policies adopted by NDA and should only be used as a guide.  Always refer to the actual student handbook for a full listing of policies and procedures that govern your environment here at NDA.


1. At all times.  Shirt will be tucked in, belt and name tag will be on, and tennis shoes will be tied correctly.

2.  Student will arrive to and leave from school in uniform.  This means bus, bus room, and school parking lot.

3. A plain belt must be worn at all times. No "Bling."

4.  A long sleeved plain black or white undershirt may be worn under the NDA issue shirt  during cold weather.

5.  No facial hair.  Side burns should be no longer than the bottom of the earlobe.  This rule does not apply to students who fall under the ILS program.

6.  No make-up, nails should be sport length and have no nail polish.

7.  Dyeing hair is not allowed at NDA.  If a student arrives with unnaturally colored hair, they will be given the opportunity to dye back to origional hair color.  Dress codes will be given for not adhering to this policy.

8.  No Additional Tattoos, piercing of any body part or gauging of ears at NDA.  Current Tattoos or gauged ears must be covered at all times.  NDA will not provide bandaids.

9.  Jackets, gloves, cold weather gear may be worn but will be searched and checked in at the entrance of the building.  You will not be allowed to wear the items within the building.

10.  If you are a Level 1 or SOC student, you may wear four or five pocket plain khaki dress pants or blue denim pants (jeans) with NO holes (patched or otherwise) or fraying, even if no skin shows.  Pants must fit properly. A plain belt, socks and tennis shoes must be worn.  Shirts must follow the student's home school dress code.


1.  A student must make great effort to be at school each and every day.  Routineappointments should be made on Saturdays, after school hours, or during school breaks.

2.  Excused absences will require a professional's signature (physician, funeral director, court officer, minister, cultural/educational coordinator)


3.  NO backdated notes will be accepted.

4.  Dickson County Board of Education policy is still in effect in terms of unexcused absences, that is, after five (5) unexcused absences, the Student Services Director will issue a compliance date for the student.

5.  If medically possible, the student should come to school before the appointment if the appointment is after 10:00 am.  Likewise, if medically possible, students should return to school school after the appointment if the appointment is before 12:00 pm.

6.  It is always left to the discretion of the administration as to whether to accept any note, even from a physician.

7.  NDA does have a limit in regards to early check-outs, more than three (3) may result in requiring a doctor's note for readmission.


NDA School Hours

1.  The School day begins at 7:45am and ends at 2:45pm.


NDA Level System

The level system is basic to all that we do at NDA.  There are 4 levels that must be completed prior to a student returning to his/her regular school.  Rare exceptions may occur by order of the review DHA or vote of an IEP team.

The total program is designed to last a MINIMUM of 10 weeks.

1. Level 4 (Orientation)

-Minimum time at level 4 is two (2) weeks.
-student must maintain a 60% or greater positive weekly summary score.

2.  Level 3 (Responsibility)

-Minimum time at Level 3 is two (2) weeks
-student must maintain a 70% or greater positive weekly summary score.

3.  Level 2 (Citizenship)

-Minimum time at Level 2 is four (4) weeks.
-student must maintain a 80% or greater positive weekly summary score.

4.  Level 1 (Leadership)

-Minimum time at Level 1 is two (2) weeks.
-students must maintain a 90% or greater positive weekly summary score.

Students are only allowed to return to their home school when they have progressed through the entire level system and it is an appropriate transition period within the school year.  For example students will only be allowed to return during the Progress Report period (4 weeks into grading period) or Report Card (End of nine weeks period) unless special arrangements are made through the principal or DHA.  This may mean that a student could be on the third week of level 1.  Although NDA makes every effort to return a student on time, it is in the best interest of the student to return during one of these grading periods.  This prevents the student from returning to their home schools academically behind or subject to exams over material not covered.

Statement on Academics

1.  NDA is a school which is devoted to helping students change their behavior, however, NDA is also very committed to helping students gain needed academic skills.  

2.  NDA utilizes a number of innovative programs that can help students make academic strides.  These programs include counseling, tutoring, computer lab, and specific curriculum within the classroom.

3.  In regards to NDA curriculum in relation to curriculum in the regular school environment, the following applies.

Elementary - NDA follows the exact same curriculum, uses the same textbooks, and adheres to the same state standards.

Middle -       NDA follows the exact same core curriculum, uses teh same textbooks, and adheres to the same state standards; however, NDA is not able to provide the same elective or related arts curriculum due to limitations in available                                   number of staff and resources.

High -        NDA follows the exact same core curriculum, uses the same textbooks, and adheres to the same state standards; however, in certain incidences, NDA is not able to provide the same electives due to limitations in resources.  In the                              majority of cases, students who are enrolled in those classes not typically taught at NDA, will be placed in the Edgenuity (Formally e2020) online program and/or arrangements will be made with the home school teacher                                        to provide class work and be available to answer instructional questions.  This is monitored by the NDA School Counselor.  High school students continue to earn credits toward graduation, just as in the regular high schools.

Placement Types at NDA

1. Determinant Sentence (DS) (Orange Uniform Shirt)

Students the DHA believes need to be out of the regular school environment for a time but do not believe a 10 week placement is appropriate may be placed at NDA with a Determinant Sentence.

If I student continues to demonstrate inappropriate behavior while serving his/her DS at NDA, she/he may be referred to the DHA to place a student in the full-length alternative school program.

2. In Lieu of Suspension (ILS) (Green Uniform Shirt)

Students who have been suspended for three (3) or more days (cumulative or a one time event) may be assigned to NDA to serve in lieu of suspension days.

If the student continues to demonstrate inappropriate behavior while assigned to NDA, the administration of the home school will be apprized of the behavior and further disciplinary action may occur.  If the behavior is of a severe nature (examples only - physical and/or verbal aggression against NDA staff or students, zero tolerance offenses, etc.), NDA administration, in conjunction with the home school, reserves the right to call a DHA

3.  School of Choice (SOC)

Some students prefer the structure, routine, discipline, and small class sizes of NDA.  For this reason, NDA offers a limited number of school-of-choice slots for students in the alternative school and behavior classes.

A student may obtain school-of-choice status in two ways.

1.  A student has completed the NDA program and elected to remain at NDA instead of Transitioning to regular school.

2.  A student has decided to return to NDA after a prior completion of the program.

A SOC student is expected to maintain a 90% weekly positive feedback 

A positive drug screen, restraint, or petition in juvenile court (whether as a result from an incident inside or outside of school) will result in an automatic drop to Level 4/Orientation status.

A SOC may elect to return to the regular school environment when he/she feels ready to do so and has the support of his/her parents or guardians; however, transition will only occur at the end of a semester.






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