NOVA opened as a public alternative school in Seattle, Washington, in 1970.
Their unique curriculum offers students the opportunity to learn through democratic school governance. Committees govern the school through consensus-based decision-making. Membership is voluntary and includes both staff and students, each of whom have an equal vote. Teachers serve on one or more committees, and model leadership skills.
Student participation in committees gives them a stake in their education, and encourages responsibility in their personal lives.