Robert J. Lister Academy, 35 Sherburne Road, Portsmouth, NH-03801 Tel: (603) 427-2901, Fax: (603) 427-2338
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Robert J. Lister Academy,
35 Sherburne Road,
Portsmouth, NH-03801 Tel: (603) 427-2901

Nancy Roy
Tel: (603) 427-2901
Fax: (603) 427-2338


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    "Begin with the End in Mind"

    The RJLA is an innovative public High School program designed for students who have been unable to succeed in more traditional settings.

    Interdisciplinary Business/Science Class: Travel can be an invaluable, life-altering experience and families that have the means to travel often see it as a luxury, and take for granted the incredible learning that they and their children gain. For our students that do not have those experiences, the larger world is mostly an abstraction - including the potential wonder and hope that it can hold.  READ MORE ...


    English Language Arts: Envisioning our voices in order to write with voice: Voice is an important element in any kind of written work.   Voice is the idea that thinking about and controlling the tone and mood of our writing contributes to our audience’s understanding and engagement with what we want to communicate.  READ MORE ...


    College Transition Program
    The college transition program integrates a post-secondary college transition plan into our high school curriculum.  The goal is to both identify and address barriers to college transitioning while increasing students’ sense of belonging and ability to succeed in the college setting.  READ MORE ...


    The Career Studies Program
    The program is designed to afford students the opportunities for hands-on work experience while learning work related skills within a curriculum designed by employer needs. Students take two courses on Career subjects such as entrepreneurship, communication skills, interviewing, and on industry specific topics such as hospitality and healthcare. Students participate in job shadows and internships to assist them in planning for their future careers

The Robert J. Lister Academy (RJLA) was developed in 1992 as part of the Portsmouth School District's commitment to excellence in education. The Robert J. Lister Academy is an innovative public high school program designed for students who have been unable to succeed in more traditional settings. RJLA provides each student with a child specific education tailored to their individual academic, social, behavioral, and therapeutic needs. RJLA also prepares students for their vocational and post-secondary school goals through unique programs and partnerships.

The Robert J. Lister Academy is a self-contained school comprised of 27-30 students from the Seacoast Area. The school is purposefully located off the premises of the larger Portsmouth High School (PHS) campus, but maintains the ability to access the resources located within the traditional high school, such as vocational programs, music programs, languages and athletics. This intra-school collaboration provides flexibility with individualizing a student's educational needs, and the setting in which it occurs, on a continuum of support and structure. The student's needs determine the structure and design of their program and the school structure is allowed to fluctuate to accommodate the student's needs. Learning blocks are typically 50 minutes with the exception of the college class or integrated curriculum blocks which are then scheduled a double block of time.

Most students at the Robert J. Lister Academy have been identified as adolescents at risk due to behavioral, emotional or learning challenges. RJLA offers a small setting for students to confront the issues effecting their education such as: personal/family, substance abuse, trauma, conflict resolution, social skills, and communication. There is a full-time faculty of 5 masters level teachers all certified and highly qualified in their content areas and/or special education. There is also a full-time guidance counselor and two paraprofessional staff for additional student support. A variety of instructional practices are utilized to address the range of learning styles present in our student body. We also utilize part-time adjunct faculty with specific skill sets that allow students to integrate and demonstrate their mastery of skills and concepts within the curriculum, using project-based practices.
Graduation requirements are determined by the school district in which the student resides and/or the school responsible for granting the diploma.


"Begin With the End in Mind"

Robert J. Lister Academy (RJLA) is committed to helping students develop the academic, vocational and social skills necessary for high school graduation and for successful transition into the next phase of their young adult lives. To better serve this mission Robert J. Lister Academy has created a specialized program with Great Bay Community College (GBCC), which integrates a post-secondary college transition plan into our high school curriculum.  Our goal is to both identify and address the barriers that exist between high school and college transition, while increasing our students' sense of belonging and ability to succeed in a college setting.

To achieve our goal, systemic and relational changes were necessary to integrate the secondary and post secondary education systems. These included implementing the following:

  1. Robert J. Lister Academy and Great Bay Community College will share 1 faculty member who will be funded by Robert J. Lister Academy (RJLA), but assigned to teach 1 required college skills class at the college campus. This class will combine Robert J. Lister Academy students and Great Bay Community College students, providing a real college experience, but with a teacher who is known to them.

  2. The shared faculty member is responsible for learning the organizational structure of Great Bay Community College and the key personnel and programs that are accessible to our students.

  3. Great Bay Community College will provide Robert J. Lister Academy with data regarding trends in their student body graduation rates, average number of years to graduation, number of students matriculating to 4 year degrees, and drop out rates.  Trends in student preparation for college will also be communicated for the purpose of curriculum development at the secondary school level.

  4. Robert J. Lister Academy will support their students enrolled in the college class with transportation to the college campus, and at least one class with the shared faculty member at Robert J. Lister Academy.  The purpose of the class at Robert J. Lister Academy is to provide a scaffold to practice the skills and behaviors associated with student success in the college setting.

  5. Students who complete the transitional college course with the Robert J. Lister Academy instructor will then take a college class at Great Bay Community College with a professor unknown to them and receive assistance from Robert J. Lister Academy as needed.

  6. Robert J. Lister Academy will assist students with the application process and financial aid resources and planning.

Our Mission is to serve nutritious meals at affordable prices in a customer friendly atmosphere.

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