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Billionaire plans a private high school in Nebraska

March 21, 2017
The NGL Academy will cater to low-income students and emphasize interactive learning.

A private high school with ties to billionaire Joe Ricketts will open in August in Bellevue, Neb.

The Omaha World-Herald reports that NGL Academy plans to have an inaugural class of about 15 ninth-graders. Plans call for the school to add one grade a year until it offers four years of high school.

The academy will operate on the campus of Bellevue University and is aimed at lower-income students.

The high school is being developed by Opportunity Education, a foundation started in 2005 by Ricketts, who founded TD Ameritrade. Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, Joe Ricketts’ son, is on the foundation's board of advisers.

The Bellevue school and one in Santa Rosa, Calif., also opening later this year, will be the foundation’s first projects in the United States.

The NGL Academy will use Next Generation Learning curriculum developed by Opportunity Education.

“We need to prepare young people to succeed in the jobs of the future, and since we don’t know what those jobs will be, we need to teach them not just specific skills but more generally how to acquire skills,” Ricketts says.

The curriculum uses technology and personalized learning projects called “quests.”

The school will be seeking students who feel confined in a regular classroom and would like lessons to be more interactive.

Tuition for the 2017-2018 school year is $14,500, although students who are admitted will receive near full-tuition scholarships as part of the Ricketts Family Scholars program.

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