Welcome to New Independence Academy:


New Independence Academy serves and nurtures students touched by high functioning autism. We take very seriously the philosophy that children diagnosed with autism deserve a school that offers an environment where they can thrive socially and have more energy to pour and soar into an academic program that is structured to teach THE WAY THEY LEARN.

In 2013, our founding board members, parents touched by autism and one special education teacher, presented their stories and passion for a school that was an alternative to traditional school programs to the board members of a local church. Being so touched by the parent’s vision to be the preferred educational choice in eastern NC where children diagnosed with high functioning autism can thrive and not just survive, the members agreed on a partnership that would begin the journey of opening a private K-12 school.

NIA offers the common core standards along with blending digital and traditional instruction that is modified to follow our students’ individual learning styles. Each student has 1:1 time on the iPad learning on programs that include IXL,, and more.


NIA has its accreditation from the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI), an accreditation division of AdvancED.

NCA CASI provides nationally-recognized accreditation, the purpose of which is continuous school improvement focused on increasing student performance. For more information pertaining to the accreditation, click here (link to see the announcement on the News page).


1. Third party Speech & Occupational Therapy Services

NIA partners with a local therapy practice, Advantage Therapy and Rehabilitation, which provides needed therapy on site, privately done through insurance giving them the flexibility to cover a broader range of skills than is done in the public school setting, including daily life skills.

Their highly trained and experienced therapists are also able to provide more intense therapy related to length of sessions and frequency. There is no 90 day wait period. Typically, they evaluate and if the child qualifies, they are able to start therapy within 2 weeks.

Occupational Therapy addresses difficulties related to fine motor skills, sensory processing, self-help skills, and more.

2. Horses, Swimming, and Outside Time

Students benefit from activities that offer breaks from the routine academic regimen to bring them back into balance, and reduce anxiety. Many are prone to meltdowns from sensory overload and fatigue from constantly attempting to regulate themselves among all the distractions. Breaks from the classroom environment helps students to reorganize and ready themselves to focus on the task at hand.

Along with the benefits of being in nature, daily outside time helps our students embrace the social aspect of life. This is an excellent time to practice individual play groups as well as organized play on teams, such as a game of kickball.

Monthly therapeutic horseback riding is offered to all students on-site by Stepping Stones Stable along with their small animal program.

Swimming is offered monthly as well at the YMCA. Students that do not wish to swim are encouraged to walk the indoor track. This outing includes a stop at the restaurant-of-the-month for a bite to eat then on to swimming!

3. Social and Life Skills

In-school programs are organized to give students an opportunity to participate in practical life skills such as cooking, and social skills role playing. High school students make a trip to the grocery store after planning the shopping list. And everyone pitches in to sweep and clean after lunch.
Goldsboro Vocational Rehabilitation teaches classes on-site for various practical skills such as balancing a checkbook and creating and following a budget. Qualifying students above the age of 16 also participate in classes related to specific vocations such as carpentry.

The East Carolina University Residential Scholars host our students and their families for cultural and sports related events. ECU Scholars engage our students in conversation and camaraderie over a meal and later at the event. In addition, students get more comfortable and familiar with the goings-on of a college campus as well as public gatherings.

NIA students are provided ample opportunities to experience public situations with “learning” field trips to museums, the fire department, aquariums, Zoo, Day In The Park events, Sensory friendly Mudcats Baseball games, supermarkets, restaurants, and more.

NIA also holds the largest annual autism acceptance event in Wayne County. Students, families, teachers, and the community come together to CELEBRATE THE ABILITIES of autism during our yearly ROCKIN’ AWETISM(R) event. This event inspires our students, as well as other children diagnosed with autism and the community, to view the traits of autism as a skill set. The celebration is also a time for food, fun for the kids, a live auction, and a car and truck show that is advertised across eastern North Carolina.




Apply Now!

Click here to start filling out your NIA Student Application Forms