My children have been at Polaris for over ten years. We've been very happy with the small, family type atmosphere. Middle School starts in 6th grade, giving a year of "practice" which was good for both my kids. My eldest was a pro by the time she hit 9th grade! The academics are advanced, in part due to the six weeks of intensives for the secondary students. I believe that the intensives are well worth it though, with my children learning to do things that I could not have taught them (backpacking, kayaking, vaudeville plays, mosaic-making, biotapp) There are no official school sports, however, kids join other school teams, and can pick the school they want to play for. This is a great way to expand their social circle. The parents carpool, and when kids get licensed, they often drive themselves. Sometimes a staff member is hired who doesn't quite "fit", sometimes we lose an excellent one. Parent involvement ebbs and flows. The staff really care about the kids. With eight "hours" of class each day, plus intensives, there's a possible total of 8 1/2 credits earned per year. Most kids are college-ready by the end of 11th grade. We have the best graduation ceremonies!
This is a wonderful and friendly school. Because it is a bit small, we don't have as much sports as other schools, but we can try out for any teams in other schools. It is student-led and challenging
I first entered Polaris as a kindergartener in the fall of 1999, in the old building. As a lifelong Polarian I have had a very sheltered life from regular, larger public high schools, which I have never regretted. The academics are rather advanced and intensives have always been fun. In elementary we never got grades, which I always looked at as a plus. We had portfolios in which we put samples of our work in and evaluated ourselves on a number of things from our work ethic to our relations with other students. Our teachers would also evaluate us. Usually with a system of numbers 1-4; 1 being needs improvement and 4 being excellent. When middle school starts one starts getting grades, and they work well for the older students. There are only so many teachers, though, which means that you get your basic courses and a few speciality courses and a very accelerated math program. Quite a few students such as myself must take math courses at other schools to fit their needs. Polaris has a superb drama department, which I have been an active member of since seventh grade. And though there is no organized sport, we do have a fabulous ballroom dance club.
Polaris K-12 is an extremely hands on type of learning. It involves high levels of participation from the parents/ guardian. Being a student there I have to say that the teachers are a bit difficult and require a lot of one on one confrontation with students and parents. The school does not offer sports, but you can enroll in an alternate school sport program. It s not a bad school but I don t seem to like it. It s not for me but can be a perfect school depending on how you deal with academics. The learning program is an advanced program with advanced curriculum. What would be pre-algebra there would be algebra A-B at another school. You still learn the material that s required but Polaris has a high standard and it may not be for you. Its high pace. Three times a year Polaris holds these things called intensives that last as long as two to three weeks. These intensives focus on one area to learn such as history backpacking kayaking, science art, dance, etc.
It is like a family, guiding, teaching, and giving wonderful learning opportunities, both in the classroom and in the wider community and the world to students, teachers, and parents. Parental involvement is high. Our goal is to promote lifelong learning among all members of the community.
Have a step son in polaris and my husband and I are VERY disappointed in Polaris all around. He gets NO grades to be able to determine his progress. His homework papers come back with nothing checked and wrong answers leaving our son believing his wrong answer is correct. The entire school is very narrow minded to blended familys. People come and go with no problems. A person can enter the school take a child and not be stopped or even noticed. Our son is only going there because we can not pull him out. His mom quotes the same thing we heard at open house 'Polaris is the number 1 school'. Open house felt like a sales pitch.
My children attended Polaris for many years but within the past couple the feel of the school has changed. The 'new' school (remodeled) is very nice and comfortable but the overall leadership has shifted. There is a much more punitive than in the past and sometimes seems that there is an over-reaction to situations. The principal is good but involved in lots of external events leaving the running of the school to the VP. School has lost a lot of it's former flexibility and creativity. It is becoming more of a regular public school just smaller with less curriculum choices and no sports. Polaris has begun to lose it's uniqueness. Even the students don't appear as cohesive as they once were.
I started at Polaris when I was in 8th grade. My first day was during intensives, and I was automatically welcomed to sit at a table with people I did not know. I was very happy, and I made so many new friends in only the first few days at school. I do think the math program could be worked on a bit, and there can be quite a lot of homework assigned, but the teachers are very helpful if you are having trouble understanding an assignment. At Polaris, you have so much freedom, unlike most other schools. The intensives are wonderful, as well as the occasional picnics, carnivals, and dances. I am very glad to be at Polaris. It is a fantastic school.
as a student there it was hard for me to keep up in polaris. the thing i hate most about polaris is that there math, language arts, art it is all for me very disapionting for me. this school doesn't have a very good education prograim for me. it's hard to keep up witch is quiet sad becuase they have fantastic teatchers there, very good people to hang out, you dont have to worrie about smokers, people carrieing weapons to school, school shootings, it is a very safe school and very warm and confritable place to be and with more freedom for the student body it's just the learning there horibal, for me didn't learn a thing that will help me in 9th grade. if it wasn't for the warmth that you get there i would rate this school a 2 star school.
As a recent graduate of Polaris, I cannot say enough good things about it. I attended school there from first grade (the year it opened) all the way through 12th grade. The staff and faculty became like a second family to me and I wouldn't trade my educational experience there for anything. After reading some of the other reviews here, I gather that one of the biggest problems people have with this school is the lack of sports teams. It was my experience that I could participate in any sport that was offered by other schools in the district by trying out for their teams. Because Polaris is open to all children in the Anchorage School District, it would be unfair to allow participation in intramural sports. There is nothing stopping all the best players to enroll in one school and play on one team.
Polaris has a lot to offer. The math department has improved a bit with the addition of a good part time teacher. The music program is a bit week, but the drama department does the best shows in town -- with nieces and nephews at four other Anchorage schools, I see all the shows. The high school P.E. teacher is also first rate.
Very family orientated!! My child couldnt read until she came to this school. VERY HIGH self involved. GREAT SCHOOL!! The intensives they take are such an experience.
Dedicated teachers, strong parental involvement, and small K-12 atmosphere. Limited curriculum choices because of the size of the school and no sports. Intensives are very good. It's a nice alternative to traditional high schools.
Wonderful School! I attended here for 5 and 6th gardes and The environment was amazing! The biggest downfall was the math program, but being able to, as a 6th grader, make friends with high school kids and read books to kindergarteners was a wonderful experience. My teacher was wonder ful and down to earth, we did a play every year (every other year was shakespeare) and I still email my teacher back and forth. The school is wonderful for students of all ages and abilities.
This is a great school. I have two children attending. they love the intensives. The teachers are 'real people' who support many learning styles.
Thank you thank you Polaris! I love this school. I am a sophomore in high school now and still attend Polaris. It's a great place where everyone has friends and the environment is active and educational. We have a low student to teacher ratio which makes it easy to ask for help. I really enjoy having the community/family environment. If you want a fantastic school and education, this is it!
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