I thought that the homework given out, even the summer work packets distributed by several teachers is great! In my opinion, yeah the kids are enjoying their time after school, spring breaks, summer breaks even, but I'd rather they have homework than sit in front of the TV or on their electronic device. Its just right.
I don't' think STAR develops respect, it only helps the students realize that they had it all along. The cultural teachers are great at getting the students to refer to each other in the Navajo Tradition by asking how they are all related whether its by blood or clan. Kinship develops respect.
I know STAR was recognized as a changemaker (?) school by Ashoka. I did not know the meaning of empathy myself, as a parent, but it goes right up there with compassion and caring for others. STAR kids all know one another and greet each other as if they are all closely related, which most of them are. Caring comes natural if it is taught not only from teachers but it is a reflection of the parents also.
My two youngest children are products of this school! I hold the teaching staff, cultural staff and the bus drivers in high regard! They all had a hand in helping shape, form the young highly achieving college students they've become! Deserves a Power Woosh!
My daughter is a product of this school. Honesty, Integrity and Fairness is taught, shown and implemented by her teachers. There was a great disparity when she left at 8th grade to attend high school in "town". She wasn't treated the way she expected to be treated, the way she WAS treated at STAR. She had her first experiences with racism, ignorance and all out disrespect AFTER she left. But she was also taught how to adapt and accept the challenges placed before her. Now she is a freshman in college and indicates that she will never enjoy education as much as she did at STAR.