Dear Parents and Visitors, StarShine welcomes you. We believe each and every child has the ability to do something unique and wonderful to make the world better. We believe all schools and teachers should bring out the best in every student and to teach them not only academics but how to live and make good choices in body, mind, spirit, health, wealth and happiness. Our teachers exemplify excellence and our school is a way for others to follow. Our focus is 100% on each child. Test scores and grades do not tell much about what a child should know and master. It is not time to reform schools, it is time to revolutionize them, so they work for everyone, including parents. Thank you for caring for your child, they are our future. Sincerely, Trish McCarty
January 26, 2015
This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Where to start?
My son changed teachers 3 times in just 4 months, and the school never notified me. I heard about the changes from him at home.
I only got a letter home from the school three times during that 4 months. Otherwise, I was completely in the dark about what was going on. As far as I know, there's no PTA. The school doesn't host any activities. I have no idea what their curriculum is comprised of, despite asking.
Their website is full of lies. For example, they say they have after care programs like gardening, yoga, art, music, and so on. Nope. The kids sit in front of the TV the entire time during aftercare. High-schoolers watch them.
The animal care program was discontinued this year. (Again, I only found out about this from my son, not a peep from the school.)
If they are lying about these things, what else are they lying about? Do they not use respectful communication practices, as they say? Is their pedagogy not based on evidence, as they say?
There is no sign-out sheet. There was one day when I didn't realize that my sitter had already picked up my child, and when I got to the school, nobody knew where he was. We wandered around the campus for several minutes, panicked that he had disappeared, until I thought to call the sitter. What if it hadn't been the sitter who had picked him up??? After this incident, I urged them to establish a sign-out procedure, but they didn't. Eventually I didn't feel safe leaving him at the after care program and made other after school arrangements.
I emailed the principal my concerns about our experiences at the school. I got no response. I called and left a message, asking him to call me back. No response. I stopped by the office to talk with him. He wasn't there.
So I withdrew my child. This school is a farce, a sham. Someone is profiting from the grant money, but they don't care about the students, that's for sure.
This school has never acted with fairness on any topic. And it's lied all 5 years that my kids went their and now their struggling in their new school because they are sooo far behind because of Starshine.
This school is a big day care center only.
The founder of this school uses these kids to promote herself and advance her personal ambitions. She has cut corners repeatedly to the detriment of students. Teachers are either fired or get wise to the StarShine scam and move on. Look at the schools results. The poor kids at this school are at the bottom of the state when it comes to testing. It's all about the founder squeezing her wealthy friends for donations to support her international trips in which she flogs her book all about the StarShine "Effect." The only common effect shared by these kids is the need to overcome this so called educational experience. Very sad.
All my experiences have been positive. This school has many unique features that provide a complete education for students. It is good to see people move into a less than wealthy neighborhood to give all children a chance to grow and learn.
StarShine's emphasis on morals, relationships, curiosity, art and music, global awareness and personal CEO training, among others, is impressive. Their concern is about raising good people, not just good test takers. When a kindergartener comes up to me and introduces themself with an executive handshake, I'm almost brought to tears. So many little touches that are different here make this campus unique and inspiring.
Do not send your kids to this school. It is all about the publicity and they don't practice what they preach. My daughter used to have an amazing teacher but even the teacher couldn't take the school's fake-ness anymore and left. The person running this school has no business being in education. Don't bother, it's a waste of time and energy.
I am really disappointed in this school- my child has had a different teacher almost every other month- I have never seen such a turnover at a school. My kids need consistency- I don't think they were going to the school anymore,
Part 2:I understand money might be an issue, but a school that lets go of teachers and increases class size, has something ideologically wrong. It's not something that can't be rectified but it is something that needs to be addressed. I support the philosophy of StarShine- I think it's great. But in order to meet the goals of StarShine, it needs to scale back in the student population so they can properly attend to student needs like ELL's,504's, and IEPS as well as the nature of at-risk and high risk students. I think that this can be done but it will take educators' voices being heard and trusted in order to make this happen. I believe the teachers are StarShine are capable and desiring to help every student....but there are just too many of them and not enough resources. So, StarShine, what will you do? I encourage you to value your staff. They are hardworking and gifted. Listen to them, consider their ideas, and work toward solutions so that moving forward StarShine can become academically rigorous and personally and socially adept.
I have learned that every school has difficulties, yet StarShine Academy has helped many students achieve their goals in gaining an education both inside and outside of the traditional classroom setting. Without StarShine Academy, many many students would not have the opportunity to succeed in life. StarShine Academy has been around for 13 years now, and will continue at least another 13 years.