1st year at school and so far we've been completely impressed by the quality of the teachers and their approach to getting the kids to take on responsibility and enjoy the process of learning. Our son comes home happy and excited to learn more than what was presented in the classroom. NSA does ask a little more from the kids, in term of homework and studying, but it hasn't been unreasonable. It's hard to ask for more than that.
North Star has some great teachers and some ok teachers. Students are generally good and well behaved. Not every student is good at every subject. Some need extra help in math, writing or other areas of learning. A few math teachers are very weak in my opinion. Stundents could have done much better if they had better math teachers. The 3rd grade teachers are pretty solid. Students coming to 3rd grade may feel a bit overwhelmed at first because things are not as easy as they experienced before. Not a perfect place, but better than some of the schools in Redwood City.
Every child is different, and children gifted in academic learning need a place for them to keep things going. It is great that RWC school district provides a school like North Star for students who are motivated and able to learn fast. It's inspiring to be in a classroom where everyone is working hard and trying to do a good job. It's important that we keep a learning environment like this as an option for our children, especially while GATE program is not provided in our neighborhood school.
This school is an oasis for panicky parents. It is a private school in the public school system. Families who attend do so hoping to escape some of the possibly negative effects of low-performing students in schools that accommodate a diverse student population. It is one of the worst things that has ever happened to the RCSD. Hope to see it disappear or be drastically modified soon. Not happy my taxes are paying for NSA.
north star academy is an amazing school with kind and cuddly teachers who help you learn more than enough to survive
LOVE the school, the teachers and the Principal. Not sure what the other post meant. The Principal is so on top of things and a great communicator. The kids love her and the teachers love her. She started many new enrichment things for the kids since she has been here. My 6th grader has thrived at this school. It is perfect for high kids. I am so thankful we have it in RWC!
Naturally this is the best public elementary/middle school in Redwood City -- the students are tested before admission, so only the most capable attend. The students, not the teachers or the administration, drive North Star's exceptional reputation. The current principal is woefully below par, as are about 40% of the teachers, which is completely in line with what one might expect from other schools in the district that perform poorly. But when you begin with a more capable student body, you cannot help but achieve better results. Would I choose another public school in Redwood City for my child? -- No, of course not. This is clearly the best option available. But I certainly won't pretend North Star is doing a better teaching job. That's simply not accurate.
It is a top school in the state, for our gifted and talented children. What a treasure for our community! This school was a "godsend" for my son. Previously he was an average student at a local parochial school, not particularly motivated, contrary to his high standardized test scores. At Northstar, he was properly challenged in a creative environment, to spark his potential. The teachers are specially trained to teach GATE curriculum, and more importantly, to teach exceedingly bright children who need less time to learn new subjects, and more time to deepen understanding through interactive group projects. My son thrived at this school which provided him the structure, skills in time management, and the CHALLLENGE to acheive academic success. While my son is especially gifted in the areas of math and science, the entire school community celebrated and developed a strong appreciation of the varied gifts of all the students, in all disciplines- such as art, drama, athletics, music, and community service. He went on to the high school of his choice where he graduated with multiple honors and awards; he continues to thrive as a top engineering student at UCBerkeley.
My child is entering 5th grade at North Star. Thus far, his teachers have been very astute in identifying his strengths and weaknesses and encouraging him to take personal responsibility for learning and submitting work on time. Independent thinking and creativity are nurtured. The field trips and parent involvement are amazing. The families that we have met have the same values that we do, and I am pleased with the friends my son has made.
I would think twice about sending your child here, especially if life lessons matter. There are a lot of burned out teachers that achieve test scores at a cost to your child's self esteme. The "conversation" between staff and parents is one way. The former principal was great. The current principal, Wendy Kelly, at every occasion puts the staff, her relationship with them before the needs of the child. There are a few good teachers her who are truely great, but the mean ones are very cruel. Most of the teachers have huge egos and think they make no mistakes, do not take suggestions, feel above the need to evolve and change. No geometry, it was eliminated and math lovers suffer here.
North Star focuses on the creativity part of the brain and not just academics with the kids. They are ecouraged daily to go above and beyond and to reach the for the stars. Despite budget cuts, they still continue to have performing arts, music, outdoor field trips, enrichment programs. It's just a great school. When these kids are finished with 8th grade, they are college ready.
I've been going to this school for four years now, and if you are looking for advanced but fun classes then this is the school for you!!!
Our son has attended North Star for 2 years now and is pretty happy there. There are a lot of interesting and smart kids and that is the main benefit of the school. The quality of the teachers is uneven, as at any school. Great field trips and projects. Not enough differentiated instruction - smart kids are all bored in math in particular.
I have amazing friends and the teachers really know what they're talking about
My daughter is going to Northstar last 2 years she love this school and teachers. She moved from a private school to here and the standard is very comparable and she like it and challenging too.
I have been going to North Star since 3rd grade. It is a fun, but a challenging school to go to. The students do great here. The parents are very involved and the teachers are great! The principal is great and very nice.
Wonderful principal. Great group of students. Most all of them are interested in learning. Spanish is only 2 days per week, so that program is somewhat compromised. 45 minutes per day is devoted to enrichment, where students can find out interesting ways to use the things they learned in useful practice.
My children went to NSA for three years only as we moved away. It was a great experience; dedicated teachers, an enriched curriculum, great drama and theatre, decent sports and a diverse student population. The parents are very involved and the Principal is wonderful. A great alternative to private schools if you live in Redwood City.
North Star Academy is wonderful, I've been going here for 5 years (since 3rd) and this is my last year, for I am an 8th grader. The teachers use high tech to have students learn better and help them as much as they need it. There are great extracurricular activities such as enrichment for 4-8 graders. Enrichment is the last class of the day (except thursday) that the student chooses once a trimester. The classes are different and none of them are alike; some examples of the classes are; quilting, stitchery, dance around the world, song writing class, the spring musical [must audition],stage crew etc. Every trimester there are 2 full day enrichments where the students spend all day in enrichment. Some teachers might have field trips to jamba juice or johnny rockets. Enrichment is very exciting as you can tell. Some other extracurricular activities are art in action, P.E.
This school has an incredible amount of directed student choice. The vice-principal is amazing. She helps the staff with planning and staff development and she was a teacher at the school prior to her position. Most of the teachers have taught for a while and all embrace the philosophy of the school which includes differentiated instruction and enrichment. The principal is kind and nurturing of the children.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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