This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
North Star Academy5
Posted November 16, 2014
- a community member
I have went here since third grade, and since then I have had a great experience. When I went to schools before this one, I always felt like I was not being challenged much. Me and my friends would all finish the simple math tests other schools gave us much quicker then our fellow classmates. Then I went to North Star Academy. I have learned much much more since I started going here, and the other kids are basically on the same level as us, which also raises the level of things to talk about. The teachers in 3rd grade were all great, giving us fun things to do such as coordinate graphs, free reading time, and paper mache the Sun in our own little solar system hanging in the classroom. We do fun little contests such as Pi Contests. The teachers teach us a lot of things, and the math teachers even give websites we can use such as Khan Academy, Front Row, and Edmodo. We do fun little science experiments in class, and then we record down the data, hypothesis, testable question, conclusion, and what we learned. Some teachers teach us a lot of things, but also make class fun by being goofballs themselves. The kids are also very social, so they are fun to be around.
I agree with the parent who mentioned the fact that if your child does not understand a concept the first time the teachers expect you to get a tutor instead of trying to teach better. The only reason why North Star students score higher than other schools is because their families care about education and will hire a tutor. The current Principal is incompetent and has really brought the school down.
NSA is a mixed bag for me. We have been at the school for 5 years now and I went from very happy with the school to not so happy. The teachers are doing an outstanding job in the elementary Grades with maybe one or two exceptions. They get the kids organized and responsible for their own learning while keeping it fun for the most part. Once your child hits middle school it is a different matter. There are a few great teachers, a lot mediocre teachers and some are flat out bad. Especially 7th Grade was bad and took all the fun out of learning. The science and math teacher is incompetent and lazy, the language arts teacher although the kids learn, gives too much homework and exhibits inappropriate behavior. The principle although aware of the problem does not act. Nevertheless I am glad my kids are in this school. Not because I think the teachers are outstanding. It is the students and parents. If you surround your kids with kids who want to do good in school, chances are they want to do good too and that is what I am seeing in my kids.
A great school that challenges students in a nourishing way. Many talented and dedicated teachers. My son has attended for three years now, and has nothing but good things to say about his teachers and classmates. It's been great to see him develop a deep sense of academic responsibility and appetite for learning. The faculty has created a solid curriculum that includes an enrichment program, frequent, topic-relevant, field trips and hands-on projects. Workload, including projects and homework is a little more than other RWC public schools, but leaves plenty of time for kids to be kids.
My son has been here since the 3rd grade.I have seen my son grow into a self starter student who is motivated to excel and has learned to yearn for challenge. I am honored to have my son be s NSA student and future graduate! THANK YOU NSA STAFF,ADMIN AND PARENTS!
North Star is the best school to be in! The teachers are always so supportive and I have learned so much by going to this school. It has so many fun projects and challenges for all grades. As an sixth grader, in my point of view, if you are looking for a school to put your child in, I think this a great school to put your child in. - A happy student
North star is a great school that fulfilled a need for our children. Our first child transferred to North Star in 6th grade after we were completely frustrated with her experience at another RWC elementary school. Year after year she was bored with the classwork and not challenged at all. She never felt that way at North Star. We have always felt lucky RWC had this option. Our second child went all the way from 3rd through 8th grade and was very well prepared for high school. Both have fond memories and many friends from North Star. Not really sure what else a parent could want.
To me, there are two schools at NorthStar - an AWESOME (5*) elementary school with strong dedicated teachers - 3rd grade science is a particular highlight - and a somewhat lackluster middle school (3*) with a number of teachers who are not really reaching the kids and are not doing much more than going through the motions. The recent loss of a standout teacher in 7th and 8th grade science has been a big blow. On the flip side, the student body and parent community are tremendous, and the school's willingness to accelerate high-performing math students (even to the point of taking high school math classes in 8th grade) has been a great recent decision. Because of the quality of the student body and parent engagement your kid can't fail to get a very good public education from here.
NSA is a good school, obviously very focused on academics since kids have to be tested in. From what I understand they have a strong focus on socialization as well, but I have not seen it firsthand. I find a lot of the children lacking in social consideration, even more so than the other schools that I am involved with. Some of the teachers do leave a little to be desired, though, and others go above and beyond.
NSA is a better choice than almost any other school in the RCSD because it goes to 8th grade, it has a mostly wealthy and involved parent community, and because the kids have to test in, which weeds out low performers. That being said, there are some teachers here who are in dire need of review, because they don't seem to be interested in teaching at all. The prevailing attitude of teachers seems to be "if the kids don't get a concept the first time it's mentioned, it's up to parents to hire a tutor." There is very little academic support from teachers, huge emphasis on tests, and way too much homework. For every 1 kid who reacts well to this model, there are 20 who do not. Lunch is at 11:15 in the morning, which means that kids go from 12-3 (the majority of their day) with no break for nutrition or physical activity, which seems unhealthy at best. Yes, they graduate beyond prepared for high school. But they are also stressed out, and pressed for any kind of free time every single day.