This is our first year at NSA. We moved from our neighborhood school. This was the best academic decision we have made for our children. The curriculum is rigorous, but the teachers do an amazing job of teaching the children. Classrooms are organized and interesting. The lessons are thorough, consistent and fun. There is constant feedback on how our children are progressing. The principal is a dynamic leader who is always visible. She often has lunch with the students and has an open door policy. The character development is reinforced daily. Overall, we could not be happier with this school.
An excellent school with great leadership from the principal, great discipline enforced by teachers and principal, and great academic curriculum including Spanish program.
This was our first year at North Star. We enrolled our two students here after spending 3 years at another charter school in the area; so, we're familiar with the charter school culture and its demands. We are ecstatic to be here at North Star. Our students, one elementary and one middle schooler, are thriving. In fact, our family is thriving. I could not disagree more with a previous comment on the middle school teachers. Without exception, North Star's middle school teachers are consummate professionals with a genuine interest in their students. Our family has seven years' experience in regular public and charter schools; I'd say we're in an ideal situation at North Star Academy.
My 2 children have been at Northstar for 3 years now and I am very pleased with their progress. I have high expectations and NSA is meeting them with a challenging curriculum and grading scale, excellent Spanish program that is taught every day, solid curriculum and amazing teachers. My high achieving middle school student has excelled this past year in the smaller environment where she received a lot of individual attention. Also, NSA has a variety of electives she can select for the 2010-11 school year including cycling, health and first aid, photography, robotics, 3D modeling and animation, Science Olympiad, and team sports.
North Star Academy Charter is a school of choice...a choice I am proud to be a part of! This school has a back to basics philosophy with a well defined curriculum that has helped my two daughters to thrive. The expectations in the school are set high both for academics and behavior...but those expectations are taught and modeled by the teachers and administration. One of the best qualities that sets NSA apart from other schools is the community feel throughout the school that leads to outstanding communication between teachers and parents. NSA is a cut above!
NSA is an excellent school with high academic standards and fairly rigorous discipline. I would definitely consider it a cut above most public schools, and close to what I imagine a private school would be like. I can definitely say that my kids are well ahead of where they probably would be in a normal school. Some things it requires of parents are committment, involvement, and engagement. You need to pay attention to what's expected of your kids, as I think it can be a little hard for kids to keep up with the demands on their own. For example there is a fair amount of homework and frequent projects, events, etc. Curriculum is challenging but with your support it is acheivable.
I only wish I had found North Star Academy sooner! For an unbiased overview of the school, take the time to review the North Star website (www.nstaracademy.org) and read the 90-page Parent Survey which is posted online by their School Academic Advisory Committee (SAAC - a Parent Committee). This will give you a much better overall picture of North Star Academy and North Star parents' opinions of the school and its administration/teachers. This is an excellent school with Core Knowledge Curriculum, a daily Spanish program, and students who, through example and a principal-taught Character Education Program, are expected to behave appropriately. If your child is allowed to dress inappropriately, bring weapons to school, smart-mouth teachers or loves to pick fights with other children, this may not be the school for you! This school actually has consequences for bad and/or inappropriate behavior. How refreshing!
I am very pleased with the leadership, discipline, and academics in the school. North Star provides children with an excellent learning environment. The school is very lucky to have a strong Principal. She sets the tone for the school. We have had our two children in the school since it opened, and are very pleased with the excellent teachers.
I would agree that the initial reaction to North Star is a great one!! My child has attended since it's inception in 2006. One thing this school does not comprehend is that as children grow they change. This school wants to mold each student into the perfect scholar soldier. If they do not fit the mold, the principal/administration will do everything in their power to get you out. They threaten with expulsion/suspension and there is no partnership between student/parent/faculty to help. "Zero Tolerance" is their mission! The teachers are great but driven by the principal, they are required to move through courses quickly, not taking into consideration comprehension. Not all children learn the same or behave the same and I'm sure the Prinicipal has great intentions but if your child does not fit the mold, you can plan on many encounters with the Principal. Good Luck!
We have been at North Star since the first year it opened. What an amazing experience! I will say I had plenty of doubts when choosing a 'brand new' school. Fortunately we made the best decision! The environment is wonderful and the education spectacular. Both of my students perform well above grade level, and are challenged through the Word Masters, Junior Great Books and Character Education Programs. The school itself has a very tight, 'no tolerance' policy. Any issues we've had socially have been addressed in an imediate manner! I don't think they are afraid to say, 'We don't want the behavior issues here!' Looking forward to what the future holds at North Star!
My child has also had issues at NSA and will not be returning next year. While the building expansion is beautiful, the middle school faculty is not. The teachers do not motivate the kids and have made math, science and social studies absolutely boring. I had high hopes for my child being in a charter school, but found the results to be extremely disappointing. This school could benefit from a change in administration.
My daughter had a horrible experience at North Star. Her academic needs were not met (she is gifted) and she was teased. The principal did nothing to help academically nor with the teasing. The teachers seem highly stressed and in fear whenever the principal is around. The public schools offer much more in both academic capability and extra-curricular activities.
We recently left North Star for greener pastures. The school is great in that they do a lot to make it a special experience for kids. Field days are amazing, art shows are great, etc. One of my sons had an excellent experience there and a teacher who really went out of her way to help him. If that had been my only experience I would have rated them a 5. However, my other son had multiple problems. Without going into detail just know that if you have a child who is gifted or significantly advanced this school does not have programs in place to teach them. Which is why I rated them a 3. If your child fits into their program this school is and will be a wonderful experience for them. If your child has needs not the best choice
This is our 4th year attending North Star Academy and we still love it!! For a school that has literally started from the ground up with parent support the whole way it is amazing to see all that they have accomplished. We have a 40 minute round trip every day and I don't mind doing it for the education my children are receiving. We have never had an issue with the teachers, the principal or completing the 40 hours of volunteering, I'm usually between 60-80 hours by the time the year is done. I am always recommending this school to anyone that feels their children are not receiving all they can at their neighborhood school. 5 stars for North Star Academy!!!!!
We moved our 2 girls from near by Douglas county school. We noticed a big difference. The core knowledge curriculum is excellent. The school's Accelerated Reading program is good and teachers continuously encouraging and monitoring students progress. Parents are involved and very well connected to other parents in the school. Ms.Haws does a great job. our daughters get a good grasp of Maths and English after moving to this school. The physical education and sports can be better. But we cannot complain as the school is getting new playground.
The School is really great at English and Spanish, but really lasks in Science and Math. Teaching Abilities vary widely and is the luck of the draw. Good, but to be great needs to be more consistant.
I was directed to this site from another email and thought, 'I wonder what they are saying about North Star?'' I have to say I was surprised to find that there were some negative comments--Truly surprised! Having moved our children from our neighborhood school, I don't want to imagine how far behind, and less enriched, our children would be if we hadn't made the decision to uproot them. My children are not only receiving a top notch education but they are learning how to be community leaders. And, the Core Knowledge curriculum speaks for itself. The principal, Ms. Haws, runs a tight ship but has never given me the impression she is cryptic regarding her expectations of her teachers. As one teacher, who is also a parent, put it to me, 'As a boss she may be tough, but as a parent, she is who you want running your child's school.'
We love North Star! Our two daughters are excelling at NSA thanks to a well-run program. The leadership, from the Board to the Administration to the teachers are all exceptional. We feel our children are getting a strong, solid education in an enviornment that is structured and fun at the same time. The curriculum, from the Core Knowledge to the integrated Spanish program, to the weekly Character Education and Servive Learning projects are outstanding!
This is a wonderful school that I CHOOSE to send my kids to! It is worth the 40 min drive round-trip each day because it is very challenging, unlike the neighborhood school. There is so much respect, discipline, & culture that will help kids excell in the future. I enjoy being a part of my kids' life & volunteering when I can. I also like that everything is accessible on the school website.
As a Founding Parent of NSA, living in the most western edge of HR - I am thrilled with our school! Our children love NSA. It is so fun to hear them speak the Spanish they are learning. They love their teachers and our principal. It is important to instill character building principals everyday, and NSA does that. If our children don't learn to respect themselves and each other at school, it will be difficult for them to do so later in life. Each year gets better and better with new programs and enriched curriculum-learning experiences.
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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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