North Star PUBLIC Charter.. if paying attention to the education in IDAHO.. The govenor has voted DOWN every opportunity to assist any Charter school with all these financial problems. Private funding at high interest with uncorroperative state officials and lendors is the main issue at NSCS. Yes, some teachers have turned over the last few years.This has not been to the schools best interest. We had 6th grade and high school math teachers that WOULD look at a student, and know if they needed extra assistance that day. Not now. The principal is great, although overeducated (inj wrong areas ) parents are constantly creating hostility over issues he has no power over. The Board members need cleaned up from its Community voted members, and there needs more proactive decisions and accountability directly to the board members, not the staff and principal. Yes there are budget cuts . If you chose a charter school, Don't act like a public school parent and expect everone to do your thinking and work for you. Be proactive in your students education. My child is safe at this school. I will never worry about guns and violence. Now to get rid of cell phones on campus entirely.
We love this school - my daughter started in Kindergarten and is currently in first grade. The teachers she's had have given her a love of learning that I hope she'll never outgrow, and her learning curve has been great- she's very bright, but they never stop challenging her, and she never stops loving it. She and I will both be devastated if the school fails financially; I'm hopeful they'll find a way to stay open.
The Washington Post Great Schools Challenge index score is the number of college-level tests given at a school in 2011 divided by the number of graduates that year. Also noted are the percentage of students who come from families that qualify for lunch subsidies (Subs. lunch) and the percentage of graduates who passed at least one college-level test during their high school career, called equity and excellence, (E&E). I don't believe North Star had a school lunch subsidy that year and a small junior and senior class that could skew the percentages. The score does not make it the number one school in Idaho only the number one as based on that criteria. A lot of parents whose kids left North Star because of the issues with the middle school are finding their kids having to catch up at their new high school even though they received high marks at North Star.
The school is alright, it isn't as rigorous as they preach and teachers are only human. After pay cuts, so many changes in administration and major class size changes they are tired. Who can blame them, they signed up for one thing and got another. My HS student likes the small school environment but doesn't like the lack of electives and hates the idea of having the SAME teacher for three years in several subjects. The choices are slim and if you have a few teachers that aren't great, you are stuck with them. There are definitely some weaknesses in the HS curriculum because of budget probably but also because you have teachers that won't listen and engage in a conversation that just MAYBE they aren't as great as they think and should look at what other schools do MUCH better. Science and math the REAL weak link in the HS program. The classes are overcrowded in most grades and test scores are dropping each year. Taughting the IB when kids aren't passing the test is a little over the top. I would guess more kids will pass as the graduation numbers grow, but all they are selling isn't necessarily all that is being done. Good small environment but not great for rigor.
Washington Post ranked this school #1 in the state of Idaho and #82 in the nation! This is a great school! The students, teachers, curriculum and enviorment are outstanding. I couldn't ask for a better school for my children.
WOW! Amazing ranking: If your looking at how this school rates Nationally, they are in the the top 100 United States schools...I believe they rank 80 which is much higher than Boise Schools and Meridian Schools. The class sizes are small, especially in the High School IB Program which gives students the opportunity to have amazing access to the teacher and education opportunities not found in larger classes. An example is the Science Anatomy and Physiology class learned suturing as well as performed autopsies for a local goat rancher that had unexplained kid (goat) death.
I'm sorry to burst everyone's bubble, but the middle school and high school is a mess. There are VERY limited electives. Class size is sometimes 40 students. Yes, everyone knows everyone and that's nice... but lack of books and materials seriously impact the students abilities to keep up with their advanced coursework. Many times my student was told to come after school to have access to classroom books (4 total) to be able to study. I could go in and on. Meanwhile, the elementary harbor program is great!
As a high student who has attended North Star since its opening in 2003, I have a lot of experience at the school. The principal (as of the 2011-2012 school year) is amazing, the teachers are great and its an all around great environment. When I hear my friends at different schools talk about what goes on in other larger public schools, I am so glad I go to North Star. The small-school environment isn't for everyone, but it's nice that all the teachers and students know each other and are involved. As far as academics go, your get out what you put in. Just look at our test scores, and you'll see we are far above average. If you work hard- you will learn, if you slack off and cheat, you can get a 4.0, but you won't be learning. Again, North Star isn't for everyone, but if you don't like big public schools, you should definitely look into attending North Star.
We love this school. A bit much on the homework side. We find our kids very engaged in school and love to go.
I love this school. I am a student at North Star and have been for two years. At first we had a principal that was not the best and budget woes. Now our principal is amazing. We still have issues with money. But with this economy, what school doesn't? The teachers are amazing and supportive. I am writing essays and reading literature as a freshman that my mom didn't start doing until college. The math program is excellent. I love the science program. I always feel like the school is pushing me to the next level. The musical electives are great with well qualified teachers teaching them. The electives creates a real sense of community. I love to go watch the basketball games, they are really fun. Overall I can`t say enough great things about this school.
As to the persons post that said that their students are beyond students from public schools, that is not true. My high school student is way more challenged at their local public high school this year. We were a North Star family for years until we finally made the switch this past year. We have one sophomore and one in elementary. The sophomore was a very strong student at North Star, 4.0. This student is still a very strong student, 4.0, but has had to work much harder at the public school to keep the 4.0. Also the public school is preparing their students for college in ways that North Star can't. I am not going to talk bad about North Star because we still love so many of the teachers who work there, but I will say that it was not all it was talked up to be. I will also say that we know many families who have made the switch and hands down they are saying the same things. The elementary at North Star is fabulous. Maybe the MS is better than regular public MS since we don't have any experiences to base an assessment on, but the high school falls very short. I didn't feel like i could rate the principal since we haven't been there with the new one.
North Star will have a great high school if they are serious about bringing in Chemistry and Physics back into their curriculum. The maths and language programs are truly outstanding, but not so for high school science. As I know, they have only Biology in high school and another that supposedly covers chemistry. With the ever increasing technology in our environment, how would the high-schoolers have a basic understanding of the gadgets around us? Hopefully, the new principal will be proactive on this issue and will lay a clear plan for different careers while adding Physics.
It's amazing to me to see all the bad posts on here about North Star. My Kids have been in ALL the local schools. Star Elem, Galileo, and North Star. Out of all these schools, North Star out shines by far! I have a high schooler attending North Star and he thrives! Very outgoing child that loves the different opportunities he can have by attending a smaller High School. As far as the problems that the other posters have said about the high school-its brand new... of course there will be bumps and adjustments along the way... with any school. IB program is fantastic and has better opportunities for our children in the future. My Middle Schooler and elementary schoolers are thriving as well. They are grade levels above the public school. I appreciate them at least trying to hold to a code of conduct and dress code. If I knew years ago what I know now, I would have put them in sooner! Good Luck.!
This school has nothing but financial and faculty problems since 2009, what origanaly started out as an IB/business school is becoming more like a Spanish language school. They emphasize Spanish and English courses and neglect every other subject.
This is my son's 2nd yr at NSCS, but not until a couple of months ago we finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel with him catching up. The school has a very advanced program and for the kids to be succesful, parent involvement is a must. So far his 3rd and 4th grade teachers had and have been very supportive. It's true the school needs a lot of fiancial help, what I don't understand is why a lot of parents get upset when the school is asking for extra school supplies or any other form of donations. The school is not like a regular one, it doesn't get 100% government funded and that's why we need to help, so our children can keep getting this great education by great teachers.
North Star is supposed to be a Harbor method school, when in fact, it is the staff that bullies the students. My daughter has been discriminated against because of a few wrong choises, she is a bright student and does not deserve the unfair treatment. The education is great, but the teachers are horrible at explaining. The students are mean, and form cliques, and exclude children. The head of education is awful, along with the head of school, she barely speaks english. They have no money whatsoever and cannot even afford paper. The funding is terrible. the IB programme was not thought out well at all, I suggest NOT putting your child through this, it is practically dehumanizing. I'm surprised it is still running, thanks goodness for the active parrents who care about the children, i dont know where the school would be without them.
The climate of the school is not what I had hoped for. You most certainly will NOT recieve a smile and hello at the door. The office starff will most likely not even look up from their computers to acknowledge you are there. The administrators are VERY weak in regards to communicating well with parents and relating well to students. They do not model respect very well. Just not a postive, upbeat environment. Some of the teacher aides were VERY rude and disrespectful when dealing with the children. The elementary teachers are great (which is the most important thing). Academic rigor was fair to good but without the emotional safety it was limited. Big thing- administrators DO NOT listen or assist with parents concerns. I never took mine to them after hearing from 4 or 5 other parents having this same experience and regrets. We had hoped for better.
Amazing school, fantastic high quality teachers. Very active PTO. Our son has excelled since starting this school 3 years ago.
I LOVE NORTH STAR! The teachers are all very qualified and into their job. Which is so refreshing to see! The Vice Principal keeps everything in order and everyone on their best behaviors. They're building a new campus for the high schoolers! (Which I can't wait for!!!) This school should be IB qualified this Spring. International Baccaluarette Program should make us much better prepared for college! =) Thanks to NSCH!
I just started attending this school last year and I love it! all the kids are close and there is no teasing or anything.
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