This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted December 18, 2014
- a parent
Let me begin by saying that my husband and I are uber vigilant in ensuring our son's well-being, happiness and that he is well prepared educationally. We looked high and low for his primary school as we believe it sets the stage for his relationship with learning and education going forward. We are absolutely thrilled to have found Daystar. From Principal Doig on down, they are the most nurturing, caring and concerned educators and administrators I have ever come across. The school currently has approximately 250 students (PreK thru 8th) and Principal Doig can identify every single student by name. In addition, the curriculum is quite comprehensive while still being developmentally appropriate for younger children. For older children the curriculum is differentiated to meet each child where they are, but institutes a rigor that maximizes each student's learning capacity. And these kids are smart! But more important than all of this, Daystar is full of some pretty awesome kids. I spend a fair amount of time at the school and I'm always amazed by the behavior and attitudes of the students. The kids seem genuinely excited about being in school. That trumps any test scores in my book.
I just read the reviews from May 2014. Not sure what school they were talking about but the principal and admissions director were really clear with us. They both said that the school is more concerned about the best interest of the students than what looks good for Daystar and that they want the parents to choose the best high school for their child. They said what I just read on the website (cut and paste): "Graduates have been accepted at select enrollment high schools including: Whitney Young, Walter Payton College Prep, Jones College Prep, Lane Tech, Lindbloom Math & Scicence Academy, Lincoln Park Baccalaureate, and many private high schools including: St. Ignatius, The Latin School, Timothy Christian School." On the tour, the principal (Tammy?) said that Daystar is not for everyone because they are a think out-of-the-box kind of school. The students are taught to think on their own, to ask questions, to research answers for themselves, to learn the material and not just memorize and forget it for tests. Tammy said that if parents want kids to sit in rows of desks all day and do sheets of work then Daystar is not the school for their children. That's being clear and honest!
Where do Daystar graduates , attend high school? When I called tge school, the lady gave me the run around and refused to tell me. Which makeme wonder if the test scores are high enough to gain entry into the top public and private high schools in Chicago. And I do not consider De la Salle Institute, a top high school. I called St. Thomas, Cambridge school and Ancona Montessori and they all, immediately told me about their high scholl placement , test scores and where their grads attend high school. hmmm, to Daystar.
I question the real criteria for entry to this school, As a Christian, hard working professional, sized up upon entry through the front door, at worship, and tour, it was graciously (or not..)stated "day star is not for everyone (not very christian....)before app process began or any interview was told of non-entry...questionable process..with a bright christian child the question remains if the administration changes annually as well, and I would question why there is so much space available in higher grades (2nd-up), perhaps their high rating is best reflective of a quality sitter for younger children.Amen to that, Amen to not judging.
Our child attends the pre-K program at Daystar and we have been very pleased with the School, its curriculum and the teachers. The teachers have provided special attention to our child who struggled with the transition to school and worked with us to come up with a plan to ease our child's anxiety. Their patience and dedication to seeing our child succeed have been exemplary. The curriculum and programming is engaging and interesting.
Daystar is a wonderful wonderful school with great teachers and other staff! My child is in one of pre-k classes (there are three pre-k classes) . The reason for only 4 stars is the process of the pre-k parents have to interview for admission and be approved by the admission committee. Pre-k admission does not guarentee kindergarten admission. There is only one kindergarten class and there is only room for 24 children. That leaves a lot of disappointed parents and children who won't get to continue at a school that they love. That being said, if you do get to continue pass Pre-k, the school will provide a great atmosphere for learning and help teach your child Christian values. The teachers and very nuturing and every child that I have encountered there seems to be thriving! The principal is retiring, but the new principal, a former Daystar teacher is very passionate about the mission of the school, so hopefully the baton is being passed to another pair of capable hands. It is sad that many of the pre-k kids will not be able to continue with their friends. Maybe the school will expand in the future as they expanded the pre-k from 1 class to 3 classes this past school year.
I researched private and public schools in Hyde Park, the Loop, South Loop, and West Loop . The research led to the narrowing of the list but we were still confused. Daystar had a Winter Carnival, at the Carnival we met the Kindergarten teachers Mrs. Doig and Ms. Gossell. During my 20 minute conversation with them I realized that they were the people that would help me shape my sons view of education. They were both passionate about the school, education and how they engaged their students in learning. I was blown away, and I am not easily impressed. After the Winter Festival I attended a tour. Then I scheduled one for my husband. We were both in agreement. This was THE school. Eight months into the 2011 -2012 the school year we are still amazed! My son who was shy has broken out of his shell. He actively participates in school. He is solving math problems. He has conducted a research project, given presentations in front of his classmates (yes, in Kindergarten) and built friendships not only with the kids in his class but children of all grades. Daystar is more than a school it is a community. They are 100% committed to developing our children. I highly recommend this school!
Daystar comes very near perfection. My children's membership in this community is one of the greatest sources of joy in my life. The school provides a thoughtful Christian education. It is nurturing children's ability to live a distinctively Christian life that engages discerningly with the wider culture in which they find themselves. Daystar is academically excellent. Teachers and administrators are creative, flexible, open-minded and curious about new approaches and are always seeking to improve the quality of instruction. They are also truly committed to teaching each kid at his or her own level; no child is allowed to be consistently bored or confused. The school is racially and socio-economically very diverse, but there is also a real emphasis on building community and teaching the students how to treat one another well. If you visit, take a look at the middle-schoolers: they are nice kids! I trust the way that Daystar is educating my children, academically, emotionally and spiritually. It's a privilege and a blessing to share their upbringing with this school.
Daystar is a school that provides smaller, more intimate class sizes. During the school tour I was impressed with the classrooms, the class pet in each classroom and the way the learning material is being presented to students, on a state and national level. Kudos to Daystar School!!!
We have hit the jackpot with this school for our 4 and 5 year old. Awesome, caring teachers and a principal who truly cares about educating our youth and instilling a great moral foundation. I could not recommend it more highly!