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Star Academy
Star Academy
1587 Cormack Crescent, Mississauga, Ontario, L5E 2P8
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Contact name:
Bia Crumpton

Phone number:
(905) 891-1555×
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Star Academy
 

Star Academy

1587 Cormack Crescent, Mississauga, Ontario, L5E 2P8

Curriculum:
Progressive,  Montessori
Grades (Gender):
JK to 8 (Coed)
Tuition:
$13,500 to 17,500/year
Main Language:
English
Avg. Class Size:
10 to 20
Enrolment:
Day: 75 (Gr. JK - 8)

Get more information

Contact Name:
Bia Crumpton

Phone Number:


  • Athletics facilities
  • Campus
  • Classrooms
  • Classrooms
  • Shared spaces
  • Shared spaces
School Address
1587 Cormack Crescent, Mississauga, Ontario, L5E 2P8

About this school:

highlights

Star Academy takes a multidimensional approach to elementary education. We address your child’s academic, social, emotional and physical needs. Our low student/teacher ratio means attention to detail and excellence in all we do. We believe that children should – even at the earliest age – develop an awareness of the larger community. We call it our "global" dimension. Students are given meaningful opportunities to use their talents to enrich their world. Visit us-learn about our Five Pillars of Child Development.


The Our Kids review of Star Academy

our takeIn the world of Montessori education, Star Academy distinguishes itself by not having that term—Montessori—within the name of the school. That’s telling. The school doesn’t intend to wear the association on its sleeve, foregoing branding in favour of approach. The school has built its program around a close reading of the kinds of things that Maria Montessori hoped to encourage in the students that she taught: respect, curiosity, collaborative learning, and active engagement. That said, the school is also keen to adapt to the realities of its student population, and families that enroll often do so in light of the things that are unique to the school, including a more intensive commitment to physical education, an 11-month instructional year, and a lower teacher-student ratio.



Principal's Message

principal

Julie Benneyworth, Principal

Learn to love to learnTM is not only our mission statement, it’s what makes us unique. It speaks to the personalized approach that Star Academy takes towards everything we do.

Creating an environment where children are happy, engaged, and excited to attend is the beginning of a successful academic career. Investigative active learning, open ended discovery, and project-based learning experiences enhance our curriculum and engage all learners.

Star Academy is an environment where children come to thrive and grow, develop and learn.  We hope to share our school with you.


Academics


Curriculum Progressive, Montessori

Primary Curriculum: Progressive

Secondary Curriculum: Montessori

Particularly popular in the younger grades (preschool to elementary), but sometimes available all the way up to high school, Montessori schools offer an alternative vision to the standard lesson format of most classrooms. Lessons are highly decentralized: children typically work individually (though sometimes with others) on specialized "Montessori materials" -- without interference from the teacher. The materials are self-correcting and teach the student something about the subject at hand. The method's goal is to develop children's innate desire to learn, while freeing up time for teachers to help children individually, as needed.

If you want to learn more about Montessori education, check out our comprehensive guide. You can also check out our guide to Montessori preschools, elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools.


What Star Academy says: We love Maria Montessori; her values, her research and her results. Many of those who take her name however do not practice her principles. A few, like Star Academy, honour her principles without having to take her name. At Star we understand and deliver the basic tenants, and use these to create and direct activities that will both foster them to grow and to promote life long learning. The Star Academy structure is solid enough for collective growth but with fluidity built in for self expression.

  • Montessori offered:
    Program = offered
    Montessori toddler
    Casa
    Elementary
    Middle School
    High School
  • Approach:
    Focus
    Academic


  • Pedagogies and subject courses:

  • Mathematics Equal Balance

      These math programs feature an equal balance of “Traditional” and “Discovery” methods.
      Learn about the different mathematics approaches  


    • What Star Academy says: From their first exploration into Mathematics to their understanding and solving of complex problems, Star Academy students develop confidence and competence with their numeracy skills. Recognizing the value of repetition to master math facts, students are also provided manipulatives and opportunities to develop a deeper conceptual understanding of Mathematics. Our teachers design lessons with a focus on understanding each question, not just finding an answer. Our low ratio ensures we can identify the specific area of skill development needed for each individual. Just as a fluid reader needs to develop fluency, comprehension, vocabulary and decoding skills a competent Mathematics student must possess conceptual understanding, decoding of language and symbols, procedural fluency, adaptive reasoning skills and productive disposition. There is a balance between traditional ways in which Mathematics has been taught and projects including financial literacy to ensure students are prepared for their world.

    • Textbooks and supplementary materials: Traditional textbooks are incorporated to acquire the skills to extrapolate the needed information from a ‘busy’ page of problems. All grades use a variety of everyday materials to reiterate the value and application of Mathematics in our daily lives.

    • Calculator policy: A calculator is an advantageous tool once the student understands the formulas being calculated. Being able to use a calculator means more than plugging numbers in to it; students must have a sense of what is being asked to see if calculations are reasonable.


    Early Reading Balanced Literacy

      Balanced reading programs are typically Whole Language programs with supplementary phonics training. This training might be incidental, or it might take the form of mini-lessons.
      Learn about the different early reading approaches  


    • What Star Academy says: The importance of early literacy should not be underestimated. It has been shown as the best indicator of long-term school success. Because of this Star Academy has an exceptionally strong early literacy programme that incorporates solid phonics and a whole language approach ensuring best teaching practices, while engaging our young learners. Passionate Ontario Certified teachers who have experience and a wealth of knowledge provide not only a literacy-rich environment, but use a cross-curricular approach to ensure that language is alive and used all day, every day in a manner that children enjoy and employ. Students are also exposed to language and words well beyond their actual reading capabilities as we understand that cognitive abilities need to be extended and explored. Social studies, Science, the Arts, provide rich opportunities for increased vocabulary development using Direct Instruction and exploration, ensuring deep-rooted success that will be the cornerstone of all other learning.

    • DIBELS Testing: This school periodically uses DIBELS testing to assess reading progress.

    • What Star Academy says: DIBELS testing allows Star Academy three things: ensures children are challenged; informs teaching; shows parents growth.


    Writing Equal balance

      Programs that balance systematic and process approaches equally likely have an emphasis on giving young students ample opportunities to write, while providing supplementary class-wide instruction in grammar, parts of sentences, and various writing strategies.
      Learn about the different writing approaches  


    • What Star Academy says: Writing is a complex progressive task and needs to be taught and evaluated over a number of broad headings: Content, Form, Conventions, and Process. Within each of these broad headings there are sub-sets that need to be taught and practiced. At Star Academy we break down this complex task and ensure that each of the 21 skill sets that make up our Writing programme are age and developmentally appropriate. These skill sets are taught by both direct instruction and creative writing, ensuring that both systematic development and creative processes are delivered. Skills are analyzed through thrice yearly writing analysis for each student guaranteeing excellence in both programming and in student mastery. Our students leave Star with excellent writing skills and the knowledge to tackle any form or style.


    Science Inquiry

      Inquiry-based science emphasizes teaching science as a way of thinking or practice, and therefore tries to get students “doing” science as much as possible -- and not just “learning” it. Students still learn foundational scientific ideas and content (and build on this knowledge progressively); however, relative to expository science instruction, inquiry-based programs have students spend more time developing and executing their own experiments (empirical and theoretical). Students are frequently challenged to develop critical and scientific-thinking skills by developing their own well-reasoned hypothesis and finding ways to test those hypotheses. Projects and experiments are emphasized over textbook learning. Skills are emphasized over breadth of knowledge.
      Learn about the different science approaches  


    • Teaching approach: Exploring the world around them and marveling at each discovery is one of the fundamental joys of childhood. Instead of squashing this enthusiasm, at Star we capitalize on it by ensuring the skill sets needed for good Scientific learning are incorporated naturally into the exploration, and guiding the learning and knowledge development. Children are naturally curious about their world, whether it is watching butterflies in the garden or understanding the physics behind baseball. Research shows that bringing Science to life for them will keep them engaged in the Sciences longer, and will open the doors for 50% more post-secondary programmes.

    • Topics covered in curriculum:

      Subject = offered
      Biology
      Chemistry
      Ecology
      Geology
      Meteorology
      Physics
      Physiology
      Zoology
    • Treatment of evolution:

      Evolution as consensus theory
      Evolution as one of many equally viable theories
      Evolution is not taught

    Literature Equal Balance

      These literature programs draw in equal measure from “Traditional” and “Social Justice” programs.
      Learn about the different literature approaches  


    • What Star Academy says: Teaching Literature crosses many subjects and curricula. In it's broadest sense it is a window into past cultures, times and peoples and helps us understand our present day self, society, history and economics. It also is also used to "teach" about plot, characterization, themes, mood, as a way to facilitate essay writing and critique works by self and others. Clearly these skills need to be taught understanding how and when children develop reading and writing skills.


    Social Studies Expanding Communities

      The Expanding Communities approach organizes the curriculum around students’ present, everyday experience. In the younger grades, students might learn about themselves, for example. As they move through the grades, the focus gradually broadens in scope: to the family, neighbourhood, city, province, country, and globe. The curriculum tends to have less focus on history than Core Knowledge programs.
      Learn about the different social studies approaches  


    • What Star Academy says: Children very naturally push back the boundaries of their world, and at Star our Social Studies programme helps do this, getting them to think deeper and more broadly about the world and its' peoples. History, Geography, politics and economics when taught together ensures a more comprehensive understanding and one that does not segment their learning.


    Humanities and Social Sciences Perennialism

      Perennialism in the humanities and social sciences emphasizes the idea of education being a kind of “conversation” between generations, and so frequently turns to “Great Works” and “Big Ideas” for teaching-content. Perennialist programs approach past works on their own terms; as if they might actually help students understand “today” better. Past works are not viewed as mere historical artifacts, but as gateways to a deeper understanding of the human condition. History (and, by extension, the humanities in general) therefore plays a large role in perennialist curriculums, though social sciences like economics, psychology, and sociology can still be taught. There is a strong Liberal Arts bent to perennialist programs. The key goals are to develop critical thinking, a strong foundation of core knowledge (or “cultural literacy”), and persuasion skills through informed debate and extensive practice in essay writing.
      Learn about the different humanities and social sciences approaches  


    • What Star Academy says: History and Geography need to be taught in a manner to keep it "alive" for students. No longer is it necessary to drill dates, people and locations. A deeper understanding of the "whys" is important to help students both assimilate the information and become critical thinkers about how it affects today's lives and decisions on individual, national and international levels.


    Foreign Languages Equal Balance

      These programs feature an equal blend of the audio-lingual and communicative styles of language instruction.
      Learn about the different foreign languages approaches  


    • What Star Academy says: Like all of our content driven courses, we strive to ensure that students get realistic, global instruction in French. While it is important that the language structures be taught and tested, equally it is important that authentic texts and learning about cultural backgrounds be present.

    • Languages Offered: • French


    Fine Arts Equal Balance

      These programs have an equal emphasis on receptive and creative learning.
      Learn about the different fine arts approaches  


    • Program offers:

      Subject = offered
      Acting
      Dance
      Drama/Theatre
      Graphic Design
      Music
      Visual Arts
    • Visual studio philosophy:

      Expressive
      Disciplined
    • What Star Academy says: A few years ago, The Canadian Journal of Education published a study that compared the academic test scores of students who had the arts regularly integrated into their daily academics with those who did not. Over the three years of the study, the students who had regular arts education consistently scored higher academically (Smithrim and Upitis 121). This goes against the old school of thought that the arts are taught at the expense of academics. Star Academy has long since understood the symbiotic relationship between the arts and academics. Our Arts programmes supports: creative thinking, risk taking, innovation, experimentation, collaboration.


    Computers and Technology Heavy integration

      A major effort is made to integrate the development of digital literacy throughout the curriculum and in everything students do. Digital literacy is understood to be a fundamental skill in the 21st century: it therefore follows, the idea goes, that teachers should find ways to connect every lesson back to technology. Effort is made to ensure the use of technology is meaningful and advances students’ skills beyond what they would otherwise be from using computers outside the classroom.
      Learn about the different computers and technology approaches  


    • What Star Academy says: Using laptops and Smartboards in every class and classroom, Star has evolved a program that empowers students to use technology in a responsible, skillful and meaningful way. Technological empowerment begins in kindergarten. Students learn basic skills and develop an awareness of the creative power of technology. The Internet is introduced as a research tool, and once again being responsible citizens is key. Students publish journals and share projects with classmates both online and via the Smartboard. Grade 7&8's engage in social media to support environmental projects. Coding is woven into our programming and students and staff are amazed at what can be created. We advocate teaching students about technology and its useful properties - it is an integral part of their world, responsibility and knowledge are key.

    • Program covers:

      Subject = offered
      Computer science
      Robotics
      Web design

    Physical Education
    • What Star Academy says: There is a growing body of research that supports a positive direct relationship between physical activity and cognitive development. Specifically, there is a positive relationship between regular physical activity and improved executive functions (selective attention, working memory and the ability to effectively switch tasks). So, the more physically active, the more academically successful! All students, from Kindergarten through Grade Eight, participate in 40 minutes of programmed PhysEd class every day. PhysEd classes at Star Academy engage all students ensuring no one feels left out. Our specialized PhysEd teachers spend as much time planning these classes as they would for any other subject area and set specific learning goals for each individual student. The results have been outstanding, with notable improvements in health and skills-related fitness, cognitive skills, as well as social and emotional development. Students go their academic classes more focused, with greater self-esteem, in a spirit of collaboration.


    Religious Education
    • Approach to teaching religious and secular curricula

      Completely segregated
      Mostly segregated
      Completely integrated
      Mostly integrated
      Not applicable
    • Approach to teaching religion

      Scripture as literal
      Scripture as interpretive
    • What Star Academy says: This information is not currently available.


    Sex and Health Education Ontario curriculum
    Topics covered in sex and health education:
    Topics We begin covering this topic at: Begins in Ontario
    Body parts Gr. 1 Gr. 1
    Nutrition Gr. 1 Gr. 1
    Human development Gr. 1 Gr. 1
    Puberty Gr. 4 Gr. 4
    Sexual health and hygiene Gr. 4 Gr. 4
    Reproduction Gr. 6 Gr. 5
    Pregnancy Gr. 7 Gr. 7
    Sexually transmitted infections Gr. 7 Gr. 7
    Sex and decision-making Gr. 7 Gr. 7
    Contraception Gr. 8 Gr. 8
    Consent Gr. 8 Gr. 9
    Sexual orientation Gr. 8 Gr. 8
    Gender identity Gr. 8 Gr. 8
    Misconceptions relating to sexuality Gr. 8 Gr. 10
    Relationships and intimacy Gr. 8 Gr. 8
    Bias and stereotyping about sex Gr. 7 Gr. 12
    Sexual harassment Gr. 6 Gr. 9
    Body image issues Gr. 7 Gr. 7
    Mental illness Gr. 4 Gr. 11
    Social justice and diversity Gr. 4

    What Star Academy says: We utilize the Ontario Health Curriculum as a guideline for our teaching but also consider the emotional stage of development of each student. Parents are always informed of the content of the sex and health lessons being taught.

    Approach:
    Mostly value-neutral

    By and large, we teach sex education free of any particular moral or ethical standpoint. We try not to impose any particular values or value systems (such as social, political, or ideological values) on our students when teaching sex and related issues.


    Fairly value-based

    Sex education is sometimes taught from a particular moral or ethical standpoint. Sometimes particular values or value systems (such as social, political, or ideological values) are invoked when teaching sex and related issues.

    Traditional

    This includes a range of positions. A traditional approach might, for example, go as far as emphasizing the nuclear family and complete abstinence from sex before marriage. Alternatively, this approach might simply involve placing less emphasis on sex outside of the context of marriage and more emphasis on abstinence. Or finally, it might just involve focusing less on sex outside of the context of marriage.

    Progressive

    This might mean more emphasis is placed on the importance of such things as social equality, diversity, and choice in sex education.

    31 % of Our Kids' schools use a progressive approach for sex and health education


    What Star Academy says: Sex-ed curriculum at Star Academy is taught through the lens of respect of self and others. Understanding the students individually helps centre the education around appropriate delivery of topics, ensuring the information is relevant and logical. Parents are always informed of upcoming topics.



    Montessori ApproachModerately Non-Orthodox

    CLASSROOM PRACTICES
    SCHOOL POLICIES: This information is not currently available.

    Whole-class lectures
    • Orthodox

      Whole-class lectures should never be given. Students learn best through small group lessons, interaction, and independent work.

    • Moderately orthodox

      Whole-class lectures should only be given occasionally (e.g., at the beginning of a term or unit). Students usually learn best through small group lessons, interaction, and independent work.

    • Moderately non-orthodox

      Whole-class lectures should be given semi-regularly (e.g., at the beginning of a lesson or a week). While students often learn best through group and independent work, it's sometimes important for teachers to set the stage for and contextualize learning.

    • Non-orthodox

      Whole-class lectures should be given often (e.g., every day). While group and independent learning is important, teachers need to provide lectures on a regular basis to provide the foundation for learning.



    Special education
    • Orthodox

      External special education support isn't necessary. Core teachers can deal with all special education needs, by offering the relevant support for each student.

    • Moderately orthodox

      External special education support is only rarely necessary. For instance, a psychologist might be brought in to help out a student with a severe developmental disorder.

    • Moderately non-orthodox

      External special education support is quite important. Outside specialists are needed for a fairly wide range of special needs, such as developmental and learning disabilities.

    • Non-orthodox

      External special education support is very important. Outside specialists are regularly brought in to support students with many different types of special needs, including developmental and learning disabilities, language and speech issues, behavioural issues, and advanced learning abilities.



    Specialist classes
    • Orthodox

      We don't have any specialist teachers or classes. Core teachers are well-equipped to teach all subjects.

    • Moderately orthodox

      We only use specialist teachers and classes in rare cases (for instance, to teach a second language). Core teachers are well-equipped to teach almost all subjects.

    • Moderately non-orthodox

      We have a fairly wide range of specialist teachers and classes (for instance, in languages, music, and art). Core teachers are well-equipped to teach most subjects.

    • Non-orthodox

      We have many specialist teachers and classes (for instance, in languages, music, art, gym, science, and math). It's important that students receive specialized instruction in many subjects.



    Modern-day technology
    • Orthodox

      Modern-day technology is never used in the classroom. This can interfere with students' social and emotional development and can be a distraction.

    • Moderately orthodox

      Modern-day technology is very rarely used in class, since it can be a distraction and interfere with development. Students at the upper levels, though, might be permitted to use a computer or a tablet to do research for a specific project.

    • Moderately non-orthodox

      Modern-day technology is used in moderation since it can be a distraction. For instance, computers and other digital media might be used for research, writing, and multimedia projects.

    • Non-orthodox

      Modern technology is used fairly regularly. For instance, computers and other digital media might be used for research, writing, multimedia projects, and to learn keyboarding skills. Teachers may sometimes also use digital media, such as interactive whiteboards, to teach lessons or introduce topics.



    Overall approach : Whick option best describes your overall curricular approach?
    • Orthodox
      42% of schools

      Schools that adhere strictly to the original Montessori program. They follow Montessori principles to the letter.

    • Moderately Orthodox
      34% of schools

      Schools that adhere to the original Montessori program and principles. On occasion, though, they supplement it with modern curricular approaches or materials.

    • Moderately Non-Orthodox
      11% of schools

      Schools that are faithful to the original Montessori program and principles, but sometimes supplement it with modern curricular approaches or materials.

    • Non-orthodox
      14% of schools

      Schools that are faithful to the original Montessori program and principles, but often supplement it with modern curricular approaches or materials.


    Teaching Assistants: This school doesn't use teaching assistants.

    Preschool/K Curriculum Academic

    • Play-based
    • Montessori
    • Waldorf
    • Reggio Emilia
    • Academic

    Academic-based preschools and Kindergartens are the most structured of the different types, and have a strong emphasis on math and reading readiness skills. These programs aim to expose children to what early-elementary school is like. While time is still allotted to free play, much of the day is built around explicit lessons guided by the teacher. Classrooms often resemble play-based ones (with different stations set up around the room), but at an Academic program the teacher leads students through the stations directly, and ties these activities to a whole-class lesson or theme.

    If you want to learn more about preschool education, check out our comprehensive guide. You can also read our in-depth answers to important preschool questions: What is preschool? What are the main preschool programs? What are the main pros and cons of preschool? What do children learn in preschool? How much does preschool cost?  What makes for a great preschool?

    What Star Academy says: Following solid research, Star Academy recognizes the importance of teaching strong literacy skills at an early age. Through imaginative free play, language-based lessons, the Arts, independent and guided hands-on activities, students develop language and cognitive abilities that render social intelligence, creative thinking, self-regulation, reading, writing, and problem-solving skills. Star Academy’s Kindergarten it is filled with lessons, music, singing, dancing, improvisations, chatter, and of course, laughter. Academic and social expectations are formally taught to ensure that students quickly become part of a respectful and caring community, eager to learn and expand their independence and knowledge in a safe and trusting environment.


    Curriculum Pace Student-paced

    • Standard-enriched
    • Accelerated
    • Student-paced

    The main curriculum pace is non-standardized and is HIGHLY responsive to the pacing of individual students, (via differentiated instruction, differentiated assessment, etc). In theory, some students outpace the default/normalized curriculum, while others spend periods "behind schedule" if they need the extra time.

    Flexible pacing:

    Flexible pacing style = offered
    Subject-streaming (tracking)
    Multi-age classrooms as standard
    Ability-grouping (in-class) as common
    Frequent use of cyber-learning (at-their-own-pace)
    Regular guided independent study opportunities
    Differentiated assessment

    What Star Academy says about flexible pacing: Exceptional teachers and a solid global curriculum are crucial to flexible pacing. Star Academy's differentiated lessons and assessments allow for growth beyond expectations. Students who love learning and take initiatives is the result.


    Academic Culture Supportive

    • Rigorous
    • Supportive

    A school with a “supportive” academic culture focuses more on process than short-term outcomes: academic performance is a welcomed side-benefit, but not the driving focus. This does not mean the school lacks standards, or has low expectations for its students: a school can have a supportive academic culture and still light the fire of ambition in its students. It does mean, however, the school provides a less intensive culture than schools with a “rigorous” academic classification, and is focused more simply on instilling a love of learning and life-long curiosity.

    What Star Academy says: While academic rigor can exist without a holistic, supporting environment, one should not have to choose between the two.In fact, research has suggested that without a culture of clear standards and support, academic excellence may be short lived. Star Academy understands and delivers this.


    Developmental Priorities Intellectual, Balanced

    Primary Developmental Priority: Intellectual
    Academically strong, creative, and critical thinkers, capable of exercising rationality, apprehending truth, and making aesthetic distinctions.

    Secondary Developmental Priority: Balanced
    Equal attention is paid to a balance of priorities: intellectual, emotional, social, and physical.

    What Star Academy says: Decades of educational research have confirmed the need to develop children in a holistic manner. Academic achievement is vital, yet children truly flourish in an environment where social, emotional and physical development are considered essential. We believe that children should—even at the earliest age—develop an awareness of the larger community. At Star Academy, students are given meaningful opportunities to apply their emerging talents to enrich their world. Star Academy’s Five Pillars of Child Development (Academic, Physical, Social, Emotional, Global) are the embodiment of our commitment to holistic education and ensures that everyone develops to their full potential.


    Special Needs Support High

    High

    Star Academy provides a high degree of support for special needs students.

    • Academic Support:
      Support Type = offered
      Learning strategy and study counselling; habit formation
      Extra support and minor accommodations for children experiencing subclinical difficulties
    • Mild but clinically diagnosed ADHD
      Support Type = offered
      Accommodations
      Modifications
      Extra support
    • What Star Academy says: All children have the right to learn in an environment that understands and supports their learning style. At Star Academy our low ratio, passionate teachers, and specialty programmes (OPUS) help students with Learning disorders by looking at the root of the problem and remediating them. Many programmes offer support to "keep up" but at Star we believe, like building a house, the foundation must first be strong and secure.

    • Support for moderate-to-severe special needs:
      Special needs
      Learning disabilities
      ADHD (moderate to severe)
      Dyslexia (Language-Based Learning Disability)
      Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)
      Dyscalculia
      Dysgraphia
      Language Processing Disorder
      Nonverbal Learning Disorders (NLD)
      Visual Perceptual/Visual Motor Deficit
      Developmental
      Autism
      Asperger's Syndrome
      Down syndrome
      Intellectual disability
      Behavioral and Emotional
      Troubled behaviour / troubled teens
      Clinical Depression
      Suicidal thoughts
      Drug and alcohol abuse
      Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
      Physical
      Dyspraxia (Developmental Coordination Disorder)
      Blindness
      Deafness
      Cystic Fibrosis
      Multiple physical
    • Forms of support delivery:
      Support Type = offered
      A regular class with indirect support
      A regular class with resource assistance
      A regular class with withdrawal assistance
      A special education class with partial integration
      A full-time special education class
    • Additional Support:
      Support Type = offered
      Social skills programs
      Occupational therapy
      Psychotherapy
      Speech-language therapy
    • What Star Academy says: All children have the right to learn in an environment that understands and supports their learning style. At Star Academy our low ratio, passionate teachers, and specialty programmes (OPUS) help students with Learning disorders by looking at the root of the problem and remediating them. Many programmes offer support to "keep up" but at Star we believe, like building a house, the foundation must first be strong and secure.


    Gifted Learner Support High

    High

    Star Academy offers a high degree of support for gifted learners.

    Dedicated gifted programs:

    Program = offered
    Full-time gifted program (parallel to rest of school)
    Part-time gifted program (pull-out; parallel to rest of class)

    Curriculum delivery: This information is not currently available.

    In-class adaptations:
    Practice = offered
    Custom subject enrichment (special arrangement)
    Custom curriculum compacting (special arrangement)
    Guided independent study (custom gifted arrangement)
    Cyber-learning opportunities (custom gifted arrangement)
    Formalized peer coaching opportunities (specifically for gifted learners to coach others)
    Custom subject acceleration (special arrangement)
    Career exploration (custom gifted arrangement)
    Project-based learning (custom gifted arrangement)
    Mentorships (custom gifted arrangement)

    What Star Academy says: This information is not currently available.

    Gifted education: If you want to learn more about gifted education, check out our comprehensive guide. It’s the first of its kind: it covers different kinds of gifted schools and programs, and a whole host of issues parents face in finding the right option for their gifted child.

    Homework Policy

    In grade 8, Star Academy students perform an average of 1.5 hours of homework per night.

    Nightly Homework
    JKSK12345678
    Star Academy 0 mins0 mins30 mins30 mins45 mins45 mins60 mins60 mins90 mins90 mins
    Site Average5 mins7 mins16 mins18 mins24 mins30 mins34 mins41 mins54 mins59 mins

    This school frequently "flips the classroom": asks students to learn material at home and do the "homework" in-class (with teacher support).


    Report Card Policy

    How assessments are delivered across the grades:

    Prose (narrative)-based feedbackJK to 8
    Academic achievement reportingJK to 8
    Habits and behaviour reportingJK to 8
    Parent-teacher meetingsJK to 8

    Class Sizes Not available

    This information is not currently available.

    Recess Policy

     GradesJKSK12345678
    Non-lunch recessFrequency 2/day 2/day 2/day 2/day 2/day 2/day 2/day 2/day 2/day 2/day
    Location Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside
    Amount 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30
    Lunch recessAmount 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30

    What Star Academy says: Recess is an opportunity for creative unstructured play to occur. Whether playing a pick-up game of soccer or creating a whimsical activity in the natural wooded area, students are supported to engage during this time or savour a natural quiet moment by the garden. The school community participates together, allowing the opportunity for students across grades to connect in common interests.

    Non-lunch recesses: All of this school’s non-lunch recesses take place between classes or academic periods.


    Extracurriculars

    principal
    What Star Academy says:
    • Noon and afterschool clubs allow students to explore and take risks in areas that they may not have before. New clubs are constantly being added. Students have a say in club offerings.

    • Sports OfferedCompetitiveRecreational
      Badminton
      Baseball
      Basketball
      Ice Hockey
      Lacrosse
      Rowing
      Rugby
      Running
      Soccer
      Softball
      Swimming
      Tennis
      Track & Field
      Volleyball
    • Clubs Offered
      Art Club
      Audiovisual Club
      Chess Club
      Choir
      Community Service
      Computer Club
      Drama Club
      Environmental Club
      Musical theatre/Opera
      Outdoor Club
      Outdoor Education
      Photography
      Poetry/Literature club
      Science Club
      Student Council

    Tuition & Financial Aid

    Tuition

     
    PSJKSK12345678
    Day$13,500$17,500


    Discounts

    Discount TypeEnrollment TypeAmount
    2nd child (sibling)all students10%
    3rd child (sibling)all students15%
    4th child (sibling)all students20%


    Need-based financial aid

    This information is not currently available.



    Merit based Scholarships

    This information is not currently available.


    Enrollment

    Total enrollment 75
    Average enrollment per grade7
    Gender (grades)JK to 8 (Coed)
    Boarding offeredNo

    Student distribution:

    JKSK12345678
    Day Enrollment3358293773

    Admission

    Application

    Admissions Assessments:

    Assessment = requiredGrades
    InterviewN/A
    SSAT
    SSAT (out of province)
    Entrance Exam(s)
    Entrance Essay
    Application Fee 

    Application Deadlines:

    Day students:
    Rolling


    What Star Academy says:

    Like all things at Star Academy, our application process is individualized.  You are asked to fill in a questionnaire. Once this is received our Vice-Principal will, speak with you briefly, and invite you in to see our classes in session and have a one-on-one appointment with the Principal.  We see acceptance as a two way street and maintain that true home-school partnerships begin at the beginning!



    Acceptance

    Acceptance Rate:

    90%

    Type of student Star Academy is looking for: Star Academy has a wonderfully diverse student population. All students who are wanting to "learn to love to learn", grow, gain meaningful friendships, and be challenged are welcome.



    Student Entry Points

    Student TypeJKSK12345678
    Day Acceptance
    (Acceptance rate)
    0000000000

    Notable Alumni

    highlights
    Alumnus Graduation Year Accomplishment
    Braydon Rennie 2011 Accomplished runner-Represented Team Canada-World Youth Olympics-Nanjing, China; Junior PanAm Games-Edmonton, World Juniors-Poland; currently ranked second in Canada by Athletics Canada; attends University of Tulsa-full academic and athletic scholarship.

    Alumni Highlights

    • Our Alumni go on to great things! It is clear to see by their successes that our Five Pillars have resonated with their future lives. In our alumni we have young men and women who are in: Women's rights; law, Veterinary Medicine, Politics, International sports, to name but a few highlights.

    Stories & Testimonials

    News

    Our Most Delicate and Precious Possession

    Excerpt:  Over the years parents have told us many remarkable stories of how they arrived at our door. The following story was sent to us by Rob Sockett about how his son ended up at Star Academy. He and his wife Elham now have two children at the school, both in the primary program.     

    When our son Nathan was finishing up pre-school, he was an explosion of energy and exuberance. His teacher didn't want to deal with it. Intellectually he was hitting his milestones, but like many young boys he simply couldn’t sit still. Most school days ended in tears. At the age of four, he had already decided that he didn't like school.

    That summer, with great trepidation, my wife and I headed to the local public school to inquire about kindergarten. They told us that Nathan would be the 33rd kid in the class! Our hearts sank. We knew it wasn't going to work.

    A friend of my wife's told us about Star Academy. Her child had gone there years earlier. She explained the primary program – how great it is – and noted that the entire staff at Star works to create an atmosphere where children are valued and supported. So we booked a meeting.

    When we arrived the first thing we noticed was the sheer size of the land. Of course that's not why we were there, but it surprised us. We had passed through the area many times and simply never noticed it. Then we met with the principal.

    We told Ms. Bernardo about Nathan – his strengths and challenges. We were incredibly stressed and anxious. She was incredibly calm. We explained the things that were keeping us up at night. Again, calm. It was like she had seen it a million times before and knew exactly what to do. Part of us thought it sounded too good.

    A few days later we called and asked to meet the kindergarten teacher. Now this may sound crazy, but when we met Ms. Jacobson we really "upped" our son's challenges. Not that we lied, but we skipped past his strengths and put the challenges front-and-centre.

    We met inside the kindergarten classroom. We made a point of bringing Nathan along. Ms. Jacobson gave him something to do, then spoke to us as if he was already part of the class. She painted a picture of a typical day at Star, and how Nathan would be engaged and nurtured. She had no apprehension. In fact, she was eager to get started.

    A year has now passed. Nathan is reading. His drawings are intricate and imaginative. He prints with great care. Most of all, he's happy. We have never once heard him say: "I don't want to go to school." We have seen him flourish not only academically, but also socially and emotionally.

    A few weeks ago I asked Ms. Bernardo about her first impression of Nathan. She said: "Here's a child who loves life! He just needs a little focus and direction." It's incredibly reassuring to know that the principal at your son's school thinks this way.

    When I look back at Nathan's pre-school days it makes me frustrated. I think of it like this: We're handing you the most delicate and precious thing in the world. Treat it with care. Polish it gently. Don't drop it. Don't let it slip. Don't ever forget how beautiful it is and how lucky you are to be entrusted with it.

    I realize this is a tall order. Yet each day we drop off our children at Star, we do so with this level of confidence.

    ~Rob Sockett

     

    Visit Star Academy at www.staracademy.ca or call 905-891-1555 for more informaiton.

    ...



    'Learn to Love to Learn' all year long

    Nearly 200 days of learning that ignites the imagination in your child.

    Star Academy began with the purpose to engage elementary children in learning. This should be a natural mindset of children, but often – too often- students are disengaged, unmotivated and ‘bored’. Although not a conventional system for Ontario or Canada for that matter, Star Academy decided to design an 11 month school year layered in projects, technology, relevant topics and excited teachers.

    Our classes provide a wonderful balance between independent and project-based learning. There are also key points in the year when the school comes together as a whole and the learning is not only cross-curricular but cross-grade as well. The excitement of the Christmas holiday can take away the focus of many students. Recognizing this, Star Academy added a twist to their Annual Holiday Tea presentation. For the two weeks prior to the break each class focuses on a theme that aligns with the holidays (giving, religion, ethical gifts etc.), the theme is presented in each subject in all classes, resulting in a culminating presentation at our Holiday Tea that ‘wows’ everyone involved.

    Throughout the month of March, Star Academy invests in a month of cross curricular learning that results in a community showcase at the end of the month. Acknowledging that one topic can be taught to a four year old as well as a twelve year old, emphasizes Star Academy’s ability to individualize programming delving deeper into topics as children mature developmentally. Teachers incorporate the five pillars of learning which results in a student knowledge base and skills that can apply to future learning. Themes selected allow for learning to extend from local community to global understanding, taking lessons beyond the classroom.

    Star Academy recognizes the value of education and the commitment families have made in their child’s education. Although many find June a lost month of school, filled with field trips and class parties; Star has found this to be a great culminating time not only for skills acquired through the year but also an opportunity to work together as a whole school celebrating accomplishments, again focusing on a selected theme that ignites their imagination and keeps their love of learning alive.

    In order to accommodate the summer commitments that many Ontario families have to cottages, camps, vacations etc.; the month of July was designed using a project-based learning model with each week focusing on a theme independent of the other weeks. This form of teaching-learning is engaging, active, cross-curricular and certainly the trend many school systems are switching to.

    Star Academy fulfills the Ontario Curriculum and goes beyond. With a strong focus on academic and student skills, whole child development and developing confident students, Star Academy ensures your child ‘learns to love to learn™’. ...



    Classroom Ratio: Just math… or more?

    All of the recent changes in Ontario's education system have brought attention to the importance of small class sizes on student performance. With smaller classes, teachers are better able to focus on individual needs of students; this is indisputable. There is no magic number that creates the perfect environment for student learning, but educational experts agree that smaller classes are more conducive to student learning overall.

    In Ontario government-funded schools, the Ministry of Education has declared that Primary classrooms (K-3) can have no more than 20 students for every teacher, while there is an average of 25 students per teacher in grade 4-8 classroom. Nevertheless, full-day Kindergarten classes in government-funded schools are currently not held to the same small class size limits.


    At Star Academy, we believe that 20 students are too many children for a single teacher to truly individualize instruction. Since our opening, we have maintained a strict 10:1 student-teacher maximum ratio in all of our classrooms. There is always 1 fully qualified teacher for every 10 students in each classroom and since many classes have more than 10 students (but always less than 20), there are usually 2 teachers in every classroom. Star Academy's ratio is not calculated as a school-wide average, or subject to school-board budgeting decisions, but a living reality in every class that is in place for the benefit of our students.

    What does 2 full-time, certified teachers working together to provide the best education possible for each of their students look like? Quite often, it means that while one teacher is delivering a prepared lesson, the other teacher is walking around, offering individual assistance to students or providing extension activities for students who have caught on quickly. It also means that when students are broken up into small groups for projects, more groups receive more "teacher time". And it means that stronger students are encouraged to deepen their learning and challenge each other with teacher support instead of being relied upon to support their peers.

    Small class sizes at Star Academy are a reality that benefits everyone: students receive more individual attention, teachers are not stretched and overworked, and parents receive more quality information about the progress of their children. How would a 10:1 ratio benefit your child? ...



    Alumni Spotlight: Marissa Taggart

    "My three years at Star Academy undoubtedly cultured the skills and habits that I employ today in my work, schooling and everyday life.

    I initially came to Star Academy to escape the bullying I was experiencing at middle school. The environment and culture at Star is one of acceptance and I no longer feared going to school; instead, I would look forward to each day and what I was going to learn. I learned to cultivate strong relationships with other students. The lack of ‘cliques’ helps students interact with each other on all levels, across grades, skill level or popularity. My interpersonal skills gradually grew stronger and I became more confident communicating with others. I found my voice.

    The foundation for strong leadership skills and work habits were also developed. Students are encouraged to, among others, take responsibility, to be compassionate and understanding, to consider all and new perspectives. Lifelong habits such as organization, time-management and effective studying skills were also instilled in me during my time at Star and I continue to use them. Skills such as how to properly write or confidently speak to an audience are very important in all aspects of life and I am thankful that I learned these skills at such a young age.

    I have continued to build on this foundation throughout the years. I believe that my time at Star Academy provided the necessary values and skills which have since enabled me to pursue such experiences as completing the International Baccalaureate Program in high school, volunteering in Nicaragua for 4 months, becoming a Residence Don, working for the Vice-President, Administration and President & Vice-Chancellor of St. Jerome’s University and now, moving to Santa Barbara, California to pursue my Master’s in Global and International Studies. I am very thankful for everything I learned and was able to experience during my time at Star Academy and it will always hold a special place in my heart as I move forward on my next adventure." ...



    All Kindergarten Programmes are NOT Created Equal

    Most of us accept the idea that between birth and three years old is a crucial time for the development of our children. It’s when personality and character are formed. It’s when we as parents work so hard to search and research everything from the right shoes to the right car seat; from the right diet to the right games and toys, the right friends to the right preschool – we’re involved all the way. 

    Then, BAM! They go into school, where conformity is expected and mediocrity is too often the measure of a model student. Is that enough? Really, after all that effort?

    Kindergarten child reading

    Literacy development starts early in life and is highly correlated with school achievement. While this may strike most of us as common sense, it is amazing how many of our schools have failed to adequately develop literacy skills in our young students.

    A core goal of Star Academy is to develop these literacy skills and thereby prepare our students for their continuing academic journey. Recognition (and incorporation into our programme) of a number of components are crucial to meeting this goal:

    • All aspects of a child's development —physical, social-emotional, cognitive, language and literacy—are interrelated and interdependent. 
    • Key early literacy predictors of reading and school success include oral language, alphabetic code, and print knowledge.
    • Well-conceived standards for child outcomes, curriculum content, and teacher preparation help to establish both clarity of purpose and a shared vision for early literacy education.
    • Highly capable teachers are required to implement today's more challenging early literacy curriculum. For example, our Primary specialist has more than a decade of experience in this area.
    • Teacher knowledge, respect and support for the diversity of children's families, cultures, and linguistic backgrounds are important in early literacy development.
    • The more limited a child's experiences with language and literacy, the more likely he or she will have difficulty learning to read. 

    Our Kindergarten students find continuity and fluidity within a smaller setting that cares, while simultaneously fostering excellence in academics, from child to child and grade to grade. Consider Star as a one-stop-shop for your child’s education needs. We also offer before and after-school care, homework club / tutoring, an excellent sports program, community atmosphere and an active and supportive parent group. With our commitment come results and tangible benefits for your child.

    Star Academy Kindergarten Class

    As early learning experiences are linked with later school achievement, emotional health and social well-being, investing in your child’s future today can bring great dividends for years to come.

    Choose your child’s school with the same care shown to everything else. It could change their life.  

    Star Academy, where all kids Learn to Love to Learn™

    ...



    Second Language Learning at Star Academy

     Of the many hot topics in education, second language learning is often overlooked. Even when it is discussed, it’s generally simplified to a debate between full immersion and the government required (minimum) core programs. But like everything else, the choice for how your child learns a second language (and why) is much more nuanced than this dichotomy. That’s why at Star Academy, we take a unique approach. 

         Learning a second language starts early on at Star Academy. While our Grade One students study French twice per week, with an emphasis on exposure and oral language acquisition, both the frequency and type of programming change across the grades – Our curriculum reflects a richer understanding of children’s cognitive and language development. By Grade Eight, Star Academy students have had several years of daily French programming and possess competitive language skills, ready to enter the academic French stream in high school.

         Several benefits of learning a second language are widely acknowledged, including increased future job opportunities and reinforcing a child’s understanding of their first language. However, it is the numerous positive effects on brain growth and cognitive development that make the quality of second language learning programs an essential part of a child’s education: 

    - Increased Processing Abilities: Learning a second language builds nervous system connections and skills that result in more effective processing of your surroundings. This includes increased attention and auditory processing. 

    -— More Efficient Multitasking: When a child’s brain is trained to process 2 different languages, this skill is translated to an ability to switch between tasks more efficiently.

    - Creative Thinking Skills: Foreign language learning is in many ways a matter of problem solving, and by learning how to learn a second language you are increasing your creative problem solving skills. Research has shown that “second language instruction provides young children with better cognitive flexibility and creative thinking skills”.

    -— Brain Growth: Literally. Many studies strongly link learning a second language to brain growth, and several corresponding long-term positive effects.  

         Once viewed in this light, it is clear that starting this skill development early on can only add to the benefits. Yet there are further advantages to early language programming. The fact that younger children pick up a second language more easily is commonly discussed. At Star Academy we capitalize on the educational theories behind this, and use young children’s love of repetition and mimicry to create a developmentally appropriate and fun approach to learning French. Long continuous exposure to second language learning has been cited as key, and our early-start program creates a strong foundation for later studies. 

         Star Academy students begin their journey with French in Grade One to benefit from increased in attention, processing abilities, cognitive flexibility and creative thinking skills across all subject areas. We start young, because a French program is really about much more than just learning a second language.

    ...



    Community Building at Star Academy

    Everyone needs moments when they step back and marvel at how far they've come and the deeds that they have accomplished. Events that bring the whole school together aim to create the shared euphoria of being successful together and creating shared memories out of shared positive experiences. Experiences outside of the classroom are important to more than just enhancing the academic curriculum; they build stronger social skills and emotional confidence in one's ability to try new things. For many days, and even weeks following such an event, students will talk and laugh together about things that happened, and that kind of camaraderie is difficult to create in a typical day-to-day classroom experience. Star Academy’s whole school excursion on February 9th was a powerful reminder of the vibrant spirit that Star Academy brings out in our community. The entire school body embarked on a full day adventure to downtown Toronto's beautiful waterfront where we attended the Make & Skate programme at Harbourfront Center. The day included a half day of skating on their outdoor rink overlooking Lake Ontario, and a half day Art workshop, taught by Harbourfront's skilled artists. Students were given an opportunity to explore new artistic mediums, including clay modeling and Lino printing; many students then gave Skating a try for the first time! Everyone was engaged in the activities and felt safe to try new experiences and experiment with new skills. Those who were more comfortable with art or skating eagerly helped their classmates creating wonderful leadership opportunities. Students and staff alike returned from the day with only positive memories; the day reflected a perfect blend of artistic and athletic experiential learning. With our energetic staff showing their stripes outside of the classroom, Star Academy students soared to new heights, learning new skills and creating new bonds with their teachers and classmates. At Star Academy, our school year is punctuated frequently with such events to continue to give our students new experiences that they can use to grow as young adults, made all the more powerful when they are able to share their accomplishments with their peers. Upcoming monthly events that endeavour to continue our spirit of community building at Star Academy include: Aboriginal Studies Month and Showcase (March 29); Earth Hour (March 30); Earth Day (Apr 22); Science Fair (May 17); and Fun Fair (June 8). ...



    Star Pillar #1: Academics

    Academic education has seen fads and frenzies force administrators to teach a certain way or to change programming to suit political / cultural needs. What they haven'™t done is project what skills we need to be looking at for our students' futures. Many schools talk about 21st century learning, but how can they do this when they are stuck using 19th century methodology? Common sense tells us that with the advent of new technologies and 'œinstant knowledge', we need to be rethinking some of the skill sets that we teach our youth. This does not mean throwing everything 'œold' away, but rather the amalgamation of existing (successful) methods and new skills. So how does Star manage? An example, to illustrate: consider the whole Language versus Phonics debate that has raged on and off for decades. Why do we need to choose one over the other? We must understand that there is merit to numerous teaching methodologies and adjust our teaching accordingly, paying attention to each individual child. This is the basis for all teaching at Star;“ we do not follow fads or dogma. We research, develop, design, implement, test, and adjust all programming across all strands of learning, as needed. Ten years ago, we noticed that many new students at Star were arriving with decent grades, yet fundamental skill sets were weak across different areas of the curriculum. Many had not been taught the underlying concepts of the skills needed (e.g. fundamentally understanding multiplication). Star recognizes the importance of these foundational skills and develops programmes by scaffolding, facilitating progression across developmental age and grade. Our objective, in all realms, is to learn from our research and assimilate the best into new and existing methodologies, in order to ensure that all of our students'™ future needs will be met, through high school and beyond. ...



    Time for a Change

    Thank you for the extra time you committed to our interview today. It's such a comforting feeling knowing that Thomas is in the right hands, hands that help mould him into all he can be. We are blessed that he found his way to Star Academy where my life has also been changed. The pressure, frustration, mistrust, sadness and hopelessness I felt the previous years in the public school system were unbearable at times. Knowing your son has more potential for learning and is an amazing, kind, friendly, funny ,loving, creative, unique individual that few teachers could recognize would break any Mom's heart. Every chance I get I tell my story of how you can make your own fork in the road with the right tools like Star Academy and it's "Life Changers". The best way I can Thank You is by telling you I trust you with my precious (and very annoying at times) son and that I believe his future matters to you. Thank you ...



    STAR ACADEMY ALIGNED WITH CURRENT RESEARCH

    Recently, we attended the Learning and the Brain conference in Boston. I can now state, with a good degree of assurance, that learning actually does increase brain volume (or at least basal ganglia volume!). I know mine feels full! This event was a symposium led by today's most knowledgeable neuroscientists and educators.

    So, what were the outcomes for Star Academy? Well, research on brain functioning clearly supports the recent implementation of our daily physical education programme. In fact, there are some studies that have shown that between 45-60 minutes a day of fitness will do more for a child's academics than the same amount of extra time in academic classes! Why is this important for us?

    The answer is twofold. First, as our society becomes increasingly sedentary, setting up our youth to understand and believe in the importance of lifelong activity and fitness (and its ability to prevent conditions such as obesity) will not only help them as individuals, but will also benefit our health care system as they grow older. Secondly, and of immediate interest, brain imaging studies clearly demonstrate the dramatic effect that increased fitness has on learning, attention and memory. Evidently, Star Academy is on the right track! Interestingly, the speakers were criticizing recent trends towards increased demands on curriculum. The process of learning, as well as ensuring that children are engaged, have been cited as being two of the most important factors affecting learning, rather than, say, the actual subject of study.

    Star Academy's philosophy speaks directly to this.

    ...



    What is the Buzz about Bees

    During our Bees Buzz-Buzz unit, we studied many different things about bees. They are very fascinating little creatures and it is difficult to imagine that these little bugs account for over half of the world's food that the humans consume! It was a little frightening to learn about the Colony Collapse Disorder, also called for CCD. We know very little about the reasons behind this but one thing is for sure that it needs to be stopped as soon as possible! The equation is simple: no bees, no fruits, no veggies, no flowers...this will lead to some herbivores disappearing from the Earth and it is like a chain reaction....some carnivores will also not be seen on Earth anymore! Have you met a person who is scared of bees? I am pretty sure you have! It is partly because of the way bees are shown in movies, specially killer bees. But in real life, when a honeybee stings, it dies, because the stinger is a part of their bodies! Question: Why do bees make their hives out of hexagonal honey combs? Answer: Because they do not know any other shape! The hexagon is a special shape for the bees and in a class activity we learned that it is the perfect shape to make hives because it tessellates well, is strong and leaves no excess space. And of course bee hives look beautiful because of this shape! Honey bees make honey which is actually the only food made by insects and consumed by humans! But they also make certain other things like bee pollen, bee jelly etc which are very nutritive! We also got to taste some different kinds of honey in our Bee Open Hive (House). Different kinds of honey have varying colors, depending on the kind of flowers that the bees collected the nectar from. For our Bees Unit, we also built a skep, which is over two meters tall and about 1.8 meters in width. It is a bee hive which the school students built using chicken wire, and lots of tissue for papier-mâché`. It is proudly sitting in our school's foyer! For these four weeks, the whole school was 'abuzzzz' with bee-information! We watched videos and movies , read about bees on-line and did many other activities that helped us know more about bees and understand these fabulous, hardworking creatures a little better! ...



    A Teacher's Story

    It is said that you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. I believe the same holds true for people and knowledge. I am thrilled to be a teacher at Star Academy, where developing a thirst for learning in students is so richly encouraged. My own learning journey has been a galloping adventure. I have written for children's television, edited books for young people, and taught in settings ranging from inner-city libraries in Toronto to rural schools in the misty mountains of Japan. Along the way, I have met extraordinary people who have invariably been creative risk-takers, innovative problem-solvers, and voraciously curious. It is a dream come true to join a learning community where we are fostering exactly that kind of thirsty learner. Every day is a new opportunity for us all to giddyup! ...



    OPUS

    Since the beginning of Star Academy, everything that has been designed and implemented has been based on research rather than trends or fads -the eleven month school year with staggered breaks, all day kindergarten, focus of language development and life-long fitness are just a few examples of what makes Star Academy different from everyone else. We firmly believe that we offer the best education to our student body at a 10:1 ratio. And this will never change. Research consistently supports our view that student-specific skill training delivered in a low class ratio will see higher student achievement. It also shows that if students aptitude in certain areas of study receive a lower ratio and challenging work that they are motivated and excited to learn. Understanding this, we developed a unique series of structured OPUS programmes. The OPUS programmes are optional and tailored to meet the needs of the student with the skill development area of choice. All core academic areas are offered in OPUS at a 5:1 ratio, including phys ed. ...



    Raising Environmental Awareness Begins with Simple Steps

    We live in a changing world, where it is becoming ever-important to take steps towards conserving the Earth's resources for generations to come. At Star Academy, environmental awareness has always been a priority for both staff and students alike. Through participation in global events such as Earth Hour and Earth Day, we raise the awareness of students and create lasting habits of eco-friendliness. Students from Star Academy were privileged to be included in David Suzuki's Birthday Webinar, where they were able to listen to Dr. Suzuki speak about environment issues and respond directly to the students' inquiries. While three 'R's have clearly become part of our collective vocabulary, the one that is most effectively managed in schools is Recycling. But establishing guidelines for recycling, compost and garbage is only the first step to ensuring that everything is properly disposed of. Recycling and composting has to be a matter of habit for the students and staff. Turning good recycling theory into practice takes time and a lot of effort, but can be fun. Engaging students in games and challenges to see who can produce the least amount of actual garbage is a good way to build awareness around the school and teach students to 'Reduce' packaging and to 'Reuse' containers. Our school year began with a 'Litterless Lunch' challenge between classes. This spring, a team of students at Star Academy have even created a Science Fair project to find fun solutions to common dilemmas arising from sorting the waste produced around the school. Technology is a given part of our students' worlds since they were born. In itself, technology can be a solution to problems of waste in schools, as digitizing records, documents and communication saves paper. However, as technology constantly develops and changes, we are then left with another problem, that of electronic waste. Toxic components make electronics environmental hazards if thrown away, and proper recycling facilities are inconvenient and sometimes costly. Staff and students at Star Academy believe that recycling options for electronic devices and batteries need to be more convenient. By creating a drop-off location for these items in the school, students are made aware of the need to recycle these devices, and families can conveniently dispose of them as needed. We have partnered with a recycling facility that picks up the various electronic items and recycles 100% of the devices into new products. Students are gaining increasingly more awareness of the 'Reduce' and 'Reuse' aspects of environmental change. Consumerism and over-consumption are high in this era of easily replaceable electronics and dollar store purchases. Recycling is far better than creating garbage, but it still consumes energy and produces waste. Reducing the amount of "stuff" that we purchase, along with using reusing as much as we can, minimizes what we need to dispose of, whether recycled or "trashed". In reality, reducing our usage and reusing items is a 'greener' way to effect change and to conserve our resources and should be the focus of continued efforts towards environmental awareness in schools. Students learn best when behaviours are modelled. Here are some simple solutions that Star Academy has found that have helped the students in the school to Reduce, Reuse & Recycle: REDUCE ·combine 2 pages onto each side of a sheet when photocopying or printing (which may seem small at first, but young eyes adapt to this quickly); ·reduce textbooks by purchasing online licences or using websites for research; ·use mini-whiteboards instead of paper for various activities; ·establish a Garbage-Free lunch policy to reduce waste; ·use reusable food baggies, like 'Snack Taxis', instead of plastic zipper baggies. REUSE ·collect used paper (one-sided) in the classroom for later usage; ·ask parents to donate old letterhead to use for photocopying; ·photocopy on reused paper (single-sided); ·encourage students to use reusable containers for snacks; ·use travel mugs for hot drinks and reusable bottles for water and juice; ·collect items that can be reused for art activities around the school (i.e. Toilet paper rolls, margarine containers, glass jars, etc.) RECYCLE ·turn recycling into a fun activity for staff and students -- create challenges for classes to properly sort their recycling and compost; ·educate students on the local guidelines for recycling to ensure that only recyclable materials are placed into recycle bins, which reduces energy spent sorting material at a later time; ·designate an area of the school for collecting electronic waste and batteries from families and partner with a recycling company who will pick it up on a regular basis. Written by: Kelly Farrell & Sonia Satov - educators at Star Academy ...



    Mother Of Grad Speech

    Being a parent is all about unconditional love. I know this because I read it in Chatelaine magazine when I was 14. I then proceeded to bring it and show it to my mom. "See, parenting is all about unconditional love." I was a little worried because my mom was no pushover. And she looked at me she was also pretty swift and she thought for a moment and then she said, that may be but that doesn't mean you're going to like it. So when I think about our experience, my experience, Claire's, the people around me a Star Academy, I actually think about that concept of unconditional love and what it means to parent and what it has meant in school. And I think of unconditional love as really encompassing three ideas. One is that you always believe that your children can be more than they are today; the second is that you are always ready to be surprised and the third is that you know when to let go and get out of the way. These three things I know from my own experience having to learn the hard way and seeing every day in Star Academy. If we talk about believing that your children can be more than they are that should be the easy one but it is very different to want them to be more than they are then to believe they can be more than they are. And those of you who like us went through and experienced another school system first where a lot of lip service is paid to the idea that each child should reach their potential. But, you know, we push them along to the next grade and put them in a program. Then you come to Star you realize what it means to have people believe that your child can do more. And then you see it happen. And that takes you to that second stage which is always be ready to be surprised. And one of the things again I see at Star Academy it isn't so much that they know the answers or they know the right teaching method but that they know that there is no one right teaching method and that you have to be ready to take the next step or left turn or the try it this way and we'll see how it works. And I know that being ready to be surprised everyday Claire surprises me, everyday that she takes on something challenging, moves to some new level or new place you see that surprise and you have to let go. Which takes you to the third piece of it. As a parent people will tell you that you have to learn to let go of your dreams. I have come to realize that this is true, for only when you let go of your dreams for your child is their room for theirs. When you can forgo your dreams and expectations you make room for them to fill it with their dreams and their expectations and their plans for the future and that's what Star has given to us and that's what we in turn have to give to our children as they move on to the next really, really scary step and I did promise Belinda that I wouldn't bug her about starting a high school anymore because at some point we actually have to move on too and its part of our next step and our next letting go. And if that's what unconditional love is, boy it's hard but I am absolutely sure of it. ...



    In the News

    News

    March 23, 2015 - Star Academy Students Showcase 21st Century Learning

    See what 21 century learning looks like in an elementary private school in Mississauga. ...


    January 21, 2015 - Mural Created by Star Academy Now on Display

    'Flow' is a mural by the Senior Class at Star Academy which tells the story of water as it makes its way through our watersheds. ...


    December 4, 2014 - Celebrating Girls at our Annual Mother-Daughter Workshop

    This week, Star Academy facilitated our 7th Annual Dove Workshop for Mothers & Daughters, an event exploring the unique beauty of girls! ...



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