The academic program at Star Academy was ideal for us when we came from the public school system because my son was a whole year behind in reading and writing and he was only starting Grade 2. There were no tests and no homework to bring home at night (due to the after school homework club where students can complete their homework with the guidance of a teacher). In addition, without having to go looking outside the school, I was provided with subject matter expert tutors who helped Logan improve every subject he was lagging in. The academic structure at Star allows each child to build and catch up at his own speed. It eliminates pushing students through, even when they are failing (as had happened in his public schooling). We are so proud of the accomplishments Logan has made through the academic culture of loving to learn at Star.
Teachers at Star are warm, accessible, enthusiastic and caring. It is evident that they believe a strong student-teacher relationship is crucial to student success. Every teacher knows every students name; they engage them in meaningful conversations; listen to their point of view; play sports with them during recess; and in the more senior grades are accessible to their students via email. They encourage students to respect their learning needs, whether it is taking a movement break or finding a quiet corner to work. They respect student worries/anxieties and support them to work through them. Case in point: Speech night. Students across all grade levels present a speech to their classmates and classmates’ parents. This caused enormous anxiety in our youngest. His feelings however, were acknowledged, not only by his teacher, but by all the staff. As he practiced and gained confidence, his efforts were celebrated and shared with us. On Speech Night, he was broadly supported but the choice was ultimately his. And while he declined to present to his class and their parents, he eventually worked up the courage to present to ourselves, and his teacher. It was a moment of pride and learning for him – pride in himself for doing it and disappointment that he hadn’t tried in front of everyone. Both feelings were acknowledged and validated. The strong teacher-student relationships, also lends itself to an environment where students feel emotionally safe to take risks / stretch beyond their comfort zone (see above). Mistakes are not seen as failures, but as opportunities to grow and learn. My eldest, once very uncomfortable with public speaking as been supported over months, recognized for her small improvements and is now excitedly preparing a speech for the graduating class. Finally, Star also recognizes the role physical wellbeing and the need to move when it comes to kids. They offer two longer than average recess breaks and every student participates in gym class daily!