He is in Pre-K in the Kindergarten program and this is his first time enrolled in any program outside of our home. I feel that he likes the sense of community the best. This was very important to us also, that he felt comfortable while being there, since he would be spending so much time there at such a young age. His teacher, Ms. Smith, is very aware to treat each child individually while fostering a family environment while they are there and learning. Cole loves superheros and Ms. Smith works them into the day somehow, making Cole feel special and heard. Also, because of the size of the school, older classes/teachers tend to take part in the Kindergarten activities, so he knows other teachers as well. This really helps to create a sense of community and helps him to feel safe while learning. As of now I can't say there is anything that he finds disappointing.
I've been a student at Star Academy for 4 years, and it feels like my second home. As soon as I first came to the school, I loved the teachers. They are so kind, patient and teach using interactive lessons. The class sizes are small and this helps my concentration and allows me to ask more questions. I love going to Star Academy because the learning environment is just right for me. I also love how delicious the lunch program is! There are many other clubs offered such as coding, crafts, cooking and many sports. I like football, cross country and volleyball the best. For the older grades there is also leadership club and yearbook club. If I could change anything about the school, I would wish that there were more academic clubs (i.e. public speaking, debate, etc.). One thing I did not know before I came to Star Academy is that recess is before lunch. I personally enjoy this more because I can work up more of an appetite before lunch and it allows me to adjust from recess to class much easier. Overall, I did not have many surprises about Star Academy because I attended for a week in July 2017 since Star Academy also has a programme in July, which is great for new students.
With its small class sizes, Star Academy has been able to cater to the very different learning styles, social and academic needs of both our children (grades 7 and 3). On the one hand, we have a high-energy, social child who struggles to stay on task, concentrate and block distractions. Our other child is quiet, sensitive to noise, and socially shy and timid. Both have flourished, and developed newfound confidences – academically and socially at Star. Teacher and administration awareness of their individual needs has meant supports – regular movement breaks, chunking assignments, unique testing methods (making a brochure to explain integers)// in the moment coaching to deal with social confrontations, manage emotions and achieve a positive outcome (“sometimes you have to deliver a hard message with a smile). At Star they have become excited to go to school, engaged in their learning (homework is no longer a battle, dinner time is filled with talk of what they did that day), excited to share their achievements (test results – the good and the not so good, inclusion of a disabled child in an activity), and generally just happier kids. If anything is lacking it is a robust intramural/extracurricular program - see below for details.
Logan loves to go to school again. He gets mad when I'm late leaving the house to drop him off. Things were different when he went to a public school though. He spent most of his time in avoidance. Avoiding going to school, avoiding doing his homework, avoiding studying for tests, avoiding talking about everything that was going on and mostly how he was failing to learn how to read and write - and this was in Grade 1 only! Needless to say, the whole family is relieved that we found Star Academy to help him learn and grow not just academically but also socially and emotionally. He has become a very mature-sounding, adult-like person in only two years at Star. Socially responsible, friendly and confident. I can hardly recognize the reluctant, angry student that he was. I am very grateful to the whole staff at Star Academy and to our paediatrician who recommended them to us.