Newark Teacher Decodes Path to Success

Allison Cuttler’s computer-science students had 100% passing rate on Advanced Placement exam last spring

Read this post as it originally appeared in The Wall Street Journal. (Subscription required.)


Allison Cuttler, a computer-science teacher in Newark, tries to boil hard concepts down to things that her students relate to. Like how to order a McChicken sandwich.

“When you go to McDonald’s, you’re not supposed to go behind the stand and make your own,’’ explains one of her students, Bren’et Muldrow, a 17-year-old senior. In other words, writing code is like telling an invisible cook how to do something complex through basic instructions. Continue reading

It’s the 100th Day of School!

100th_Day_Of_School_WPESNorth Star scholars are 100 days smarter, and that’s something to celebrate! We have reached the midpoint of our school year, and the growth is evident. With a strong focus on counting, and learning about the number 100, our elementary scholars enjoyed the day sporting fun glasses, crowns, receiving pencils and even cupcakes.  At North Star, it is cool to be smart, and we know that with hard work, smart is something that you become. Since August, we’ve been working hard and the results are clear – we are squarely on the road to college.

This is the last week to submit your application for the 2015-16 school year. Don’t miss the opportunity to apply, and ensure that your child has a chance for a life-changing education.

The legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

– Dr. Martin Luther King

This week across North Star Academy we reflect on the legacy, the life and the wisdom of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His commitment to justice and equality for all people inspire us as educators. Our aim is to ensure that all children receive a high-quality education, the preparation to enter and graduate from college, and the ability to pursue a life of their choosing. It is, we believe, a human right.

As you reflect this week on the legacy of Dr. King, how far our society has come, and how far we have to go, know that a great education opens and unlocks doors. In Newark, now is the time to choose a school that will open doors for your child, and set them on the path to realize their dreams. We invite you to apply to North Star Academy before the February 6th deadline. To learn more, take a tour, or submit your application, visit us online.

Happy Holidays from North Star!

Happy_Holidays_photoDecember is a time to reflect on all of the events, growth, and learning from the last 12 months. Whether it was a kindergartner’s first school performance, a 5th grade college tour or a high school junior taking the SAT, North Star scholars have made great strides in 2014. As we look to the holidays, we know that the learning doesn’t stop because we’re on vacation. Join us in reading that book you have on your list, or watching the latest TED talk.

We look forward to seeing you here in January, when our application for enrollment becomes available. We wish you and your loved ones a happy holiday. See you in 2015!


North Star High School Students Debate at Princeton University!

NSA_HS_Princeton_Debate_TournamentNorth Star scholars are developing their command of the English language not only by reading and writing…but also debate. Our seniors and sophomores competed among 77 schools from 13 states at Princeton University this past Saturday. Scholars demonstrated their ability to think logically, create a compelling argument, and deliver a persuasive oral case. The road to college requires many skills, and our scholars are developing their tools for the journey. Congrats to our debate team for a strong showing at the 2014 Princeton Classic!

Teach Like A Champion

teach_like_a_champion_photoNorth Star Teachers train like athletes. We practice, reflect, analyze, drill, and do it again. Multiple times…and then we step in front of our scholars to teach. The book, Teach Like a Champion, written by Uncommon Schools’ Doug Lemov, highlights 49 techniques that all-star teachers use in the classroom to ensure student achievement. You could call it our “playbook.” Take a look. Let us know what techniques interest you most!