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!

North Star Gives Thanks!

DSC_0030Thanksgiving is a time of reflection and excitement at North Star Academy. Scholars celebrate with “potluck” lunches complete with turkey, mac and cheese and all of the  holiday favorites! We also reflect on the bonds of community, friendship and family.  Like our scholars above,  may you also celebrate the strength of friendship, and enjoy this time with those you hold dear. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Welcome to North Star’s Blog!

North Star Academy

We’re excited you’re here and thrilled to share what is happening in our schools and with our scholars. Our goal with this blog is to help you learn more about what makes North Star work –  how we blend academic rigor, a strong focus on school culture and a lot of joy to lead many of Newark’s students to college. Thank you for joining us!

It is hard to believe that ten weeks ago, we began our 17th year in Newark. A lot has happened since 1997, when our founders James Verilli and Norman Atkins started a middle school with just 72 students. Today, we teach 3, 500 students across 10 schools in the “Brick City.”  From Kindergarten to 12th grade, we’ve worked hard to create an educational model that has led 100% of our high school seniors to graduate, and 100% of them to be accepted into 4 year colleges & universities – every year!

How we get to 100% is not magic, and it’s not a secret. It’s hard work. The kind of work that starts long before senior year.  Ten weeks ago, we welcomed many 5 year old’s to their first day of school, and the start of their path to college. Since then they’ve learned about letters, sounds and how they form words. They are now proudly creating sentences with “meatball” spaces between their words. Our middle school scholars have already taken a college tour and are strengthening their literacy skills by working on their Novel Project. High school scholars are preparing for the SAT and getting ready for the premiere of their fall play, Proof.

And so we say welcome to the blog. We look forward to keeping you updated, and informed about our school and how we’re helping Newark’s students get to college.