North Star Academy

The DECS North Star Academy

North Star Academy is a learning community of over 1,000 students in grades kindergarten through eight along with dedicated teachers and staff.  We are focused on academic and personal excellence for every student.

Our building, which opened in the fall of 2010, is designed as three small schools in one larger school community.  ach Academy has an Academy Director who works with students, teachers and staff to ensure quality instruction and a community focused around our school guidelines of “be safe, be kind, and be responsible.”

Our Primary Academy serves students in grades kindergarten, first and second.  Gaining literacy skills as we move toward our goal of all students reading at grade level by third grade is a strong focus in this Academy.

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Students have the opportunity to participate in visual arts, music, physical education and Spanish classes.  Most students have two of these subjects every day.  Beginning in fifth grade students are able to make a music choice of band, choir or music appreciation.  A choice of band or choir also means they have a small group lesson every week.  

In some cases, students who are below grade level in math or reading or who need some additional instruction in behavior skills are assigned to a class for this purpose instead of one of their specialist classes.  This is part of our Response to Intervention (RTI) process designed to help ensure we are addressing the needs of every student.  

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We work hard to create a school climate this is reflective of our core values -- respect, responsibility, compassion, justice, integrity, courage, hope and wisdom.  This occurs through a monthly focus on one of the core values that includes lessons in the classes about it.  The end of each month bring a core value assembly where students who have exhibited the core value (as selected by teachers) are celebrated.

Additionally our anti bullying program, Olweus, is a focus in our classrooms.  All staff are trained in this program each year.  A variety of activities and lessons throughout the year help our students understand what they can do if they see someone being bullied and how to respond.

Both our core value focus and the Olweus program are part of the Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) framework that shapes our school culture.

Our formal school day is 8:35 a.m. to 3:55 p.m.  But the day does not stop there.  For our fifth through eighth graders we have an active after school program called Eagle’s Nest that is a partnership with the Duluth YMCA.  We also offer the GIrl Power program in collaboration with the Duluth YWCA for girls in grades three through eight.  A before and after school care program (for a fee) is also available for families of students in grades K-4 who need such a service.

Participation and involvement from our students’ caregivers is a critical component to our program.  We have an active Parent Advisory Council, Special Education Parent Advisory Council and American Indian Committee.  Additionally parents are afforded each year the opportunity to run for our DPSA School Board.

We invite you to learn more by pursuing our site further.  Additional information on everything mentioned above can be found.