North Star Academy (NSA) is celebrating its eleventh year as a public charter school located in Parker, Colorado known for its Core Knowledge curriculum, foreign language program, and award winning character education program. As part of this character education program, Integrity was chosen as NSA’s theme for the 2016-2017 year. Student projects and community events will center around this theme. Just a couple weeks into the school year it was brought to our attention that one of our students was training for a 100k bike ride benefitting the American Diabetes Association. NSA jumped on the opportunity to show our support and illustrate our character theme of Integrity. North Star held a “silly sock and shoe day” raising over $1,500 in support of this 76-year-old organization.
Table Talk Cards
Table talk cards encourage families to discuss important topics such as integrity, citizenship, excellence, respect and responsibility. You can find these cards in your child’s Thursday folder or by clicking on the link.
A Nationally Recognized School of Character
At NSA our approach to character education has evolved over the years. During our startup years, we used a directly taught approach with an emphasis on application through service learning. Our children learned many attributes of famous heroes and great people. All of these accomplishments line our hallways and show the power of goodwill innate in children.
As we evolved, we came to realize that character is not a program, not a process, not a curriculum. It is what we believe about children and how they learn. It means that we, as staff and parents, share those values and model them daily.
While we continue to use a thematic approach and engage in weekly discussions on all grade levels, we believe that character education is most prevalent within the culture of our school. Our beliefs are stated in our NSA Code of Conduct. As a school, we firmly believe that our parents are the children’s first teachers. Our role as educators is not to supplant but to support what our parents believe and to provide an environment where we teach and model those beliefs.
At NSA, we do not ponder the question, “Can character be taught?” Rather, we continually seek ways to improve, refine, and further our cause of growing the goodness of every child in a core of knowledge and a core of character.
K-5 Program Overview
All Kindergarten through fifth grade students attend quarterly character education assemblies and monthly character education lessons. Students also receive conduct awards each quarter for exhibiting excellence in character.
2013 National School of Character Award
NSA was recognized as a 2013 National School of Character (NSOC) by Character Education Partnership (CEP). NSA was the only school in Colorado and the only public charter school in the nation to receive this recognition in 2013.
Each year, CEP selects schools and districts that demonstrate through a rigorous evaluation process that their focus on character development has had a positive impact on academic achievement, student behavior, and school climate. Selected schools are then expected to serve as models for other schools, helping them to achieve the same results. NSA was one of 29 schools and districts that were recognized at CEP’s 20th National Forum on Character Education, held in Washington, DC on Oct 24, 2013.