Middle School Philosophy
North Star Academy Middle School is based on a philosophy that prepares students to be intelligent, productive and contributing leaders of society. All students will engage in an academically rigorous curriculum with an emphasis in Foreign Language instruction. Through thoughtful character education and service learning opportunities, students will become independent, critical thinkers who demonstrate leadership, citizenship, respect, responsibility, excellence, and integrity.
North Star Academy delivers a rigorous educational program driven by high standards and a research-based curriculum.
The middle school program at NSA provides 6-8th grade students with an academic approach in three key areas:
- A deep knowledge in core discipline areas (reading, writing, math, science, and social studies) through the use of E. D. Hirsch’s Core Knowledge curriculum, resulting in high academic achievement and growth.
- A focus on character education and service learning enabling students to reach beyond the classroom into their communities and become responsible and respectful members of society.
- Intensive daily foreign language instruction (Spanish) that goes beyond the standard foreign language program, integrating Spanish across the curriculum and encouraging an understanding and appreciation of various cultures and traditions, producing proficient Spanish language speakers.
Music, art, physical education and technology are also essential components of NSA’s educational program.
NSA believes that students develop an understanding for educational principles and acquire knowledge in a variety of ways. Thus, NSA delivers its curriculum using a differentiated instructional approach making learning accessible to every student. NSA engages students in learning by providing instruction that is engaging , valuable, authentic and fulfilling.
Collaborative Learning Environment
NSA is also committed to providing a collaborative learning environment for its teachers. Opportunities are available for school staff to learn from each other and to learn from other educational professionals. Student needs are constantly changing, therefore NSA provides teachers with professional development opportunities to learn new, innovative and research-based instructional strategies that ensure high academic achievement and growth for all students.
Leadership Grade Criteria
- Come to class prepared
- Follow Classroom expectations
- All work complete, with the exception of one missing assignment (classwork/homework) resulting in zero.
- Maximum three late assignments.
- Behavior matching North Star’s Code of Conduct (no pink slips/behavior reports)
- Engaged in class (attentive, actively taking notes, reading along, participating, working well in groups, etc.)
If you receive a pink slip or behavior report outside of class and have earned all A’s in leadership, you will not receive a leadership award.
6/6 = A
5/6 = B
3-4/6 = C
0-2/6 = D-F
1 day = 10% off
2 days = 20% off
3 days = 30% off
4 days or more = zero credit
Middle School Discipline
All middle school teachers will follow the code of conduct and provide positive reinforcement and intervention plans to encourage desirable behavior. NSA will use Pink Slips and lunch detention for more serious infractions.
A discipline plan is a communication tool and an opportunity to instruct, and educate students to make better choice at the next opportunity. Making good choices results in high self-esteem!
North Star Academy utilizes Behavior Reports and Pink Slips to inform parents of behavior issues. A phone call home is not always made for a discipline issue. Parents are welcome to call the adult issuing the Behavior Report or Pink Slip if any further clarification of the incident is needed.
Classroom intervention: When appropriate, a supervising adult uses strategies such as redirection, recovery, and verbal discussion to interrupt disruptive or unacceptable behavior.
The issuance of a Behavior Report: A Behavior Report may be issued to a student by a supervising staff member for an incident that reflects poor or unacceptable behavior. This form will state the facts of what has happened and the action taken by the staff member. Parents will receive this form via email. No action from the parents is required.
The issuance of a Pink Slip: A Pink Slip may be issued for those behaviors that are of a more serious nature or if a pattern of unacceptable behavior is established. This form will state the facts of what has happened and the action taken by the staff member. An administrator will be involved in this process. A parent must sign this form and the student will return it the next day.
For middle school, if a child receives a behavior report there will be a consequence. One consequence might be a lunch detention. Lunch detentions will be served in a designated classroom every Thursday from 12:37 – 1:18 pm. If a student does not serve their detention, they will be required to serve a morning detention at 7:45 with Administration that Friday. If a student misses their morning detention as well, they will automatically receive a Pink Slip.
Serious breaches of conduct, such as weapons, assault, theft, threats, or continual disruptive conduct will result in immediate suspension and/or expulsion. Any breach of conduct considered a misdemeanor or felony by Colorado or Federal law, will result in immediate suspension or expulsion. Any incident which is considered severe will be handled using the Douglas County School District Code of Conduct.
Administrators will make decisions based on the evidence and documentation available for each incident using their professional expertise and judgment.