Mike Town, one of Tesla STEM High School’s founding teachers, is a recipient of the Patsy Collins Award for Excellence in Education, Environment, and Community.
Features of Northstar
There are 11 elementary and secondary choice schools in Lake Washington School District. Choice schools are often housed within an existing school or on the same campus as another school.
Teachers know all the students.
|Mixed-age Classes||For many classes, students are grouped according to ability rather than grade level. Other classes are more general, but expectations are higher for those with higher abilities. The small size of Northstar allows teachers to assess all our students.|
|Social Skills & Personal Development||An advisor/advisee system called Support Group exists for all students, and they stay with this group for their time at Northstar. In addition to school business, Support Group teaches social skills development, personal development and is a route for students to receive help in handling minor student/student conflicts. ** Note: Student/Teacher conflicts are handled by the staff (another teacher may mediate if necessary). Serious issues (e.g. those involving safety and security) are handled by the staff and/or principal.|
|Weekly Staff Meetings||School is dismissed at 12:40 pm on Wednesdays to allow the staff to plan curriculum around the year's theme and meet with support staff. In addition to curriculum development and school business, students are discussed and plans are made to assist those experiencing difficulties.|
|Thematic Classes||Teachers develop their own curriculum to meet the district curriculum framework in unique ways|
|Community Service Requirement||All students are expected to meet a minimum requirement of 20 hours of community service per year. It is recommended that students use Wednesday afternoons for this purpose.|
|Parent Involvement||Student/Teacher/Parent conferences are held several times per year. At these meetings student progress is discussed, the student's schedule for the next semester is determined, and individual needs are addressed. Parent involvement may include planning and conducting special classes, organizing enrichment opportunities, helping to plan and facilitate field trips, and providing support to the school.|
* Northstar is a small school with a maximum enrollment of 90, however, class sizes are at the same Teacher / Student ratio as in other district Middle schools.