FAQs

Searching for facts?  Here are answers to some typical questions we’ve been hearing from parents and students:

Q: Is this a private school?  Do I have to pay extra for my student to attend?

A: No to both questions.  The charter school is still part of our public school system.  Think of it as a separate curriculum within the Northwood school system.

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Q: Where is the school located?  Will my student go to a different building?

A: Classes are at the Northwood School.  Some activities are out in the field. Your student will generally begin and end each day at the Northwood School.

Q: What about other subjects that aren’t part of the charter school curriculum?

A: The charter school incorporates all Wisconsin academic standards in subjects like math, reading, and social studies.  All students, however, will also be taking classes that are part of the regular Northwood curriculum.

Q: What about extracurricular activities like sports or band?

A: Students enrolled in the Charter School can still participate in these activities.

Q: Are parents welcome to occasionally come along on field activities?

A: Absolutely.  In fact, we encourage parents to occasionally join us for field activities.

Q: What’s with all this talk about place-based learning?

A: It’s not just a slogan.  If we can connect learning with our local history, culture, landscape, and natural resources, these place-based linkages make learning more meaningful and relevant.

Q: You’ve also emphasized people and community.  Why is that important?

A: The people in our community are an important resource, too.  Students will learn from faculty and each other, but also from community members and elders, content experts, and students’ parents and family members.  Sharing students’ learning and projects with the community will further strengthen these ties—even as it reinforces students’ individual and group accountability.

Q: Do different grades study together?  How does that work?

A: Yes, sometimes different grades will work together—but not all of the time.  We’ll use flexible groupings to fit the situation.  Although students of different ages may sometimes help each other with reading or math, we’ll also make sure students are challenged to the fullest with grade-appropriate activities and projects.  Each student’s goals and expectations will be tailored in a way that’s appropriate for that individual.

Q: Where else has this been done, and how well did it work there?

A: There are many success stories from schools around the country.  To the right, you’ll find links for other Wisconsin charter schools with similar curricula.

Q: This all sounds fun.  But how can I be sure my student will work hard and learn as much as they would in a regular classroom?

A: If anything, students will be expected to work even harder.  Parents and students should understand from the very beginning that NorthStar Community Charter School places great emphasis on hard work, intellectual rigor, and individual accountability.

Q: What sort of students do especially well in this sort of learning environment?

A: The students who are most likely to be successful at the NorthStar Community Charter School are self-motivated, responsible, and willing to work hard.  They’re able to work independently, but also to work well as part of a team.  They have the maturity and interpersonal skills to work effectively and collaboratively on group projects.

Q: Which students might NOT do as well in this sort of learning environment?

A: The NorthStar Community Charter School may not be a good fit for every student.  It bears repeating: we place great emphasis on hard work, intellectual rigor, and individual accountability.  Students should be able to work well independently and as part of a team.  Parents who aren’t certain about this decision should have a frank and open discussion with their student and his or her current teachers.  We suggest you do this before applying.

Q: If there’s overwhelming demand, is it possible that more students could be admitted?

A: Yes.  The School Board and the Charter School’s Governance Council could choose to hire additional faculty and admit additional students.  The Charter School may also be accepting a larger number of students.

Q: Once students are admitted to NorthStar Community Charter School, do they need to reapply every year?

A: No.

Q: Is there anyone who gets admission preference?

A: Yes.  In future years, siblings of students who are already admitted will have preferential admission status.

Q: This sounds great!  How do we sign up?

A: Click here for all the details.

And by the way…

If you still have questions we haven’t answered, or if you have specific questions about your student’s situation, please Contact us.