NorthStar Handbook

We, the undersigned, acknowledge that this handbook contains important information for parents, guardians and students. We acknowledge that we have received a copy of the NorthStar Community Charter School Family Handbook for the 2014-2015 academic school year.
We are aware that this handbook contains information and policies for review. We have reviewed the information and policies contained in this handbook, including the “Positive School Wide Behavior Plan” upon which consequences will be dispensed in an effort to change behavior and to help students make better decisions.
We understand that the school policies as they are set forth in this handbook are part of a contract that exists between NorthStar and the parent/guardians and students. Therefore, to insure that all parties have read the policies and agree to abide by them, please sign the acknowledgement below, tear out this page, and return it to the school.
We are aware the NorthStar Community Charter School reserves the right at any time to amend or to add to the policies, regulations, and Code of Discipline Conduct contained in this handbook.

Print Name of Student______________________________________________
Signature of Student______________________________________________
Print Name of Parent/Guardian________________________________________
Signature of Parent/Guardian________________________________________
Date___________________ Home Phone______________
Cell Phone___________
Parent/Guardian Email________________________________________________

N14463 Hwy 53, Minong, WI 54859 Ph: 715-466-2297
Thank you for joining the NorthStar Community Charter School family. The enclosed materials explain our school and its mission. These materials are designed to contribute to the creation and maintenance of an environment that supports academic and social success. As we strive to provide an outstanding academic experience, we will continue to meet the primary goal of our mission statement, which is to provide Northwood area students in grades 4-8 with an innovative, world-class learning experience based on place, people, projects, and performance. To achieve this ultimate goal, parents, guardians, caregivers, and NorthStar must work together as a team to motivate, stimulate, and encourage our students to be the best at what they endeavor to achieve.
The Family Handbook explains in summary form, NorthStar’s expectations for the following:
•NorthStar Values •Attendance Policy
•Academic Plan •Exit Plan
•Controlled Substance •Technology/Cell Phone Use
•Clothing •Weapons
•Making a Commitment
Please review the handbook. All students are required to adhere to the policies outlined therein. All other Northwood policies will still be enforced. NorthStar Community Charter believes it takes a partnership of parents, guardians, caregivers, educators, volunteers and experts to academically and socially prepare our children for today’s world. The administration of NorthStar wishes everyone a safe and successful school year.

NorthStar Community Charter
Governance Council 2014-2015

Governance Council Members
Ben Kidder – Chair Mike Meyer – Vice Chair
Audrey Visger – Secretary Dana Lucius – Treasurer
Karin Gulbrandsen Nina Fouks
Sarah Nelson Geri Scheller
Elizabeth Jarrell

NorthStar Values for Lifelong Success
At NorthStar we have the opportunity to develop a close knit learning community consisting of a wide range of ages and learning styles. The Core Values we emphasize are a very important part of the NorthStar education. Students attending Northstar are expected to understand, learn, and demonstrate they can exist in a learning community that places high regard on personal integrity, and responsibility. The following list represents values that NorthStar Community Charter students should be able to demonstrate during their time at this school.

Honesty ●Effort
Personal Responsibility ●Pride
Self Respect ●Quality
Respecting Others ●Team Work
Care and respect of school property ●Participation
Trust ●Accountability
Service ●Courtesy
Punctuality ●Independence
Attendance ●Job done right
Being a positive member of our family/community

Policies and Procedures
NorthStar Community Charter School is a school of choice. As a charter school we provide a project based curriculum centered on the natural world. As such our students need to be present and be on time in order to get the maximum benefits from our school.
By law, we have to inform parents and student of our attendance policy. Attendance is an important factor affecting student achievement. If students are present, they have the opportunities to learn. There are other schools in our district that offer excellent educational opportunities in both elementary and middle school. NorthStar Community Charter School enrollment is limited to the number of students that it can accept per year and we feel these students need to be aware that they have a very unique and valuable opportunity to attend school here. Good school attendance is critical to being successful in school. All students are required to be in regular attendance at school and attend every scheduled class, assembly, and special event that is scheduled during regular school hours.

Attendance Policy:
Students are expected to be here every day, on time, and prepared to learn, work, and be part of our school community.
Students should be at school around 8am every morning.
Students are required to be prepared for weather conditions and activities.
NorthStar Community Charter School will be taking many field trips. Consequently all students are required to attend large group trips throughout the year.
Parents are required to notify the school in the event of a student absence.
Notification should be made on the day of absence (preferably before school) but by 9 am at the latest. If the student is absent and a call has not been received, the school will attempt to contact a parent/legal guardian at home or work to notify them of the absence.
A phone call or a message on our phone system is all that is needed. 715-466-2297
Email will work fine as well.
All absences not excused by parents will be considered truant.
Tardiness is considered absent. Being tardy 3 times (after 8:30am) is equal to 1 absence.
Wisconsin Law dictates all parents/legal guardians are able to excuse their child from school for a maximum of 10 days each school year, five days per semester, provided the following is done:
All school work must be arranged to be completed before or after the absence
After the 10 parental excused days, five days per semester, or if the above conditions are not met, the Dean of Students determines the validity of the excuse.
Prearranged Absence: If a student is going to be absent for more than one day, a Prearranged Absence Form must be completed and filed with the office three days prior to the absence.
Definition of Absences
1. Excused
A. Dentist/doctor’s note
B. Death in the immediate family
C. Legal Obligations
E. Approved School Activities
F. Religious Obligations
G. Special circumstances approved by the Dean of Students or designee
2. Unexcused
A. Late or lack of a call or note for authorized absence.
B. Excess of 10 days, five days per semester, of parental excused absences
C. Late to school and reason is not authorized
Habitual Truancy
Parents/legal guardians will be notified by the school once their child has three unexcused absences. Truancy papers will be filed with the Washburn County District Attorney’s office after five unexcused absences occur. Students and parents/legal guardians may be issued citations and need to appear before the county judge for unexcused absences.

For any school activities that run beyond the typical school day NorthStar will make adjustments in the calendar to balance the time students spend at school.

Making a Commitment
•In the spring of the previous school year is when a commitment is made to attend NorthStar Community Charter. Because staffing and purchasing decisions are made based on an agreement that parents sign in the spring, a staff/parent meeting will be mandatory prior to you signing your “contract” to make sure that you understand what you are agreeing to and signing. Once your child has accepted and signed the enrollment form, he/she will be expected to attend NorthStar. NorthStar is also a school that encourages parent involvement and you will be expected to help with projects, field studies, attendance at Coffee Connections (if available), parent/teacher conferences, etc.

Exiting NorthStar Community Charter School
•While attending NorthStar is a choice, it is also a commitment that you make between the school, teachers, governance council, students, and parents. If for some reason, you feel that your child does not belong at NorthStar, a meeting will be held between all parties involved. The parent/s need to contact the teachers to set up this meeting. This meeting will include the student, parents, teachers, and the governance council. Northwood school administrators may be asked to sit in the meeting as well. The governance council will determine whether or not the student will be allowed to leave NorthStar at semester time. Students will not be allowed to leave at the end of the quarter or without a meeting.

NorthStar Academic Plan
Students not making adequate academic progress at NorthStar Community Charter may be subject to the following policies:
•A student showing inadequate progress on a project will need to meet with the advisor/proposal team to develop a progress plan.
•If insufficient progress is made during the specified timeframe, a parent/student/staff conference will be held to develop an improvement plan.
•At the conclusion of the improvement plan period, a conference will be held to determine the suitability of the NorthStar Community Charter project-based philosophy for that student’s education. If at least 75% of the goals have been met, a new plan will be developed to address the remaining goals. If the goals remain substantially unmet, the discussion will center on determining the best educational environment for the student, which may include student transfer to the Northwood School or other school setting.

A Traveling School
Students attending NorthStar have a very unique opportunity in they get to travel a great deal more than typical schools. Students participate in a wide variety of day trips occurring during regular school hours, some trips where students may arrive home later in the evening, and even a few overnight trips. While we try to do our best to have plenty advance notice, this may not always be the case. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but sometimes opportunities arise at the last minute. In these cases, we understand if your child is unable to attend, but they will still be required to be at school unless otherwise notified.
Fieldwork is an essential part of the student’s learning experience at NorthStar Community Charter. All students are expected to be in attendance for all fieldwork, trips, and PE/Recreation experiences. School fieldwork, trips, and overnight recreational opportunities are required for all students.
Some examples of the types of educational and service trips NorthStar students participate in.
● Museum trips
Trips to business and industry
Trips to study areas
Wisconsin Natural History Areas
County Parks
State Parks
Private Land
Lakes and Rivers
● Outdoor Recreation and PE trips
Canoe camping
Cross Country Skiing
Canoe and Water Safety
Ice Fishing

Students and parents are asked to fill out our emergency forms, travel permission forms, and contact forms to assist us in implementing a flexible and mobile learning environment. On occasion we may ask for a small student transportation fee to help cover the cost of fuel. In many cases as long as we can pay for our own fuel, our field opportunities are limitless. We don’t ask for fuel costs on our everyday travels, only for longer special trips.

Controlled Substance Policy
NorthStar is a school of choice. No student is required to attend this charter school. Since NorthStar is a charter school, all students who are here have chosen to be here. All students also have other school options. Therefore, because it is a personal and family choice to attend NorthStar, and we want to maintain the highest levels of safety and a positive learning environment for all students we have a zero tolerance for any drug, alcohol or tobacco use or possession by students.
While on NorthStar School grounds and on all trips students are subject to search if there is any suspicion of a violation of the controlled substance policy. All student storage, backpacks, bags, clothing, and vehicles can be searched at any time by school personnel.
Any student who violates the zero tolerance policy in any way will be immediately dropped from NorthStar enrollment. Students and families will have to arrange for other educational services.

Equipment and Technology Use
All students and parents will be asked to read, understand, and sign the computer and technology check out agreement. Students have a very unique opportunity here to be issued items such as laptop computers, GPS units, digital cameras, and other technology. Technology use is a privilege and should be accompanied by a very high level of care and responsibility on the student’s part. All school issued equipment must be cared for in the instructed manner and used for school related purposes only. Students who violate the technology use and care agreement can lose their privilege and be held monetarily accountable for repair or replacement.

Cell Phone Use
It’s the 21st century and everybody has a phone. We realize that in many cases our students will have cell phones or other mobile communication devices. Given our unique school situation it is not a bad idea to be able to communicate with home. However, when we are in session we require all cell phones and mobile communication devices to be off unless otherwise approved by staff. Parents can contact NorthStar Community Charter School at any time on the land line 715-466-2297, or by reaching us on staff cell phones, Brian Olson 218-348-0153, Dana Lucius 715-205-8295. School staff has cell phones on during the school day and on trips.

At NorthStar students are involved in a wide variety of activities both inside and out. It is essential that students have proper clothing for our activities. The rule of thumb is; dress for the weather. Students should have proper footwear for hikes, and other outdoor activities. Clothing for active outdoor pursuits should also be considered throughout the year. It is always better to be warm and dry.
We ask that students refrain from wearing any clothing that has logos, pictures, sayings, or advertisements that relate to alcohol, overt sexual content, tobacco, or drugs. If a student arrives with such apparel they will be asked to change or turn the item inside out.
No weapons allowed. The school reserves the right to make all decisions regarding the enrollment status of any student found to in possession of a weapon of any kind.

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