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The North Star Difference

North Star Academy has committed to preparing each student to succeed in college and life beyond. North Star has grown from serving 72 students in 1997 to now serving over 4,000 students in grades K through 12. North Star will eventually serve 5,000 Newark students in 14 schools across the city. In order to guarantee the same high quality education for every child, North Star supports student achievement with seven levers of educational excellence.

 

Instruction

Without great teaching, nothing else matters. The first four pillars push every North Star teacher to continually improve and excel.

 

 

Data-Driven Instruction

If you teach and students do not learn, is it really teaching? You cannot know if students are learning at the highest levels if you don’t assess that learning. Data-driven instruction, then, becomes the road map for rigor. Thousands of schools have followed the data-driven instructional model highlighted in Driven by Data, leading to significant gains in achievement.

 

Observation and Feedback

A tennis player never got better by a semi-annual observation & review of their performance. The best coaching happens on-the-spot: in repeated, consistent, small chunks. Exceptional school leaders don’t leave this to chance: they build a schedule that allows teachers to get more development in one year than most do in twenty.

 

Planning

You wouldn’t go on a road trip without a map. Thoughtful lesson and unit planning does the same thing for teaching. Leaders can make that planning even more effective by supporting teachers directly in the planning process, preventing problems before they occur.

 

Professional Development

What keeps professional development from being a series of isolated workshops that have little impact on instruction? Great leaders connect it to the other instructional levers, creating an avenue for giving teachers multiple chances to practice before implementing in the classroom.

 

Culture

Without great culture, student learning cannot thrive.

 

Student Culture

Student culture is not formed by motivational speeches or statements of values. It is formed by repeated practice—using every minute of every day to build good habits. From opening morning routines to the final bell, students receive a constant message that nothing is as important—and engaging—as learning.

 

Staff Culture

Great staff cultures don’t come from irreplicable charisma; they come from a consistent number of tiny actions that create a strong foundation. From hiring to onboarding to daily interactions, exceptional leaders keep their ear to the rail to ensure a positive, joyful, strong staff community. 

 

Developing Instructional Leaders

Teams don’t win championships with only one star player. Highly effective principals develop other leaders to implement the seven levers and then hold them accountable for change. This sets up a culture where everyone is improving their craft.

 

Find out more about Leverage Leadership here.