At Northstar we promote educational excellence and career opportunities for students with disabilities who have academic, physical, or social challenges. Northstar Academy empowers students to develop and value their diverse abilities, chart a successful course for their lives, and create their own futures. We cultivate communities where people of all abilities thrive. Northstar Academy is licensed by the state and fully accredited by the Virginia Association of Independent Schools and the Virginia Association of Independent Specialized Education Facilities and we are recognized as a School of Excellence by the National Association of Special Education Teachers. Our goal is to allow each child the opportunity to reach his or her potential and to become successful educationally, socially, and as contributing members of society. We accomplish this on two campuses, our K-12 academic day school campus and our Career Academy for students ages 16-24. We serve students with disabilities in 12 of the 13 categories defined by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and are very successful because of our Lindamood-Bell learning processes, state-of-the-art technology for assisting with learning, custom-designed Social Skills Program, sports, clubs and other extracurricular activities, and a strong Career Academy and transition program for preparing students for post-secondary options.
Northstar Signature Social Skills Program
Northstar recognized how critical social skills are to life success and happiness. Northstar, in partnership with Kluge Rehabilitation Center, developed a customized social skills curriculum specific to our student population. Our Social Skills program is a part of our mission to foster personal growth in our students. To that end, this year we’ve incorporated mindfulness into our curriculum to help students reflect on their emotions and manage their responses. We’ve also adapted this curriculum for our Career Academy to help foster student growth in the workplace.pasting
Northstar Career Academy
Northstar Career Academy offers career/technical education courses including: Business Marketing and Technology, Materials Handling, Hospitality, Construction & Maintenance, and Veterinary Assisting. The cornerstone of our approach is differentiated instruction in classroom skills with on- the-job experiences. Weekly job shadowing and/or internship opportunities are embedded in each course. Students have the opportunity to earn industry credentials. Students graduate ready to face the demands of the workplace with work experience, a local network of professional contacts, and the self- advocacy skills necessary to obtain employment.
Extra Curricular: In order to provide a whole school experience, Northstar offers a variety of extracurricular activities to its students including sports, pep squad, talent shows, art shows, chorus, yearbook, cardio & art clubs, dances and prom. Seniors are recognized at Homecoming, Baccalaureate and graduation each year. Our annual homecoming event is an opportunity for students, alumni, parents, faculty and staff to celebrate their Northstar experience.
Lindamood-Bell Language & Math Programs
Lindamood Bell: The Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes are the foundation of the Northstar Academy reading, language arts and math programs. Northstar Academy has adopted three Lindamood-Bell processes related to reading and reading comprehension: Seeing Stars, Visualizing and Verbalizing, and Lindamood Phoneme Sequencing Program (LiPS). The Lindamood-Bell On Cloud Nine Math program develops concept and symbol imagery – or the ability to create an imagined or imaged gestalt from language – as a basis for math and integrates them with language. Northstar is one of only a few schools in Central Virginia to use the LMB program
Arts at Northstar
Discovering Abilities through Art: Art is especially important for our students who struggle with verbal and written forms of communication; it provides them another avenue in which to interact with others in the school community. Through art our students learn to use their voice, materials, and tools just as artists would. Students learn to work in different mediums and to freely express themselves, and to represent their ideas and thinking. The performing arts, drawing, other visual thinking techniques, and music are vital tools that assist our students learning giving them a voice. Our community partners Art 180 and SPARC help drive this mission.