Schools of Choice
Whom should I contact with questions about applying to North Star?
Please contact the office staff at North Star directly with all questions regarding North Star's application process or academic program offerings. The office is located at 400 Duane Street, Redwood City, 94062. The telephone number is (650) 482-5973.
Who can apply to North Star Academy?
All students in the district are welcome to complete an application to attend North Star Academy during the annual enrollment period. The application period for the 2013-14 year closed ended on January 9, 2013. Please direct all questions regarding future applications for North Star to the North Star office: (650) 482-5973. Application documents for North Star are not available at the District Office.
Can I visit North Star Academy?
Yes, you’re invited to attend one of our Parent Information Meetings and/or take a Parent Tour to get a closer look. All information meetings and tours are open to families that reside in the Redwood City School District boundaries and are interested in their student applying to North Star Academy for 2013-14. There is no need to RSVP to attend, however these meetings and tours are for adults only.
How are students selected for admission to North Star Academy?
What makes a student eligible to attend North Star Academy?
Each application is scored according to a rubric that considers six different areas:
How do you find out whether your child is eligible?
Parents will be notified on February 15 about the eligibility of their student.
What happens if there are not enough spots for every eligible student?
If the number of eligible students is higher than the number of available slots for a given grade level, a public lottery will be held to determine who is admitted.
What if my child is already on the waiting list?
Students who are on the current wait list for grades 4-8 will move up in the order they are currently on the list as spots become available. Students remain on the waiting list for the remainder of the time they are in the RCSD unless their parents ask for them to be removed. Wait listed students will have priority over new applicants each year, and will not participate in the lottery.
How does the lottery work?
Every eligible student is automatically entered in the lottery and assigned to one of the groups described below. During the lottery, a district representative will fill available spots by pulling names for each grade level in the following order:
1) Qualified students currently attending schools identified as Program Improvement schools under requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act. (By law, students attending these schools must be provided an option to transfer to another school when spots are available.)
2) Qualified siblings of 3rd-7th grade students who already attend North Star Academy and who currently reside in the RCSD.
3) Qualified students whose parent/guardian is assigned to North Star Academy as his/her primary place of employment.
4) Qualified students who currently reside in the RCSD and attend non-Program Improvement district schools.
5) Other qualified students who live within the RCSD boundary, but do not currently attend RCSD schools, including students currently attending private schools, home schooled students, and students who have transferred to public schools in other districts.
*Twins will be placed together, according to the priority above. Twins who are assigned a random eligibility number will be placed according to the number of the twin with the highest place on the waiting list.
Will there be a waiting list for eligible students whose names are not pulled?
Yes. Once the available spots are filled, names will continue to be drawn, forming a wait list for each grade level. Students will qualify for spots that open according to their number on the waiting list for each grade level.
Do wait-listed students need to re-apply for the following school year?
No. Once a student is placed on the waiting list, they stay on it for the remainder of the time they attend RCSD schools and continue to move up in priority as spots open at North Star. Each year parents of wait-listed students will receive a postcard asking if they wish to remain on the waiting list. Students will remain on the list until their parents ask for their names to be taken off. Once a student on the waiting list is offered placement at North Star, the student need to accept or decline admission. If a student declines admission, he or she will be taken off the wait list.
Do students on the waiting list have priority over new applicants in subsequent years?
Yes. For example, qualified students on the wait list for the 2012-13 school year will have priority over new applicants for the 2013-14 school year, and every year they choose to remain on the list until they graduate.
Can a student re-apply later if they don't meet eligibility?
Students are welcome to re-apply each year.
When will families be notified of the acceptance or denial to North Star Academy?
Letters with test score information will be mailed to families on February 15, 2013.
What is the appeals process for North Star Academy?
While there is no appeals process, the admissions committee will review applications of students who do not qualify for the April lottery in August. If students qualify in August based on standardized test scores taken in May 2013, another lottery will take place. Students who do not take a standardized test in May 2013 may take a NSA standardized test on on a date to be determined at North Star. Please contact the office for an appointment.
Can my child retake any test?
No. There will be no retakes of the reasoning test. The academic testing of all non-qualified student will be reviewed in August (May 2013 test scores or May Reading/Math test for private and home school students) by the admissions committee.
Updated by communications department, 10/2012