STUDENTS PERSPECTIVE

WHY NORTHSTAR ACADEMY

  • Great teachers who are actively involved in your education
  • 200+ courses to choose from
  • Interactive academic programs
  • Flexibility
  • Communication and involvement with other students
  • Positively redefining the term "homeschooling"
  • Electives for every interest
  • Positive and God-honoring environment
  • Designed especially for families living abroad
  • Fun!

FAQ/Q&A FROM A STUDENT'S PERSPECTIVE

What Is NSA?

NSA is an online academy that redefines the typical definition of "homeschooling." A student enrolls in various classes each year and is met in each class with a teacher prepared to help you get started. NSA "bridges the gap" between traditional homeschooling and a brick and mortar school.

What grades are included in NorthStar Academy?

NSA has close to 2,000 students ranging from 4th-12th grade. Unless you're talking about assignment grades, then we've got all of them. My personal preference is A's, though. ;D

How does the pacing work?

On NSA, you choose your pace! Each course has 18 weeks of course material per semester that you can distribute however best fits your family's lifestyle. There is a suggested amount of work each week as the courses are split into 18 weeks, so if you follow the weekly schedule in Buzz, you'll be good to go! But when life gets crazy, you can take a week off then make it up later in the semester. Just don't take off too many weeks, or you'll stress out your mom in the process. ;)

Can I only do a few of my classes at NorthStar?

Yes! There are students who come and go from NSA, and there are students who stay their whole Middle School and High School years. It all depends on what you feel comfortable with. Many of my friends here at NSA mix and match their school systems, some of them go to public school part time, and some do traditional homeschool part time. But there's always the option to do full time NSA!

How will I turn in written work, like math problems?
Buzz is a specialized program that allows students to interact with their courses in really cool ways! There are options to send in Word and Google documents, as well as multiple choice and written questions. And, when it comes to math, Buzz has a really cool option that allows for those special math symbols when writing equations. If you're feeling overwhelmed by that explanation, don't worry about it. =) There's a Buzz orientation that's required for all students at the beginning of the school year that will teach you about all the ins and outs of the program. Plus, if you have any unanswered questions, just shoot them over to Microsoft Teams, and the students there will be happy to help!
Is there some kind of orientation to explain how to use the schooling platform?
Yes! As I said above, there's a fabulous Buzz orientation that allows new and returning students to learn the cool features that Buzz has to offer for our academic ease. We even have a Student Success Coach whose job is to help new NSA students feel comfortable with the way Buzz works. And if you ever want to ask another student for help, don't hesitate to jump over to Microsoft Teams and post your question in the “NSA Newbies" channel under the “Student Body” server!
Do I need to buy physical books?

Sometimes. The NSA bookstore is located at https://bnck-12.com/northstaracad and has the full selection of your required course materials. Some of the books are available in e-book form, but others are physical books, and then some courses just have resource fees- so everything you need is already built into the course!

Are there certain school hours during which I have to work?

No, thank goodness! NSA has an amazingly flexible school system that allows students to work when they need to instead of in set time periods. However, our teachers do have office hours when they're required to be online, so if you ever need to contact your teacher, those are the times that you'll most likely get a hold of him or her!

What are some ways I can get involved with other students?
Great question! The main place that you can use to get involved with other students is Microsoft Teams. Check out the Activities and Connect pages under Student Life here on the NSA website to learn about all of the clubs, contests, and other ways students can get involved and connect!
What does the student council do on an online school?
The great thing about NSA is that just because it's an online school doesn't mean that we have to miss out on any of the perks of being at a real high school! The StuCo helps with that. They organize parties, dances, and contests. They help sort out conflicts (though those are super rare) and help keep the awesome spirit of NSA alive! The Student Council's goal is to "bridge the gap" between the student body and the staff members and between new and veteran students. The StuCo also organizes fundraisers and helps the office with awesome projects like building this very website! Overall, the StuCo is a super fun group to be part of.
How do you dance on a computer?

Hah! Brilliant question. Well, the first thing that one has to familiarize themselves with is the concept of talking in asterisks (*). Asterisks are used constantly in the student body as a means of portraying body language and other things that would just be awkward to type any other way. Examples of this would be *sits down* or *waves goodbye*. Similarly, these asterisks can be used quite effectively to dance! *holds my hand out expectantly* *waits for someone to grab it so we can dance*

The second thing you've got to do is make sure you use emoticons. Emoticons here on NSA are a staple in communication. Without them, it's hard to interpret the essentials of teenage life such as sarcasm and jokes over the internet. We NSAers are quite good at coming up with emoticons, too, so if you have a new one for us, don't hesitate to introduce it! U_U

This FAQ/Q&A was brought to you by the NSA Student Council members!

STUDENT TESTIMONIES

Here we tell how this school impacted our life, Even when it was fraught with strife. Peers and teachers helped save the day By pointing to Christ to show us the way.

Anna

From the time I started NSA in the Fall of 2018, I loved it. It has given me the opportunity to travel and do things I could not have done with my old school. I used to go to public school in Northeast, Pennsylvania, so when I started NSA it was a big change for me, but also a huge blessing. I am now able to travel to Europe to see family and go on trips with my family when other students are in school. My favorite thing about NSA is the flexibility it gives you. Another thing I love is the fact that you can interact with all the other students while doing online school. You get to meet other students from all over the world! How cool is that? Overall, my experience with NSA has been awesome. I would not change it for anything!

 

SAMANTHA

Attending NorthStar Academy has been an amazing experience which I am extremely thankful for. Before going to NorthStar, I attended both public and private schools, but NSA has definitely been my favorite! At NorthStar, I’ve been able to combine a rigorous and high-quality education with an emphasis on the Christian worldview. Although NorthStar is an online school, I’ve been able to interact with and make strong friendships with students in six continents through NorthStar’s active social community. In this online setting, students can take part in lots of virtual activities such as contests, the Student Council and Welcome Committee, adventure threads, and even online parties. The flexible, self-paced scheduling of NorthStar’s courses has also allowed me to work on schoolwork whenever it’s convenient, allowing me to take part in activities and have volunteer opportunities which would be much more difficult if I were in a brick-and-mortar school. I would definitely recommend NorthStar to anyone who is considering online school as an option!

RHIANNA

I am currently a sophomore, and this is my third year at NSA. NSA has had a great impact on my learning. I feel like I have learned more through NorthStar than I have anywhere else. The teachers are very friendly and eager to help with any questions you may have.

Some things I really like about NSA are the students, the variety of ways to connect with them, the ways that NSA has implemented things found in brick and mortar schools and the flexibility. Through NSA, I get to talk to kids from all over the world and create friendships with them. You can chat, video call, play games, or have cool food fights. There are contests you can enter and win prizes for. NSA also has things like a school newspaper, a Welcome Committee, and a Student Council. These things, among others are things that you wouldn’t think could be found on an online school. Finally, since NorthStar runs year-round, the schedule is extremely flexible. If you want to take a break or work at a different pace, you have the option to do so.

Overall, my time at NSA has been awesome. I’ve made new friends, learned a lot and enjoyed the flexibility.

ANGELA

I really like NSA, because it does not matter where you do your school work as long as there is WiFi. As a matter of fact, NSA is a place where we can interact with other students from all over the world. I also like this system, because all of the students and teachers are so nice and understanding and love to help you as much as they can. We use Teams at NSA to do activities like food fights, challenges, dance parties, and much more! At NSA, we see that the courses start to get harder and harder every day which helps us to learn and grow.

ARIEL

Northstar Academy has been such a blessing for me. A few years ago I moved away from my home country, and after finding NSA, it was so awesome to be able to have a flexible school schedule as I travelled. And more than just that I loved that I was able to talk with other students who lived all over the world and easily make friends. I learned that doing online school did not have to be lonely and boring and that there were all these other people near my age I could talk to. NSA has made being homeschooled much easier and doing online school much more interesting than I thought it would be. All the teachers at Northstar are really helpful and encouraging, and being able to meet other students and make new friends has been so exciting. It has also been really fun to have the opportunity and option to get involved in random things like contests, dances, or being able to find specific groups in the social app (Teams) where other students can get together and talk about a specific thing (maybe books or music or spiritual related topics). I also love the Christian values NSA has, and the whole "atmosphere" is really positive. Though the classes can be challenging at times, I know that I am really learning and growing. NSA has been such a great environment for me the past few years, and I am so happy I joined. Even if it is online, I still have lots of great memories here, I have made some really awesome friends, and from an educational standpoint, I know personally I am well prepared for what comes after highschool.

NorthStar Academy (NSA) is a fully accredited online, private, college preparatory Christian school offering students in 4th-12th grades a rigorous and high quality academic program taught by highly qualified, mission-minded, Christian educators in a supportive and encouraging environment.

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