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    By using the STARS Academy curriculum, our students develop into critical and creative thinkers, effective communicators, empowered individuals, and technologically proficient and responsible citizens.

     All facets of our curriculum provide opportunities for our students to delve into academic inquiry, which allows students to think critically and creatively. This is seen in all aspects of our day, especially in the core subjects of Humanities, Math, and Science. In any STARS Academy class, students are seen generating questions and employing creative approaches to problem-solving. Students are taught the necessary skills to solve problems both independently and collaboratively. This is evidenced in the project-based learning that occurs during science, the word problems provided in math, and through various lessons in humanities class in which students are asked to place themselves in the shoes of members in history or in current events. The most apparent way to see students developing their critical and creative thinking skills is when they identify connections in content and integrate knowledge. This happens for all students, regardless of age or class level. Through our approach, our students can be seen as self-directed learners who exhibit in-depth knowledge across all their academic and arts disciplines.

    The last and most important aspect of critical and creative thinking for our students is reflection. While daily reflection happens, this is most evidenced in
student-led conferences which happen at the end of each semester. It is at this time that parents and teachers can see students take full ownership of their learning and can beam with pride as they share their knowledge from the semester. Our students' conferences are a time in which they show their finished work as well as class notes, projects, and their day-to-day progress at school. Parents and teachers have all commented on how empowering it is to see students take ownership of their work and showcase their talents. As a school, we prepare them by discussing how to share their work (using reflection questions), and what types of items to focus on, but other than that, it is all student-led. This practice ties into our schoolwide learner outcomes (critical and creative thinking, effective communicators, empowered individuals).
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