Who would have thought that two public school teachers would send their daughter to a private school? Not us, that’s for sure, but things don’t always go as planned. Our daughter attended a very well run and reputable public school, but as we watched her gradually lose her love for learning and self-confidence, we knew something needed to change. The traditional model just wasn’t a match to her learning style. In the Spring of 2021, with skepticism and resistance we attended our first virtual STARS Informational Session. As we listened to the mission, vision and curriculum design shared by Shayna Turk (Head of School) , our defenses melted. We felt that it was important for our daughter, who was in 5th grade at the time, to be a part of the discovery process. After we expressed interest, Shayna invited our daughter to visit and spend the school day at STARS Academy School. She elected to give it a try. At the end of the day, when we picked her up, we realized there was no turning back. She had found home. So, this school year we took a leap of faith, and enrolled our daughter in STARS Academy School. Instantly we saw the shift, her enthusiasm for learning returned with a vengeance. She was excited to engage with her peers in innovative, creative, and thought provoking ways. At around age 7 we learned NOT to ask our daughter about school. How was your day? Good. What did you learn? No answer. Since our daughter became a STARS student, she eagerly shares details about her learning and her friends; all unprompted. We felt that this was very telling of the environment STARS creates as it has fostered an excitement for academics that we had never seen before. Despite our reservations about sending our very social daughter to a school with such a small population, she quickly formed friendships and has been enjoying building new relationships with the other great students and their lovely families. Making the STARS Academy School choice has only brought us closer as a family, for our daughter knows she is our top priority.
Leslie and Brian Anderson
parent of child age 12
STARS Academy has been the biggest blessing to our family during these challenging times. My children wake up enthusiastic, eager and happy to go to school. Even on rare distance learning days, my kids are engaged and attentive to their teachers throughout the entire day. My kids have grown so much thru this program-academically, socially and emotionally. Because of STARS Academy, my kids have a newfound love and appreciation for musical theater and are enjoying guitar lessons. The public speaking opportunities have also been plentiful and wonderful. These are skills that will benefit them throughout their lifetime. The teachers are passionate and committed to the growth of the students. Joining this program has been one the best decisions I have ever made for the well being of my children. I highly recommend STARS Academy!
parent of children ages 9 and 11
Incredible project-based learning program that focuses on the whole child. Their inspiring and nurturing teachers provide an amazing balance between a stimulating non-conventional academic curriculum matched with social emotional learning. A true win of a learning model. My kids can’t wait to get to school which was definitely not the case with other schools. I too wish I had gone to a school like this as a child!
parent of children ages 8 and 10
Coming from an LAUSD school this had been a big change. Everybody is so nice, everybody cares about your education! I have only been here for 2 weeks and I already know long division when I could not do that at my old school for a whole year and I learned it in a day. STARS is an amazing school and it feels like a family.
student age 11
STARS Academy offers an amazing experience both socially, intellectually and academically. There are not enough words to describe how fantastic each and every one of the teachers are and the support they give our children. Highly recommended to anyone who is “Experiencing” the lack of educational support in the traditional school trajectory at this point with their child.
parent of child age 12
I love STARS Academy, the teachers care about you on another level and it helps you get through your day. All the STARS staff also care about your mental health as well, and they help you navigate through hard times.
student age 13
I'd just like to say that STARS has given me the best education I could ask for. At first I was scared that being the new kid meant that I would only have a limited amount of friends, but now I am able to make new friends with whoever I like, and it's all thanks to your rules! I love how you really understand the kids and what they've been going through! I especially like how you put the kids into the groups you think is best for them and then ask people to not make fun of the people who go to a group that has younger kids in it! Your school is officially the best school I can wish for!
student age 10
If you are looking for a school option to help heal your child after the trauma of distance learning and isolation, or a place where your child gets the personal attention from teachers that students deserve, consider STARS Academy. Enrolling my son in this school was the best decision ever during a very uncertain time. In his words, "One year can make a big difference." We are definitely returning next school year.
parent of child age 13
We joined STARS academy initially because it was in-person and we had an awful experience elsewhere with distance learning. Since being at STARS, my expectations have been far exceeded. My children are thriving more then they ever had at their previous school, academically and emotionally. What I love about this program is that the students can work based on their level, not just their age and grade. The teachers are so warm, caring, and enthusiastic about teaching. The performing arts aspect of this school makes the program so unique and special in the way they teach and learn history. In addition, they have electives such as chess, art, mad science, and guitar. We are so grateful to have found such an amazing school with such caring and wonderful teachers.
parent of children ages 7 and 9
When it became clear that the COVID-19 pandemic was going to keep our children in online learning throughout the 2020/2021 school year, we knew that we had to find another option. We felt that our children would not thrive in an online program and we believed that these were very important school years in particular for them as they were going in to 1st and 5th grade. Our daughter had the great fortune to begin the drama program that Shayna Turk ran prior to having to delay productions due to the pandemic. She loved that program and when we saw that Shayna and Alex were using their incredible talents as teachers to start a school, we knew that we had to learn about the program. After spending time with them, we felt like the structure of the STARS Academy curriculum and the method of teaching would be the right fit for our kids. We are beyond happy to report that within these first 6 months, we have seen more growth in all areas of their academics and social relationships than in all of their years in their other schools. We have seen them come home from school excited to share about their day and excited to go back again the next day to learn more. They are both learning at and above their current grade levels. They are finding new interests and also being encouraged to explore interests that they already had in more depth. The school is interested in our kids as individuals and prioritizes finding electives and activities that would suit them. We are particularly excited about the part of the curriculum that teaches them presentation skills and taking initiative in their own learning process. They are both so much more confident about their school work and they don't have the stress when it comes to school that I see all of our friend's children experiencing right now. We are so grateful that we took the leap and changed the course of our children's education. We feel extremely lucky to be part of the start of STARS Academy and plan to continue on and grow with the school.
Codi & Bern Machlovitch
parents of children ages 7 and 10
I love how all the teachers are kind to us as individuals they are always helping and trying to improve us in so many different ways. When I first went to this school I was clueless about good writing. Then only after a little bit of school, we enter into an essay contest and I and another student won. I didn't just improve in writing my math facts become way more fluent and easier and easier. I love this school from the teachers to the academics.
student age 11
I decided to take my son out of his distance learning as I felt that he was not getting the attention and nurture he needed from what was being offered. Since we were recommended to STARS Academy, my son has come on leaps and bounds. The environment all teachers have to offer with helping these children to grow is amazing and the time, energy, thought process that comes into the everyday learning operation for our little beings has truly made my son more responsible, considerate, methodical, and mature. I thoroughly advise other potential parents to come and take a look at what they have to offer especially if you are looking for your children to be more rounded individuals. I look forward to seeing the growth of the academy and the creation of more happy children.
parent of child age 9
I am so impressed with STARS ACADEMY and how committed the teachers are! We were so fortunate to find this school. My children have learned so much in the last year, and with a variety of subjects, along with yoga, guitar, chess, and theatre. In addition, they have also learned to think more positively and become more confident. Amidst a pandemic, it was so challenging to find in-person education with committed, wonderful COVID careful teachers that truly care about the well-being of children, mentally, emotionally, and physically. We are grateful for their staff and being pioneers in education.
parent of 9-year-old twins
Can't thank you guys enough for all of the love, patience and knowledge you all have poured over our son. He has learned a tremendous amount and grown considerably in the time he has spent under your care.
parent of 11 year old