NorthStar offers full programs for grades 4-12.
NorthStar Academy offers many different start dates and operates year round. As a general rule, students can begin a course any Monday and have up to 52 weeks to complete 36 weeks of lessons (1.0 credit) or 26 weeks to complete 18 weeks of lessons (0.5 credit). See our School Calendar for start dates.
The parent or a designated adult, 20 years of age or older. The supervisor does not need to be a certified teacher or hold any post-secondary degree. It is highly recommended that the supervisor be an English speaker. If not, the student must have access to someone who has English speaking and reading abilities for support.
Yes, students may enroll as a part-time student in one course for just one semester, or they may enroll as a full-time student taking a full 6.0 credit course load.
Absolutely! Teachers at NorthStar Academy understand the demands of homeschooling and realize that parents will need assistance from time to time. NorthStar Academy welcomes those families who may only need one or two individual courses to complement their homeschooling program.
Yes. The school's conferencing and productivity software may be used by both Macintosh and Windows users.
- We believe the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, to be the inspired Word of God (Exodus 24:4; Psalms 19:7-10; Luke 24:44; Matthew 5:17-18), without error in the original writings (Deuteronomy 4:1-2), the complete revelation of His will for the salvation of man, and the divine and final authority for all Christian faith, life, and conduct (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21).
- We believe in one God (John 10:30), Creator of all things (Genesis 1:1), infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19).
- We believe that Jesus Christ, without any change in His eternal deity (John 10:31-38; Hebrews 1:3), became man through conception of the Holy Spirit and virgin birth (Luke 1:31-35), that He died on the cross (Mark 15:23-26; John 19:16-18), a perfect and complete sacrifice, in our stead and for our sin according to the Scriptures (Hebrews 9:13-15; Ephesians 1:6-7). He arose bodily from the dead and ascended into heaven (1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Acts 1:6-11) where, at the right hand of the Majesty on High, He is now our High Priest and Advocate (Hebrews 2:16-17).
- We believe that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ (John 16:13-14) and, during this age, to convict of sin and regenerate the sinner upon belief in Christ (John 16:7-12; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 6:11); at the time of regeneration baptizing the believer into the one body of which Christ is the head (Galatians 3:26-28) and to indwell, guide, instruct, fill, and empower the believer for Godly living and service (Romans 8:26-27 & 15:13; Proverbs 3:5-6).
- We believe that man was directly created by God in His own image (Genesis 1:27), but fell into sin (Genesis 3). The entire human race is, therefore, lost and only through repentance (2 Corinthians 7:10), faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:4-9), and regeneration of the Holy Spirit, can salvation and spiritual life be obtained (Romans 8:13-14).
- We believe that the atoning death of Jesus Christ and His resurrection provide the only ground of justification and salvation for all who believe (John 14:6; Acts 4:12), and that only such as receive Jesus Christ by personal faith are born of the Holy Spirit and by Him sealed to the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30).
- We believe in the personal return of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 4:1), and that the hope of His appearing has a vital bearing on the personal life and service of the believer (2 Timothy 1:8-10).
- We believe in the bodily resurrection of all the dead (Romans 8:11), of the believer to everlasting blessedness and joy with the Lord (Romans 4:7-8), and of the unbeliever to judgment and everlasting and conscious punishment (Matthew 25:46; Hebrews 10:29).
- We believe that the Church is composed of all such persons who, through saving faith in Jesus Christ, have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit and are united together in the body of Christ, of which He is the head (Romans 12:4-5; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13).
- We believe that water baptism and the Lord's Supper are ordinances to be observed by the Church during this present age. They are, however, not to be regarded as a means of salvation (Matthew 28:19; Acts 18:8; 1 Corinthians 11:23-29).
- We believe that marriage is between one man and one woman, that homosexual behaviors or any violation of the unique roles of male and female including traditional, biblically defined and genetically determined gender identity standards and definitions are moral misconduct. (Romans 1:21–27; 1 Corinthians 6:9–20; Genesis 2; Ephesians 5).
- We believe that all the saved should live in such a manner as will honor and glorify and not bring reproach upon their Savior and Lord, and that it is commanded of God to remain separate from false doctrine, sinful pleasures, practices, and associations (Ephesians 5:25-27; 1 Peter 2:11).
Answer from a NorthStar Parent:
"I think it is vital for the student to have his own computer if the parents consistently use the computer during what we would consider school hours. My son attends a cooperative school during the day. He shares a computer with 1 other student during school hours so a schedule has been worked out between the 2 students. However, he has his own computer at home to do homework. My husband spends many hours a day on the computer and sharing did not work well."
NorthStar uses traditional textbooks as well as e-textbooks and CDs. Some courses use vendor materials that carry a fee. All other multimedia resources are included in the price of the course.
Please see the Tuition & Fees page for a full breakdown of fees and cost information.
Some interested families might believe that an online program is not social or personal; however, with over 60 categories of “interest items” to participate in within our Student Cafes, our students can easily make friends! Also, we have a very active student council that organizes contests and activities throughout the school year.
Assignments are submitted via our learning management system (LMS), Buzz. Students will complete assignments within Buzz, as well as upload assignments that are saved to the students’ computers.
Yes. Students take tests through our Learning Management System, Buzz. These tests are password protected and are proctored by the students' supervisors.
Yes, they can log into Buzz 365 days a year, 24 hours a day from any place in the world that has internet service.
No, students are free to take advantage of the “anywhere, anytime” learning environment of NorthStar. However, students and teachers are free to schedule real-time meetings with each other through Skype or chat sessions in FirstClass.
Students are encouraged to interact with their teachers as needed; teachers have daily office hours as well as a calendar that allows students to schedule appointments. NorthStar teachers strive to be relational, helpful and available. Communication occurs through emails and chats in FirstClass as well as via Skype chats and video conferencing. Students are required to Skype with their teachers at least once a semester but are encouraged to set up Skype appointments more often than the required meeting. Parents also have direct and daily access to the teachers through these same communication systems. NSA policy is that a teacher will respond to a student's email within twenty-four hours of the email being received, excluding holidays and weekends. Often, the response time is within a couple hours and maybe within minutes if the teacher is online at the time of the email. Students and teachers may initiate audio and video chats, but most interaction is done via email messages. It is best to schedule video chats on the teacher's appointment calendar which is located inside the course in the 'teacher's office'.
At a minimum, NorthStar teachers hold a bachelor's degree from a four-year university. Teacher certification and experience information can be found by clicking on the teacher’s name on our Faculty/Staff page.
The number of hours that a student will actually spend online varies. Much of it depends upon the course. Not all of the coursework is completed online. For example, in math, the students will complete their problems with pencil and paper and then scan their work or take a digital photo and submit it online. They may read from a textbook or novel; they may work on a project using common household items to make a model; or they may conduct a science experiment. However, many assignments are completed online as well, and there are many video and audio materials in our courses for teaching as well as web based activities in which students will engage. We highly recommend 5 Mbps of steady Internet, but some families are able to be successful with less. Students may spend as little as 25% of their time online in a given day or as much as 80%. There may even be days where students are working on an ongoing project that does require them to be online for at all.
Because NorthStar exists to help meet the needs of families, our policy promotes flexibility within reason. We do not have "due dates" in the traditional sense of the term. Rather, we have suggested submission dates that are offered to students to help them guage their pace so that they may finish their course within a traditional 9-month school year; they still have the flexibility to use 52 weeks to complete a 1.0 credit course.
NSA teachers build their courses from a traditional Protestant biblical worldview that neither avoids nor attacks controversial topics or authors, but rather confront these issues and topics with critical analysis from a Christian perspective.
A high majority of NorthStar courses are created by NorthStar teachers who are experts in their fields. Our lessons and assignments have a very personal "flavor" to them, and they convey the respective teacher's personality, style, and expertise. NorthStar may use outside courses to fill a particular elective need. These courses will maintain the same high academic standards and Christian worldview as regular NorthStar courses.
NorthStar students are required to use Microsoft Office or Google Suite products. Students may install a free version of Microsoft Office 365 for the years they are at NorthStar. Details are available during student orientation following course registration.
NorthStar Academy allows 24 hour access to the students' grades and activity through the school’s learning management system, Buzz. Students and supervisors are able to view graded assignments, teacher feedback, time spent, submission dates, and much more!
Yes. NorthStar Academy can provide individual courses for the students whose school may not be able to offer certain courses during a particular semester or year.
We have realized the following advantages for an online school:
- Students who are tutored or who study individually or in very small groups have been found to achieve close to two standard deviations above the mean of comparable students in grouped instruction.*
- Students who study independently are better prepared for post-secondary studies.**
- Students are more likely to edit and refine their work when using a productivity tool like word processing software than if they were using pen and paper.
- Students are not inhibited by time or shyness factors of a traditional classroom environment.
- Students can review every aspect of their class activities to include class lectures, presentations, assignments, and group discussions because all of these items have been digitally recorded, a clear benefit over oral communications that can easily be forgotten.
**Hathaway, W.E. (1993, April). Rural education: Challenges and opportunities. The Canadian School Executive, 12 (10), 3-9, 42.
Yes. NSA holds dual accreditation from AdvancEd through the regional office of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI).
Yes. NorthStar Academy offers two diploma options, a standard diploma (24 credits) and an advanced diploma (26 credits). For specific graduation requirements for each diploma, please visit our Graduation Requirement page.
Yes. Transcripts may be mailed directly to the student or to the school or university of his/her choice. Please click here to request your official NorthStar Academy transcript.
Yes. Students must complete all of their coursework by their 21st birthday.
Please click here to view NorthStar Academy's Statement on Common Core.
If the school is accredited, NSA would need to receive an official transcript from the school. If the school is not accredited or the courses were taken via homeschool, one will complete a course credit request form for each course and work with our Guidance Office to get the credits transferred. Please visit the Transfer Credits page for more details about transferring credits to NorthStar Academy.
Students transferring to NorthStar Academy are required to take at least 25% of their coursework with NorthStar Academy in order to be eligible for a NorthStar Academy diploma. Even students who transfer in eighteen (18) or more credits from another accredited institution will be required to take at least 25% of their coursework at NorthStar Academy (6 credits for Standard Diploma, 6.5 credits for Advanced Diploma). Students who wish to graduate from NorthStar Academy must be actively enrolled in NorthStar Academy during the academic year in which they complete the NorthStar Academy graduation requirements.
Grades 4-8 course schedules are basically set (pre-planned) with a few elective choices - though one can select anything one desires. Students in grades 9-12 have many courses to choose from as they make their schedule of courses. Students planning to graduate with an NSA diploma need to have a graduation planning worksheet completed by NSA’s Guidance Office.
Students planning to graduate with an NSA diploma need to contact NSA’s Guidance Office to have a graduation planning worksheet completed. All official transcripts as well as courses in progress must be submitted to the NSA office before the graduation worksheet can be completed.
NorthStar Academy uses a 100 point scale as opposed to a 4 point scale or a letter scale. A breakdown is below:
|A+:||97-100||B+:||87-89||C+:||77-79||D+:||67-69||F:||59 or below|
NorthStar does not have a "residency requirement," because NorthStar does not operate a physical school campus.
Yes. NorthStar Academy's Enriched Virtual Courses are NCAA approved.
NorthStar Academy's CEEB code is 252-825.
NorthStar students have shown a significantly high success rate on the ACT and SAT. However, this is difficult to measure due to the a-la-carte nature of online schools and the corporate maturity of the College Board processes with online schools. To view the average scores for these tests as well as the post-secondary choices of our students, please view our School Profile.