Friday, September 9, 2011

Why StarShine?

Last Friday I wrote an article titled, "Sometimes You Lose A Student." Today I’d like to follow up that post with some thoughts on students who leave other schools and enroll at StarShine Academy.

I’m starting with a premise, ‘Students don’t enroll at StarShine if they are happy or successful at their current school.’ What I mean is that if a child is happy at his current school then he won’t have the need or desire to change schools.

Kids enroll in the Starshine Academy schools for many reasons.
·         Sometimes a child is not succeeding academically or maybe the child needs a smaller class size and more individualized instruction.
·         Sometimes a child is being bullied or the child’s parents are concerned with their child’s safety.
·         Sometimes a child has special needs or disabilities.
·         Sometimes a child is gifted.
·         Sometimes a teenager has been kicked out of school or dropped out of school.
·         Sometimes a teenager is pregnant or already has children.
·         Sometimes a family is homeless.

Whatever the reason –
§  Kids come to StarShine for a new beginning, a new start.
§  Parents bring their children to StarShine because of a desire to improve the education of their children.
§  Teenagers come to StarShine to graduate from high school and feel a sense of worth.

I’d like to end this post with a few examples of students we haven’t lost, but students we have saved:
Sam – Sam had been in and out of a number of high schools. He was behind academically and behind in credits, but he was outstanding at art and he wanted to be a chef when he graduated. We enrolled Sam. He caught up in credits, passed his AIMS test, graduated and continued his art and desire to be a chef.
Jordan - Jordan is a special needs student with some very special talents. At her previous school, she was bullied, made fun of and attended a class for the ‘stupid kids.’ Now she is a shining light at school mentoring younger students and greeting visitors.
Matthew – Matthew has moved more times than I can count, but the family (his mom) has finally settled in our neighborhood. Matthew was in desperate need of an extended family and the safety that a small school like StarShine could give him.
Jose – Jose left StarShine after the 8th grade. He wanted to go to a ‘bigger’ high school, a school with more sports and lots of activities and clubs. After 9th grade, Jose returned to StarShine. He had not joined the clubs or the sports teams and now he was behind in credits. I asked Jose why he left the ‘big’ high school and he said, “Because I was just a number.”

There are all sizes and shapes of students. Just like, there are all sizes and shapes of schools. No one school is a perfect fit for every student. However, I believe that if every school followed the StarShine Principles and Philosophy that we would have many more successful and happy children in the world.
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