A Day at STAR
What is the structure of a STAR day?
STAR classes are 60-90 minutes long with four sessions: Early Morning (9-10 AM), Morning (10-11:30 AM), Afternoon (12:30-2:00 PM), and Club Hour (2:15-3:15 PM). Lunch break is 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM. We have a gym and outdoor space (with playground) available for getting that energy out. Parents must go outside to supervise whenever their children are outside.
You are welcome to enroll in as many sessions as you like. The building is open and available to all families 9AM - 3:30PM. We encourage kids to gather to socialize and play games when not in classes, as long as they are not disrupting classes in session and are supervised by the parent.
STAR is not a drop-off program. We provide a parent room for parents to hang out and get to know each other. This is the perfect place to talk with other parents about curriculum, activities, and the everyday joys of homeschooling these unique kids. There is always coffee available and we often have snacks too!
Parents are also welcome to use the entryway as a quiet work space for those who need it. This is the best place in the building to get a wifi signal. The wifi is provided by our church home and is not necessarily reliable.
Younger children are welcome to use the nursery and toddler play room, with adult supervision. When not in use by young children these rooms are also a good space for older children needing some quiet time.
We love parties and special events at STAR. We generally have one or two potluck parties (with pizza) per semester. Sometimes these parties have special themes like Halloween or Pi Day. In the past we have also had talent shows, used book sales, and class demonstrations.
What is Opening Day?
Opening day is held the Wednesday before classes begin each semester. Attendance is required for all STAR families. It is a fun, social day to come see old friends and make new ones. We have lots of games and activities for the whole family and also talk briefly about the expectations and building guidelines. After the organized games we welcome everyone to stay and enjoy lunch and have some time for free play. There are no classes held on Opening Day.
How do I know what events are coming up?
Every week that STAR is in session the administrators will send out a weekly email to let you know what is going on this week. If you are not getting this email please check your spam or your account settings on this website.
The calendar is also a great place to see what’s coming up. The administrators will make every effort to keep the calendar up-to-date. The weekly email also lists some of the upcoming calendar events.
When you arrive at STAR you will see a whiteboard on an easel which will also have information about what is going on that day.
What are children's responsibilities at STAR?
Children (and parents) should come to STAR eager to learn, open to new ideas, and ready to enjoy a day with intellectual peers. But there are a few rules. Children and parents will be asked to agree to the Child Responsibilities before admission to STAR. Below are some of the requirements.
Cooperative, respectful, and participative behavior is expected from all children at all times.
Arrive promptly and be prepared for class.
Complete the course-work as assigned each week so as not to deter the instructor from the planned course of study.
Children are to be attentive in class and understand that participation in STAR is a privilege, not a right.
As members of STAR, children are expected to actively participate in maintaining the building and all property.
STAR has a NO TOLERANCE policy for any behavior that is out of sync with behavior guidelines. The discipline procedure used will depend on the severity of the offense. If there is problem behavior, a warning will be given. At that point, behavior needs to improve to an acceptable level or the child will be dismissed from STAR with no refund.
Does the STAR day allow for social interaction?
Social interaction with intellectual peers is a primary part of the STAR mission. That does not mean children are permitted to have off-topic discussions in classes. Our hope and goal at STAR is to create an environment where children can work with their intellectual peers in structured classes and interact socially with those peers outside of class. There is regular opportunity for social activities over the lunch break, after class time, in clubs, and at the end of the day. Children must keep the boundary between social times and class times clear.
The building is open and available to all families 9AM - 3:30PM. We encourage kids to gather to socialize and play games when not in classes, as long as they are not disrupting classes in session and are supervised by a parent.
Is my child required to attend STAR for the full day?
STAR is a community and we encourage families to stay for the full day, but families are welcome to participate on either a full or partial-day basis. You are welcome to sign up for as many classes as you like. If you come for just the morning or just the afternoon consider coming for the lunch hour. It’s a wonderful opportunity for both parents and children to have some social time.
What is the protocol if a class is canceled due to inclement weather or other circumstance?
Cancellation of STAR due to inclement weather or any other reason will be handled via email by 8:00 AM if possible. If schools are closed in the Bloomington Public School District #271 due to snow then STAR is closed. In the event that any portion of a STAR day is cancelled, administrators will decide whether to offer a make-up time or not. Families will be notified by email as to what the arrangements are. STAR will always strive to be open every class day.
What happens if an instructor is sick or otherwise unable to teach?
The STAR administrators have asked all instructors to notify us right away if they are unable to be at STAR. We will let affected families know right away by phone or email as time allows. It is the instructor’s responsibility to offer a refund or schedule a make-up class. STAR does not generally use substitute teachers. If an instructor is unavailable at the last minute the class will not be held that day. Since STAR families are contracting with outside instructors and not STAR directly, STAR cannot guarantee makeup classes.
Do I need to let the instructor or administrator know if we will miss a day/class?
Of course everyone gets sick from time to time and schedules can change. It is the parent’s responsibility to decide if their child(ren) is well enough to attend STAR. STAR does not enforce specific wellness guidelines, we trust the judgement of parents to make those decisions. Please be respectful and err on the side of caution when dealing with illness.
Instructors generally do like to know if your child will not be there that day, but it’s not required that you tell them. You can email or call them according to their contact information, found by clicking on the instructor’s name in the class description.
What do I do if I discover after STAR that my child might have been contagious?
If you discover or suspect that you or your child had or might have had contact with STAR kids while contagious please let all parents know right away. Please use the forum on this website to send a message as soon as you become aware of the situation. Advise other families what the illness is and at what point of contagion you or your child might be. This will allow others to take the steps they deem best in caring for their families. Please be respectful and err on the side of caution when dealing with illness.