Bravo to STAR School for modeling the possibilities of sustainable living and superior education in action!
"The STAR School’s vision is to create a joyful learning community in which members develop the character, skills and attitudes for understanding themselves, living in balance, and serving all our relations.
STAR is the first all off-grid, solar and wind powered, charter school in the country. Sustainable living is a way of life intrinsic to the community which the school serves. We promote self-reliance, alternative building methods, and energy sources such as solar and wind power.
We agree with the evidence that small community schools can deliver a superior education. We have set out to be a model of how that can be done even in a community with few jobs, no public utilities, and high drop-out rates. We host workshops about our unique curriculum, sustainable living, place-based education, culturally responsive education, technology and the arts. Contact us if you are interested in our workshops.
STAR School Vision
Our school community members will develop the character, skills, self-awareness and attitudes to live in balance in the world, and to serve all our relations.
Learning to Love Learning
Learning doesn’t stop when students walk out of the school. To be truly successful, we all need to continue to learn throughout our lifetime. We want our students to become enthusiastic and independent learners with a healthy thirst for knowledge and ability to find answers to their questions. Therefore, STAR School teachers assist students by example and through planned activities to develop their intrinsic motivation to learn.
This aspect of learning also recognizes the importance of emotions in our learning and focuses on the development of character. Students learn through both school and community activities at all grade levels. They practice giving and receiving respect, honor, and compassion for themselves and others. All staff members contribute to the STAR School environment where students give and receive emotional support for learning.
This aspect of learning focuses on individual and team problem solving. Students will learn, through academic and physical activities, how problems can be identified, clarified, and solved through teamwork and the application of each person’s skills. All staff contribute to the STAR School environment where confidence is developed to solve problems by working together.
Community Based Learning
This aspect of learning emphasizes that the STAR School is focused on place-based learning and sustainability.
The unique geological characteristics of the Little Colorado River Valley and the volcanic hills east of Flagstaff, Arizona define the physical location.
The impact of Navajo traditions and history, the history of sheepherding and cattle ranching accompanied by the many families in the area living without support of public utilities, many using alternative energies , define the culture of this area.
The wildlife in the area, like the pronghorn herds, coyotes, and eagles, as well as native plants and trees, the limited precipitation and abundant sunshine, define the natural resources of this place.
All of these factors, as well as the specific characteristics of families in the area, form the context of place-based education for the STAR School. Educational efforts to teach sustainability are rooted within the physical, cultural and natural characteristics. Science and social studies instruction are particularly influenced by community based learning.
Learning Through Communication
This aspect of learning focuses on the importance of skills in reading, writing, speaking, and the use of technology to communicate. Students will learn to acquire information from others by developing their research skills. Students will also learn to communicate to others what they have learned or what they wish to learn, by developing skills in writing, speaking, and use of the Internet. Teachers will teach the skills necessary for students to be active participants in the information age.
This aspect of learning emphasizes that learning can be creative and exploratory. Students are encouraged to express themselves in arts and crafts, sports and martial arts, music and theater, service learning activities, and in projects of their own choosing. Teachers facilitate situations in which students learn from artists and musicians and performers who share their creativity with the students."