How North Star Academy’s In-Classroom Tutoring Strategies Help Students Close Covid Gaps

Walk into any classroom at a North Star Academy school and you’ll often see students in small groups focused on a particular topic. At times, there are anywhere from three to four groups happening at once in a highly choreographed display of individualized teaching that is yielding big results for Newark kids.

Like all students across America, North Star students fell behind during the pandemic. Researchers have well documented the challenges that online schooling caused for all students.

But early evidence at North Star shows how strategic approaches based on how kids learn best, as well as in-the-moment tutoring, can yield big results. In the last round of standardized state exams, North Star students beat the New Jersey state average in both literacy and math–no small feat given that New Jersey is one of the highest performing states in the nation. North Star educates over 6,000 students in Newark in grades K through 12, with a mission to ensure that students are prepared for and graduate from college. Its students scored 31% higher in reading and 22% higher in math than the average student in New Jersey.

A look inside a classroom shows just how students are excelling and beginning to close Covid gaps. First, teachers are highly trained— not just to deliver instruction but to inspire kindness and a sense that learning is fun. “Some people think that joy can only be found in recess,” said Principal Tameka Royal. “No, joy is in math, too.”

North Star teachers come back to school in the summer, many weeks before the students do in order to prepare for the year ahead as a team— ensuring every adult has learned the techniques and skills necessary to inspire students to achieve.

Part of that training is in social emotional learning. The pandemic heightened the need for a strong foundation in the mental-health wellness environment that schools must provide in order for students to feel safe and happy and ready to learn. So North Star students are encouraged to talk about their feelings. No feelings are “bad.” Feelings are either wanted or unwanted. Affirmations for themselves and each other is a regular part of the day.

You’ll often catch Principal Royal asking a student what affirmation they were thinking of when they struggled through a difficult math problem and didn’t give up. Students respond with whatever intention they had set earlier in the day, like “I can do it” or “I am powerful.”

Every North Star classroom allows students to learn at their own pace. A typical scenario is one in which a teacher teaches a lesson, and then students engage in an activity that reveals whether the students learned the new skill. As is oftenthe case, some students will learn a new concept quickly, and others will need some extra support. Multiple teachers in a classroom mean that while one teacher continues in the lesson, another teacher can do onthe- spot tutoring with the students who need some extra time on a particular concept.

This partnership between teachers and a focus on every student’s individual achievement is key to ensuring all students are getting exactly what they need, when they need it.

To learn more about North Star Academy or to enroll in this free, public charter school this year or next year, visit NorthStar. UncommonSchools.org.

Omega Psi Phi’s Achievement Week Celebration

The Eta Phi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. welcomed National Urban League President Marc Morial and First Corinthian ...

Partnerships are Critical to Addressing Academic and Opportunity Gaps

By Michael G. Johnson, President and CEO, Harlem Educational Activities Fund (HEAF) Fair and equitable opportunity for a solid academic ...

HBCU Student Exceeds $6K GoFundMe Goal To Continue Her Studies After Kyrie Irving Donates $22K

Kyrie Irving has made a significant donation that will help a Howard University student continue her studies. Destiny Thompson, a sophomore civil ...

Black Joy

By Fern Gillespie For 35 years, a Black couple in East Orange has been bringing Black joy to millions of ...

Jackson State University; More than its Football Team

On Saturday night, Deion Sanders announced he was leaving Jackson State University after three years to become the head football ...

Black Joy

SUGGESTED READING LIST Because Claudette by Tracey Baptiste, illustrated by Tonya EngelWhen 15-year-old Claudette Colvin boarded a segregated bus on ...

Invest Newark receives award for excellence in economic development from the International Economic Development Council

Invest Newark, the city of Newark’s Economic Development Corporation, has received the Excellence in Economic ...

Black Businesses Mean Business reSURGEnce2023

A coalition of clergy, business, and community leaders came together at Brooklyn Navy Yard for ...

Bed-Stuy Winter Wonderland

In celebration of Small Business Saturday, Bed-Stuy Gateway Business Improvement District (BID) hosted its annual ...

The Gift That Keeps Giving for Your Child This Holiday Season

Financial education is crucial to long-term success – and that education begins at an early ...

I’VE GOT NOTHIN’ BUT LOVE FOR YOU, AND THAT’S FINE

BY R.L. WITTER Seeing gas prices drop has been a blessing. It’s not just the ...

A Safer New York

While I was on the campaign trail, I met many New Yorkers who expressed their ...

Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson Gives Invocation for New York State of the State Address

Albany, NY (Tuesday, January 10, 2023) – Today, Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson, Senior Pastor of the largest Black church in Westchester ...
Read More

Michelle Obama’s New Book, “The Light We Carry”

The former first lady’s memoir delves into the Trump presidency and Sasha Obama’s martinis. Michelle Obama’s second memoir The Light We ...
Read More

Bishop Eatman’s 41st Pastoral Anniversary

The congregation of Mt. Pleasant Community Baptist Church in Harlem gathered at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture ...
Read More

Lena Horne first black actress to have Broadway theatre in her name

The theatre, on West 47th Street, was built in 1926 and is currently hosting the hit British musical Six. It ...
Read More

Witnessing Faith; The Photography of Bob Gore

I first experienced the Black church from the front row of Chicago’s Mount Hermon Missionary Baptist Church, where my grandfather ...
Read More

Momentous Happenings at Monumental

For 196 years, Monumental Baptist Church in Philadelphia PA has served its faith community. On Sunday, November 13, 2022, the ...
Read More

AACEO First Friday Breakfast

The monthly meeting of the African American Clergy and Elected Officials (AACEO) held at Antioch Baptist Church brings together community ...
Read More

Newark Forward With Faith

The Newark Interfaith Alliance, the Mayor’s Office of Clergy Affairs, and the Newark Municipal Council held the Ninth Annual Newark ...
Read More

Mission Not Impossible

We often think it impossible to live whole, productive lives–living well in all aspects: spirit, ...

The General Baptist Convention of NJ Honors Our Veterans

Deeply felt gratitude, pride, and honor for their service took place at Mount Calvary Missionary ...

5 ways to enjoy holiday eating with GERD

You don’t have to miss out on delicious holiday food–you just need to know how ...

10 Ways to Improve Your Mental Health

Don’t neglect your mental health. When we talk about being healthy, it is typically just ...

Women Working Through Housing Instability, Other Challenges

By Genoa Barrow, Word in Black | The AFRO When Shanitra Brown walks across the ...

Inspired by Dick Gregory, This D.C. Vegan is Still Teaching a Healthy Diet By Any Greens Necessary

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National [email protected] Dubbed a “Food Hero” by Vegetarian ...