Applying to North Star Academy

  • Thank you for your interest in applying to North Star Academy. Students are most successful at North Star when they are inquisitive, flexible in their thinking, pick things up quickly and enjoy learning.

    We promote an atmosphere of respectful learners who enjoy exploring diverse points of view.

    We have prepared this Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) web page to guide you through the application process.

    Please note that the admission window for 2020-2021 has closed

    When can I sign up for testing?

    The Testing appointment sign up has closed for the 2020-21 admissions.


    How can my student prepare for the test?

    Once you have signed up for a CogAT 7 testing appointment, we will email you a test sample prepared by the company, to help familiarize you and your student with the test format. Please be aware that there are other books and programs available. However, we recommend that you use the materials that we make available to you as these are the items that we have found to be closely aligned to the test. The CogAT 7 measures a student’s individual abilities. The very best preparation is getting a good night's sleep, eating a healthy breakfast, and coming with a positive attitude about the test. While we should also encourage our students to do their very best on the test, we should also be conscious about not turning our encouragement into pressure.

    What do I need to do to complete the application?

    The School of Choice application process for North Star is now closed until we open for the 2021-2022 school year in late Fall. Parents interested in applying to North Star will go through our district website to submit a North Star Application. In January you will be able to find a link to the application here district website

    Please follow all the directions online, including the requirement to upload two report cards. 

    Please note: only students who have already particpated in the CogAT 7 assessment will be able to apply


    When is the application due?

    At this time the application period and submission is closed for the 2020-21 school year.  


    What happens if I have not taken the test, but I still want to apply?

    Only students who have already participated in the CogAT 7 assessment in December of 2019 will be able to apply for the 2020-2021 school year.

    What happens if my child does not qualify?

    Students who do not qualify are welcome to reapply in the following year. Each application is evaluated independently regardless of past submissions.

    What are my chances of getting into North Star?

    North Star Academy takes a holistic approach when reviewing student applications. We assess applicants in a variety of areas. Students receive points based on their scaled scores on three subtests of the CogAT 7. We also review report cards very closely looking in the areas of 21st century skills and academic performance. More information on the application process and evaluation will be sent home with the testing results in December.


    Once students are considered qualified they will be placed in the computerized lottery.

    How does the lottery work?

    The lottery is computerized. Priority is as follows:

    1. Qualified students currently on the North Star Academy waitlist and who have reapplied to remain on the North Star Academy waitilist on or before the School of Choice deadline.
    2. Qualified RCSD students and siblings. 
    3. Qualified Redwood City residents, from within the RCSD attendance boundariy, who currently do not attend an RCSD school.
    4. Qualified students from outside the RCSD attendance boundary.
    Students who qualify after classes are full will be placed on a waitlist according to priority. The waitlist rolls over each school year.  You must fill out a Schools
    of Choice application each year to stay on the waitlist for the next school year. Students do not need to retest every year to stay on the waitlist, from the following year. Students applying for higher grades will be rolled over to the top of the  current waitlist. Newly qualified students will be added to the bottom of the wait list in the lottery priority.

    Can you apply from out of district?

    Yes. Several of our students come from outside the district. While students from Redwood City have higher priority in the lottery, we welcome applicants from other school districts.  

    Can I apply for another year?

    Applications are only accepted annually for the upcoming school year. We invite families to apply each fall/winter for the upcoming school year.

    Do siblings automatically qualify?

    Siblings must qualify on their own merit. Once they qualify, siblings have priority in the lottery system.

    What if I have more questions or want to see the school?

    We look forward to giving tours of North Star in January. If you would like to know more before then, please send Principal Sara Shackel an email to schedule a phone conversation or in person meeting.