Shutting Down or Going K-8?

District Committee Discusses the Future of North Star

Shutting Down or Going K-8?

Teddy, Reporter

Is NSA shutting down? Short answer: no. The superintendent has formed a committe to chart the future of North Star. But there’s a larger in depth explanation to why it might be, and what NSA is doing about it. Angry parents and empty schools all feed into this mess. To fully understand how we got here, we need to rewind a few years, back to 2019.
Redwood City School District (RCSD) has been losing students. In fact the district has lost over a thousand students over the past few years. An obvious example of this is back in 2019 when 3 RCSD schools were shut down due to low enrollment as a cost cutting measure. But why did they have to get shut down? It’s not like they didn’t have any students, right?
As Mr. Cagle explained, “The district gets money for attendance.” The lack of attendance and increase of charter schools made three schools close down because the district got less money from the state. This angered man parents who argued that NSA should be removed from the RCSD because the see us as “ripping away students” from their schools. Others are upset because we don’t get enough students from the east side of town, which means we lack diversity.
Because of this, the North Star Forward committee was created to help find a solution to the angry parents and the lack of students and lack of diversity. Right now the committed has just finished a brainstorming phase where all ideas were put on the table: including things like shutting us down, turning NSA into a K-8 school, making NSA a middle school only, or having several “North Star” campuses around the district.
The good news, said Mrs. Shackel, is that the superintendent has made it clear that he doesn’t want North Star to go away altogether. However some staff members expressed concerns because they feel there hasn’t been a lot of information put out about the committe and their process..
“It’s hard to say,” said Mrs. Vance, when asked about what direction the committee is going. “The staff hasn’t been informed where the committee is going with this.” The committee began taking recommendations on what to do but hasn’t made a decision. This could bring big changes to NSA, anywhere from removing the test scholars have to do to get in to NSA, or even making it easier.
Ms. Shackel explained that the school, “…might change the grade configuration” starting in kindergarten rather than third grade or eliminating elementary grades all together. Many parents, teachers and students feel that NSA is misunderstood by the community and say they are and feel upset about the news.
One angry student declared, “It’s not our fault” and “ don’t find a scapegoat.” (A scapegoat is a person who is blamed for the wrongdoings, mistakes, or faults of others, especially for reasons of expediency.)
Another student added, “It’s incredibly stupid.” Other people seemed to think that it’s the other students in the district’s fault,
“Parents are just frustrated because their child can’t pass the test,” said Ava P. an 8th grader at NSA. Some were more calm than others. Seventh grader, Henry S. said he believes that “They should provide the parents with a reason why NSA exists: Griffin A, another 7th grader, explained.
“It’s good to separate since it allows the students to stay together. The teacher only has to make one lesson plan.” Another student suggested that instead of removing good things from NSA, add them to the other schools. Thankfully, Mrs. Vance reassures us that all changes will be positive and the impact will be great.