Parents and students cleaned up the grounds around Bell Elementary School after school on Friday, October 13.
FIND OUT ANSWERS TO FAQS BY CLICKING ON THE INDIVIDUAL QUESTIONS BELOW.
- How is STELLA SCHOLA different from other schools?
- How are students accepted?
- How is student progress accessed?
- How much homework should I expect for my child?
- What does “comprehensive” curriculum mean?
- What about mathematics?
- How will my child get credit for classes when they are integrated?
- What about Latin?
- What about field trips?
- Tell me about Student Dance Parties.
- What happens after the 8th grade?
- Does the district provide transportation to Stella Schola?
- What about sports?
- What clubs does Stella Schola have?
Students at Stella Schola are with the same teacher for 5 periods (out of 6), thus a strong sense of ‘team’ is developed, giving each student strong teacher and peer support.
The Stella Schola curriculum is comprehensive and flows over a three year period. Subjects are integrated into historical themes so that students can see how the concepts they are studying relate to each other. This allows depth of learning and better retention of subject matter. Classic literature is presented, discussed, and analyzed. Writing assignments are given often, and homework to support learning is consistent. Hands on projects, field trips and fine arts (music, dance) are incorporated. Instruction is geared to challenge students to achieve at their highest potential, and teachers make themselves accessible to assist students in achieving their goals by encouraging students to make appointments for assistance after school.
The admission process runs on the district time line. The Stella Schola New Family Night for parents and students considering Stella Schola is in December. Applications are available on the district website, but attendance at Stella New Family Night is strongly recommended. The application includes a parent, a teacher, and a student component. A computer-generated lottery is held at the district office in February to determine entrance, with notifications sent out via U.S. mail. The second component of the application will be mailed to the student and must be returned to Stella Schola by the acceptance date listed in the mailing. Accepted applicants must respond by submitting a completed application directly to the school by the deadline. Families on multiple waiting lists must choose one school only. A wait list of applicants will be maintained for three years. Read more on the Admissions .
Students are assessed in a variety of ways. Some of those include: teacher observation, peer evaluation, group evaluation, essay testing, paper/pencil testing, project based analysis, and self analysis. Students also participate in standardized state testing just like any other student in the district (although standardized test results are not used in the student evaluations). Grades can be accessed by parents and students via Skyward on the computer (password protected) at any time of the day.
Math is integrated into other subjects where appropriate. However, some math concepts simply need to be taught/learned, so one period a day is specifically devoted to mathematics. Student classes follow the district adopted curriculum and are supplemented at each grade level with problem solving exercises, general concept practice, and content instruction. Stella Schola students take 6th grade math, 7th grade math, and 8th graders take Algebra I. Eighth graders will be prepared for placement in Geometry I when they enter the 9th grade.
Although the subjects are taught in an integrated fashion, teachers keep grades and records separately in each subject area. Stella Schola issues a report card on a semester basis, with a report card at the quarter mark supported by a 30 minute face-to face academic conference with parents & and their child (November and March).
Latin instruction begins in the seventh grade because it integrates into the historical study of the Roman Empire. Seventh graders receive instruction in a first year Latin class which greatly increases their English vocabulary (60% of the English language can be traced directly to Latin root words). Eighth graders take Latin II which further challenges them to speak, think, read, and write in Latin using proper classical pronunciation and grammar. Latin is also a good base for learning other foreign languages. The Latin classes are CADR classes.
Stella Schola has three scheduled dance parties for students per year (September, January, June). These events are open to Stella Schola sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students (details publicized in flyers given to Stella students).
Dance Parties are supervised by the teachers and parents. Students are encouraged to dance with everyone, ensuring that everyone feels included. The DJ is carefully selected by the Headmistress. Music requests are screened to reflect a wholesome atmosphere while still reflecting the popular music of the teens of today. Line and group dances are taught as well.
Stella Schola students easily transition into any high school as ninth graders, although if not in their neighborhood school, students need to fill out a variance form which is available at any school. The ninth grade student generally adapts quite easily to the five/six period day. Most of our students qualify for honors or AP classes at the high school level. There is an option for students to continue with Latin III and IV in the summer and on the weekends throughout the school year to fulfill the high school language requirement (also CADR classes) for an additional cost.
Yes, there is bus transportation if student lives within the Rose Hill Middle School attendance area. If a student lives outside the RHMS feeder pattern, parents will be notified by the LWSD via email and they can sign up for the shuttle (additional cost) from the eastern area of the district. In general, the parent provides transportation to and from school, but families may choose to carpool with other Stella Schola students, or the family may apply for a Metro bus pass. All parents must provide their own transportation home from school on Wednesdays (12:15), unless the family has paid for the shuttle. There is no before/after school babysitting care provided.
Students have one period of Physical Education per day (unless a student has chosen Band/Orchestra as their elective). Students may participate in all afternoon sports offerings at either their local middle school or at Rose Hill Middle School, provided there is room at RHMS, and they have purchased an ASB sticker for their Stella Schola ID card.
Stella Schola offers various after school clubs to enrich the curriculum which have included Ski Club (Wednesdays in January and February), Chess Club, Math Club, Yoga Club, Book Club, and Coding Club. Clubs are open to Stella students only and may vary from year to year based on the availability of parents to run the clubs. Some extra-curricular clubs may require a fee to participate. Stella students may not participate in clubs at other schools schools.
Parents perform 20 hours of volunteer service per family for Stella Schola or parents may donate $350 to the Stella Schola PTO (a 501C3 organization) in lieu of service hours. The 20 hour commitment benefits the students of Stella Schola by providing support to the school. There are opportunities in many areas. Individual teachers may need classroom assistance in the area of photocopying, light correcting, or material preparation. Field trip chaperones/drivers are needed at each grade level and those hours can be counted. Parents can also help by providing PTO approved activities on campus after hours (Ski Club, Homework Club, Chess Club). Parents may wish to serve on the PTO Advisory Committee or the Grant Procurement Committee, or by chaperoning at the Stella Schola Student Dance Parties in the evenings.
The number of family service hours has been reduced from 25 per family to 20 hours per family on a trial basis. If more assistance is needed, the amount of time required from each family shall be increased again.