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Polaris K-12 School Reviews

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Polaris is a strange place. I attended this school for 4 years all throughout high school. The environment is designed for elementary level learning, which somewhat alienates the high school pupils. The school is not diverse and is quite small. The school doesn't have sports or real functioning clubs. The teachers are somewhat of a different story.

Some really care, and others not so much. In my experience, I've witnessed teachers gossiping about other students to their class, and pick favorites. The administration is very curious about student life and small, sometimes false accusations cause huge investigations. Suspensions are somewhat common among high-school and middle students for drugs or postings on social media. The student life is non-existent. There are cliques and not much to choose from because of the small number of students. Polaris really is strange. From a high schooler's perspective, if I was a parent, I would not send my kid here.
I went to Polaris as a 3rd-4th grader and I had an awful experience, my 3rd grade teacher would literally pull me by the arm outside of the room to talk to me. One time she yanked me outside just to tell me I was doing a good job and to take a walk. I got suspended for throwing a plastic quarter into the the trash can because it hit somebody that walked in front of it. If you want you kid to feel like they're worthless then let them go to this trash school.
Polaris gives students a very unique and student-lead experience. Students have a lot of freedom to engage in self-directed learning, create new options for themselves, and connect with their teachers in a personal and interesting environment.
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The environment is pretty friendly, many of the staff are good people and decent teachers, but I personally have faced issues with several of the teachers. In addition, by nature of being a small school with an even smaller high school population, I feel stifled and inadequately exposed to other people. I feel that any person my age should have more exposure to peers.
I've loved being able to attend Polaris for so long. Relationships here are built on mutual respect, rather than one-sided respect, which encourages students to have confidence in their abilities and try new things. Most teachers here are willing to make sacrifices in order to help a student that wants to do better, and many are constantly encouraging students to push the limits of their comfort zones.

There are many opportunities posed through Polaris K-12, such as our flexible schedule, which allows students to take independent study classes or to teach classes on topics of their own interest for academic credit, or such as our intensives: multi-week breaks from normal classes that focus in depth on other topics.
I have been going to Polaris K-12 School since I was in seventh grade and I fell in love with it! I love going to a school where kids ranging from kindergarten to twelfth grade walk the hallways. As a person who wants to work with kids as an adult, this is the perfect environment for me. All of the teachers are very understanding and push the students to do their best in everything they do. The students also have a huge voice when it comes down to what has happened around the school. I love the block schedule and the opportunity to take college classes at the school. The only problem with this school is the drama that goes around among the students. There are many students that were very dramatic in middle school and that brought a lot of conflict throughout the grade. High school, however, is drama free. I also wish that the drama department had a theater so that all of the concerts would not have to be preformed in the gym. That is the only problem with smaller schools.
Small class sizes and K-12 structure means students and teachers get to know each other, leading to a more personalized education. Be aware that because it is a small school, there are relatively few classes offered and only 2-3 AP courses available at the high school level. The classes that are offered do tend to be challenging and interesting, though.
Polaris was a wonderful school. Definitely prepared me for college, a lot more than I thought it would. Wasn't as diverse as other schools, and there are no sports, but they do have various clubs and activities one can participate in.
You are able to design your own schedule starting in middle school, how ever it is a small school so often classes are only offered at one time each year.
The clubs and school organizations are great, but the school does not have any sports.
The one thing I wish the school had was sports, but students were able to go to other schools for sports so it was possible to do school sports in middle and high school.
I really Enjoyed all of my classes and the teachers always care and the student teacher relationships are the best I have ever had.
This school has little to offer as far as health and safety go with a school nurse rarely there and special security measures nonexistent.
Extracurricular opportunities are nonexistent at this school.
This school is pretty bad, with a large drug influence, staff unable to keep their personal problems from effecting their work, and students fighting.
Teachers have very poor consitancy in grading and tend to choose favorite students, and only grade their work well.
The health and safety issues are the same as any other school, following most of the ASD guidelines for safety. These issues are not brought up as much however, as nothing really happens in Polaris that would cause these rules to constantly be re-stated. Once every school year, several police officers will show a presentation at Polaris to the students grades 6 through 8 about both cyber and regular bullying and their effects. Also once every school year, all students go over the ASD rules, reading about various policies and rules. Earthquake and fire drills happen around every month, while more recently Polaris has started another drill that's called a "disaster" drill. This basically means if a big disaster happens such as the boiler exploding or a huge earthquake, both staff and students will know what to do. Majority of the injured students will go into the assembly room while several rounds will be made throughout the school finding injured or dead students. Others would clean up or move hazardous objects such as broken glass or clumped furniture. As far as I know, this will only happen once every school year.

The school nurse does her job well and keeps medication safely tucked away in case of emergencies. If a student isn't feeling well she can phone home and ask the parents to pick up the student. Physical education is very important at our school, we have classes such as L.P.F, Health, Weight Lifting, and just simple P.E. Yoga is also very prevalent at our school, often times intensives will pop up about yoga or occasionally meditation sessions may be offered at lunch.

I would say that Polaris is a very safe place. Bullying is practically non-existent and often weeded out early. The only issues that tend to pop up are with the younger kids as they tend to be a little less mature then the older ones. We don't really have that much security, but we do however get very early warnings if there is something going on nearby so we have time to get ready.
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The extracurricular at Polaris is very good, however since we are a extremely small school we don't have very many options in terms of sports or after-school activities. Most students have to go to a neighboring Anchorage school for sports, and it's generally cross country skiing. We do however, hold competitions between advisories (which is basically like a homeroom, except the teacher is your adviser and will inform you of your credits needed). This has become a big event in Polaris and everyone gets very excited to watch the festivities.

The Polaris student store and environmental club are pretty popular, being the biggest money makers in our school. The student store sells a variety of drinks and foods, while environmental club sells flowers, veggies, fruits, and seeds. Environmental club is also raising money to buy the school water bottle refill stations, which is also pretty big news in the Polaris community. There were other clubs, but over time they faded from view due to neglect or are only available for the elementary students.
I have had a great time at Polaris, I'm sad to leave it. It is a very unique experience compared to other schools in that focuses more on the student themselves. It's up to the student to keep their education on track as teachers will not pester the student about late work or future assignments. Students may also work anywhere they choose, whether it's a quiet corner in the room. in the hallway, or in a lounge. It also has a higher level of learning in it's courses, offering things like AP Art or Advanced Composition. Personally, I feel like I could have made more of an effort my experience more worthwhile such as teaching a class or just being plain more outright and social.

My favorite experiences were in Polaris' intensives. Intensives happen in the beginning or end of a semester and last for about a week or two. They are a chance to gain credits early on, such as P.E or LA credits. Both teachers and students look forward to intensives, as it's a time to get out of the norm. Such things that are generally offered such as hiking, traveling to new cities or countries, kayaking, mosaics, or architecture. The intensives change every time but generally they are always very fun and you usually gain some valuable knowledge and experience that you wouldn't normally get in a traditional school.

I also enjoyed the teachers, as I found they were really willing to help me. Thanks to them, I've learned more about myself and found a love for geometry and science (even though I'm certain art and literature will still remain the top interest of mine). Overall, I had a great experience at Polaris, but I wish that I had overall taken more advantage of the opportunities available there.
Most of the staff at Polaris are willing to help their students and are supportive of student activities. One such example is seen within the Polaris student government. Staff members (especially the principal) are very passionate about getting students involved. They encourage the students to try new things or new ideas, such as the more recent change from the traditional student body government style (example: the school president, secretary. treasurer, etc.) to that of a student body council. This has led to a more effective and productive student government and makes it easier to pass new resolutions or policies. An example of this would be the Polaris Resolution #5. Resolution #5 basically limited the amount of time kids from grades 6 - 8 could be at a school dance. This resolution would only be in effect for a single dance, effectively making it a nice "trial run." Many of the staff were supportive of this decision, as it was an interesting way for both students, teachers, and parents alike to see how the dance would be change. The resolution was passed and the next school dance ended up being a total flop. Many of the staff however were still supportive of the students for creating Resolution #5, as it was a good attempt and helped represent the point that not all future resolutions or policies will succeed.

The Polaris staff continuously show their support for students, especially if the student wishes to start a personal project or teach a class. Often, teachers are willing to help out with these projects or classes and will give them critics or useful tips to ensure the student can do their best. Teachers are especially supportive of students who are passionate about a certain subject such as writing or art, encouraging students to continue doing what they love. Teachers also tend to be very passionate about what they teach and will often go out of their way to answer a question or help someone.
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