October 10, 2014
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Principals' Corner


North Star Parents,

North Star has been lucky. Through the tremendous effort of our teachers, staff and parents, we have maintained a high quality education while school funds were scarce.  After several years of treading water , we are now ready to take a careful look at North Star education. 


Parent Teacher Conferences are coming on the 29th and 30th of October. At that time, we are asking all parents to give us  input about how North Star is doing. Of course we want to hear about things going well, but even more importantly, we really want to hear your comments and concerns for the future and how we can continuously improve the work we do.


At Parent Teacher Conferences, you will have the chance to comment on the following 5 subject areas:

1. Purpose & Direction:

example question: Do we have high enough  expectations for all our students?

2. Leadership: 

example question: Is NS effectively doing what it promises?

3. Teaching, Learning & Testing:

example question: Do we teach what kids need to learn, do we train teachers and do we test to measure success?

4. Resources & Support:

example questions: Are we spending our money properly?  When kids stumble can we adequately help them up?

5. Facts for Improvement:

example questions: How should we use data to guide our planning for the future?





Today, traditional Indian food was served at the first monthly Teacher Appreciation Lunch. The delightful food was prepared by a group of Moms headed by our own third grade para,  Priyanka Sodhi. The next Luncheon is November 14th and is sponsored by grades K & 6.



Box tops can be turned in any time; but Oct 23rd is the first deadline. 50% of proceeds go directly to classrooms.


Entertainment Books are once again a big hit.

The Fall Festival on Tuesday, Oct. 28 will be one of the last chances to get your entertainment books this year.


Also, remember the great potlucks that Lorraine organized for teachers at P/T Conferences?  She’s doing it again this year on Oct. 29th and 30th. More information on how to help is coming soon. 


Teachers are making their list and checking it twice. The annual Giving Tree is only a little over a month away. 


Contact us or go to North Star PTO



          BOOSTER NEWS
Most Coupon Books go Home after Fall Break

The Booster Club will send home after autumn break the annual Entertainment Books. Families can glean valuable coupons and deals. Please consider a purchase. A sizeable part of the cost goes to the Booster Club, so they might do good works in the secondary school.  

Send comments, concerns and your volunteer’s information to Michelle Lambright

4th Grade Potato Bar

The 4th graders will be having a potato bar on October 22 during lunchtime. The tickets are $3 and will be pre-sold at lunch time. Money earned will go to support their Wagons' Ho Event.
Phil, a recent business school graduate, got his dream job. He did so well that he was invited to a retreat with the big shots of the company. Not only did he get to attend, but he also had a chance to rub elbows with the top man, the CEO of the company.
Almost jittery, he approached his idol, “Sir, I was told that I could ask you a question, and what I want to ask is what does it take to become as successful as you are?”
“Well, young man. Success like mine takes a whole series of good decisions.”
“Oh, sir, I’m sure that’s true, but what does it take to make those good decisions?”
“Well, here’s the hard part, son,” the older man responded with pride. “It takes wisdom.”
“Oh, thank you, sir. But that creates a burning question for me. How do you acquire such wisdom?”
“Bad decisions, son. It takes a whole lot of bad decisions. Wisdom comes from learning from your mistakes.”

In 1977 I first started writing about Helicopter Parents. These parents carried the heavy burden of swooping in to rescue their kids from any mistake, disappointment, or struggle. Out of love they were crippling their children by stealing away their opportunities to gain wisdom and resilience.

What I am seeing now is a much worse. This problem has almost reached epidemic proportions with parents trying to create a perfect life for their kids. Little do they know that their children won’t be able to maintain that great life if they have not prepared for it by having to deal with their own little problems early in life. 
The authors of Love and Logic meet many parents who are afraid for their kids to make those poor decisions needed to gain wisdom. I hope you are not one of those parents. But if you are, this gentle reminder comes from my heart. Bruised knees and bruised emotions are the building blocks of wisdom and personal strength. Don’t steal that from the kids you love so much.
Listen to my most popular audio CD, Helicopters, Drill Sergeants, and Consultants, for some laughs and solutions to this tempting parenting style.
Thanks for reading! Our goal is to help as many families as possible. If this is a benefit, forward it to a friend.
Jim Fay 


Lunches can be ordered by the WEEK/MONTH or beyond. Ordering is available online now at  Please follow the prompts to set up your account if necessary. The North Star Charter school code is: 298NCSID

Things to remember….
NEW order forms are AVAILABLE every THURSDAY. Each order form CLOSES WEDNESDAY AT 10PM. Meals can be ordered for the Monday following the order form closing date and will include up to 5 WEEKS of ordering options.

CHOCOLATE MILK is available every WEDNESDAY!

PIZZA BY THE SLICE is available every TUESDAY AND THURSDAY! Don't forget to send your child's pizza money in a sealed envelope the morning they want to order. Teachers will turn it in to GNA Foods so Mr. Andrews can order the correct amount of pizzas for the day. Pizza is $2 per slice.

Absentee credits must be requested within 24 hours of the EXCUSED absence by emailing .  All absences will be verified with North Star Charter School attendance.

Lunch order instructions
August - October menus  

Procedure for Forgotten Lunches
Your student ran off and forgot their lunch... no problem - just drop it by the front office window with your student's name written on it and it will be taken to the cafeteria where the hot lunches are served. Then all your student needs to do is go to the window and ask the nice lunch man for their sack lunch that they forgot. Please make sure your child is aware of this new procedure.


Volleyball Updates
In case you haven't heard yet, the North Star Varsity Volleyball Team is having the best season in the history of the school. "The Dawgs" have won their last three of four matches (and were very close to making it four / four!) and at the time of this newsletter being published, are in fourth place in the 2A WIC Conference. The team is currently in position to tentatively host their first ever District Playoff Match at North Star on Saturday the 18th. The team has swept McCall and Marsing and split with Melba this season to bring their match win total to five with two regular season matches left.
Asked how the team made such a dramatic turn around from the last six years and why this team is light years ahead of teams in the past, Second Year Head Coach Michael Jordan stated: "The simple answer is leadership, then the sheer will and tenacity of the entire team to learn and succeed. We were lacking in on court leadership last year, this year we have it. With six Freshmen on this squad, it was imperative to have the three upperclassmen (Sr. Heather Iseri, Jr. Jami Seaney and Jr. Hannah Monroe) step up and lead this group. Along with that, the incredible maturity and skill that Freshmen Kaysa Pfahnmuller and Aubree Seaney have brought to the table has been the driving force behind the success on the court this season. I would like to add that our utility players have contributed significantly to our success as well." The Huskies added an additional dimension to the team this year by including a Social Responsibility component by holding a food drive this season by asking Huskey families and friends to contribute. The result was over three hundred pounds of food being donated at the McCall match that was given to Idaho Food Bank. Coach Jordan added: "This year, in addition to the incredible support and belief in this team from our AD Mr. Conti and of our North Star parents, we have also seen great support from the student body. It truly motivates and makes a difference when we have our people in the stands cheering and supporting this team"

The Huskies have two regular season matches left. At home on 10/14 against undefeated Nampa Christian and on 10/16 at Cole Valley. Game time is 7:00pm for both dates. Stay tuned for how "The Dawgs" finish the season and for details on the District Playoffs! The team will host, at North Star, a Hawaiian Night Party as it will be the last home match of the season and the team will be looking to fill the stands as they say "Aloha" and "Mahalo" to the student body for their support of the team this season.

Check out our calendar on the website for upcoming sporting events and and come out to support our Huskies!

Choir News

A letter from an IB Parent:
"Last night we were treated to a special choir concert by grades 6-12. Students in all secondary grades performed musical pieces that were challenging for their level, evidently musically complex and very easy on our ears. It was a treat to listen.


Also, it was reassuring to parents that the energy and outlook of Mr. Downs is directed to preparing kids for the IB program in general and the IB music program specifically. He gets it. He understands the necessity of informing parents early that the IB music program can be done by all our students and then he proceeded to show what that meant. His students across the board responded to his challenge, made something beautiful and apparently had fun doing it. Kudos to the Choirs and Mr. Downs. They are models we might all learn from.

NS Board Notes

On October 9, the Idaho Public Charter School Commission voted unanimously to approve our petition for authorization transfer from Meridian School District to the Public Charter School Commission (PCSC).  This means that we are now accountable to the PCSC, as our Authorizing Agency,  rather than the Meridian School District.  The process of obtaining this change involved updating our charter to meet  the current state statutes and  the expectations of the PCSC.  This was done over the last 9 months.   Here is an excerpt from the PCSC’s email that we received yesterday:
“Congratulations on NSCS’s approved authorization transfer at today’s PCSC meeting! I truly believe that today’s swift conclusion to the transfer process is a reflection of the hard work and time your board and staff have put into improving your transfer petition / charter. Your school’s charter is very well done; in fact, we will likely recommend that petitioning groups review it when they are looking for examples of quality petitions….”
We are cleaning up the final draft of the charter and performance certificate and will have them posted on the North Star website shortly.
Thank you to all the people who helped make this happen!

The North Star Board meets once a month, typically on the 3rd Thursday of the month. Please click the following link to see all upcoming meetings. The nearest meeting will also be noted in the Upcoming Events Section.

Oct. 23: First box tops deadline
Oct. 23: Board Meeting at 6:30
Oct. 29: PSAT (9-12 Grade)
Oct. 30: Extended Essay Workshop 9am - 3pm in room 302
Jan.16: All School Talent Show
April 15: SAT Testing
April 29: SAT Make-Up (Tentative)

For all events, including sports events, click here.
Belize Service Trip
You probably know (based on my telling you or sharing pictures on Facebook) that I have traveled to Belize recently, and had the time of my life!  This was possible through Global Service Partnerships, a local organization who partnered with my goal to bring International Service Learning to North Star Charter School. 
Tickets for the event just became available and early bird registration ends on October 10th. Please follow this link to register today.  
Please join me and learn more about this incredible opportunity for students, teachers, or you!  Have a fun night with friends and community, expose your heart and mind to adventure in Central America, and support this great cause.
Please let me know once you’re registered, it’s sure to be a great event! 
Many thanks for your support,
Krista Oberlindacher
We'd like to cordially invite you to share a Belizean evening with Global Service Partnerships on November 5 at the Basque Center. 
Enjoy live music, Belizean treats, and wonderful people sharing their experiences with us in Belize.  (North Star Charter School students included!)
Share with your family and friends. Early bird tickets available until Oct. 10th! 
Visit the links below for further information and to
Many thanks & we hope you can join us!
Aileen & Kelli
New Textbooks
The Fourth Grade classes have brand new history books! 

        North Star Fall Festival
We are organizing a Fall Festival at North Star. It will take place on Tuesday, October 28th from 6-8 pm. It’s an opportunity for kids to show off and get prizes for their costumes.  Also, they can get their faces painted and eat some pie. So come, bob for apples, get a snack and get a selfie with your kid. It’s free, open for the whole family and school.  We hope to see you all there.

Come Take a Journey With Girl Scouts



We are now enrolling new Girl Scouts and Adult Volunteers! With Girl Scouts you can try new things, make lifelong friends, travel the world, and even earn college scholarships and job opportunities through the life skills that Girl Scouting teaches.

Girl Scouts is fun with purpose. Girls choose activities that interest them, develop strategies to solve real problems, and run the largest girl-led program in the world. Girls K-12 (as of fall of 2014) are eligible to join and adults 18 and older are eligible to volunteer. Girl Scouts is also great for adult leadership and leadership training is provided.

To find out more information please join us on Tuesday, October 7th from 6:30-7:30 at the Eagle Library in the Community Room.


Visit our website at or call us at 208-377-2011 ext. 4 

You can also call Ralynn at 208-250-8151 or email at

School Busing Information

In order to ensure smooth transportation to and from school on the buses, please review this letter from Brown Bus Company. It is important that your child know where to catch the bus, where to get off and how to walk home, and be ready to get on the bus when it arrives. These steps help to make everything flow smoothly and efficiently.

Letter from Brown Bus Company
Brown Bus Company Website


Glorious Galaxies Galore

After last Tuesday’s lunar eclipse, let’s consider galaxies. Until just over a century ago, galaxies were not recognized as different from fuzzy stars. As telescopes got better, astronomers realized galaxies were distinct objects in the sky. Today there are an estimated 100,000,000,000 (100 billion) galaxies in the observable universe.  Our Milky Way, a typical galaxy, has around 100 billion stars. Do the math.

Besides many stars most galaxies have three distinct characteristics, two cannot be seen: dust, black holes and dark matter. Every galaxy has dust. When we look at those amazing photos of galaxies from the Hubble telescope the filmy reddish wisps are really stellar dust. It’s left over from the huge explosions when stars die. Most of it gets repackaged as new stars, planets and or your body. You are stardust.  

Black holes live unseen at the center of most galaxies. Black holes form when massive stars collapse at the end of their lives. Gravity is so powerful in black holes that even light cannot escape. Our Milky Way contains a supermassive black hole of about 4.3 million times as big as our Sun. 

All the stars, oceans and the stuff you curse when you stub your toe on it, makes up only 5 % of all known matter.  Dark matter makes up the rest. Dark matter does not interact with light or anything else we know about except gravity.  Dark matter makes the galaxies spin. But it is even more invisible than black holes.

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