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Enrolling in Our School

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.

2024-25 North Star Academy Application Process

Current RCSD students fill out a School of Choice form:

School of Choice

All students from non-RCSD schools who live within the RCSD attendance zone need to enroll first before completing a School of Choice form. After they complete the enrollment application, they will find the School of Choice form at the end of the application. Applicants will move forward to the lottery once their completed enrollment form is received by the school district. 

Enrollment Application

Applicants should take note of Key dates and deadlines for the North Star Academy application. The application window for 2024-25 closes on January 19. 

2024-25 Enrollment and School of Choice Timeline

In-Person School Tours

Families of students who plan to attend North Star are invited to tour the school. Two different tours have been scheduled for Friday, January 12. Families can select either time and meet in the school's front office at 400 Duane St. 

9:00-9:45 am 

1:45-2:30 pm

Virtual School Tour

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I need to do to apply for North Star? 

As part of the application process, all student applicants need to participate in the CogAT test. All RCSD 2nd graders participate in this assessment in their classroom at their current school on a regular school day. There's no need for RCSD 2nd graders to sign-up for testing. All other students (Non-RCSD 2nd graders and all 3rd-7th graders) need to sign-up to visit North Star for testing. 

Where is the testing session held for non-RCSD 2nd graders?

Testing for non-RCSD 2nd graders takes place at North Star Academy, which is located at 400 Duane Street. You can park on the street. Walk your child into the front office where he/she will be greeted. You will see holiday wreaths on the door indicating you are in the *right* spot. Please arrive 5 minutes early.

What should I bring to the testing date?

  • Water bottle
  • Snack
  • Headphones

Do I come inside for the test with my child?

No, this is a drop off test. Please arrive back 65 ish minutes later. Some students may need up to 90 minutes to test.

What does testing look like?

  • The students will be in a classroom with 20-30 other scholars.
  • The test is conducted with a qualified proctor.
  • They will be given a device and directions.
  • Typically the test takes 60 minutes to complete (3 sections)
  • We will walk the students through the campus to see the school briefly on the way out.
  • You will be notified of your child's score prior to January 1st.

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?

Once testing is completed and your students results are received, the next step is to complete the Redwood City School District's School of Choice Application - selecting North Star for your school preference. Information will be shared with those that have completed testing. PLEASE NOTE: only students who have already participated in the December testing will be considered. 

When is the application due?

The application will follow the School of Choice application deadline. 

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 will be able to apply.

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. More information on the application process and evaluation will be sent home with the testing results after they are taken.

What happens if my child qualifies?

Once students are considered qualified, they will be placed in the random 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 wait list on or before the School of Choice deadline.
  2. Qualified RCSD students and siblings. 
  3. Qualified Redwood City residents, from within the RCSD attendance boundary, who currently do not attend an RCSD school.

Students who qualify for admission 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 School of Choice application each year to stay on the waitlist for the following 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?

All applicants need to reside in Redwood City School District boundaries in order to apply.

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 would have priority to be placed together in the lottery system.

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

If you would like to know more about North Star, please email Principal Dr. Emily O'Neal at

Testing Dates

Current RCSD 2nd Graders:

Families of second graders in the Redwood City School District (RCSD) interested in attending North Star Academy will take the Cogat7 Assessment in their current second grade class at their school as follows:

Adelante Selby Spanish Immersion School: Friday, December 8
Clifford School: Tuesday, November 28
Garfield School: Friday, December 1
Henry Ford School: Thursday, November 30
Hoover School: Wednesday, November 29
Orion Alternative School: Monday, December 4
Roosevelt School: Wednesday, December 6
Roy Cloud School: Tuesday, December 5
Taft School: Monday, December 4

Current RCSD 2nd grade students do not need to register for the assessment as testing will take place at their current school.

3rd-7th Graders and Non-RCSD 2nd Graders:

RCSD welcomes families of 2nd graders who don’t attend RCSD schools, but live within the RCSD attendance zone, as well as all 3rd-7th graders (including RCSD 3rd-7th graders), to sign up to take the CogAT assessment. The CogAT for these two groups of students will take place at North Star Academy on the following dates and times:

Saturday, December 2, 8:30 am and 10:30 am
Wednesday, December 6, 3:30 pm.
Friday, December 8, 3:30 pm.

The test will take place at 400 Duane St. in Redwood City. 

Families who plan to have their student participate in testing on any of these dates for non RCSD 2nd graders and all 3rd-7th graders need to register. Please click below.