COVID-19 Planning

Dear Northstar Families,

Beginning Monday, March 23, 2020, Northstar Academy and Northstar Career Academy will begin utilizing distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Distance Learning Plan:

Northstar Academy’s Distance Learning Plan can be found here.

Expectations for Distance Learning:

  • Students should establish a daily routine for school work in partnership with a family member when appropriate for the needs of the individual student. Find a comfortable, distraction-free place in the home or outside for learning/practice.
  • Students should abide by our school values in all that they do and comply with our Acceptable Use Policy regarding online conduct. Please remember that our expectations for how we treat each other in school are the same online. The rules, as outlined in our student handbook, still apply.
  • Students and families should seek opportunities to move outside.
  • A more casual dress code will be in effect while you are at home. Please remember, however, that if you will be meeting your teacher and classmates in a real-time video conference, that you should wear appropriate attire.
  • Students and parents should communicate with your classroom teachers or case manager with questions or comments.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When will Northstar re-open?

  • Northstar is following the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Virginia Department of Health guidelines very closely. We also remain in communication with other private and public schools across the State. At this time, our campus is closed through the end of the academic year, pursuant to Gov. Northam’s address on Monday, March 23.

Q: Who should I contact if I have technology questions about distance learning?

  • Please contact Kasey Massengale ( Keep in mind that we can only troubleshoot questions related to Northstar provided materials. For example, we cannot provide assistance in removing a virus or malware from your family’s device.

Q: What should we do if our family has travel plans?

  • We encourage all families who have upcoming professional or personal travel scheduled to follow CDC travel guidance. If you or any of your family members travel outside of the Richmond area, please report this to our school to Nurse Rachel Johnson (

Q: What should we do if a family member has been asked to self-quarantine based on known exposure to COVID-19?

Q: What is my child’s daily schedule? 
  • Northstar teachers will continue to hold virtual office hours Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., and 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. During this time, they will be available through email, phone, or through a Zoom meeting made by appointment only. Friday will be reserved as an opportunity for students to schedule 1:1 Zoom or telephone meetings with teachers, catch-up on work, and for teachers to plan lessons.
  • Students will continue to access Digital Learning content through their Google Classrooms set up for each class period they attend during their regular day at Northstar. Northstar students and teachers in middle school, upper school, and Career Academy will follow the following schedule:
  • Monday and Wednesday – periods 1, 2, 3, and 4
  • Tuesday and Thursday – periods 5, 6, 7, and Advisory

Monday through Thursday (Middle School, Upper School, Career Academy)

8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Teacher Office Hours

9 a.m. to 9:50 a.m. – 1st period (MW); 5th period (TR)

10 a.m. to 10:50 a.m. – 2nd period (MW); 6th period (TR)

11 a.m. to 11:50 a.m. – 3rd period (MW); 7th period (TR)

12 p.m. to 1:50 p.m. – teacher planning, lunch, etc.

2 p.m. to 2:50 p.m. – 4th period (MW); Advisory (TR)

3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Teacher Office Hours

Lower School

Monday and Wednesday (Lower School)

8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Teacher Office Hours

9 a.m. to 9:50 a.m. – Language Arts B / Math A

10 a.m. to 10:50 a.m. – Language Arts A / Math B

11 a.m. to 11:50 a.m. – Science A / Social Studies B

12 p.m. to 1:50 p.m. – teacher planning, lunch, etc.

2 p.m. to 2:50 p.m. – Social Skills (Whole Group)

3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Teacher Office Hours

Tuesday and Thursday (Lower School)

8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Teacher Office Hours

9 a.m. to 9:50 – Language Arts B / Math A

10 a.m. to 10:50 Language Arts A / Math B

11 a.m. to 11:50 – Science B / Social Studies A

12 p.m. to 1:50 p.m. – teacher planning, lunch, etc.

2 p.m. to 2:50 – Art / Technology (Whole Group)

3 p.m. to 3:30 Teacher Office Hours

Q: Should my child log in to Google Classroom every day? 
  • Yes.  Students should log in at the beginning of each class to see assignments for the day and any online resources like Zoom they may need.   

Q: Is my student learning new information? 

  • Lessons will include both review and new material essential to completing the remainder of the academic year. Lessons will also include instruction related to goals.
Q: Will Northstar still have a graduation ceremony? 
  • Yes. We recognize this is an important time for our seniors.  First, guidance from the Virginia Department of Education outlines flexibility that will allow students to graduate on time if they are on track to graduate.  We are also holding our reservations at St. Michael’s Catholic Church for our Baccalaureate and Graduation ceremonies originally scheduled for June 11 and 12. We know this is an important event in the lives of our students and their families.   If necessary, we will explore posting those ceremonies to a later date.
Q: When should I return my student’s hard copy packets?
  • For now, please save those packets.  We are exploring several options for families to return those in the future (e.g. via mail, during a locker cleanout if allowed, dropping them off at school, etc.).
Q: I’m not getting the daily ConnectEd phone calls. What should I do?

Distance Learning Resources for Parents:

Google Classroom – Parents Guide

Zoom – How to Join a Meeting

Classlink – Parents Guide

Co-writer – Quick Card – Google Chrome Extension

Co-Writer – Quick Card (itouch, ipad, iphone)


Helpful Resources: Here is a list of resources that may be helpful to you and your family as we navigate all of this together.

Supporting Individuals with Autism through Uncertain Times

How to Talk to Your Student about COVID-19

Center for Disease Control and Prevention

CDC Travel Guidelines

Virginia Department of Health

When and How to Wash Your Hands

Comcast Xfinity Free Hotspot Map

Below, are the correspondences that have been sent:

Northstar Academy’s Distance Learning Plan (March 27, 2020) can be found here.

March 27, 2020

March 23, 2020

March 20, 2020

March 13, 2020

March 11, 2020

March 6, 2020