Northstar Students Trimming Guinea Pig Nails

Academic Campus


How is Northstar different from other schools? 

Northstar is an independent school that operates traditionally, but uses proven programs to individualize instruction for students with disabilities and learning challenges including autism, dyslexia, and ADHD. Many of our students experience academic success for the first time once they come to Northstar. Our Academic Campus serves students K-12. Students between the ages of 16-24 have the opportunity to attend our Career Academy. Contact us today to learn how we can help your child love learning again.

How do I know if my child will fit in?

Northstar Academy is committed to creating and maintaining an environment where children feel safe to learn, have friends and receive the academic and social support they need.  When families apply to Northstar, their student will have the opportunity to visit for 2 or 3 days and shadow a student. This is one of the ways we ensure goodness of fit before inviting a student to enroll.  Click “Request a Tour” to get started!

Is Northstar licensed and accredited? 

Northstar Academy is licensed by the Virginia Department of Education. Northstar is also dually accredited by VAIS, Virginia Association of Independent Schools and VAISEF, Virginia Association of Independent Specialized Education Facilities.

How does Northstar educate students with different disabilities in the same classroom?

At Northstar we celebrate the abilities of our students. Since we serve students with a broad range of identified disabilities including autism, dyslexia, and ADHD, each of our classes has a unique mix of student strengths. Our 5:1 ratio in lower school and 8:1 student to teacher ratio in middle and upper school allows each student to receive individualized attention. Our students support and learn from each other since they all learn and see the world differently. Contact us to learn how Northstar can be your child’s educational home.

Can you teach my child how to read?

Northstar uses the Lindamood-Bell learning processes which helps students of all ages with many different kinds of learning challenges including dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia.  Northstar reading teachers are trained in the Lindamood-Bell learning process and implement this program to small groups of students at one time. The Lindamood-Bell strategies are also used in all academic classes across the curriculum. Contact us today to learn more about our reading intervention program and how it can help your child learn to read!

How can Northstar help my child learn social skills? 

At Northstar, students learn how to make friends. Our unique social skills program provides customized instruction to help students with disabilities like autism, learning disabilities, and ADHD learn social skills. Our daily Advisory program explicitly teaches students how to interact with other people in school, at work, and in the community. We focus on growth in social skills and executive function skills including study skills and organizational skills. All of our teachers are social educators and can provide social coaching throughout the day.

Can my child earn a diploma?

Northstar students enroll in classes based on their Individual Academic Plan (IAP) or IEP which provides them the opportunity to earn verified credits towards an Advanced, Standard or Applied Studies Diploma.  You can read more about diploma requirements in the student handbook on our ‘Back to School forms’ page.

How can my family pay for Northstar?

Northstar offers generous scholarships for students at our Academic and Career Academy campuses. Over 90% of students placed by their families receive some sort of financial aid or tuition assistance. Northstar recognizes the investment parents are considering when applying and parents are encouraged to complete an online scholarship application through FACTS.

Virginia 529 Savings plans can be used to pay for tuition to VA private schools. Contact your tax advisor for more information.


Career Academy


How is Career Academy different from other employment programs for young adults with disabilities?

The foundation of our Career Academy program are our 3 pillars: employment skills, professional social skills, and executive function and productivity skills. This model helps students with all disabilities, including autism, learning disabilities, and ADHD obtain the skills to get AND keep jobs.  Click the “Request a Tour” button to learn more.

Does my child need to attend Northstar’s Academic Campus in order to enroll at Career Academy?

Students do not need to attend Northstar’s Academic Campus in order to enroll at Career Academy. Students come to Career Academy from many different schools and backgrounds. Some students are enrolled at both of our campuses, while others may work, attend college classes, or finish their high school studies elsewhere while attending Career Academy.

Does Career Academy find my child a job?

Students at Career Academy receive job training in one of our 5 programs: Business Technology, Construction and Maintenance, Hospitality, Materials Handling, and Veterinary Assisting. All of these fields are in-demand in Central Virginia and provide career paths  that pay a living wage.  

Students who are actively looking for employment  work closely with the Career Academy team as they go through the job application and interview process.  Career Academy graduates can work with Northstar Career Services for more intensive employment support including job coaching. 

My child is going to college after high school; why should we consider Career Academy?

We teach our students the skills they need to learn, work, and manage daily life – all the skills they need for a successful transition to college. They also learn skills like how to network with professionals and  interview for a job that are invaluable once they graduate from college.

Can my child attend Career Academy AND Northstar’s academic campus?

YES! Students 16 and older can attend classes at both campuses. Give us a call so we can tell you more about what student life looks like for students who attend classes on both campuses. 

Can my student attend Career Academy after completing high school?

YES! Career Academy serves young adults with disabilities like autism and ADHD through age 24. Many students use Career Academy as a bridge between high school and college or as a 5th year of high school. Each student’s programming is tailored to their individual goals and dreams for life after Northstar.