Northstar Two Students Dancing

With a strong spirit of community, we develop students with active, creative minds and encourage compassion and a respect and understanding for individual differences and for one another. We present our community of learners with a challenging educational environment, inspiring confident students who are willing to take intellectual risks and meet academic challenges with openness, enthusiasm, a willingness to solve problems and to make thoughtful decisions. Ultimately, we create an atmosphere that addresses the unique needs of our students in a changing society and culminates with their becoming active citizens and responsible stewards of our world.

Our Mission


At Northstar Academy, we promote educational excellence and career opportunities for students with disabilities who have academic, physical or social challenges.

Our Vision


Northstar Academy empowers students to value their diverse abilities, chart a successful course for their lives, and create their own futures. We cultivate communities where people of all abilities thrive.

Our History


In 1996, a group of concerned parents and medical professionals came together to found Northstar Academy, which was hosted in a church in Henrico’s West End. The first class had 11 students.

Northstar Career Academy was founded in 2014 to help people living with disabilities secure meaningful employment and to help employers tap in to a valuable resource for employees. Since the program’s inception, Northstar Career Academy has been quick to adapt the program to the ever-changing job market and needs of people living with disabilities.

About Us

Our Campuses

Academic Campus

Northstar Academy’s Academic Campus is a unique place. Originally, it was a steak restaurant, Victoria Station Steakhouse. The traincars and British phone booth were meant to evoke the actual Victoria Station in London. As our school grew, we added additional buildings, including our high school building and the student-named Gymacafetorium. For students with anxiety and school phobia, this is a fun, non-threatening educational home.

Career Academy

Located five minutes from Northstar Academy’s Academic Campus, Northstar Career Academy is in an office suite and looks and feels like a real business. Each classroom functions as a laboratory, full of relevant tools to prepare you for your chosen track. What better way to prepare students for the world of work?

In addition to classroom work, students spend one-to-four days per week in local businesses and organizations, furthering these skills and learning to work independently.