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While on sabbatical in the fall of 2005, three Golden Apple Award-winning teachers identified the common thread of their best practices in teaching: allow students to “learn by doing.”  

With this common ground established between them, they imagined a school where students were genuinely active participants in their education and were encouraged to pose questions and pursue their answers. They envisioned a community where students develop as confident, intelligent, thoughtful, and active citizens. They imagined a school where each student was met at their level, was given the attention and support they needed to succeed, and was expected to work their most complex and achieve their personal best.

The vision of Michelle Navarre, Tracy Kwock, and Roel Vivit came to fruition as Polaris Charter Academy opened its doors in the fall of 2007.

Polaris strategically decided to open with grades K through 2nd in 2007. Focusing on primary grades provided an opportunity to cultivate a strong foundation of respect while introducing students to a unique approach to learning before forming opinions about the school experience. With six classrooms and 150 students, the founders were able to be selective in hiring and screening for highly qualified teachers who shared the Polaris mission and demonstrated the ability to engage the EL Education model fully. Growing deliberately allowed the Polaris founders and teachers to reflect and optimize the curriculum within each grade level. Polaris currently serves 350 students in grades K-8.

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