In celebration of National School Choice Week (Jan. 21-27, 2018), we invited charter school parents across Michigan tell their stories of school-choice success. Meet Nada Najar, a parent who has three children at Star International Academy in Dearborn Heights.
How many children do you have at Star International Academy?
I have all three of kids attending SIA-HASS. Mohsen is 14 and in ninth grade, Jawad is 13 and in eighth grade, and Haider is 10 and in fifth grade. My children have attended Star since kindergarten.
How did you come to find Star and why did you decide to enroll your children there?
My nieces were at the school before moving to another state. While they were there, I saw they had a structured school life. The uniforms were a big plus. The fact the school gave second language in early years and had an IB program attracted me further. I asked for a tour of the school. I was given a thorough one and I loved the way the staff and students carried themselves. There was a lot of respect from students toward their peers.
Why has Star been such a great fit for your children?
Jawad, my middle son, had speech issues. Star International was very welcoming and had a speech therapist on campus. She was an amazing teacher and asset. I loved the half days on Fridays, because this allowed us to take more family time on weekends.
Star International focuses on education and self enhancement without the distractions. Dating and dances are not the focus of popularity or attention. Kids are admired and recognized for their community service, class leadership and self-improvement. Bullying is not accepted and handled immediately and efficiently.
The parents, students and teachers are in complete understanding and communication. They are the only school that allows parents to come and volunteer at any time of the week for any class. The open-door policy helps the school to be as a village raising a child. I was impressed that the principal and deans knew EACH student! Star has made it easier for parents like me to be part of my kids’ education and life.
Most parents didn’t have the choice of a school when they were kids. What do you think about the fact that you’ve been able to choose the right school for your child?
Two years ago, I gave my kids the option to go to another school. They had a private and a public school option. I felt that my kids need to be part of their school choice in order to perform to their potential. I am in love with Star International, however, my kids needed to be as well. My kids chose SIA. They told me that they love the fact I can walk into their school and see them. They love the school environment and the staff.
One told me that his teachers push him to reach further and they don't allow him to be babied. They are told to take responsibility for their actions. They love the rigorous homework schedule that pays off when they test and see they are able to answer.
I am happy that, as a parent, I am not limited to school zoning. When I was house shopping, I didn't have to worry that my kids will not attend Star due to city boundaries. I found a school that fits my family’s education level expectations and social growth.