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Focus Stories

StarChild Academy Lake Mary 2018

by Susan Shalhoub

Featured Photo from StarChild Academy Lake Mary 2018

The envelope, please!

It was a happy day this spring when StarChild Academy in Lake Mary received the scores for the nationally-recognized Iowa Assessments it administered to students in February. 

“We are very proud,” says Stuart Friedman, who owns the school with his wife, Elena.

The test scores showed StarChild Academy third graders aren’t just learning a grade level ahead, many of them are already excelling at fifth- and sometimes sixth-grade work. It was a similar story for other grade levels, too. Second graders scored at third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade levels, and some StarChild Academy fifth graders are even mastering the same material as high-school freshmen.

Even more impressive, says Melissa Asmus, StarChild Academy’s director of curriculum, is that the results are organic.

“We don’t teach to the test,” Melissa says. “Our students are just hitting these standards earlier.”

StarChild Academy students posted great scores, as well, on the Noetic Learning National Math Competition this spring. As a bonus, one of the school’s fourth graders got a perfect score, and a StarChild Academy fifth-grade student earned the highest score among all fifth-graders in Florida.

All the outstanding test results were welcome news, but they weren’t surprising to anyone familiar with StarChild Academy. The Lake Mary location is now in its 10th year of service to kids in the community. For children age six weeks through fifth grade, the school sets a solid, educational foundation that will be with the students for the rest of their lives.

In addition to its infant and pre-K programs, StarChild Academy in Lake Mary features a full private elementary 

school on its five-acre campus, which also boasts six age-specific playgrounds, a basketball court, splash pad, and a recreation field.
Beyond high-achieving academics, part of what guides StarChild Academy’s programming and operations is parents’ involvement and feedback.

The private elementary school was added as a result of community interest, says Stuart. Parents wanted their children – many who started at StarChild Academy as infants – to be able to continue on with the same curriculum, educational philosophy, and staff and management they appreciate and trust. 

StarChild Academy’s offerings include expert care for infants and toddlers; robust programs for preschool, pre-K, private school and summer camp; as well as summer academic enrichment programming with field trip options. For busy parents, before- and after-school care, extended-day care, and part-time programming rounds out the quality, convenient options at StarChild Academy.

At all levels, classroom activities are broken down into 15-minute segments to promote better student engagement.

“We believe in structure,” says Stuart. “Everything is planned so that teachers can focus on the kids.”

Stuart and Elena, who are onsite and integrally involved in the day-to-day operations at StarChild Academy, know the value of having a safe, fun, educationally challenging place for children. Parents themselves and former executives in the corporate world, the Friedmans know what it’s like to juggle work and home life, and they understand parents’ perspective. Elena and Stuart are always seeking new ways to serve families and deliver the respected StarChild Academy brand of value and quality. 

In addition to advanced education, here are some of StarChild Academy’s other stand-out benefits:

• It was voted Best of Orlando 2015, 2016, and 2017 by Orlando magazine
• Students currently learn four languages: American Sign Language, Spanish, French, and Japanese
• Children enjoy multiple outdoor sessions each day in playgrounds just right for their age level
• The campus is a safe, gated, and locked location with parent viewing cameras and layered safety protocols 
• Frequent handwashing is part of every students’ daily regimen, and naptime bedding is washed daily, making StarChild Academy Lake Mary an exceptionally clean facility.  

Waitlists are not uncommon at the school, especially for infant placements. StarChild Academy invites parents in the community to tour the school anytime – with or without an appointment – to see the structured, strategic, complete education it can provide and the friendships students can create that will last a lifetime. 

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