Rural School Innovation Webinar: The STAR School

Last Updated: February 28, 2013

MP3 Listen to Audio from event (MP3)

PDF View the Presentation (PDF) (see note below)

The STAR School's vision is to create a joyful learning community in which members develop the character, skills and attitudes for understanding themselves, living in balance and providing service to all relations. As in many rural communities, especially those where cultural traditions and sustainable economies have been disrupted, children were arriving at kindergarten without all the skills they needed, often a year and a half behind in math and reading. That led the school to the idea of starting a pre-kindergarten program. This innovative approach was supported by research indicating that early math achievement was more predictive of future school success than reading achievement.

If you are a rural educator or an aspiring educator, community-based activist, policy analyst, faith-based organization, or education advocate for underserved and rural children, you may be interested in accessing this free webinar. Rural School Innovation Network (RSIN) members and i3 rural priority grantees are especially encouraged to access this archived presentation.

Opening Remarks:

  • Robert Mahaffey, Communications Director, Rural School and Community Trust


  • Dr. Mark Sorensen, Director/Co-Founder, The STAR School, Flagstaff, AZ
  • Dr. Derek Price, Associate Professor, Wheaton College, Norton, MA

Questions? Send an email to, or contact Robert Mahaffey at, (202) 822-3919 x117.

About the Series
This was the sixth in our 2012–2013 series focusing on rural school innovations. Our goal is to bring to you a number of innovations that have proven successful in rural places and especially to highlight those innovations that are authentically rural and have made substantial adaptations to rural needs and interests. Read about past webinars, view presentations, and listen to audio at

Note: The event presentation includes embedded videos and requires the free program Adobe Reader version 6.0 or later. You must download the PDF to your computer and open in Reader for the embedded videos to play. When you open the presentation, Acrobat will try to protect your computer from harmful PDFs by displaying a warning screen. The message may vary depending on which version of Acrobat you are using. Click on the options button in the upper right-hand corner and select the "Trust this document always" option to ensure you can participate in the webinar. When you advance to a slide with a video, you may click anywhere on the video image to begin playing the video.