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STARS Academy

The STARS mission

Our mission at STARS Academy (Students and Teachers Accepting Responsibility and Service) is to create and maintain a supportive learning environment by forging strong, positive connections and providing tools and opportunities to gain independence, build confidence, and acquire a breadth of knowledge necessary for college and career readiness.


A group of nine high school kids and one man stand in a semi-circle in front of a bulletin board that says STARS Honor Roll. There is a reddish long-haired dog sitting in the front.


What is STARS Academy?

STARS is a credit recovery program for students who have fallen behind on their graduation requirements and are motivated to graduate with their class.

We offer a smaller learning environment in a “school within a school” setting.  

Our students are PBHS students and receive the same diploma and must meet the same graduation requirements as students that attend the larger high school.

Students will recover credits by attending classes that are in a semester block schedule format. A block schedule has 80-minute classes while a traditional period has 41 minutes. This provides students with the ability to earn credits in both the fall and spring semesters.  

Students may also be enrolled in online coursework to recover credits, if necessary.  


A boy with curly brown hair, wearing a sweatshirt and sweatpants has his face right next to a dog's face. The dog has long reddish hair and is wearing a tie-dye bandana.


STARS Admissions Process

In order to attend STARS Academy, students must:

  • Be referred by a school counselor;
  • Have their records reviewed by the STARS committee.

If a student is selected as a potential STARS student, an intake appointment is scheduled with the parents/guardians and the prospective student.

STARS students must have the ability to work independently and have the drive to succeed. Students cannot have a violent disciplinary history.

The program is limited to its course offerings (see below) and may accommodate up to 60 students. It does not offer significant special education supports. 


Courses offered at STARS

  • Algebra I
  • Consumer Math
  • Cre8tive Artz
  • Critical Issues in Science
  • Ecology
  • Economics 
  • English 10, 11, 12
  • Global History 10
  • Health (computer based)
  • Living Environment
  • Marine Biology
  • Participation in Government/Genocide
  • Physical Education
  • Spanish (Conversational)
  • Technical Math
  • Test Prep
  • United States History & Government
  • Also offered:  Independent computer based online courses

Full Time Faculty and Staff

  • Principal – Andre Spinelli
  • Monitor – Katrina Morin
  • Monitor – Anthony Coraci 
  • Counselor – Wendy. Crandall
  • Social Worker – Kathryn Carson-Decker
  • English – Ashley Michelitch
  • Math – Marisa Thorbjornsen 
  • Science – Christine Guarino
  • Social Studies – Neil Lisberg
  • Test Prep – Shanna Schultz
Pine Bush Central School District
State Route 302, Pine Bush, NY 12566
Phone: (845) 744-2031
Fax: (845) 744-6189
Brian Dunn
Superintendent of Schools
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