Compliance

Compliance

Troubled teens feed a multi-million dollar industry profiting from the exploitation of vulnerable youth and disabled people sent to "residential treatment" only to experience abuses for which the perpetrators are rarely held accountable.

1,297 readers have visited this universe since Ylanne created it. MartianJusticiar are listed as curators.

Introduction

Trigger warning: Abuse, torture, medicalization, pathologization, compliance-based treatment, imprisonment, ableism, ageism (targeting youth), human rights abuses.

This is NOT a school roleplay or a typical "troubled teens" roleplay. The Expectations section has many more details about this.




Compliance.

It's a virtue. In fact, it's the only virtue that matters, at least when you're at Northern Star Academy.

You are a young adult. One night you were asleep in your bed, only to be woken by strange men in black t-shirts and cargo pants bursting into your room with bright lights shining in your eyes, hauling you from your bed without regard to your formerly sleeping state, and handcuffing you while pressing your face against the floor. Had you called or screamed or sobbed, no one else in your family was there to hear you. You were taken to a waiting car or van outside and driven to the nearest airport. When your flight landed in Portland, Oregon, you were hustled into another van for a good, six hour drive to the academy's grounds in the wilderness.

Welcome to Northern Star Academy.

You've been sent here because your parents believed unscrupulous marketing that warned them that you are a danger to yourself and a future menace to society. You've been labeled a "troubled teen," and you've fallen into the grasps of a multi-million dollar industry that preys on middle to upper class families and enacts months to years of violence and abuse on their children.

Some of the residents at Northern Star have been here for days or weeks. Others have been here for months or years. Some are gender or sexual minorities. Others are disabled or otherwise neurologically divergent. Some have experimented on occasion with alcohol, weed, other drugs, or smoking, and some have had previous encounters with the criminal justice system. Others have never run afoul of the law.

But that's not to worry. You're here at Northern Star, where you'll learn very quickly the one virtue that may allow you to leave one day at least somewhat better off than the others. You'll learn that what the staff and administrators really want from you is compliance.

Comply, and you might finish the program on time.

Toggle Rules

Expectations

This is not a school roleplay or a typical "troubled teen" roleplay. This roleplay is intended to use compelling characters, created by you, to explore the grim and disturbing realities of the troubled teen industry and its long history of abuse and torture of youth and people with disabilities trapped in it. I am not attempting to romanticize, sugarcoat, or downplay those realities, and I expect that writers should hold themselves to the same standards.

If you don't know a whole lot about the Troubled Teen Industry (TTI), that's okay. I'm happy to answer questions and provide resources. You can also ask MartianJusticiar any questions; they're an attorney with an extensive background in advocating for survivors of abusive residential treatment. You don't need to be an expert. If you're not comfortable or don't want to research a lot of information, it might be better to play the part of a resident, as your character would mostly be reacting to what is happening.

Respect each other's time. Some people can post all the time. Some people can only post occasionally. Some people can write a lot of posts in sudden flurries. Just make sure that if you're in a scene with someone else's character(s), you're on the same page about how often you can post until the scene is done. I have no requirements for how often you have to post, or for how long posts have to be. At least one post per month is a probably good baseline. More is great, though, too, and if you're extremely enthusiastic and excited, go for it! Just be careful of other folks who may be posting less frequently, and do attempt to avoid plot awkwardness. (i.e. You and another writer have written a fantastic ten pages worth of content in just one week, but someone else who is only posting once a month had their character in your scene, so no one actually knows what happened to that character or why that character hasn't actually said anything in the entire course of this scene. That's awkward.)

There is no minimum or maximum length or word count. If this is an access need, though, and you require more structure or specific, concrete guidelines, just let me know and I'd be happy to provide that structure for you.

It's okay to take from posting whenever you need to. If you have extenuating circumstances due to nature, family emergency, personal circumstances, work or school schedules, illness, spoon loss, prior engagements, or other reasonable excuses not to be posting for longer than that period, please simply let me know as soon as possible. I won't be upset as long as I know at least basically what's going on. (You don't need to go into detail if you're not comfortable doing that. For example, you could just say, "there are personal issues.")

Be artful and intentional in your writing. There may be sexual content (within the site's rules--click here to see Gateway's guidelines), romantic content, profanity, violence, and other potentially triggering, uncomfortable, unpleasant, or disturbing content. Be artful. Let events occur to develop character or plot, and not simply for the sake of including something racy or gory. Please use trigger warnings for rape/sexual violence. You can place a trigger warning at the beginning of any post that discusses or describes rape or other sexual violence in any way beyond just mentioning the word. If you are concerned about triggers because you are a survivor or because you have PTSD, anxiety, or phobias, but still want to participate, please contact me so we can talk about how to make this an accessible space for you and as safe as possible.

We'll be a small group of no more than five, most likely. I do expect people who are willing to commit to a very long-term writing process, that may stick around for months, or quite possibly, for years. That's why I'm not super concerned about the posting frequency. I also expect that all of us will grow both in our personal character and in our writing, as we stay together as a group. My goal is to conclude within two years once we've started, but it could stretch for longer. I'd like to write a complete story with a beginning, middle, and end. Complexity is a plus. (And yes, it's possible I'll accept more people.)

Respect your fellow players. If you have a disagreement with someone else, try to work it out privately with them first. If you still can't work it out in private, talk to me about it. Whatever you do, remember that your fellow players are also people with their own feelings, experiences, and opinions.

Collaboration is key. Talking to other players to come up with connections between your characters in their backstories is completely and totally encouraged. Working with some players to develop a devious plot twist to surprise other players with is also awesome.

Character Submissions

Develop compelling characters. As many or as few as you like. Well-developed characters have personalities, backstories, and relationships with other people in their lives. You don't need to know everything about a character right away, but we should be able to follow the character's development as the story continues.

You may choose to play the parts of any or all of the following:
  • Residents. Youth ages 13 to 25 currently at Northern Star. Older youth are more likely to have been here for longer. In keeping with the reality of the TTI, youth might have been sent here for anything from being suspected of using drugs/marijuana, being gay/otherwise queer/trans*, being a survivor of childhood sexual abuse or rape, having learning disabilities (like ADD), having psychosocial disabilities (like depression, bipolar, etc.), being "defiant," being involved with the criminal justice system (as a "diversion" or alternative to jail), or just about anything else under the sun.
  • Staff. Folks 18 and over working at Northern Star. Some may be former residents (a particularly bizarre practice in the TTI), but most are not. Some staff might be well-meaning and think that what they are doing is actually helpful to the students. A few staff might feel that at least some of the things going on at Northern Star aren't really right, but may be in over their heads. And some staff might be actively and intentionally abusive, emotionally, physically, sexually, verbally, or otherwise. Most staff probably do not have education beyond a high school diploma OR their education and experience aren't related at all to social work, therapy, or working with youth.
  • Family members, romantic/sexual partners at home, and friends. Folks outside of Northern Star who may or may not know the truth of what is happening there, and may or may not care enough to intervene. Most youth trapped in the TTI come from middle-class or upper-class backgrounds because that's how the TTI milks their families for money. Parents often believe completely in the TTI's marketing strategies.
  • Lawyers, advocates, activists, survivors. Folks who may or may not have current direct connections to Northern Star, but have a vested interest in identifying abuses that occur and rescuing residents, legally or otherwise. There may be a class action coming...
  • Journalists. Possibly investigative journalists interested in learning more about Northern Star.
  • Government investigators, social workers, etc. People who may be interested in the real story of what's going on here, or else who might be in the pockets of the Northern Star administrators, bribed or given other incentives to ignore the abuse.
  • Any other roles that you can conceive of playing. Literally, anyone.

You may have multiple characters, in the same or in different roles, but you will then be responsible for writing for all of them at least semi-regularly. You're also free to have only one, if you prefer.




Notice: If you like this idea and or this synopsis and or (future or present) in-character posts, please do not simply copy and paste, or copy and paste and make slight alterations, and post it (or any future in-character posts) either on this site or anywhere else without my explicit permission and consent (or that of the author of a particular in-character post). I can be reached by email at ohnoitsdark (at) gmail.com for such requests. Doing so without my permission or consent constitutes plagiarism and is a violation of U.S. federal law and an infringement of my intellectual property. If you choose to do so anyway, please expect nasty legal notes from me. This notice was posted on the original interest check page on Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013, at 11:55PM Eastern Standard Time.

Browse All » 17 Settings to roleplay in

Northern Star Academy

Northern Star Academy by Ylanne

The campus has several buildings that sit on a few hundred acres of land in the wilderness. Better known as Hell to the residents.

Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon by Ylanne

Portland has been an excellent place for organizers trying to help victims of the TTI.

Eugene, Oregon

Eugene, Oregon by Ylanne

Eugene is another major city in Oregon.

The Dormitories

The Dormitories by Ylanne

Four to six students are housed in each dormitory with a shared bathroom and live-in staff. They are always watching.

The Assembly Hall

The Assembly Hall by Ylanne

This is where Northern Star holds their all-resident meetings and activities.

Salem, Oregon

Salem, Oregon by Ylanne

Salem is the capital city of Oregon.

Youth Empowerment Project Headquarters

Youth Empowerment Project Headquarters by Ylanne

The building sits on a modest corner in Northwest Portland, and contains both a maze of crowded offices that are home to comic books and queer pride posters as they are to file folders and suits, as well as enough dormitory space for a good fifty people.

Blair(e)'s Place

Blair(e)'s Place by MartianJusticiar

Blair/e Iverson's apartment, smack in the center of the Pearl District.

Powell's Books

Powell's Books by Ylanne

Powell's Books is the largest independent used and new bookstore in the world, taking up an entire city block.

Dining Hall

Dining Hall by Ylanne

Sit up straight, no talking, elbows off the table. Eat everything on your plate, or else there will be Consequences.

The White House

The White House by Ylanne

Not the one you're thinking of. This one is a manor home housing Isabelle Lancaster upstairs, and Northern Star's administrative offices and staff lounge downstairs.

The Workshop House

The Workshop House by Ylanne

Otherwise known as Mindfuck Central, which in retrospect, is probably a significantly better name.

The Waterfront

The Waterfront by Ylanne

This wide expanse of green lawns along the downtown Portland waterfront is a scenic slice of park land. Along the waterfront there are a number of fountains, memorials, and gardens.

Pioneer Courthouse Square

Pioneer Courthouse Square by Ylanne

The central gathering place in downtown Portland.

Harney County

Harney County by Ylanne

The vast countryside, sparsely populated, surrounding the campus of Northern Star Academy. Just another deterrent for runaways.

Harney County Circuit Court

Harney County Circuit Court by Ylanne

Welcome to the Harney County Circuit Court, one of 36 state trial courts in the state court system, the Oregon Judicial Department.

Oregon State Penitentiary

Oregon State Penitentiary by Ylanne

Welcome to Oregon's only maximum security prison, located on a 26 acre property within the Salem city limits.

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Northern Star Academy

Northern Star Academy by Ylanne

The campus has several buildings that sit on a few hundred acres of land in the wilderness. Better known as Hell to the residents.

Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon by Ylanne

Portland has been an excellent place for organizers trying to help victims of the TTI.

Eugene, Oregon

Eugene, Oregon by Ylanne

Eugene is another major city in Oregon.

The Dormitories

The Dormitories by Ylanne

Four to six students are housed in each dormitory with a shared bathroom and live-in staff. They are always watching.

The Assembly Hall

The Assembly Hall by Ylanne

This is where Northern Star holds their all-resident meetings and activities.

Salem, Oregon

Salem, Oregon by Ylanne

Salem is the capital city of Oregon.

Youth Empowerment Project Headquarters

Youth Empowerment Project Headquarters by Ylanne

The building sits on a modest corner in Northwest Portland, and contains both a maze of crowded offices that are home to comic books and queer pride posters as they are to file folders and suits, as well as enough dormitory space for a good fifty people.

Blair(e)'s Place

Blair(e)'s Place by MartianJusticiar

Blair/e Iverson's apartment, smack in the center of the Pearl District.

Powell's Books

Powell's Books by Ylanne

Powell's Books is the largest independent used and new bookstore in the world, taking up an entire city block.

Dining Hall

Dining Hall by Ylanne

Sit up straight, no talking, elbows off the table. Eat everything on your plate, or else there will be Consequences.

The White House

The White House by Ylanne

Not the one you're thinking of. This one is a manor home housing Isabelle Lancaster upstairs, and Northern Star's administrative offices and staff lounge downstairs.

The Workshop House

The Workshop House by Ylanne

Otherwise known as Mindfuck Central, which in retrospect, is probably a significantly better name.

The Waterfront

The Waterfront by Ylanne

This wide expanse of green lawns along the downtown Portland waterfront is a scenic slice of park land. Along the waterfront there are a number of fountains, memorials, and gardens.

Pioneer Courthouse Square

Pioneer Courthouse Square by Ylanne

The central gathering place in downtown Portland.

Harney County

Harney County by Ylanne

The vast countryside, sparsely populated, surrounding the campus of Northern Star Academy. Just another deterrent for runaways.

Harney County Circuit Court

Harney County Circuit Court by Ylanne

Welcome to the Harney County Circuit Court, one of 36 state trial courts in the state court system, the Oregon Judicial Department.

Oregon State Penitentiary

Oregon State Penitentiary by Ylanne

Welcome to Oregon's only maximum security prison, located on a 26 acre property within the Salem city limits.

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Northern Star Academy

Northern Star Academy by Ylanne

The campus has several buildings that sit on a few hundred acres of land in the wilderness. Better known as Hell to the residents.

Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon by Ylanne

Portland has been an excellent place for organizers trying to help victims of the TTI.

Eugene, Oregon

Eugene, Oregon by Ylanne

Eugene is another major city in Oregon.

The Dormitories

The Dormitories by Ylanne

Four to six students are housed in each dormitory with a shared bathroom and live-in staff. They are always watching.

The Assembly Hall

The Assembly Hall by Ylanne

This is where Northern Star holds their all-resident meetings and activities.

Salem, Oregon

Salem, Oregon by Ylanne

Salem is the capital city of Oregon.

Youth Empowerment Project Headquarters

Youth Empowerment Project Headquarters by Ylanne

The building sits on a modest corner in Northwest Portland, and contains both a maze of crowded offices that are home to comic books and queer pride posters as they are to file folders and suits, as well as enough dormitory space for a good fifty people.

Blair(e)'s Place

Blair(e)'s Place by MartianJusticiar

Blair/e Iverson's apartment, smack in the center of the Pearl District.

Powell's Books

Powell's Books by Ylanne

Powell's Books is the largest independent used and new bookstore in the world, taking up an entire city block.

Dining Hall

Dining Hall by Ylanne

Sit up straight, no talking, elbows off the table. Eat everything on your plate, or else there will be Consequences.

The White House

The White House by Ylanne

Not the one you're thinking of. This one is a manor home housing Isabelle Lancaster upstairs, and Northern Star's administrative offices and staff lounge downstairs.

The Workshop House

The Workshop House by Ylanne

Otherwise known as Mindfuck Central, which in retrospect, is probably a significantly better name.

The Waterfront

The Waterfront by Ylanne

This wide expanse of green lawns along the downtown Portland waterfront is a scenic slice of park land. Along the waterfront there are a number of fountains, memorials, and gardens.

Pioneer Courthouse Square

Pioneer Courthouse Square by Ylanne

The central gathering place in downtown Portland.

Harney County

Harney County by Ylanne

The vast countryside, sparsely populated, surrounding the campus of Northern Star Academy. Just another deterrent for runaways.

Harney County Circuit Court

Harney County Circuit Court by Ylanne

Welcome to the Harney County Circuit Court, one of 36 state trial courts in the state court system, the Oregon Judicial Department.

Oregon State Penitentiary

Oregon State Penitentiary by Ylanne

Welcome to Oregon's only maximum security prison, located on a 26 acre property within the Salem city limits.

The Waterfront

This wide expanse of green lawns along the downtown Portland waterfront is a scenic slice of park land. Along the waterfront there are a number of fountains, memorials, and gardens.

The Workshop House

Otherwise known as Mindfuck Central, which in retrospect, is probably a significantly better name.

The White House

Not the one you're thinking of. This one is a manor home housing Isabelle Lancaster upstairs, and Northern Star's administrative offices and staff lounge downstairs.

Harney County

The vast countryside, sparsely populated, surrounding the campus of Northern Star Academy. Just another deterrent for runaways.

Oregon State Penitentiary

Welcome to Oregon's only maximum security prison, located on a 26 acre property within the Salem city limits.

Harney County Circuit Court

Welcome to the Harney County Circuit Court, one of 36 state trial courts in the state court system, the Oregon Judicial Department.

Dining Hall

Sit up straight, no talking, elbows off the table. Eat everything on your plate, or else there will be Consequences.

Powell's Books

Powell's Books is the largest independent used and new bookstore in the world, taking up an entire city block.

The Dormitories

Four to six students are housed in each dormitory with a shared bathroom and live-in staff. They are always watching.

Eugene, Oregon

Eugene is another major city in Oregon.

Portland, Oregon

Portland has been an excellent place for organizers trying to help victims of the TTI.

The Assembly Hall

This is where Northern Star holds their all-resident meetings and activities.

Salem, Oregon

Salem is the capital city of Oregon.

Blair(e)'s Place

Blair/e Iverson's apartment, smack in the center of the Pearl District.

Youth Empowerment Project Headquarters

The building sits on a modest corner in Northwest Portland, and contains both a maze of crowded offices that are home to comic books and queer pride posters as they are to file folders and suits, as well as enough dormitory space for a good fifty people.

Northern Star Academy

The campus has several buildings that sit on a few hundred acres of land in the wilderness. Better known as Hell to the residents.

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Most recent OOC posts in Compliance

Re: Compliance

It's all right. I understand how things get. I'm sorry to hear about your friend.

Re: Compliance

Hey Erik! Sorry about the delays. The executive functioning skills of a lot of us are apparently shit. We are definitely still planning on getting this off the ground. In fact, probably a better idea is just to start slowly posting and see what comes of it.

Thanks, and sorry about this. (I swear I'm not a total flake. It's just been a really hard past several months, and this past week, a close friend of mine died.)

Re: Compliance

So what's the word?

Re: Compliance

All right, sounds good to me. Let me know when you've worked out things. I think xe's definitely still interested in that angle too.

I'll be back Stateside in a couple days, and then we can talk about getting this off the ground. Though it still might be not immediately, depending. I'm sorry for the wait, but I'm sure it will be well worth it!

Re: Compliance

MartianJusticiar and I haven't finished figuring out Philip Darrow's granddaughter quite yet. I'm going to shoot her another message tonight.

Re: Compliance

Yes, definitely. I'm still abroad for a few more days, which is why we haven't started yet. Let me know when you submit a profile! Thanks!

Re: Compliance

Hello, Ylanne, I was wondering if you still had room in this roleplay for a Guidance Counsler/Psychologist type character.

Re: Compliance

Don't worry--all is well and you're not on the shit list. :) (smile) We're still getting ready to even get started.

Re: Compliance

Hey guys, just letting you know I am still breathing. Ylanne, I will hopefully get my FBI character up soon (along with perhaps a certain criminal). I just got sidewinder with a rush of work regarding college and intern stuff. Like, massive wave out of nowhere sidewinded. I still plan to try and stay active in this. Just letting you know my life got unexpectedly complicated really quickly and I also have prior engagements to fulfill.

Not dropping out, just giving you a warning.

Re: Compliance

MartianJusticiar, PM me. I've got to run to class now, but I would be interested in the connection you appear to be looking at.

Re: Compliance

Hey Erik! We approved both character submissions! Excited to get the ball rolling soon. I had an idea for drawing a connection between Darrow and one of MartianJusticiar's characters, but I'll let them talk about that possibility.

Edit: MartianJusticiar just inb4me'd. :P

Re: Compliance

Erik - sorry for the wait. I have a character with a similar background to Danielle (parents dead by foul play, sent to live with reluctant/unhospitable foster family) from another continuity, but she's got a different name (Delia Vandermeer) and possibly a different temperament than you imagine. I'm not sure if you'd like me to use this character as a substitute for Danielle or not.

Re: Compliance

Alright, thanks. I just submitted the detective character, who is largely an expy of a character from a sadly defunct RP elsewhere on this site.

Re: Compliance

Hey Erik, just to let you know, I have read through the profile you submitted -- just waiting to find out if the co-GM, MartianJusticiar, has any feedback before confirming. Thanks!

Re: Compliance

Ylanne: I submitted the grandfather character. I'm going to go get dinner, then work on the detective character.

To everyone else: I am willing to co-operate with anyone on Darrow's grandchild. At present the grandchild is a fourteen-year-old girl named Danielle, but I am willing to adapt that as you desire.

EDIT: Okay, instead of that I actually ended up working on my short story, and it's 1 AM and I should go to bed. I'll get around to detective guy tomorrow or Sunday.

Re: Compliance

@Erik: I'd encourage you to cooperate with someone else, but it's totally up to you in the end.

@FaddedFox: You should do what makes the most sense for you and your situation, but I can assure you that MartianJusticiar and I aren't the kind of people who will demand many posts every single day if you can't meet that standard. The suggested minimum post frequency is actually only one post per month, so if you think that'd be manageable, you're definitely still welcome to contribute.

Re: Compliance

I apologize but I am afraid I'll have to drop out of this role-play. I may be free during spring break, but school is going to start up again and I will not be able to make a good contribution to your story. I wish you all the best of luck and happy writing. :3

Re: Compliance

This is shaping up nicely. I'm a bit busy at present, but tomorrow I'll get to work on a private detective and a relative, probably a grandfather. Not sure if I should create his grandchild, ask for co-operation with someone else, or just imply the grandchild as an NPC-type character.

Re: Compliance

Thanks, MartianJusticiar. That was definitely sufficiently creepy and disturbing. Maybe planet names? I'm guessing the cissexism and gender binarism are intentional too.

Re: Compliance

Northern Star Academy, like many youth residential treatment programs, works on a "level system," where freedoms, responsibilities and even some necessities are given (back) to students gradually as they progress through the program. There are 5 levels*:

Level 1 - 3 months
* Hair is cut and uniform is issued.
* Students must wear flip flops at all time.
* No jewelry, makeup or other accessories allowed.
* No visits or phone calls with family members - only letters to parents or guardians and siblings who are approved by the parents and the school, which are monitored coming in and going out for lying and attempts manipulation.
* No communication with friends, extended relatives, unapproved siblings, or other people from home.
* No outside media of any form that is not given to you by staff is allowed.
* Participate in Guidance Circles 5 times a week with other Level 1s.
* May not attend academic classes.
* Cannot talk unless spoken to outside of Guidance Circles.
* Absolutely no physical contact between Level 1s unless specifically allowed by staff.
* Must be accompanied by an older student or staff member at all times.
* The goal is for Level 1 students to accept their placement at and take responsibility for the actions that got them sent to Northern Star, while acclimating to the school community and its expectations.

Level 2 - 6-8 months
* May write to and receive letters from, and have a 10 minute phone call every other week, with parents, guardians and approved siblings, monitored by staff for yelling, lying and attempts at manipulation.
* Attend Guidance Circle three times a week with the general student body (Levels 2-5).
* Engage in regular physical exercise of a type and amount agreed upon by the student and their counselor.
* May begin to attend academic classes if it times up with the academic schedule and if not on consequences.
* Students may read approved outside material. No music or multimedia allowed.
* May talk to students in Level 2 and above - no talking to Level 1s.
* Appropriate physical contact with members of the same sex is permissible under general circumstances.
* No romantic relationships are permitted.
* Level 2s are expected to take an active approach in their personal growth by identifying their core issues and taking the first steps towards making lasting changes, while also doing their part for the school community.

Level 3 - 6-8 months
* Students are to wear uniforms, but are allowed one personal item (a necklace or bracelet, a pin, a watch, a pair of earrings if the student is female) so long as it does not undermine their personal progress or the school's positive atmosphere.
***Military dog tags, "bling"-like jewelry, large hoop earrings, studs, and similar items are absolutely NOT allowed!
***UPDATE 11/3/2009: Students are not allowed to wear rainbow-colored items, as it distracts from the important work that their peers are doing on issues related to their sexual identity.
* Female students may apply to the Level Leaders and the Program Director for makeup privileges. If granted, makeup must be tasteful and appropriate.
* Students no longer have to wear flip flops so long as they have not had a runaway attempt. (A student who has run away may petition to wear shoes 6 months after their most recent attempt.)
* Up to two on-campus visits with a students' parents or guardians is permitted, and one is required. We ask that parents do not bring siblings, as this is an important time for students and their parents to focus on the issues that brought them to this point.
* Attend classes and complete coursework in a timely manner.
* Students may apply to help with set-up and take-down of a workshop.
* Students are encouraged to develop appropriate friendships and mentorships with both older and newer members of the student body.
* Level 3s are expected to have demonstrate commitment to the program and their own progress within it, and be learning to demonstrate leadership and responsibility as they gain more privileges.

Level 4 - 6 months
* Students are allowed to wear appropriate, school-approved clothing and hairstyles of their choosing.
***Students must wear a belt when wearing pants, and girls may wear skirts or dresses that are at least knee-length. No tank tops, spaghetti straps, tube tops, halter tops or wifebeaters allowed!
***Absolutely NO visible logos, characters or symbols may be worn on clothing!
* Students may visit their families for 1 week on an approved home visit, contingent on behavior. Personal growth and coursework will be assigned. Students and their counselors must work together to establish contracts before the visit.
*** There may be two visits in Level 4 and none in Level 5, depending on schedules.
* Expected to begin taking leadership roles in the community as requested - examples include shadowing Level 1s, supervising consequences such as dishes, running a dorm, and doing headcounts.
* Expected to initiate discussion in Guidance Circle at least once a week.
* Students may seek permission to engage in romantic relationships with appropriate physical boundaries as mutually decided on by them, their counselors, and the Level Leaders.
* Level 4s are established members of the NSA community, and are required to act the part. This is where they tend to struggle the most as they see the light at the end of the tunnel, but also learn the most from their mistakes.

Level 5 - 3-6 months
* Female students may wear appropriate makeup unless their counselor decides it would interfere with their work or the school community.
*** NO student of either sex may bleach, highlight or use unnatural-colored dye on their hair.
* May call and write to parents, guardians and approved siblings without monitoring for 10 minutes every other week.
* 1 week-long home visit contingent on behavior, preferably to look at and interview for colleges or next school placements.
* May call 1 supportive friend (approved by parents or guardians and the student's counselor) every other week for ten minutes, with staff monitoring.
* Students may read, listen to and watch approved outside material in a way that is not disruptive to the school community.
* Apply for college or further schools as necessary.
* Assist staff in facilitating Guidance Circles and workshops.
* Assist admissions staff in admissions tours and student enrollments.
* Establish final home contract with parents and counselor setting forth behavioral expectations, personal and family goals, and the means of accountability.
* Level 5 enables students to find closure to their Northern Star experience and to plan for the next step while allowing them to give back the support and guidance they received to younger students.

*A/N: I have uncreatively named them Level 1, Level 2, etc. This is not only lazy, but accurate to how a number of programs do it. However, there are some programs which use theme naming for their levels -- for instance, Aspen Achievement Academy used animals (Mouse, Eagle, etc.). I was thinking constellations because of NSA's name, but that seemed a little too cheesy and stilted. If anyone has an idea for level names, let me know.