education options

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education options2018-02-24T21:02:05+00:00

In Alaska, you have more options than you may think…

Brick & Mortar Public Schools

Compulsory Attendance

Your child’s age is your first indicator of his or her eligibility for beginning school. Students may start 1st grade at age 6 by must enroll but his or her 7th birthday.

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Required Documentation

Alaska school districts set the requirements for what documentation is required prior to enrolling a student in their district. To get that information, contact the district directly.

Some legal documents are required for Alaska students to attend school:

  • Certified Birth Certificate/proof of identity
  • Official copy of records/transcripts from the previous school the child most recently attended.
  • A shot immunization record (or proof that immunization is not required for the child)
    • Click here to view the immunization requirements
  • Proof of home address (for example, a rental agreement or tax statement)

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School Fees

Paying some fees is a part of public education, though it is primarily a free education. Students are expected to supply their own basic school supplies such as paper, pencils, and notebooks. Each district has a list of approved expenditures for students. Fee waiver forms can be requested from the school if there is a situation that prevents a family from being able to pay for required materials or events.

Some typical items on that list include:

  • Lunch
  • Summer school
  • Student parking passes (high school)
  • Lost textbooks
  • Late or lost library books
  • Field trips
  • Special class-required fees (e.g., science lab fees)

Public Charter Schools

What are Charter Schools?

Charter Schools are tuition-free public schools operated by independent, non-profit governing bodies.

Parents, teachers, and community leaders sign a “charter” or contract with a school district or state agency to create a charter school and give students more educational options than their assigned school. Charter schools have flexibility over classroom hours, curriculum, and employment policies, but are subject to periodic reviews based on student performance. In Alaska, public charter school students are measured against the same academic standards as students in other public schools. Local boards of education monitor the academic and financial performance of charter schools, and, can revoke  or refuse to renew a school’s charter.

Alaska Charter Schools

A list of the active charter schools can be found at Alaska Department of Education.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about charters can be found at the Alaska Department of Education.  

Enrollment

Most charter schools do not have attendance zones.  If you are interested in applying for your child, you must apply directly to the school. The application and selection process can be quite complicated. Make sure to contact the school early to determine the correct next steps to applying.

Virtual Public Schools

In Alaska, children can attend school online in virtual classrooms with state certified teachers.  Some virtual programs are open to in-district students only, while others have enrollment open to students across the state.

ASD iSchool

(907) 742-1230

Grades: 9-12

Private Schools

What makes a school “private”?

Private schools charge tuition, and many have a religious mission. Some private schools offer families assistance to make tuition payments. Click below for the complete list of over 43 private schools across the state.

private school review

Private School Review offers free, detailed information on U.S. private schools combined with useful community data (e.g., housing costs) and maps of the surrounding areas.

*Information on non-public school admission requirements should be obtained from the school directly.

Scholarships

In 2014, policymakers in Alaska introduced a proposal that would amend Alaska’s constitution to allow for the creation of a school voucher program. This amendment would alter the state’s current Blaine Amendment and allow for public funds to go to private and religious schools. However, funds must first go to the parents of eligible students and would then choose from all participating secular and sectarian private schools. The proposal stalled in the state legislature due to a lack of support among legislators in the Alaskan Senate.

Educational Choice Programs

During the next legislative session, it is possible an education savings account might be proposed again. Gov. Bill Walker has stated publicly he would consider a private school choice program if supporters can demonstrate that it will help balance the state budget. For more information or to get involved in the school choice movement in Alaska visit EdChoice.

Private Virtual Schools

George Washington University Online High School is an online college preparatory academy for motivated students who are willing to be challenged to become the best students and persons they can be. Combining award-winning curriculum with small class sizes and intensive college counseling, students receive a flexible, individualized education attuned to their own needs and goals.

International Academy is a K12, Inc accredited, online private school for grades K–12. Students earn a U.S. high school diploma while using award-winning K¹² curriculum

They offer extensive, individualized academic and counseling support keep students on track. The flexibility allows students to explore their passions. Full-time and part-time options are available.

International Connections Academy is a fully-accredited, online, college preparatory private school serving K–12 students worldwide. The program combines a top-rated curriculum with talented teachers, cutting-edge technology, the flexibility to learn at home, and direct family involvement to ensure each student realizes his or her full potential.

The Keystone School offers flexible education programs for high school and middle school students. Whether your student wants to study full-time or just needs individual classes, they offer more than 170 courses from credit recovery to world languages and AP. Students can enroll at any time.

Home Education

Your options

In Alaska, parents have the option to educate their children at home, an option known as homeschooling or home education. Parents in Alaska may choose to homeschool their own children in grades K – 12. T Parents desiring to homeschool their own children may do so by choosing one of the following four options – Independent Home School, With a Private Tutor, With School Board Approval or With a Religious Private School. All four options are discussed below.

Independent home school students must:

A church school offers instruction in grades K–12 or any combination thereof, including preschool, through onsite or home programs, and is operated as a ministry of a local church, group of churches, denomination, and/or association of churches that does not receive any state or federal funding. A home may be the location where a child receives instruction as a student attending a church school. A parent may establish a church school in the home, or the home may be an extension of an existing church school.

Homeschooling with a Private Tutor:

Students can be taught at home by a private tutor that is a Alaska-certified teacher.

Homeschooling with school board approval:

Alaskan students do not have to physically attend school. To homeschool under this option a parent or legal guardian must submit a written request to the principal or school administrator of the school your child attends to receive a written excuse from school attendance.

Connections Alaska Homeschool Program

(907) 714-8880
Grades: K-12

Interior Distance Education of Alaska (IDEA)

(907) 789-6106
Grades: K-12

Raven Homeschool

(907) 374-9401
Grades: K-12

Homeschooling as a religious private school:

To homeschool under this option you must do the following:
  1. File an annual notice of enrollment to the superintendent by the first day of public school. You must fill out the Enrollment Reporting Form for School Districts provided by the Department of Education.
  2. File the Exempt Religious & Other Private Schools and School Calendar forms, by October 15th each year with the Department of Education. Both documents can be found here and scrolling to the Private Schools section.
  3. Maintain a monthly attendance record.
  4. Maintain permanent records of immunizations, standardized testing, physical exams, academic achievement and courses. Use the Affidavit of Compliance form found here.
  5. Do not accept any state or federal funding.
  6. Comply with standardized testing requirements. Parents can choose whichever standardized tests, but they must be administered during the 4th, 6th and 8th grade years.


Public Charter Homeschool

These charter schools provide resources and support to families interested in homeschooling their children.

Family Partnership Charter School

(907) 742-3700
Grades: K-12

Frontier Charter School

(907) 742-1180
Grades: K-12

Home School Legal Defense Alliance

visit the HSLDA website >

Coalition for Responsible Home Education

visit the coalition’s website >

Support Groups

Alaska has many homeschool associations that offer classes, curriculum, advising, sports, clubs, socials and recreation. Check out your local support groups here.

Dual Enrollment

College Credit

Dual enrollment courses are college credit courses. High school students enroll in college courses and earn postsecondary credit upon successful completion of the course. High school credit can also be awarded based on local school policy. Dual enrollment courses can be taught on the college campus, at the student’s high school, or online. The location of the course does not affect its status as a dual enrollment course. Home school students are also eligible for dual enrollment.

While there is no statewide policy in Alaska, dual enrollment is offered on an institutional basis.

Course Fees

The parent or student is responsible for all course fees.

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