Private, online schools offer famillies educational choice

Posted: Sunday, August 15, 2004

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District offers a wide range of school choice, with everything from traditional schools to alternative high schools to charter schools to a Web-based home-school program. However, the district isn't the only shop in town providing education for area students.

The Kenai Peninsula also is home to a number of private schools, and families also may participate in a number of cyber- and home-school programs provided by other public school districts throughout the state.

Private schools

The Academy of Higher Learning opened in 1993 in Sterling and is affiliated with the Ministry of Living Stones. The kindergarten through 12th-grade school stresses family, church and community involvement for students. For more information, call 262-7321.

Cook Inlet Academy is the largest Christian school on the Kenai Peninsula, offering kindergarten through 12th-grade education for families of all denominations. The school is not affiliated with a particular church, though it offers a Christ-centered philosophy, as well as rigorous academics with a staff of 17 certified teachers. Registration will continue until classes are filled. Classes begin Aug. 25. For more information, call 262-5101 or stop by the school on Kalifornsky Beach Road this week between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Grace Lutheran School opened four years ago and now serves students in preschool through eighth grade. The school is affiliated with and housed at Grace Lutheran Church on Ciechanski Road, off Kalifornsky Beach Road, though it is open to any children from churched or unchurched Christian families. The school has four certified teachers: Joanne Love, preschool; Marian Werth and Judy Schmidt, kindergarten through fourth grade; and Dennis Leckwee, fifth through eighth grade. Leckwee also serves as principal. The school offers a comprehensive elementary and junior high school curriculum that includes a phonics-based reading program and traditional subjects such as math, science and social studies, as well as art, music and physical education. Classes are "presented in the light of God's word," according to the school. For more information or to register for classes, which begin Aug. 24, call Leckwee at 283-7888, Pastor Tom Schmidt at 283-6297 or the school at 283-9551.

Homer Christian School has closed.

Kalifonsky Christian School on Kalifornsky Beach Road opened in 1979 and serves students in kindergarten through eighth grade. The school is a ministry of the Kalifonsky Christian Center, but serves children of all denominations. For more information, call 283-3150.

Lighthouse Christian School opened last fall as a ministry of North Kenai Baptist Church. The school offers preschool through fourth-grade classes using the A Beka Book curriculum. Church members with a background in education act as the school's staff, and classes are open to any child from the Kenai Peninsula. For more information, call 776-8234.

READS Primary School is a secular private school in Kenai that opened in 1996 and features a "back-to-basics" philosophy. Though the K-2 school uses the KPBSD curriculum, phonics-based reading starts in kindergarten and the school focuses exclusively on "basic" academic subjects. Classes will begin Aug. 23, running from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. One certified teacher and one aide will serve about 26 students this year. There currently are two openings in the kindergarten class. For more information or to sign up for the school, call 283-2848 or stop by the open house from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 18.

{ Wings Christian Aca-demy, affiliated with and housed at Immanuel Baptist Church on Kalifornsky Beach Road, offers a Bible-based, ungraded individualized curriculum for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. The school maintains a low student-teacher ratio, with three teachers serving the approximately 35 students at the school. The teachers, however, are not certified. Classes begin Aug. 24, and registration still is being accepted. For more information, call 283-9361.

Cyber schools

Alyeska Central School, a correspondence program based in Juneau, has been serving Alaska students since 1939. It recently was taken over from the state by the Yukon-Koyukuk School District to continue operations. Participants have access to lesson plans for classes for kindergarten through 12th-grade students, with courses designed to meet Alaska Content and Performance Standards. For more information, call (888) 290-3752 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays or visit

Copper River Correspon-dence Study Program is run through the Copper River School District and open to students from throughout Alaska. The program offers financial assistance for curriculum, technology, tutoring, activities and other instructional aides to help support home-school families. For more information, call (907) 822-3234, ext. 227 or 226, or visit www.homeschool

Delta Cyber School is a charter school run out of the Delta-Greely School District and open to any Alaska students in grades seven through 12. Admission requires an application and is granted on a first-come, first-served basis, with Delta-area students receiving priority. Appli-cations require commitment from both parents and students, and participants must have computer and Internet access. For more information, call (877) 895-1043 or visit

IDEA, or Interior Dis-tance Education of Alaska, is run by the Galena City School District and is open to students statewide. The program has an office in the Red Diamond Center on Kalifornsky Beach Road. For more information, call the Kenai office at 260-7555 or visit idea

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