The mission of the Effie Kokrine Charter School serves as a powerful argument for the formation of The Watershed School:
… provide educational opportunities for students to succeed in the world by developing a strong sense of purpose, identity, place and community through cultural and academic empowerment. One emphasis of this new school is a strong connection between what students experience in school and in their communities. The school will provide many cultural activities and other opportunities for real-world learning. Another emphasis is that this school will focus on academic excellence by utilizing a curriculum that accommodates individual learning styles of students in an active, project-based learning environment.
The Watershed School is an obvious choice as a powerful feeder school to Effie Kokrine Charter School. Both schools place a heavy emphasis on authentic learning tasks that bring the real world into the classrooms and take the classrooms out into the real world. Any child, whether it is an Interior Athabascan Indian, Yup’ik Eskimo of Southwest Alaska, Latino immigrant from Mexico’s Copper Canyon, or a transplant from Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula, will benefit from our curriculum’s heavy focus and embedded respect for all cultures and a specific focus on developing a deep connection to local cultures. This grounding is essential for our children from diverse cultural backgrounds.
The Watershed School will exceed all of the Alaska Standards for Culturally Responsive Schools. A review of these standards clearly illustrates how our place-based curriculum is a perfect match to the diverse cultural origins of our community of children.