Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a charter school?

    In Alaska, a charter school is part of the school district like other public schools.  Being a public school, it is tuition-free, funded by the state, and meets all state regulations, such as those pertaining to state standards and mandated testing.  


    What makes Boreal Sun Charter School different from other public schools?

    Boreal Sun Charter School provides K-8th grade students with a cross-curricular arts-integrated academic program inspired by Waldorf Education. Boreal Sun students receive lessons in music, Spanish, art, and drama, with an emphasis on getting outdoors. The school year is marked with seasonal and multicultural celebrations. We foster a strong sense of community and celebrate family involvement.

    Where is Boreal Sun located?

    We are located at 2404 South Barnette St, in the Bjerremark Subdivision. We opened our doors for the first time in August 2017.

    Is there busing for your school?

    No, Boreal Sun and the FNSB School District cannot provide transportation for our students.  Parents drive their children to and from school.  Some families take advantage of carpooling with friends.  The Boys and Girls Club and Smart Start offer transportation if students are enrolled in their programs.

    Do you provide school lunch?

    Parents should pack a healthy snack and lunch for their child/children daily. All classes have a snack break. However, breakfast and lunch are available through the school district’s Nutrition Services daily.

    Is there a fee for Boreal Sun?

    Boreal Sun has a supplies fee of $50/student/semester, due in August and January.  This supply fee covers the cost of our specialized student supplies.  No additional supplies will be required at the beginning of the year, so you will not need to shop for pencils or notebooks before the first day of school.  Financial assistance may be available if needed. To ease the burden on families with multiple children enrolled at Boreal Sun, no family will be required to pay more than $250/year for supplies.

    What is the daily schedule at Boreal Sun?

    Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 8:45 am - 3:15 pm; Friday from 8:45 am –1:15 pm.  We have an early release day on Friday to facilitate a weekly staff meeting and professional development. Students may be dropped off at 8:30 am. All parents come inside the building at dismissal time to pick up their students.

    Does Boreal Sun require parents to contribute volunteer hours?

    Boreal Sun depends on parental involvement and support. The school asks each family to volunteer 20-45 hours per year. We record hours through Track it Forward https://chat.google.com/dm/5uzX4EAAAAE/3ZoMs8hfmTA/3ZoMs8hfmTA?cls=10

    What is a public Waldorf-inspired charter school?

    A public Waldorf-inspired charter school strives to blend Waldorf pedagogy with traditional public school standards and goals.  Boreal Sun is a developing member of the Alliance for Public Waldorf Education.

    What is Waldorf-inspired education?

    Waldorf-inspired education strives to meet students’ readiness at each age and stage of development.  Waldorf Schools are known for nurturing a lifelong love of learning. Today, more than 900 Waldorf schools exist worldwide. In the United States, Waldorf began as a private (independent) school movement; it has become a charter school movement as well, with Waldorf-inspired schools across the country. 

    Waldorf-inspired schools integrate movement and experiential and artistic elements in every subject, so children have a hands-on experience of learning.  Teachers aim to teach the whole child—the head, as well as the heart and hands.  Subjects are explored deeply and woven together to encourage children to recognize their connections to fellow human beings and the world around them.

     

    What are some other distinguishing features of Boreal Sun?  

    • The daily routine is structured to support a child’s natural learning rhythms.
    • Kindergartners learn through a play-based environment.
    • Children will keep the same teacher and class group (also known as looping) for grades 1-5 and 6-8.
    • Students make their lesson books.
    • Technology use is limited, particularly in the elementary years.
    • World language instruction begins in first grade.
    • Teachers hold parent meetings to inform them of what is happening in the classroom.


    What is cross-curricular and arts-integrated? 

    Cross-curricular instruction integrates content and skills from multiple subjects (reading, math, social studies, science, etc.) into one cohesive learning experience.  Arts-integrated instruction infuses art (drawing, painting, drama, poetry, music, modeling, handwork such as knitting and sewing, etc) into core academic subjects.   Studies have shown that these approaches result in highly engaged and motivated students who are invested in their learning. 

    How is reading taught at Boreal Sun?  

    The language arts approach in a Waldorf-inspired school is rich and fosters a love of language through storytelling, poetry recitation, and drama from kindergarten through eighth grade.  Initial emphasis is placed on the spoken word in kindergarten with repetitive storytelling and recall, which develops comprehension.  Writing begins formally in first grade, and the alphabet is introduced through a story-based approach.  Teaching is multi-sensory and activates learning through music, actions, alliteration, movement, song, art, and games.

    To meet the requirements of The Alaska Reads Act which was signed into law in June 2022, new programs to support early literacy, including intervention programs, were added in grades K-5 at Boreal Sun. The goal is to assist students in achieving reading proficiency at or above grade level by the end of third grade.  


    What subjects are taught?

    In grades 1-8, in addition to standard academic subjects, handwork, world language, and the arts are part of our curriculum.  Physical Education is incorporated into the daily routine and is also part of the weekly schedule.

    How is kindergarten structured?

    Kindergarten hours are 8:45 am - 1:15 pm. The 5-6-year-old child is easily overstimulated by large group interactions and the hard work of focused and self-directed activity in the school setting. Kindergarten is primarily play-based. Our youngest students bake bread, make soup, and prepare tea. They spend part of each day outdoors when the temperature permits. We offer an extended day, on a needs-based basis, from 1:15 - 3:15 pm in the staffed Kindergarten classroom. In the afternoon, each child takes a 30-minute rest, does afternoon classroom chores, and engages in additional play opportunities.

    How can I learn more about public Waldorf-inspired Education?

    You can find links, videos, and articles on our website:  www.k12northstar.org/borealsun.  You may also go to our Facebook page where you will find articles and videos that give you a window into what public Waldorf-inspired education looks like. 

    ***When searching the internet for information about Waldorf Education, bear in mind that there is a lot of information that pertains more to the private Waldorf Education movement.*** revised 2/1/24

Last Modified on Wednesday at 2:38 PM