The Anchorage School Board on Tuesday approved a plan to move a district charter school that’s currently confined to a wing of an Anchorage high school into a local elementary school building in time for the next school year.
The Alaska Native Cultural Charter School, which serves students in kindergarten through eighth grade with a curriculum that incorporates Alaska Native values, will move into Abbott Loop Elementary’s building in late May. The neighborhood elementary school is set to close at the end of this school year, the only one of six schools the district initially recommended closing.
The charter school’s supporters say the lack of space at its current location, a wing of Bettye Davis East Anchorage High School, hurts the learning environment and its cultural mission. Students and staff lack adequate space as well as a gym, lunchroom and library.
The charter school will move into the Abbott Loop building starting next school year and will be located there for a maximum of five years while the school’s leadership board develops a plan to secure a long-term home for the charter school. The charter school will pay operational expenses like utilities and janitorial services at Abbott Loop, under the new plan.
The seven-member school board voted unanimously Tuesday evening to approve the move.
School board member Kelly Lessens said she appreciated the care and concern from the district directed toward Abbott Loop students who will attend Trailside and Kasuun next year, and emphasized how much learning had been constrained for the charter school students.
“I’m eager for our Alaska Native Cultural Charter students to have all the spaces that they need and deserve,” Lessens said.