Optional Programs

Educational Options for Juneau Students

Download an Application

Juneau Schools offer many choices so each and every student can find the best fit for his or her learning needs. The first choice for many families is their neighborhood school, but there are also other unique, free programs available within our public school system. These options include the Juneau Community Charter School, Tlingit Culture Language and Literacy classrooms at Harborview and Montessori Borealis. All optional programs are open to all students regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, or ability; but do require an application. Optional programs use a placement procedure to make sure the diversity of the students reflects our district and to manage placement when there are more requests than openings.

Applications for all Educational Option programs are available below. Family information provided on the application is confidential. There are limited openings with the most openings occurring in the early grades. 


Applications for the Spring Placement Process will be accepted starting March 1, 2014. The deadline for applications for the 2014-15 school year is April 18, 2014. Summer applications to fill any remaining openings will be accepted until August 8, 2014. Applications may still be made after the school year starts, and will be placed on the wait list in date received order.

Applications are considered for the current school year only. Wait lists do not carry forward into the next school year.

Placement Procedure
Due to the possibility of more requests for placement than available positions in the option program classrooms, a placement procedure  (complete procedures) (condensed version) approved by the District administration and the Board of Education, is used to determine classroom placement.  Most openings occur in the entry grades, but other vacancies are scattered throughout the upper grades, as well. The first placement is held in early May; another placement is conducted in August after new student registration. Families are contacted with a placement offer and have 48 hours to decide whether to accept.  

Please view the Educational Options brochure. Families are encouraged to learn more about the unique philosophy, goals, and classroom techniques — that are different from a district classroom — before choosing one of the option programs. Several open houses will be held in the Spring. Here is a short list of those events. If you are unable to attend, please contact the program to learn more, or arrange a visit.



K-8, Established 1997
  • Good fit for families who want strong family involvement, a close school-community connection, and a focus on individualized instruction.
  • A curriculum that includes project-based learning; frequent trips into the community; and music, and art instruction.
  • Children are encouraged to take an active role in their learning, working both collaboratively and individually, and are recognized as unique learners.
  • A small school setting with four multi-grade classrooms..
  • Located downtown, with bus transportation from anywhere in the district.
  • Collaboratively run by parents and teachers.
  • Special Education, ESL/ELL, and other services provided to students requiring them.
  • Limited enrollment; subject to placement procedures.
  • Call to schedule a visit or learn more.  
1-8, Established 1994
  • Appropriate for children of all academic levels. Multi-grade classrooms (1-3, 4-6, and 7-8) allow children to remain with the same teacher for two or three years.
  • Emphasis on helping students develop personal responsibility for their learning.
  • The elementary day is organized around an uninterrupted 3-hour learning block, during which children focus on academic subjects. Children plan and select their work and the order in which their work will be done. This allows children to work at their own pace, and to concentrate and complete work.
  • Reading instruction is heavily phonics-based, while mathematics involves the use of Montessori–specific materials designed to teach particular concepts.
  • The adolescent program provides a small and supportive setting in which students can experiment and grow socially and academically. Basic to advanced math and literature are taught daily, while science, history and geography are covered in intensive blocks to allow for in-depth learning. 
  • All adolescent students study Spanish.
  • Appropriate for children of all academic abilities.
  • Located in Marie Drake downtown, with bus transportation from anywhere in the District.
  • Special Education, ESL/ELL, and other services provided to students requiring them.
  • Limited enrollment; subject to placement procedures.


Bringing Resources to Individual Development, Growth and Education
K-12, Established 1999
  • Good fit for families who want individualized, independent, home-based education.
  • Good fit for youngsters with parent supervision and for self-motivated teens seeking self-paced, independent classes, perhaps mixed with live high school instruction.
  • Each student receives up to $2,200 to purchase materials, lessons, or University classes.
  • Students loaned a laptop computer to take home.
  • Teacher helps families choose classes and materials.
  • Teacher available to proctor tests and to provide some tutoring.
  • Students may attend classes and all extra-curricular school activities at neighborhood school.
  • Students participate in all state testing.
  • Enrollment encouraged by Oct. 15.
  • Unlimited enrollment. The placement procedures do not apply to this program.
K-5, established 2000
  • Good fit for families interested in a placed-based program in which children explore natural surroundings and cultural connections.
  • Incorporates Tlingit elders, cultural knowledge, language, understanding, respect, and skills.
  • Three multi-age classrooms where Native students are encouraged to do well in school, and develop cultural pride and confidence.
  • Stresses academic achievement and literacy, with an emphasis on oral language.
  • Strong connection between program and families.
  • Located in Harborview, dowtown.
  • Limited enrollment; subject to placement procedures.

Options Program Bus Service

Students attending the Juneau Community Charter School as well as the JSD Montessori or Tlingit Culture and Language programs have the option of taking the school bus this year. Students may take their regular neighborhood school bus to the neighborhood school in their residential area where they catch a shuttle downtown to the Charter, Marie Drake or Harborview Schools. At the end of the day, students will take high school buses home at 3:45 pm. After school programs will be provided for bus riders in options programs.