A Charter School in Alaska is a school that operates under contract with a local school district. Our contract includes us in the district’s overall system but puts an elected body of parents in charge. This gives us the flexibility to choose which curriculum to use and how to administer it. For more information, read the 2017 JCCS Charter Renewal Document.
Class begins for all students, Kindergarten through 8th grade, at 8:30am. Arrangements can be made for students who need to arrive earlier than 8:30am. The school day for Kindergarten through 8th graders ends at 3:00pm.
Yes. In the morning all students, K-8, ride the bus to their neighborhood elementary school. Once there, they will wait for a second bus with other JCCS and optional program students. This bus will bring all students to front of the High School building where they will be met by a JCCS staff member in the cafeteria. Students will wait there until teachers walk them down to their classroom at 8:25 am.
After school, students who are taking the bus will be walked to the bus room. There, they will wait for the bus, snacks and activities are provided. The bus room is staffed by parent volunteers.
All students K-8 participate and choose an activity or “center” that they are interested in. This is a great opportunity to build friendships and community. By giving students the choice of which center to attend, their general engagement increases. Centers are sometimes thematic based on what we’re studying across the school, but often involve a station were students can work together on particular activities. Centers have included: chess; kapla blocks; sewing projects; Gak; baking and cooking; sled making; jump roping; art projects, and much more.
JCCS offers a wide range of extracurricular activities. Each year is different and depends on student interest and parent volunteers. Last year students had access to: Lego Robotics, chess club, archery, and precision marksmanship.
We do. All middle school students participate in two, hour-long exploratory (elective) classes per week. Previous classes have included: mountain running; cooking; northwest coastal arts; sewing; photography; news reporting; yearbook; yoga; computer programming; cake decorating; rock band; string band; painting; Spanish; marimbas; wood-working; alternative health; capoeira; and Turbokick – just to name a few. We are always looking for new exploratories to offer the middle school students. If you, or someone you know, have advanced skills that you or she would be willing to share, please let our staff know.
JCCS students have equal access to all sports offered by the JSD. Students desiring to participate in sports like football, basketball, track, etc would join the Dzantik’i Heeni middle school team. Each year several of our students choose to participate in sports at Dzantik’i Heeni. Transportation to and from sports practice is the responsibility of the parent, but what has traditionally happened is a cooperative effort among parents of taking students from JCCS to practice. Because of wide student interest JCCS has historically had its own cross country running team and participated in local meets and events with the other schools.
Music is interwoven throughout our school, every day. All students K-5 have an hour of general music per week. 2nd/3rd graders have an additional hour of keyboarding lessons per week and 4th/5th graders have an additional hour of guitar lessons per week. Middle schoolers (grades 6-8) study music for all three years, either in band or “oppo-band.” Additionally, middle school students have the option of taking a rock band class or other music class during their exploratory class periods.
The whole school meets for one half-hour per week for “Music Buddies.” This half-hour can be a time to sing-a-long, listen to other students playing what they’ve learned, or listening to a visiting musician.
Generally students eat lunch in the High School cafeteria. If the weather is good, sometimes classes eat outside.
Sometimes we have Lunch Buddies. During Lunch Buddies, three students from each class can visit another classroom for the lunch period. Ideally each classroom welcomes students from the other 4 classrooms giving students of all ages a chance to engage and develop our school community.
We have PE upstairs in the High School Auxiliary gym. Sometimes PE becomes a field trip. We have ice skated at the Treadwell Rink, gone cross country skiing, practiced archery at Gastineau School, gone rock climbing at Zach Gordon, and more.
Recess is almost always outside at our turf field, so please make sure your student is dressed for the weather!
We do not give traditional letter grades to any of our students, K-8. Instead our teachers write a narrative describing the class activities, your student’s strengths, and areas in which he or she can grow. If you have further questions that are not met through parent/teacher conferences or the narratives, please contact your classroom teacher.
JCCS asks that each family volunteer 15 hours per trimester, per child, but no more than 30 hours per trimester per family. Talk with the Facilitating Teacher if this doesn’t work for you for whatever reason. There is a reduction in volunteer hours request form in the Volunteer Forms folder.
Parent volunteerism is a critical component of the JCCS program. Typically parents help out by supervising lunch/recess times with their child’s class, assist with math and reading groups, art classes, etc. Some parents use their lunch break as a time to volunteer. Others have schedules that change with the seasons and put in more hours when their work schedule is slow and then volunteer less as work gets busier. Other parents come in on the weekends or after hours to support the classroom. There are many options and we try to work with each family to find something that will work for their lives, while still enabling them to support their student and the school.
In general the first person to speak with anytime you have a concern is your classroom teacher. From there if the conversation merits, or if you have more general questions/concerns about the school the Facilitating Teacher would be included. If you have concerns about the overall structure or policies of the school, you can meet with members of the Academic Policy Committee (APC) individually or during one of their monthly meetings (check the calendar for upcoming meetings). The APC oversees management of the Juneau Community Charter School, communicates with outside organizations including the Juneau City Assembly and the Juneau School District School Board, manages the JCCS operating budget, oversees the Facilitating Teacher and other non-classroom teacher positions, hires all staff, reviews, revises, and creates policies and procedures to effectively manage the Charter School operations, and makes decisions regarding JCCS curriculum and academic approach.