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FAQs

For questions specific to Waldorf Education, please read the FAQs section on the website Why Waldorf Works.

How many grades will Birchtree include this year?

Birchtree is a K-8 school.

What will the daily school hours be?

Our days begin at 8:30am and end at 3:00pm. Drop off time will begin at 8:20am. Students can be picked up time in the classroom from 3:00pm to 3:10pm or outside from 3:10pm to 3:20pm.

Kindergarten hours are from 8:30am to 12:30. Parents will come in to the building to pick up their students at 12:30pm.

How long is the kindergarten day?

Kindergarten is a four-hour day.

Will any bus transportation be available for students? 

Birchtree offers limited bus to and from a few select locations. If you are interested in having your student ride the bus, you must fill out this form and turn it in to the office.

Morning route will pick up students at:

  • Wasilla Target parking lot at 7:20am
  • Palmer Old Carrs parking lot at 7:55am

Afternoon route will drop off students at:

  • Wasilla Target parking lot at 3:35pm
  • AT&T Sports Center at 3:45pm
  • Palmer Old Carrs parking lot at 3:50pm

Will there be a hot lunch program?

Students will need to bring their own lunches and a healthy snack. . We hope to provide a hot lunch service in the future.

Will extracurricular activities be offered?

 We are excited to offer a wide variety of extracurricular activites this school year. Please see the extracurricular page on our website (coming soon).

Will childcare be available before and after school?

 We do not currently offer before and after school care, we would eventually like to offer before and after school supervision for Birchtree students.

Will teachers follow a class through multiple grades?

Birchtree teachers will “loop” with their students from Grade One through Grade Five. Students will have a different teacher for Grades Six through Eight. 

What school supplies will my child need?

Supplies used in Waldorf schools are quality supplies that can last children many years.  These are specialty items that must be ordered.  We order these supplies in bulk over the summer.  By ordering in bulk we receive a significant discount.  We ask that families pay a $50 supply fee per child per semester, or a total of $100 per year.    This will cover about 50% of the cost of supplies for the children with the significant discount.  Parents are able to make additional donations or they can apply for a supply scholarship through the Birchtree Parent Guild.

Does the school have a dress code?

Because Waldorf-inspired education aims to create an educational environment free from distractions from the media, we recommend that student attire be free of large logos or cartoon characters.  More details regarding student dress is outlined in the Birchtree Family Guide.

Where can I get details about Birchtree’s curriculum?

Please see our curriculum page (coming soon).

What is the school’s philosophy on homework?

Typically, students begin getting weekly homework in Grade Four, an age where most children are able to take full responsibility for their work.  Homework will then gradually increase in frequency and amount in subsequent years.

How do you incorporate nature/outdoors into the school day?

The Waldorf-inspired curriculum exposes students to the natural world every day.  Our 14-acre location will also offer ample opportunity for students to connect with nature!

If my child seems more advanced in reading and writing than her peers, will the school consider moving her up a grade?

Because Waldorf-inspired curriculum is based upon the developmental stages of each age group, academically advanced students typically remain with their peers.  The curriculum, however, offers opportunities for students to receive extra academic challenges as needed.

What types of opportunities will there be to volunteer and how many hours are we expected to give?

Opportunities for volunteering will be advertised on the volunteer page of the website (coming soon). To learn about opportunities to volunteer in the classroom, you can communicate with the classroom lead volunteer. We encourage each BCS family to donate a minimum of 36 hours per school year.

How will discipline be handled for typical mild-moderate situations that may arise?

Most discipline issues will be handled by individual teachers, who will communicate directly with parents.  The school assistant principal and/or principal will assist when needed.

What types of assessments will Birchtree be using?

 As a public school in the state of Alaska, Birchtree is required to conduct all State-mandated tests.  These include the Standards Based Assessments (SBAs) given annually to students in Grades 3 – 8,  the TerraNova exam for students in Grades 5 and 7, and MAP testing for Grades 5-8.  Additionally, Birchtree will be using assessment rubrics designed specifically for Waldorf-based programs by Bonnie River.  These rubrics will assist teachers in assessing the learning growth of their students and will be shared with parents during parent/teacher conferences.