My boys both attend Sand Lake, not the immersion program, and it is the best school they have ever been in. I am a teacher and very picky about schools and they have been in schools in Delaware, Tennessee, and Louisiana before moving to Alaska. The academics are on par with any school out there, but what makes it truly special is the environment. My sons have built self-confidence because of the celebration of diversity, the individualized involvement of the teachers, and the emphasis on utilizing each child's strengths. There is no emphasis on "teaching to the test" but on real life experiences, hands on learning, multi-sensory activities, and differentiated instruction. I only wish that my kids would have been young enough to enter the Japanese immersion program. The principal is also amazing and highly involved.
My children have attended this school; for the last 5 years, each joined at separate times. Though I have had my problems with the administration and a few teachers here and there, I think that Sand Lake is a fantastic school. The majority of the teachers look at your kids like they are their family and treat you as if your their family as well. They really take a avid interest in your child, and in a good way. I loved my kids teachers and if I had problem w/ one of them, I would just transfer them to a teacher that we saw more eye to eye with and had the same mission. All in all Sand Lake is the only school in this area that I would have my child attend.
Well I was in the Japanese program at Sand Lake when I was in Kindergarten and 1st grade, it was amazing! I moved to Portland, OR halfway into 1st grade I went to Richmond and I am now a 6th grader at MT. Tabor!! Its Awesome being in the Japanese program!! It stuck with me for life....
My son went to Sand Lake for 1st grade. We moved, so unfortunately he no longer attends this school. It was a very hard decision to take him out of such a nurturing school environment. His teacher was AMAZING, meeting each child's individual learning needs. The principal is very 'hands-on.' He seems to be very supportive of the staff, as the teachers seem very happy to be at school. To me this is a sign of great leadership. Get involved with you child's class and the school! You will be delighted with the experience.
My oldest son will be starting 2nd grade and has loved going to school here. The teachers have worked shown a great interest in his efforts and encourge him to do his best. I've seen a big change in his knowledge over the past 2 years and his last teacher pointed out that the school has an Excel program starting with the 2nd grade students. Sand Lake has a Japanese Emersion program which is very popular and it even spills over into the regular classes by exposing the other children to some of the Japanese culture.