Steller is a school devoted to an educational setting which fosters the creation of independent, courageous people capable of dealing with the shifting complexities of the modern world. It runs on the energy and excitement of people who have committed themselves to self-directed learning. With the support of parents and staff, it attempts to help provide students with a humane education based upon freedom and responsibility.
The underlying idea of the school is that responsible freedom is a supreme good; people, including young people, have a right to this freedom. People who are encouraged to pursue their own path will, in general, be more open, more humane, more knowledgeable than people who are directed, manipulated, and ordered about.
We believe that every student should be free to establish his or her own path to becoming a more fully self-sufficient person. We recognize that this search takes place in the context of an interdependent world, and that part of this quest involves the recognition of each individual’s role/responsibility in the larger community.
Students are responsible; to the extent each is capable, for defining their own educational goals, selecting or devising a course of study to achieve these goals, and working to fulfill these goals. They are also responsible for assisting in the continuous evaluation of their performance in relation to these same goals.
Essential to the development of the Steller Alternative program are the following goals:
- To demonstrate that the heart of education is process, not product. It is not merely preparation, but life itself.
- To provide a self-directed, learning experience consistent with students’ needs and expressed desires.
- To employ teachers and other staff who are committed to a more personalized education, in order to facilitate self-directed learning.
- To promote appreciation and a greater awareness of cultural diversity and similarity through cross-cultural exchange of learning.
- To operate as a source of information for teachers, administrators, and the public on programs characteristic of self-directed learning.
- To provide an opportunity for participation by parents, students, staff, administration, and community.
- To develop a sense of community, among all participants, in order to encourage co-learning and reciprocal inspiration.
- To integrate youth with the life of the local and global community for their mutual benefit.
- To offer diversified counseling services to all students in the process of developing their academic, social and emotional self-sufficiency.
- To help students acquire skills needed to cope with practical aspects of adult life.
- To provide an educational opportunity wherein classes taught by staff are supplemented by professionals, parents, students, and a wide variety of others, limited only by student interest and staff potential in the Anchorage community.