The Anchorage Center for Children

TACC specifications

Download draft copies of the educational specifications for the establishment of The Anchorage Center for Children.

Download PDF draft copies of the educational specifications for the establishment of The Anchorage Center for Children.

Helen S. Whaley School was constructed in 1973 as a Special Education Center for Learner Assistance for students with significant physical and developmental disabilities. An addition for secondary students was completed in 1991.


The school program’s focus over time has changed from its initial purpose to addressing educational needs of students with significant emotional and behavioral challenges. The resulting operational focus has changed from a medically therapeutic model to emphasis on behavioral modification with a security overlay. Until the ‘04-’05 school year, Whaley School served grades K-12; that year, primary classes were moved to Mt. Iliamna Elementary School. The program that includes both Whaley School and Mt. Iliamna Elementary School has been referred to as “The Whaley Center”. 


With planning monies obtained by voter approval from a bond issue, BrainSpaces was retained in 2008 to develop the Whaley Center educational specifications. Through in-depth discussions, a vision and process emerged which built on existing successes and has arrived at a coherent multi-level program. The proposed educational specifications present a continuum of care for effective behavior support with students attending the least restrictive environment according to their needs.


The educational specifications form a basis for future planning by defining the program in physical terms; they describe an ideal environment and link the program to the architecture. Initially, they will be used to assess the ability of existing Whaley facilities and campus to meet the needs of those program components which locate students in settings apart from their home base schools. Following assessment of existing facilities, the educational specifications will form the basis of a conceptual master plan.


For additional information:
Mary Cary, ASD facility projects manager, 907-348-5200,


Whaley flow graphic

The graphic above shows four key components of a proposed program for The Anchorage Center for Children. The arrows illustrate student flow through a continuum of support. See the TACC educational specifications shown at left for a detailed explanation.

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