Steller Secondary School, a part of the Anchorage School District, offers an alternative to standard (large school) education. We have 300 students in grades 7-12 from the Anchorage area, all of whom attend the program by choice. The primary emphasis is on responsibility to self and to the Steller community. Students, parents, and staff participate in the democratic process of setting school policy and procedures. Students play an integral role in planning activities, from deciding when and where to have dances to what courses should be offered. In addition to participation in the operation of the school, students are encouraged to spend some of their time at Steller in community service in order to learn more about and contribute to the larger community in which they live.
Steller does not offer phase level or advanced placement classes, nor do we have an interscholastic sports program. However, many of our classes are on an honors level and our academic standards are high. At least eighty percent of our graduates attend a college or university. Several classes are taught seminar style, with an emphasis on close analysis and discussion. Students design contracts with teachers for independent study or self-directed learning courses not offered in the curriculum, or students may elect to teach a class to their peers. Many of our students take local university courses. Many students elect to pursue community service.
Students who do well are able to become self-directed and self-disciplined enough to take charge of their own learning to a large extent. During the course of their years at the school, students usually become more independent and able to make good decisions for themselves. There is no one typical Steller student.
There is a written application and interview process for all incoming students as well as a lottery. The school has information on dates for open houses and deadlines for applications.