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Over 140 students attend Alak School in pre-school through the 12th grade. A standards-based curriculum emphasizes literacy, math, science, social studies, Iñupiat heritage, health, and vocational studies. Extra-curricular programs include sports, student government, yearbook, and leadership activities. There are nineteen certified teachers including a full-time school counselor.
The origin of the village of Wainwright can be traced back to 1904 when the first schoolhouse was constructed. At the time there were fewer than 100 residents. Once completed, the school acted as a magnet in encouraging permanent settlement in the area and the population grew to over 400 by the mid-1980′s. The current school building was completed in 1979.
Wainwright has a strong and healthy subsistence economy that mainly relies on the fall caribou migration and spring whaling. The village is only accessible by air and is supported by an airstrip long enough for large cargo planes. Regular passenger and airfreight service is provided by three commercial airline companies based only 90 miles away in Barrow, Alaska.
As part of the North Slope Borough School District, Alak School is one of ten schools in eight villages on the North Slope. Wainwright is the third largest village behind Barrow and Pt. Hope. It is the largest school district in the United States covering over 88,000 square miles of wide-open territory, mountains and wilderness. It is an exciting place to live, filled with adventure, culture, and lots of wonderful people.
The North Slope Borough School District conducts Teacher Cultural Camps to familiarize teachers with the lifeways of the people of the North Slope so as to increase their ability to employ culturally responsive teaching practices. Scheduling of the Teacher Camps are as followed: