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Installation Overview -- Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington

By Linda Parker

8 of 9

Installation Overview -- Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington

Blair Elementary School

Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force

Fairchild AFB is located in the Medical Lake School District - the district has 2 elementary schools (1 located on the base), 1 middle school, and 1 high school. Military and civilian personnel stationed at Fairchild AFB may choose to have their children in grades kindergarten thru sixth attend elementary school on-base, whether they live on or off the base. It also offers free part-day three and four year-old preschool programs for personnel residing on Fairchild AFB (military personnel who reside off-base may pay).

There are several private schools, offering education from pre-school through high school.

In Washington, students may attend the school of their choice, regardless of whether or not they reside in that school zone. However, the school is not responsible for transportation for a student who does not reside in the school zone. Other restriction may apply.

All school districts provide a form of transportation at no cost to the student; some require that the student live at least one mile from school. The majority of the schools in the area also provide transportation for after school programs at no cost to the student.

Some schools provide before and after school care. Many of the schools provide after school programs, but not child care. Before and After School care is available at the Youth Center on base.

Many schools offer exceptional child programs. These programs could include: vocal and instrumental, honors, and advanced placement opportunities.

Washington state requires that before any home schooling can begin, the parents must first fill out a declaration of intent with the school district in which they reside. In order to comply with Washington state law, the parent must have completed at least 45 quarter credits of college and a course for home based instruction from a post-secondary or vocational institution. The instruction given must also be supervised one hour per week by a certified teacher. The WHO is a Washington Homeschool Organization; their website is an excellent site for regulations and helpful hints. Many of the school districts in the area offer enrichment programs for home schooled students.

There is no fixed grading policy for the state of Washington - it is specific to the school. The responsibility for administering the grading policy lies with the principal of each school, under the direction of the superintendent. The teacher is responsible for individual student evaluation.

Families needing individual assistance with school questions may contact the Airman and Family Readiness Center, 509-247-2246.

There are many educational opportunities for adults, on- and off-base. The Education Center on base is state-of-the-art, with 22 classrooms. Off-base opportunities are abundant, at all levels and in all areas. See the section Education-Training (College/Technical) for more information.

Readers Respond: Experiences at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington

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