The North Kitsap Options program is a dynamic and exceptional K-8 educational initiative and a signature program of the North Kitsap School District (NKSD). Established by a group of committed parents over 20 years ago, this alternative public school program offers diverse educational opportunities for students in the area, emphasizing community-based education that nurtures self-reliant, lifelong learners. The program fosters substantial family involvement, interconnected multi-age learning groups, and student-centered curricula.
Ideally beginning in kindergarten, before children develop the belief that motivation and rewards come from external sources, the Options program continues through the critical middle school years when young individuals may feel unsettled, misunderstood, and overwhelmed by peer pressure and the transition from childhood to adolescence.
The program's outstanding performance has earned it Special Recognition in Reading Growth from the Washington Achievement Award, which uses the State Board of Education Revised Achievement Index and criteria established by the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Flexibility Waiver for recognition purposes. This accolade places the program within the top 5% of Washington State schools based on median student growth percentiles (MGPs).
Throughout the nine-year journey from kindergarten to 8th grade, the North Kitsap Options program focuses on:
- Building a strong support system by fostering a close-knit community of peers, educators, parents, and extended family members.
- Guiding students in developing the necessary skills and attitudes for successful, lifelong, independent learning through a wide range of academic, artistic, and social settings.
- Creating curricula and an environment that promotes curiosity, inquiry-based learning, critical thinking, problem-solving, risk-taking, reflection, and evaluation.
- Emphasizing the intrinsic rewards and values of learning.
To provide North Kitsap students with community-based education that fosters the development of self directed, life-long learners through significant family involvement, interdependent multi-age learning groups, and curricula that are responsive to the needs and interests of our students.
Ideally, the Options experience begins in Kindergarten, before children have grown to expect that motivation and rewards are extrinsically generated. Options extends through the critical middle school years, a sometimes tumultuous period in which many young people feel ungrounded, misunderstood, and overwhelmed by peer pressure and the changes they experience in the transition from childhood to young adulthood.
During the nine years from K through 8th grade, our focus is to:
- Provide a solid support system for our students by developing a strong community of peers, teachers, parents, and extended families.
- Guide students in developing the skills and attitudes required for successful, life-long, independent learning using a wide variety of academic, artistic and social settings.
- Create curricula and an environment that fosters curiosity, inquiry learning, critical thinking, problem solving, risk taking, reflection and evaluation.
- Emphasize the intrinsic rewards and values of learning.
The application period for the North Kitsap School District's Options program for the 2023-2024 academic year has come to a close. Looking ahead to the 2024-2025 school year, the application window for students will open in winter 2024. Relevant information will be provided on the district's website when the time comes. If you have any inquiries, please don't hesitate to reach out to Karen Brumley, the Director of Elementary Education, or Beth Lahaie, the Principal of David Wolfle Elementary.
- Is Options affiliated with Wolfle Elementary? How does it differ from a regular program?
- What does "multiage" mean? How does it differ from a "split grade" classroom?
- Does the curriculum vary? Do Options students undergo standardized testing?
- What are the long-term results for Options students?
- How does this program manage to offer additional field trips and activities that regular public school classes cannot?
- How can parents get involved? What if I/we have work commitments during school hours and cannot volunteer in the classroom?
- What is the purpose of the parent group? Can anyone join? Is it mandatory?
- If my child isn't accepted, do I need to apply again the following year? How long will they remain on the waiting list?
- Do siblings receive priority over other applicants?