Finding the right schools and educational opportunities for each family member is an important part of any move. This chapter outlines Kitsap County’s public schools system, private schools, charter schools and home schooling criteria, as well as local libraries and higher education institutions. To be enrolled in a Washington school, a child must be at least 5 years old by Aug. 1 of the school year. To register your child, bring the following to the school office: a birth certificate or other proof of the child’s age, and the child’s previous school records and immunization records. For more details on Washington’s minimum vaccine requirements for students in grades K-12, visit the Washington State Board of Education’s website at www.sbe.wa.gov . Check with the school for additional requirements.
In 2010, Washington, along with the majority of other states, the District of Columbia, Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Department of Defense Education Activity, adopted Common Core State Standards that provide a consistent set of educational expectations for students regardless of ZIP code. When a family moves, it disrupts a student’s education because the student may be forced to repeat material or learn at a different level at the new school. With common standards across states, this disruption will be reduced — of particular interest to military families. At present, national Common Core State Standards exist only for English language arts and mathematics though Washington has state standards across the full curriculum. For more information, visit www.corestandards.org.
Charter schools are public schools of choice that are tuition-free, serve all students and have open enrollment. For more information or a list of charter schools in Washington, visit the Washington State Board of Education’s website at www.sbe.wa.gov/charters.php.
For an introduction to home schooling in Washington, visit the Washington State Board of Education’s website at http://sbe.wa.gov/faqs/home_instruction. You will find information on home-based instruction, rules and regulations, testing information, curriculum providers and more.
Washington Homeschool Organization
P.O. Box 66960
Seattle, WA 98166
The Washington Homeschool Organization is a nonprofit membership organization that serves the diverse interests of home-based education in Washington. WHO is nonpartisan, nonsectarian and non-discriminating in its views of home schooling and participation in its activities.
Home School Facts
Created by homeschooling parents, licensed educators, counselors and researchers passionate about choice about K-12 education, primarily related to a parent’s right to choose the structure and format of their children’s education, this website shares up-to-date information about homeschooling with parents and educators. For a list of support groups in Washington, visit www.homeschoolfacts.com/groups/viewgroups.php?state=wa.
To search for local private schools in Washington, visit the National Center for Education Statistics website and use the private school search tool at www.nces.ed.gov/surveys/pss/privateschoolsearch. Users may search by location, religious affiliation, school type and more.
Choosing a School
Choosing the right school is very important, so be sure to research each one before deciding. Contact the school by phone or by visiting its website, which is a valuable source to learn about a school district statistics and curriculum. Talk to people in the area, especially friends and colleagues who already live there.
If the school shows promise, schedule a visit and bring a list of written questions about student-teacher ratios, computer availability, extracurricular activities, sports programs, music programs, gifted programs and grading standards.
Discuss the potential school with your child: what they liked and what they didn’t like. Your family’s ability to readily adapt to a move and to find happiness in your new home may depend, in part, on how happy your children are in their new school.
Bainbridge Island School District
8489 Madison Ave. NE
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
The Bainbridge Island district has three elementary schools, one middle school, one high school, one intermediate school and one options school. The district has an enrollment of 3,735 students.
Bremerton School District
134 Marion Ave. N
Bremerton, WA 98312
The Bremerton district has four elementary schools, one middle school, one high school, one alternative high school, one STEM academy and one early learning center. The district has an enrollment of about 5,200 students.
Central Kitsap School District
9210 Silverdale Way NW
Silverdale, WA 98383
The Central Kitsap district has 12 elementary schools, three middle schools, three high schools and one 6-12 secondary school. The district has an enrollment of 11,000 students.
North Kitsap School District
18360 N.E. Caldart Ave.
Poulsbo, WA 98370
The North Kitsap district has six elementary schools, two middle schools and two high schools. The district has an enrollment of about 5,900 students.
South Kitsap School District
2689 Hoover Ave. SE
Port Orchard, WA 98366
The South Kitsap district has 10 elementary schools, three junior high schools, one three-year comprehensive high school, an alternative high school and one alternative learning center. The district has an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students.