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Old 01-29-2013, 11:29 AM
 
Location: San Diego
161 posts, read 367,051 times
Reputation: 102

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Hello, I'm an RN and have recently been offered an Internship in Anchorage. I have an 11 (almost 12) and a 9 year old.
What can I expect as far as things for kids to do in Anchorage. I'm really worried about them staying indoors, not having friends and ending up hating the place.
Also what are the best schools?
How do kids cope with the few hours of daylight in the winter?

Any info you can give will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:07 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
2,740 posts, read 4,878,892 times
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There's plenty to do. Kids still play outside... They just bundle up. And there's plenty of sports for them to be involved in, or dance or martial arts or stuff at the library or join a dance class or school activities or scouting or church activities.
You'll have to do your research and ask other parents at their school, but if everyone is willing to get up and go, there's no shortage of activities.
This will get you started: Parks and Recreation
Youth Basketball | Anchorage Community YMCA
welcome to the Alaska Dome
Anchorage Hockey Association
Alaska Theatre of Youth
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:47 PM
 
Location: Anchorage Suburbanites and part time Willowbillies
1,708 posts, read 1,694,712 times
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Anchorage - Things to do in and around town -

Anchorage: Things to do in Anchorage - by Places - TripAdvisor

Things to do in Anchorage with kids - AK on FAMILYdaysOUT.com - Fun places to visit for children



Anchorage schools can be great especially the charter / lottery schools.

If you kids have any learning challenges Anchorage schools are a disaster
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:15 PM
 
29 posts, read 41,194 times
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I was dragged up here kicking and screaming 4 years ago, but I have made so many friends here, my kids are so happy, and I am sad to leave. We are most likely going back to the lower 48 because of a transfer with my husband's job that is too good to pass up. We are in one of the language immersion programs and we LOVE it. Your kids will still play outdoors, they have outside recess every day unless it gets colder than -10. You really do get acclimated to the weather and it is impressive to see my kids put on full snow gear in under 30 seconds! It is a very transient place and I found that people are so friendly to newcomers. The only thing that has been tough for me is that we don't get to see our family often because it gets very expensive. I have a family of 6 and our family is on the East Coast and we have only been able to visit every other year.
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:04 AM
 
Location: San Diego
161 posts, read 367,051 times
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Thank you so much for all the responses. I'm excited but nervous. Being from KY where they close schools when we have a tiny bit is snow on the ground it's hard to imagine outdoor recess at -10. LOL
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Old 01-30-2013, 12:21 PM
 
Location: Anchorage Suburbanites and part time Willowbillies
1,708 posts, read 1,694,712 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mbrwr View Post
Thank you so much for all the responses. I'm excited but nervous. Being from KY where they close schools when we have a tiny bit is snow on the ground it's hard to imagine outdoor recess at -10. LOL
In the interior many schools go out for recess untill -20 or -30.
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Old 01-31-2013, 06:50 PM
 
3,763 posts, read 8,176,175 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hogfamily View Post

Anchorage schools can be great especially the charter / lottery schools.

If you kids have any learning challenges Anchorage schools are a disaster
Sorry for your negative experience with special services in your ASD school, hog.

However, I must add that many ASD schools, and all the ones in which I have been involved, have outstanding special education programs, individualized plans, and support with resource teachers.

It is truly a bummer that your kid had a negative experience.
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Old 05-01-2013, 11:17 PM
 
117 posts, read 226,297 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mbrwr View Post
Hello, I'm an RN and have recently been offered an Internship in Anchorage. I have an 11 (almost 12) and a 9 year old.
What can I expect as far as things for kids to do in Anchorage. I'm really worried about them staying indoors, not having friends and ending up hating the place.
Also what are the best schools?
How do kids cope with the few hours of daylight in the winter?

Any info you can give will be greatly appreciated.
Anchorage is largely sectored into 4 quadrants: North, East, South, and West. South is generally the safest and most coveted side of town. The other coveted part of town is the Coastal Trail and Turnagain area on the west side. The East and North sides are known to be more "crime-ridden" areas, but they are also generally lower-income areas. So, that's the typical correlation you see. They are trying to clean up the North side by installing lots of malls and business, we shall see if this works. It's too far from where I am though, so I barely make it up there.

Here is the skinny on the sides of town, that I've written in other posts. I hope it's a little helpful:

If money is not an object, I recommend either the south side or west side. If you don't have children or they're grown and you can live afford living on the coastal trail or turnagain on the west side, these are desirable neighborhoods with quick access to the coastal trail and other outdoorsy things. the coastal trail is a beautiful place to bike/walk/hike on during spring and summer. I'm not from the west side, so I can't give an accurate range for Turnagain Homes. Coastal Trail homes are in the millions.

On the south side, there are some wonderful upscale neighborhoods that accommodate dogs wonderfully. There is the Discovery Bay neighborhood which has to own dog park and view of the ocean. Most owners here have dogs and walk them to the park and to the ocean & mud flats. There's also more "mountainous" and outdoorsy type neighborhoods on the upper hillside, like on Lilac Drive. Discovery Bay homes on the cheapest end start at 600,000 and go to 4,000,000. The higher end is for the homes directly on the ocean coast. The average home in this neighborhood is probably $800,000. Lilac Drive is slightly pricier than Discovery Bay.

South Anchorage is very popular for families, especially with children K-12. There are a few reasons for this. South Anchorage has the densest population of highly rated schools (7-10) as opposed to other sides of town. It can be difficult to enroll your child in schools, however, because some are at full capacity and are strict about keeping their numbers. Call ahead and check around desired schools to see if they can take your child. Many good elementary schools feed into Goldenview Middle School or you can send your child to the magnet school, Central Middle School of Science and Mathematics. According to US News, the best high school in Alaska is South Anchorage High School.

South side is the newest part of town, I believe. Many people with families like to live on "upper or lower hillside" or "bayshore area." The hillside areas are districted to South Anchorage HS, which according to US news is the #1 ranked high school in Anchorage. Bay shore is split between South Anchorage HS and Dimond. These are supposed "rival schools." Dimond is a bit older than South (South was opened in 2004), and has a 7 of 8 ranking on the "good school scale."

West High School, on the other hand, while they do have an IB program, the school itself has a wide range of student performances and has a 3 or 4 on the good school scale. Amongst high schoolers, East High is known to be the worst of the major schools and in a less desirable part of town.

There is a culture of relative wealth on the south side. For example, if you see the SAHS Wikipedia, the school reported only an 8% of students qualified for being underprivileged. The school is also known for its hockey program, occasionally sending students to Canada to join teams.

A lot of wealthier students opt to tutor privately for their schoolwork and SAT/test-work. My friend has her kids enrolled at Dr. Park's Academy, because he's the only Ph.D holder with a tutoring service. It seems to work for them and she highly recommends it, but tutoring definitely isn't cheap. Her husband is in oil, so they can afford it.
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Old 05-04-2013, 03:34 AM
 
3 posts, read 5,142 times
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Tycat, great post and tons of information!!

I am moving up there in July and will be working at the international airport and Elmendorf. Do you have any recommendations for places to rent. It will just be my wife and I. We are also wanting to be around the costal trail or turnagain area. Thanks for the info!
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Old 05-04-2013, 05:07 PM
 
Location: Airports all over the world
6,987 posts, read 7,187,977 times
Reputation: 103911
I have no recommendations as to which place to rent. Do a search on apartment rentals in Anchorage and you will get lots of results. Keep in mind there is a good chance many hours were spent getting the one picture that makes the place look better than it really is. If you see something that looks interesting plug in the address on Goggle Earth and you will get a better idea of the area. Be sure to check Craig's List as a lot of people only have 1 or 2 rental units and forgo using a property management company.
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