About Pre-Elementary Schools
As defined by Alaska Department of Education & Early Development Regulations, pre-elementary schools are schools that are primarily designed to prepare children for elementary school and which will regularly serve (for 5 or more weeks in any 12 month period [4 AAC 60.020]) a group of 5 or more children, ages 3-5 years, in a classroom setting [4 AAC 60.010]. If operating as a public pre-elementary school, programs must:
- Implement the Early Learning Guidelines
- Conduct appropriate assessments for each child on all domains
- Provide an end-of-the-year report of progress annually to DEED [4 AAC 60.170]
- Follow our own program's policies and procedures regarding background checks and health and safety standards [4 AAC 60.035]
If operating within a school district, programs must also ensure that:
- All teachers employed by the school district hold valid teacher certificates [4 AAC 12.300 (e)]
- All para-professionals employed by our school district meet the requirements outlined in [4 AAC 04.220]
Approval to Operate
Only school districts and Head Start agencies can apply for approval to operate pre-elementary schools.
Applications for approval to operate pre-elementary schools in the state of Alaska can now be completed online through our Application for Approval to Operate form. Submissions will be reviewed by department staff as usual and applicants will continue to be notified by email of decisions regarding their applications.