About Fireweed Academy

Did you know?

Fireweed Academy is a tuition free public charter school

Fireweed Academy uses Restorative Practices

Fireweed Academy uses Cooperative Learning practices to develop social and team building skills

Fireweed Academy helps to develop self-reliance, cooperation, creativity, reasoning ability, personal growth, and academic achievement

We Believe…

We believe that students learn best through hands-on experience and reflecting on those experiences.

  • We spark curiosity and ignite critical thinking through engaging projects and theme studies.
  • Knowledge is founded on a process of observation, investigation and collaboration.
  • We seize learning opportunities when they arise; no timeframe is too short!

We believe that music, arts, and creative self-expression nurture strong learners and responsible citizens.

  • The arts are integrated throughout subject areas.
  • Fireweed Frescoes provides group violin instruction to grades K–2, further enriching academic and social learning.
  • Partnerships with local artists and organizations expand opportunities for creative expression, movement and community connection.

We believe in nurturing a compassionate learning community

  • Students develop social and academic skills in small classes through cooperative learning, multi-age groups, and mentoring opportunities.
  • Students learn individual responsibility, conflict resolution, and compassion through restorative practices.
  • Celebrating learning is at heart of what we do.

We believe that the natural and cultural community of Kachemak Bay are fertile grounds for learning.

  • Fireweed prioritizes outdoor play, exploration and discovery beyond school walls.
  • Students build a sense of belonging as they become stewards of our community.
  • Place-based education helps our students learn about themselves, each other, and the world around them.

We believe in building skills for engaged and responsible citizenship.

  • Fireweed helps the whole child grow by fostering leadership, character development and civic responsibility.
  • Social and emotional skills are developed through coaching, modeling and practice.
  • We teach media literacy and critical thinking skills to help young people navigate a changing world.

About our Classrooms

At Fireweed Academy, we have set a pupil-teacher ratio to limit class sizes in order to:

  • provide additional one-on-one assistance.
  • develop positive relationships between students and with staff.
  • increase student engagement.
  • improve academic achievement.
  • develop social skills.

At Fireweed Academy, we teach cooperative learning skills in order to:

  • increase student engagement.
  • develop communication and social skills.
  • promote teamwork.
  • improve academic achievement.
  • promote equity in class participation.
  • increase retention of knowledge.
  • motivate students to help each other learn.
  • develop self-esteem.

At Fireweed Academy, we utilize Restorative Practices in order to:

  • develop and maintain a positive school community & climate.
  • develop positive relationships between students and with staff.
  • respond to conflict in a comprehensive and nonpunitive fashion.
  • mediate and restore relationships.

Mission, Vision and Core Values of Fireweed Academy

Fireweed Academy is operated by an Academic Policy Committee. Although we are required to address State of Alaska educational standards and meet State benchmarks, we have the flexibility which allows us to set our own educational goals using alternative resources, methods, and assessments.

Our mission is…To provide a compassionate learning environment that gives students, parents, teachers and community members opportunities to develop: Self Reliance, cooperation, creativity, reasoning ability, personal growth and academic achievement.

The components of our program include:

  • Project-based learning
  • Multi-age student groups
  • Theme Immersion activities
  • Constructivism, constructing knowledge from experience & building upon past knowledge.
  • Socratic seminars

Our History

The only charter school in the southern Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, Fireweed Academy opened its doors as “Homer Charter School” in 1997. One of KPBSD’s 42 public schools, Fireweed provides an alternative curriculum based on theme immersion, a specific theme chosen each quarter to be incorporated throughout the school.

About 32 students in grades 4-6 enrolled in Homer Charter School (Fireweed Academy) its first year. Originally located in two portables next to Paul Banks Elementary School, Fireweed expanded to include third grade and moved into available classroom space at West Homer Elementary School. Fireweed eventually grew to include grades K-2, when it opened a second site on East End Road in 2013.

School Enrollment Info

Fireweed Academy accepts Pre-Enrollment forms year round.

In April of each year, we begin a formal pre-enrollment period for the following school year. We are now accepting Intent to Enroll forms for the 2023-2024 school year!

Pre-Enrollment forms are available on the school’s web site and at each campus:

Little Fireweed (K-2) @ 813 East End Road & Big Fireweed (3-6) @ 995 Soundview Ave., Room 215

Call Sharlyn Young at 907-226-1260 for more information and to schedule a visit.


Is there tuition for Fireweed Academy? There is no tuition. Fireweed is a public school, it is part of the KPBSD.

What is the student-teacher ratio? The ratio for Kindergarten through 2nd Grade is 18:1. The ratio for grades 3 through 6 is 20:1.

How does the curriculum differ from a traditional school? Fireweed Academy’s does not use a traditional textbook-based curriculum for all subjects. It incorporates Alaska Standards-based lessons for core classes, as well as lessons that incorporate one or more subjects.

What does the school year calendar look like? Fireweed follows the KPBSD calendar.

Are transportation and meal services are available? Students are able to use the bus and meal services available thorough KPBSD.