The major school districts that serve Naval Air Station Whidbey Island Oak Harbor, Coupeville, and Anacortes, more detailed information on each of these school districts is available below each description. Upon arrival to Whidbey Island, parents will need to enroll their student in the school district where they reside. However, Washington State allows parents to request a transfer to a nonresident district if housing is unavailable in the district of choice. Each school district does hold discretion over approvals of these requests.
Oak Harbor has both private and public school options for pre-kindergarten through grade 12. In addition, Oak Harbor School District provides a homeschooling partnership through their Home Connection program. Oak Harbor is also home to the Skagit Valley College campus. Each school district offers a Running Start program. This program allows students in their junior and senior years with a 3.0 GPA or higher to attend college classes and possibly graduate with a high school diploma and an AA degree simultaneously. Each district also offers a wide range of athletic and academic enrichment programs. Participation in athletic activities is governed by the Washington Interscholastic Athletic Association, which identifies leagues based on school size. Oak Harbor is a 3A school, Coupeville is a 1A school, and Anacortes is a 2A school. There are no Department of Defense Dependent schools located on NAS Whidbey Island.
First-time enrollment in the public schools requires a birth certificate, immunization record, and a district specific enrollment packet. Parents should bring copies of report cards, verification of grade placement, credits earned, special education plans and any other pertinent information to assist counselors and school administrators in placing students in the proper level of instruction. Children entering kindergarten must be five years old by August 31, unless they were already attending kindergarten in another district. Children entering first grade must be six years old by September 1. Students younger than six years old can enter first grade if they have completed kindergarten in another district.
Naval Air Station Whidbey Island (NASWI) has a full-time School Liaison Officer (SLO). The SLO is the primary point of contact between the military installation, the local school administration, parents, and the community. The SLO specializes in serving military families by supporting families with school transfers, providing information on local schools, assisting with school choice, deployment support, and so much more. The NASWI SLO can be reached at 360-257-6863.
Oak Harbor Public Schools
Oak Harbor Public schools serve more than 5,600 students; more than half are Navy affiliated. Approximately 92 percent of school age children associated with NASWI attend Oak Harbor schools, making it a very military friendly school district. In recent years, the Oak Harbor School District (OHSD) has been home to the eight-time Washington State champion culinary team, two-time DECA national champions. OHSD also has an internationally-ranked robotics team, two-time Washington State championship automotive team, state championship football team, state and national championship cheerleading squad, nationally recognized NJROTC, and award-winning choir, band and art programs.
There are ten public schools in Oak Harbor including five elementary schools (grades K-4), one intermediate school (grades 5-6), one middle school (grades 7-8), one high school (grades 9-12), one high school transition program (grades 12+), and a home-school partnership school. Each school is equipped with the latest technology including ChromeBooks, mobile devices and labs, digital interactive white boards, teacher microphones, free wireless and more.
Oak Harbor High School has recently undergone a $72 million national award-winning expansion. It is one of the most technologically-advanced schools in the region including a performing arts facility, a full-feature TV studio and LEED Silver Standard award-winning green energy features. In addition, the school has a multi-million dollar state-of-the-art sports stadium and athletic facilities. The school has also been recognized by the US News and World Report Bronze School for a second-straight year, top 50 in the state.
Oak Harbor Public Schools has the most diverse student make-up in the region and has earned a reputation for academic excellence with graduation rates over 90 percent, test scores above the state average and AP scores above the global average. Four of the district's elementary schools and one middle school have been awarded recognition as among the state's best. Over 70 percent of graduates enter college or technical programs and another 15 percent join the military, with millions of dollars in college and military scholarships awarded to each graduating class.
Oak Harbor teachers are highly skilled with 70 percent holding at least a master's degree. The district has received more than $4.5 million in DoDEA grant funding to support professional development. These grants ensure Oak Harbor teachers are using the best research-based educational practices to advance student learning and engagement.
All district class sizes are relatively low, averaging about 18 to 25 students in elementary schools; 20 to 23 students in middle schools; and 20 to 27 students in high school. An online grading system provides consistent grading parameters from school to school.
Lunch and Breakfast Program
All Oak Harbor public schools offer a National School Lunch and Breakfast Program featuring nutritious options that meet the USDA guidelines with fresh salad bars featuring fresh fruits and vegetables. Middle and high school students enjoy an even greater range of entrees and a la carte items. Free or reduced price meal assistance is available for families who qualify.
Oak Harbor School's transportation department has one of the best safety records in the nation. Every day more than 2,400 students are safely transported on 173 bus routes served by 43 buses. Free after school transportation for tutoring, activities and athletics is provided three days per week. The bus fleet is being upgraded with new environmentally-friendly propane buses. Transportation safety measures include cameras on all buses helping prevent potential problems. Bus stops, routes, and times are available to parents on the district website. Families can enter their address online and view their neighborhood school's stop locations and times and sign up for email notification of any route changes.
Programs and Services
Oak Harbor Public Schools offer students a wide range of educational opportunities at every grade level including:
- Robust K-12 arts education, including full-time art and music specialists at all levels.
- More career and technical education opportunities than any other school district in the region.
- Numerous "College in the High School" classes, allowing students to earn Central Washington University credit on the high school campus.
- Advanced Placement classes in 14 subjects.
- Running Start allowing high school students to attend college courses at Skagit Valley College just 2.3 miles from the high school.
- Free college credit for Career-Technical courses taught at the high school.
- Full-day kindergarten classes for all students.
- Bilingual assistance for students with English as a second language.
- A K-12 highly-capable program with a continuum of advanced learning options.
- Midway High School program providing alternative placement and online learning options.
- iGrad Academy online school to help former dropouts graduate.
- Middle school electives including robotics, tech foundations, Spanish, music, art, and PE.
- HomeConnection school with nearly 100 core and elective courses (K-12), technology, enrichment programs, certificated teachers and educational partners, and a library, gym, and playground for families wishing to home-school part-time as their children attend part-time in this unique public school.
- Oak Harbor Schools also offer a range of parent/guardian conveniences such as credit/debit card payment options, short supply lists, low fees for athletics, programs and activities, family-friendly websites, online grades and a range of communication options.
Special Programs Department
The Special Programs Department provides a wide variety of services and programs for students who require specially-designed instruction, remedial support, and accommodations to meet academic standards. Each school features multi-faceted learning centers with professional staff including speech/language pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and psychologists. Some of the programs provided are:
- Preschool, Title 1 and HeadStart programs at Hand-in-Hand Early Learning Center for low income academically-delayed and special education students who need more preparation before starting kindergarten.
- Life Skills programs.
- Choices program to support student with social emotional and behavioral challenges
- Transition program for special education students 18-21 years old who need assistance developing community and vocational skills
- Supplemental and self-contained behavioral programs.
- Title 1 and LAP remedial programs for struggling learners.
- Full-time counselors in all schools plus three full-time mental health counselors and a high school preventionist .
- Summer school for qualified students, including a "Jump Start to Kindergarten" for incoming kindergarten students needing extra help.
- Homeless liaison and foster care to connect students and families with social programs and services.
Community and After-School Programs
- Oak Harbor Public Schools offer the most after-school athletics, activities, and tutoring options in the region from elementary to high school. Free after-school tutor and activity buses are offered at all schools three days a week.
- A very wide range of community-based programs are also available:
- North Whidbey Soccer Club
- North Whidbey Little League
- Oak Harbor Youth Football and Cheer
- Unlimited Fitness Running Club
- North Whidbey Aquatic Club
- Children's and Youth Bowling
- Youth Sailing Programs
- Boy and Girl Scout Programs
- Numerous Faith-based Youth Programs
- Oak Harbor Library Programs
- Check out Whidbey Island Macaroni Kid for more programs and activities for kids
Coupeville School District
Coupeville School District offers quality, personalized education programs and services to approximately 950 preschool through grade 12 students. Serving the central portion of Whidbey Island, Coupeville district schools are approximately 20 minutes south of Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. Schools include one elementary school (grades K-5), a middle school (grades 6-8) and high school (grades 9-12). The middle and high schools have a shared campus to including a library, a music room, and cafeteria. The middle school and high school do not share classrooms or lunchtimes.
Individualized instruction, highly qualified staff (including four teachers with National Board Certification) and strong parent/community support ensure continued academic growth. There is an active PTA at the elementary school. The high school has booster clubs for their athletic, drama and spirit teams.
The Coupeville community supports their schools through local levies and bonds, most recently approving a four-year maintenance and operations levy and a four-year technology levy in 2014. A new high school opened September 2007.
The district curriculum is aligned with the State Standards, ensuring that each year's instruction builds upon the previous year. New 6-12 math curriculum was implemented in 2013-2014. New K-5 math curriculum was implemented in 2014-2015. K-5 English/language arts and 6-12 social studies curriculum were implemented in 2015-2016.
Though small, the high school offers a well-rounded selection of courses, including AP, Running Start and College in the High School courses, and CTE certification in metal and woodworking. Coupeville High School received 2010 and 2011 Washington Achievement Awards, with a rating of High Overall Excellence. The high school received a bronze award in the 2014 Best High Schools ranking published by U.S. News. This award was based on Coupeville School District’s overall student performance on state-mandated assessments and the district’s student performance and participation on Advanced Placement exams.
Class sizes on at the elementary school are on average 22 students. The middle schools are around 23 students per classroom, with the high school reflecting similar numbers.
The middle and high school use an A/B block schedule, with five classes per day. This allows students to take more elective classes, which can be used for enrichment learning, remediation or credit retrieval. Online classes are also offered through their “Wolves Online” program and “Open Doors”. For school year 2016-2017, students will be provided with an opportunity to take STEM specific classes for the purpose of attaining a STEM credential at graduation.
The district contracts with Chartwells to provide a daily food service program for students. The daily menu offers several options for young taste buds and is aligned with state and federal nutrition guidelines. The menu changes each month to ensure variety and special treats around holidays. Beginning in the fall of 2014, local Farm to School produce will be incorporated into meals. Service includes lunch on every full school day, and an open café at the secondary school during a morning break for snacks.
Students living more than one mile from school are entitled to transportation on the district's school buses. Bus routes and schedules are developed each year based on student residences.
Programs and Services
Several programs are designed to support student learning, resulting in a Coupeville School District graduation rate of over 90 percent. Title I programs in reading and math, as well as the Learning Assistance Program provide extra support to students in order to ensure academic success. Highly capable program services support students who qualify. Running Start allows high school juniors and seniors to attend college courses and get both high school and college credit. A bilingual program offers assistance to students for whom English is a second language.
Athletic, academic, performing arts, and club activities provide before and after school options for students. Football, volleyball, basketball and track are available for grades 7-12. At the high school level, soccer, baseball, softball, and tennis also are available. Due to our size, it is typical that any student interested in a sport or activity is able to participate. Drama, band, National History Day, National Honor Society, science clubs, garden clubs, and other activities are also available at each school.
Special Education Department
Specialists and individualized programs assist children from birth to age 21 whose adjustment to or performance at school is complicated by disease or by physical, mental, emotional, or sensory conditions.
Title I and Learning Assistance Programs (LAP) provide help for students achieving below grade level in the areas of reading and math. Students are referred to the program based on their performance at school.
For more information about the Coupeville School District visit their website.
Community Activities and After School Programs
- Coupeville Boys & Girls Club, 360-678-5640
- A variety of community-based athletic programs are available.
- Island County 4-H, 360-679-7328
- Boy Scout and Girl Scout Troops
- A variety of faith-based youth groups.
- Activities sponsored by the Coupeville Library, 360-678-4911, including presentations, story time, reading clubs, etc.
Anacortes School District
Anacortes School District (ASD) ranks among the top achieving districts in the state, based on 2015 state assessment results. Anacortes High School also ranks in the top 5percent of the state, according to results from the US News annual survey. A focus on high quality teaching and learning is the hallmark of the district, which serves about 2,700 students.
Anacortes is located on Fidalgo Island, about 30 minutes (18 miles) north of Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, across the Deception Pass Bridge. The community is known to be a Northwest getaway, with scenic water views and 2,700 acres of public forest land.
The high-achieving district has a long history of serving the educational needs of thousands of NAS Whidbey students and families. The District has three elementary schools, one early learning center, one middle school, one high school and an alternative high school. The District supports a system of choice for elementary school placement based on availability.
Points of pride include:
- Anacortes Middle School and Anacortes High School recognized as Schools of Distinction for outstanding improvement in student achievement. These schools pride themselves on a safe and supportive learning environment. Students say that both schools have a positive environment that values everyone.
- Elementary schools have recently received Washington Achievement Awards for overall excellence in language arts, math, science and closing achievement gaps.
- Academically rigorous curriculum.
- A focus on the arts districtwide.
- 80 percent of teachers have a master's degree.
- Support classes in core subject areas at both middle and high school.
- Partnerships with Northwest Career & Technical Academy & Marine Technology Center to offer hands-on learning opportunities for high school students.
- Award-winning teams in robotics, performing arts and academic competitions.
- A major technology initiative to integrate technology in classroom learning, with a 1:1 (one student per device) ratio for grades 3 to 6 in 2016-2017 and a 1:1 ratio in grades 7 to 12 in 2017-2018.
- A new stadium to be complete in September 2016 and a new high school to be complete in September 2018.
Hot lunches are served daily at the following prices: K - 6 = $2.50; Grades 7 - 12 = $3.00; and breakfast is served daily at the following prices: K - 6 = $1.50; Grades 7-12 = $1.75. Free and reduced-price breakfasts and lunches are available to eligible students. Applications are available in all school and district offices.
Bus transportation for students is provided according to guidelines established by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Transportation Department. Students eligible for school bus transportation are those living over one mile from school. Bus stops, routes, and times are published each fall in the Anacortes American newspaper.
Programs and Services
District-sponsored preschool program.
- Free full-day kindergarten.
- English as a Second Language program.
- Challenge Programs (self-contained highly capable classes) for grades 1-8.
- Honors and Advanced Placement courses at the high school.
- Running Start allows high school students to attend college courses.
- Tech Prep courses provide free college credit for career technical courses taught at the high school.
- Cap Sante High School provides alternative placement for at-risk students and alternative education.
Special Education Department
Special Services for disabled students are available at all schools in addition to the following programs:
- Developmental Preschool
- Elementary and Secondary Life Skills
- Title 1 and LAP (federal and state funded programs)
Community and After-School Programs
- Anacortes Little League
- Youth football and cheer
- Youth drama
- After school arts program
- Swimming program
- Boys and Girls Club
- AAU Basketball
- Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts
- Numerous faith-based youth programs
- Anacortes Library Programs
- Anacortes Parks & Recreation programs
For more information about the Anacortes School District visit their website or Facebook page.
If a parent chooses not to enroll a child in public or private schools, home-based instruction is a viable alternative. A parent must file an annual Declaration of Intent by September 15 or within two weeks of the beginning of any public school quarter, trimester, or semester with the school district within which the parent resides. A complete packet of information on Home-Based Instruction can be obtained at the school district office.