Originally named, Anchorage Graded and Common School, Anchorage Public School was conceived June 21, 1911. The first class began on September 20, 1911, and was held in a seminary located next to the Anchorage Presbyterian Church. The first commencement of the school was in 1914, with Whitmer Burbank as the lone graduate.
The Anchorage Parent and Teacher Association was founded on April 13, 1915. By May 1915, the building was under construction at its current location and opened that fall. There was a small basement with a dirt floor where ladies began serving hot lunches. The West Wing (closest to the soccer field) was completed in 1919, with the basement made into classrooms. 1924 saw the first production in the new auditorium.
The original gymnasium with an 8-foot balcony was added in November 1925. A new library and two new classrooms were added in 1926. In 1931 the school lost Southern Pacific Railroad as the largest taxpayer. Consequently, 35 residents signed a loan to finish the school year.
In the 1950’s, Eastern High School opened in Middletown, drawing students from the Anchorage High School because of increased opportunities available at a larger facility. The Anchorage Board of Education determined it would maintain grades K-9 rather than merge with Jefferson County due to financial issues.
In 1966, when the Louisville City and Jefferson County Schools merged, the APTA successfully marched on Frankfort to keep Anchorage School out of the merger. During desegregation of the 1970’s, Superintendent Elizabeth Ann Ewing headed a committee which again kept Anchorage as an Independent school district due to a lack of evidence of a constitutional violation of segregation.
The first learning disabilities teacher was hired in 1978. An LD/Special education/Speech Therapist was added in 1979. An administration building including four classrooms was constructed in 1982. A new cafeteria was constructed and dedicated in September 1989. The currently library and gym and 5 classrooms were added in 1992. Six years later, a second floor was added with 10 additional classrooms.
During September 1992, an amazing group of 374 Anchorage parents led by Cary Martin constructed a large, beautiful wood playground reminiscent of a castle. With the overwhelming community support, the structure was completed in four short days.
By 1997, the Board of Education elected to eliminate the remaining 9th grade class as high school students were matriculating to private and other public high schools.
The key aspect of Anchorage’s dynamic learning environment is the commitment of the instructional staff. We emphasize professional development and skills training. Our highly diversified teachers utilize a wide assortment of instructional strategies and apply in-depth content knowledge. We strive for mastery learning and connectedness so our students will be successful not only in their educational careers but also in their journeys through life. In addition, our writing and math mentor programs give teachers opportunities to share and reflect on different approaches that work for them in the classroom. This constructive analysis of classroom practices and procedures and the professional interaction create a highly effective learning environment at Anchorage Public School.
Anchorage Public School’s staff is dedicated to exemplary teaching, lending the talents of teachers, parents, administrators and business leaders to achieve optimal learning experiences. These partnerships engage Anchorage students in the learning process, and they respond with impressive results both in the classroom and throughout the community! Recognizing and appreciating our parental support has enabled us to create valuable programs, which include Art Discovery, Junior Achievement, Anchor Haven and Junior Great Books. These opportunities invite parents to share their expertise on specific topics in the classroom and provide unique learning experiences. Additionally, parental and community involvement has expanded our teachers’ contacts and resources within the community. Both volunteer hours and financial contributions from businesses add to our school’s resources.
Focus groups with parents, faculty, and community members collaborated to identify the core values exemplified at Anchorage School. Those values were identified as launching lifelong learning by providing relevant, in-depth and integrated learning; promoting high academic standards, benchmarked nationally & internationally; achieving mastery of fundamental skills in reading, writing & math; allowing for individualized instruction through small class sizes; using technology as a tool for learning; encouraging creativity and building problem-solving, critical thinking and communication skills; offering a physically and emotionally safe environment; providing a positive and focused learning environment; and providing a positive and focused learning environment through effective parent-teacher communication and partnerships. These values combine to prepare successful, independent learners for a global community.
In recognizing our role as a leading education institution, we embrace the opportunity to incorporate innovative and outside-the-box thinking in our daily operations. Our educational staff embraces the challenge of educating today’s youth and providing an educational program tailored to the needs of every student.