Birchtree Charter School

Summary:

Birchtree Charter School is an elementary school located in Palmer, Alaska, serving 407 students in grades K-8. It is part of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District, which is ranked 8th out of 24 districts in the state and has a 4-star rating.

Birchtree Charter School consistently outperforms the district and state in academic assessments, with higher proficiency rates in science, English language arts, and mathematics. The school's male students and special education students perform exceptionally well compared to their peers in Alaska. Additionally, Birchtree has a very low percentage of free and reduced-price lunch recipients, indicating it serves a relatively affluent student population.

Compared to nearby schools in the district, Birchtree Charter School stands out for its strong academic performance. For example, in the 2022-2023 school year, Birchtree's science proficiency rates were significantly higher than those of Iditarod Elementary, Sherrod Elementary, and Cottonwood Creek Elementary. Another charter school in the district, Fronteras Charter School, also demonstrates strong academic performance, further highlighting the potential benefits of the charter school model in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District.


Detail:

Public, Charter K-8

 1675 N Nadina St.
       Palmer, AK  99645


(907) 745-1831

District: Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District

SchoolDigger Rank:
56th of 176 Alaska Elementary Schools

Per Pupil Expenditures:  $16,733 Help


Student/teacher ratio:  16.8 Help
Number of students:  407

Racial breakdown:

White:
72.7%
Two or more races:
15.5%
American Indian:
6.4%
more

Free/discounted lunch recipients:  0.7% Help


 See top rated Alaska elementary schools

 Compare Birchtree Charter School to nearby elementary schools!

Performance Trends
Help
Compare Details Birchtree Charter School ranks better than 68.2% of elementary schools in Alaska. It also ranks 11th among 22 ranked elementary schools in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District. (See more...)
Help
Compare Details In 2023 the calculated Average Standard Score was 63.15. (See more...)
Help
Compare Details Birchtree Charter School ranks better than 84.8% of middle schools in Alaska. (See more...)
Help
Compare Details In 2023 the calculated Average Standard Score was 75.43. (See more...)
Student Body
Help
Compare Details Racial makeup is: White (72.7%), two or more races (15.5%), American Indian (6.4%). (See more...)
Help
Compare Details 0.7% of students are receiving a free or discounted lunch. This is the lowest percentage in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District. (See more...)
Teachers
Help
Compare Details The student/teacher ratio at Birchtree Charter School is 16.8, which is the 11th best among 22 elementary schools in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District. (See more...)
Help
Compare Birchtree Charter School employs 24.2 full-time teachers.
Finance
Help
Compare Details The average total spent per student at Birchtree Charter School is $16,733, which is the 12th highest among 22 elementary schools in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District.
Schooldigger 2023 Rankings:

Birchtree Charter School:

SchoolDigger ranks Birchtree Charter School 56th of 176 Alaska public elementary schools. (See Birchtree Charter School in the ranking list.)

Elementary School Test Score Ratings by Student Subgroup:


Low Socio Economic Status students:
Migrant students:
Female students:
Male students:
White students:

SchoolDigger ranks Birchtree Charter School 14th of 92 Alaska public middle schools. (See Birchtree Charter School in the ranking list.)

Middle School Test Score Ratings by Student Subgroup:


Female students:
Male students:
White students:


Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District:

SchoolDigger ranks Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District 8th of 24 Alaska school districts. (See district ranking list.)


What do you think?

Your rating for Birchtree Charter School?

Rank History for Birchtree Charter School

Help
Compare

Rank History for all elementary school students at Birchtree Charter School

Year Avg Standard Score Statewide Rank Total # Ranked Elementary Schools AK State Percentile SchoolDigger Rating
2012 70.29 64th 227 71.8%
2013 61.40 94th 223 57.8%
2014 59.44 104th 218 52.3%
2015 45.39 131st 246 46.7%
2017 59.72 67th 180 62.8%
2018 53.55 84th 186 54.8%
2019 49.08 95th 185 48.6%
2021 61.06 72nd 173 58.4%
2022 59.31 63rd 171 63.2%
2023 63.15 56th 176 68.2%
See the entire list of Alaska Elementary School Rankings!

Rank History for elementary school Special Education students at Birchtree Charter School

Year Avg Standard Score Statewide Rank Total # Ranked Elementary Schools AK State Percentile SchoolDigger Rating
2022 85.17 2nd 14 85.7%
See the entire list of Best Alaska Elementary Schools for Special Education Students!

Rank History for elementary school Low Socio Economic Status students at Birchtree Charter School

Year Avg Standard Score Statewide Rank Total # Ranked Elementary Schools AK State Percentile SchoolDigger Rating
2019 67.15 42nd 147 71.4%
2021 73.12 22nd 110 80.0%
2023 57.17 46th 119 61.3%
See the entire list of Best Alaska Elementary Schools for Low Socio Economic Status Students!

Rank History for elementary school Migrant students at Birchtree Charter School

Year Avg Standard Score Statewide Rank Total # Ranked Elementary Schools AK State Percentile SchoolDigger Rating
2023 33.61 24th 30 20.0%
See the entire list of Best Alaska Elementary Schools for Migrant Students!

Rank History for elementary school Female students at Birchtree Charter School

Year Avg Standard Score Statewide Rank Total # Ranked Elementary Schools AK State Percentile SchoolDigger Rating
2019 58.88 70th 159 56.0%
2021 44.56 73rd 141 48.2%
2022 56.28 54th 143 62.2%
2023 57.14 58th 152 61.8%
See the entire list of Best Alaska Elementary Schools for Female Students!

Rank History for elementary school Male students at Birchtree Charter School

Year Avg Standard Score Statewide Rank Total # Ranked Elementary Schools AK State Percentile SchoolDigger Rating
2019 48.00 83rd 159 47.8%
2021 70.67 33rd 142 76.8%
2022 67.50 39th 148 73.6%
2023 70.50 32nd 148 78.4%
See the entire list of Best Alaska Elementary Schools for Male Students!

Rank History for elementary school White students at Birchtree Charter School

Year Avg Standard Score Statewide Rank Total # Ranked Elementary Schools AK State Percentile SchoolDigger Rating
2019 37.52 97th 147 34.0%
2021 45.09 76th 127 40.2%
2022 53.87 62nd 137 54.7%
2023 52.67 64th 138 53.6%
See the entire list of Best Alaska Elementary Schools for White Students!

Data source: test scores: Alaska Department of Education and Early Developmenr, rankings: SchoolDigger.com

Rank History for Birchtree Charter School

Help
Compare

Rank History for all middle school students at Birchtree Charter School

Year Avg Standard Score Statewide Rank Total # Ranked Middle Schools AK State Percentile SchoolDigger Rating
2012 77.08 28th 135 79.3%
2013 86.15 8th 136 94.1%
2014 70.14 42nd 138 69.6%
2015 63.29 50th 151 66.9%
2017 57.66 37th 88 58.0%
2018 58.24 39th 96 59.4%
2019 63.19 36th 99 63.6%
2021 60.93 31st 84 63.1%
2022 54.59 36th 95 62.1%
2023 75.43 14th 92 84.8%
See the entire list of Alaska Elementary School Rankings!

Rank History for middle school Female students at Birchtree Charter School

Year Avg Standard Score Statewide Rank Total # Ranked Middle Schools AK State Percentile SchoolDigger Rating
2019 72.23 15th 74 79.7%
2021 67.51 15th 57 73.7%
2022 43.57 37th 66 43.9%
2023 65.21 22nd 66 66.7%
See the entire list of Best Alaska Elementary Schools for Female Students!

Rank History for middle school Male students at Birchtree Charter School

Year Avg Standard Score Statewide Rank Total # Ranked Middle Schools AK State Percentile SchoolDigger Rating
2019 63.41 25th 73 65.8%
2021 46.30 29th 62 53.2%
2022 68.99 16th 68 76.5%
2023 82.18 8th 72 88.9%
See the entire list of Best Alaska Elementary Schools for Male Students!

Rank History for middle school White students at Birchtree Charter School

Year Avg Standard Score Statewide Rank Total # Ranked Middle Schools AK State Percentile SchoolDigger Rating
2019 68.07 19th 72 73.6%
2021 66.68 14th 58 75.9%
2022 46.33 40th 69 42.0%
2023 65.29 21st 75 72.0%
See the entire list of Best Alaska Elementary Schools for White Students!

Data source: test scores: Alaska Department of Education and Early Developmenr, rankings: SchoolDigger.com

As you review the school rankings data, please be aware that some of the information from certain demographics is missing. The reason for this omission is that the data has been redacted from the source data itself due to low population samples in these specific demographic groups.

Redacting data from low population samples is a necessary step to ensure the reliability and accuracy of the results, as small sample sizes may not be representative of the broader population. Additionally, this measure helps protect the privacy of individuals belonging to these demographic groups.

Birchtree Charter School Test Scores
Tests: 
  
Grades: 
  
Years: 
  
Group by: 
District Scores:
State Scores:    
  
Subgroup: 









Data source: Alaska Department of Education and Early Development

Review counts

All ratings (Avg rating: 1.2)
0%

0%

0%

20%

80%

  

Reviews:
by a parent
Monday, February 22, 2021

Open Quote Poor communication with parents, feels like my child is just learning to do art class all day. He was learning way more in public school. Close Quote


by a parent
Saturday, February 9, 2019

Open Quote This school deserves less than one star. I originally enrolled my son without realizing he would need special education. He gradually began to have outbursts through the year. The school initially worked with me by having a special education staff member give him one on one attention. However, one day he wasn't standing outside with the rest of his class for pick up. When I entered the school, I could hear him screaming from down the hall. I ran. What I saw once I entered the open door class.. was a male teacher holding my son down on the floor with his knees on my sons chest and he was YELLING back into my son's face. My son was in second grade. The special education teacher was standing there with her arms crossed WATCHING. I immediately went to my son's aide but did not put my hands on the male teacher as I honestly would have been justified in doing so. I later learned that the male teacher was NOT trained in physical restraint. No one on staff was. The reason they had my son in the room was because they thought his behavior was on the verge of a meltdown and that he should be held back for quiet time as the rest of the class go to pick up. My son saw this and was upset because he thought if he wasn't there for me to pick him up that he would get left behind. So he tried to run out of the room and was then restrained. I have pictures of the bruises the male teacher left on my son. My son then had night terrors where he woke up screaming and crying that he couldn't move. I recorded SEVERAL of these. I also took my son to a chiropractor without telling the chiro what happened to him. The chiro asked if my son had been in a car accident because he was suffering from whiplash. This school is NOT SAFE. Their response was to expel my child. I consulted the school district and my son was put into a class in machentanz elementary where he flourished. Birch Tree, BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELVES. Close Quote


by a parent
Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Open Quote Check carefully about the Steiner Waldorf philosophy before enrolling!
It is a very odd cult! Close Quote


by a parent
Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Open Quote Unfortunately, their website advertises that BTC teaches their curriculum with the hearts, hands, and head in mind, and make it appear as though it is this gifted school that rejects normal public education methods. But they do not teach children how to read or write in Kindergarten or First Grade classes. The Kindergarten class is taught like pre-school and the first grade class is taught like a Kindergarten class. There is a reason why age-appropriate material is introduced at these levels because they are developmentally ready to start receiving this information such as learning how to read. Yes, BTC and the Waldorf method encourages learning through the use of art and movement but they are hindering children who want to learn how to read and write. Their method is that children go at their own pace but the children that are more advanced have to remain at the pace of the slower-learning children. They say the method works and by third grade children are academically at the same level as third graders in regular schools but for many parents with 3rd graders they have yet to see the academic rewards pay off. There are many wonderful things about BTC like their drawing books, hand coordination through sculpting and knitting, organic playground, parental involvement but their academic program is very hindering to minds yearning for intellectual stimulation. If they moved each of their grades back one grade and taught the curriculum they are teaching now in class for that grade (ie: first grade curriculum in kindergarten, second grade curriculum in first grade, third grade curriculum in second grade, etc), it would be a school that exceeds many schools in the district but as of now they are hindering children's learning capabilities. Excellent school for slow-learning children, or children with learning disabilities, not so good for children that have a good educational foundation and wanting to learn studies applicable to real life (ie: counting, reading, writing, etc).
If you choose BTC, I recommend you do thorough research on the Waldorf method before enrolling to see if it is right for you and your child. Having to change schools because your child is not receiving the education he/she needs is a very frustrating and daunting experience to both child and parents. Close Quote



Enrollment information for Birchtree Charter School

Help
Compare
Year White African American Asian Hispanic American Indian Pacific Islander Two or More Races Not Specified Total
2011 169 4 3 0 32 3 9 0 220
2012 188 8 13 4 72 5 0 0 290
2013 204 12 11 0 75 6 0 0 308
2014 231 9 13 1 76 3 0 0 333
2015 255 10 13 5 77 0 0 0 360
2016 281 7 7 5 60 0 28 0 388
2017 313 6 5 9 64 0 18 0 415
2018 316 6 3 9 54 2 26 0 416
2019 306 6 2 11 45 2 23 0 395
2020 294 2 1 23 29 0 48 0 397
2021 254 1 2 15 29 0 51 0 352
2022 305 1 1 19 27 0 53 0 406
2023 296 1 1 20 26 0 63 0 407

Data source: National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Dept of Education.

About Enrollment/Ethnicity

For more information about how the Department of Education defines ethnicity, see Defining Race and Ethnicity Data, National Center for Education Statistics

Students eligible for free or discounted lunch at Birchtree Charter School

Help
Compare
Year # Students Full-time Teachers Student/Teacher ratio % Free/Discounted Lunch
2011 220 12.0 18.3 0
2012 290 15.2 19.0 0
2013 308 9.2 33.1 0
2014 333 17.4 19.0 0
2015 360 23.0 15.6 0
2016 388 25.0 15.5 0
2017 415 24.9 16.6 0.7
2018 416 23.0 18.0 0.7
2019 395 22.6 17.4 0.8
2020 397 23.3 17.0 0.8
2021 352 22.3 15.7 n/a
2022 406 23.0 17.6 n/a
2023 407 24.2 16.8 0.7

Data source: National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Dept of Education.

About Students eligible for discounted/free lunch:

The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) provides low-cost or free meals to students in U.S. public and nonprofit private schools based on household income. Those with incomes below 130% of the poverty line receive free lunch, while those between 130% and 185% qualify for reduced-price lunch. The percentage of students receiving free or reduced-price lunch serves as a marker for poverty, as it reflects the socioeconomic status of families in a given school or district. A higher FRPL rate typically indicates a higher concentration of low-income families, suggesting that the school or district may face additional challenges in providing adequate resources and support for student success.

Student/Teacher Ratio Birchtree Charter School

Help
Compare
Year # Students Full-time Teachers Student/Teacher ratio % Free/Discounted Lunch
2011 220 12.0 18.3 0
2012 290 15.2 19.0 0
2013 308 9.2 33.1 0
2014 333 17.4 19.0 0
2015 360 23.0 15.6 0
2016 388 25.0 15.5 0
2017 415 24.9 16.6 0.7
2018 416 23.0 18.0 0.7
2019 395 22.6 17.4 0.8
2020 397 23.3 17.0 0.8
2021 352 22.3 15.7 n/a
2022 406 23.0 17.6 n/a
2023 407 24.2 16.8 0.7

Data source: National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Dept of Education.

About Student-Teacher Ratio

Student/teacher ratio is calculated by dividing the total number of students by the total number of full-time equivalent teachers. Please note that a smaller student/teacher ratio does not necessarily translate to smaller class size. In some instances, schools hire teachers part time, and some teachers are hired for specialized instruction with very small class sizes. These and other factors contribute to the student/teacher ratio. Note: For private schools, Student/teacher ratio may not include Pre-Kindergarten.
Finances

Per Pupil Expenditures for Birchtree Charter School

Help

YearExpenditures from Federal FundsExpenditures from State and Local FundsTotal Expenditures Per Pupil (All Funds)
2019 $116 (0.7%) $16,617 (99.3%) $16,733

Data source: Alaska Department of Education
Pre and Post Pandemic Data

Impact of COVID-19 on Birchtree Charter School

The coronavirus has had a profound impact on education in America. Learning shifted online overnight, attendance numbers dwindled, and enrollment decreased. SchoolDigger.com is making it easier for you to better assess how COVID-19 has impacted your school. Through the collection of pre-pandemic (2019) and current data, SchoolDigger.com is sharing test scores, enrollment numbers and school demographics from schools across the country – and we make it easy to see how impacted schools compare locally and statewide.

Rankings

Rank
Pre-pandemic (2018-2019)
Rank
Post pandemic (2022-2023)
Change (%)
Ranks 95th of 185 Elementary schoolsRanks 56th of 176 Elementary schools
 19.5%
Ranks 36th of 99 Middle schoolsRanks 14th of 92 Middle schools
 21.1%

Test Scores

% proficient
Pre-pandemic (2018-2019)
% proficient
Post pandemic (2022-2023)
Change (%)
8th Grade Science (Birchtree Charter School)6047.1
 12.9%
   8th Grade Science (Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District)48.641.4
 7.2%
   8th Grade Science (Alaska)43.134.5
 8.6%
All Grades Science (Birchtree Charter School)57.750.6
 7.1%
   All Grades Science (Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District)5146.5
 4.5%
   All Grades Science (Alaska)44.736.9
 7.7%

Student Body

Number of students
Pre-pandemic (2018-2019)
Number of students
Post pandemic (2022-2023)
Change (%)
Total Students395407
 3%
African American61
 83.3%
American Indian4526
 42.2%
Asian21
 50%
Hispanic1120
 81.8%
Pacific Islander20
 100%
White306296
 3.3%
Two or More Races2363
 173.9%
% Free/Discounted Lunch Recipients0.8%0.7%
 0%


Schools Near Birchtree Charter School









Frequently Asked Questions about Birchtree Charter School

Birchtree Charter School ranks 56th of 176 Alaska elementary schools. SchoolDigger rates this school 3 stars out of 5.

Students at Birchtree Charter School are 73% White, 15% Two or more races, 6% American Indian, 5% Hispanic.

In the 2022-23 school year, 407 students attended Birchtree Charter School.


Rate Birchtree Charter School!



Sign up for updates!

Be the first to know when there is an update for Birchtree Charter School!




SchoolDigger data sources: National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Census Bureau and the Alaska Department of Education and Early Developmenr.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMERS: Not all boundaries are included. We make every effort to ensure that boundaries are up-to-date. But it's important to note that these are approximations and are for general informational purposes only. To verify legal descriptions of boundaries or school locations, contact your local tax assessor's office and/or school district.





Diagnostics

None retrieved from Database in 40 milliseconds.