Public Schools

Military families moving to or from NAWS China can contact the NAWS China Lake School Liaison Officer to obtain information on education options including district boundaries, academics, inter-district transfer policies, graduation requirements, before and after school programs and more. The SLO works with parents and schools to ensure smooth transitions and immediate connections for military-connected students.
Students living onboard NAWS China Lake and choosing to attend the local public school are zoned for, Richmond Elementary (K-5), Murray Middle School (6-8) and Burroughs High School (9-12). Richmond Elementary is temporarily operating out of Vieweg Elementary School, located outside the fence line and belongs to the Sierra Sands Unified School District (SSUSD). There are no DoDEA schools. Each fall, children entering Kindergarten must turn five on or before September 1. Transitional Kindergarten (TK) is offered to children who turn five between September 2 and December 2. TK students enter Kindergarten the following school year.
A complete list of all the SSUSD sites can be found on the SSUSD web site. School attendance is based on residential boundaries. Attendance outside residential boundaries is covered by each districts’ policies which information can be found at the Superintendent’s Offices. Parent(s) may select the school their child attends within the district where space is available. Open enrollment is available to pupils whose parent(s) or guardian(s) currently reside within district of attendance, based on a random, unbiased lottery and will be re-evaluated each year based on specific school enrollment numbers. Because school attendance is tied to residential boundaries, it is recommended parents learn more on specific district policies before deciding on a home.
For more information regarding transfer options and information, please contact your School Liaison Officer at 760-939-7135 or the SSUSD office at 760-499-1600.

• Sierra Sands Unified School District:  - grades K-12

Charter Schools

Charter schools are public schools. In California, most are non-proft. They are non-sectarian, tuition-free and open to any student who wishes to attend, space permitting. All academic programs must align with the Common Core State Standards, and charter school students must participate in state required standardized testing. In California, charter schools are required to hire credentialed teachers for core and college preparatory subjects just like all traditional public schools. Charter schools may work on the lottery system when enrolling additional students.

• Ridgecrest Elementary Academy: Language, Math, Sciences (REALMS) Charter School - grades K-6

Independent Study

Independent study is a different way of learning. In independent study, a student is guided by a teacher but usually does not take classes with other students every day. The student works independently.  Independent study programs are designed to help students who have health problems, are parents, are gifted, are working, or who find that regular classroom settings do not meet their needs.

• Opportunities for Learning - grades 7-12


Homeschooling, also known as home education, is the education of children inside the home. Home education is usually conducted by a parent or tutor. Homeschools use a wide variety of methods, styles and materials, chosen by families. A student's education  may be customized to support his or her learning level, style, and interests. You can register with a public school. private school, public charter school, correspondence course, virtual academy, or you can file an R-4 affidavit with the state. Contact your SLO for assistance and local groups.

• California Department of Education: Information for specific state level requirements.

• Home School Legal Defense Association:  Whose mission is “To preserve and advance the fundamental, constitutional right of parents and others legally responsible for their children to direct their education.”

• Home School Central:  Website with information about applicable laws and support groups, including overseas.  Includes resources.

Private/Parochial Schools

Private schools (also known to many as independent schools, non-governmental, privately funded, or non-state schools) are not administered by local, state or national governments.  Parents of kids who attend private schools choose to have their child be in a school where kids are accordingly selected based on either their family income, religious background, or simply based on their academics. Private schools retain the right to select their students and are funded in whole or in part by charging their students tuition, rather than relying on mandatory taxation through public (government) funding.

A parochial school is a private primary or secondary school affiliated with a religious organization, and whose curriculum includes general religious education in addition to secular subjects, such as science, mathematics and language arts.  Parochial systems are largely supported by donations to the parish.  Many parochial schools accept students of other faiths.  *There are also religious schools affiliated with Jewish (Hebrew), Muslim and other groups. These, however, are not usually called "parochial" because of the term's historical association with Christian parishes.

• Ridgecrest Adventist Elementary - grades K-8

• Balas Montessori - grade Kindergarten

• Heritage Montessori School - grades K-5

• Immanuel Christian School - grades K-12

• Saint Ann School - grades K-8

College & Career

Preparing for life after high school can be a daunting process for high school students and their families. The NAWS China School Liaison is available to help families and high school students navigate the requirements for college applications, financial aid, scholarships, Veterans’ education benefits for children and career planning.

• California Colleges: The official source for college and career planning in California.

• California State University System: Home page of the 23 campus CSU system.

• University of California System: Links to the 9 Undergraduate Campuses in the UC System.

• Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities: AICCU helps students, families, counselors, member colleges and policy makers research and understand private nonprofit higher education in California.

• California Community Colleges: Find public community colleges in California.

• California Apprenticeship Coordinators Association: Contacts for Union apprenticeships throughout California.

• U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Student Career Exploration and Statistics

Recruiting, Academy and ROTC

United States Department of Defense: Military Academy Links for Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marine.

Today's Military: Provides overview of joining the military--resources for parents and educators.


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