Joann A. Alexie Memorial School is located in Atmautluak, Alaska, a small Central Yup’ik Eskimo, tundra village, on the edge of the Pitmiktakik River. It is part of the Lower Kuskokwim School District, whose hub is in Bethel, Alaska. The village is located about 20 air miles northwest of Bethel. It can be reached by small airplane year-round, by boat in the summer and fall and by snow machine and four-wheelers in the winter, and rarely via the ice-road as well.

Atmautluak is a small, quiet community of near 300 people, of whom approximately 97% are Native Alaskan, 2% White and 1% Black.

The size and location of the community limits the quantity of employment opportunities and possibilities, though there are many employable individuals. Hence, the majority of the people are dependent on subsistence hunting and fishing; and on some form of welfare in order to survive. There are however a few who are able to fish commercially and have jobs at some of the local businesses. The local entities include the Atmautluak Tribal Office, a Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation (YKHC) Clinic, a Washeteria, a United States Post Office, a Bingo hall, two stores, Tribal Utilities, a Tribal Police Office (TPO), and two churches (Moravian and Russian Orthodox).

One unique challenge is that the community does not have running water or flushing toilets. Students and community members are however allowed to take showers at the school, for a minimal fee. Often times however getting the water running to the school, which has running water and flushing toilets, can be a challenge.

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