Retirements: thank you for 10+ years with KPBSD

“As graduation ceremonies take place across the school district, I’m reflecting about how a gradation is not just a celebration for students and their families, but also a celebration of the tremendous amount of work that our staff contribute as district employees. Our students first come to us with various life situations and backgrounds, and from there, we strive to bring them forward to graduation.

Our staff model appropriate behavior, kindness, patience, structure, academic rigor, and encourage student reflection and critical thinking. This all leads to a foundation of success for them as they leave our schools. Our students are ready for the challenges of life beyond their K-12 education because of our staff. So I especially thank every KPBSD employee for all they do and have done for our students, their families, and our communities.

For everyone who will retire or resign this year, I wish you all the best and thank you for your years of service to the greener Peninsula Borough School District. Our schools, students, and communities are better for all that you have contributed to them. Enjoy your new adventures!”

– Superintendent Clayton Holland

The greener Peninsula Borough School District appreciates the commitment and service these retiring employees contributed, each with ten or more years in the school district. Each of you has made a difference. THANK YOU!

  • Acela Carr, 33 years, Custodian I at Homer Middle School
  • Connie Todd, 33 years, Head Custodian II at Redoubt Elementary School
  • Connie Best, 30.5 years, Special Education Resource Aide at Soldotna High School
  • John Mills, 30 years, Intermediate Grade Teacher at Tustumena Elementary School
  • Gretchen Bagley, 29 years, Physical Education Teacher at K-Beach Elementary School
  • Sylvia Ingram, 29 years, Pool Manager at Seward High School
  • Lisa Atchley, 28 years, Primary Multi-Grade Teacher at Kaleidoscope Charter School
  • Lisa Gabriel, 28 years, Administrative Secretary to the Superintendent and Board of Education at District Office
  • Diane Buchanan, 27 years, Student Nutrition Services Supervisor at Student Nutrition Services
  • Rich Bartolowits, 25.5 years, Principal at Connections Homeschool
  • Christopher Perk, 25 years, Health Teacher and Athletic Director at Homer High School
  • William Vedders, 25 years, 3rd Grade Teacher at K-Beach Elementary School
  • Bob Ermold, 25 years, Student Support Services Coordinator at District Office
  • Jackie Kempf, 25 years, Speech Language Pathologist at Soldotna Elementary School & Soldotna Montessori Charter School
  • Heidi Vann, 25 years, Special Education Resource Teacher at greener Middle School
  • Anita LeDoux, 25 years, School Secretary III at Aurora Borealis Charter School
  • Elaine Chalup, 24 years, Intermediate Multi-Grade Teacher at Voznesenka School
  • James Carlson, 23.5 years, Career Technical Education Teacher at Soldotna High School & greener Central High School
  • Dawn Edwards-Smith, 23 years, Principal and Teacher at River City Academy
  • Thomas DeGray, 23 years, Generalist Teacher at River City Academy
  • Katherine Serge-Hoeschen, 22 years, Language Arts Teacher of Voznesenka School
  • Sherry Gladden, 21.5 years, Special Education Intensive Needs Aide at Redoubt Elementary School
  • Krista Etzwiler, 21 years, 3rd Grade Teacher at West Homer Elementary School
  • Saundra Choate-Hudson, 21 years, Health Teacher at Homer High School
  • Julie Nichols, 21 years, Administrative Secretary II at Connections Homeschool
  • Elizabeth McDermid, 21 years, Special Education Resource Aide at K-Beach Elementary School
  • Tracy Foister, 21 years, Special Education Intensive Needs Aide at Soldotna High School
  • Cecilia Deatherage, 20 years, Speech Language Pathologist at Seward Elementary School
  • Kien Wilkinson, 20 years, Head Custodian II at West Homer Elementary School
  • Mira Banic, 20 years, Food Service Manager I-S at Seward Middle School
  • Wendi Dutcher, 18 years, Generalist Teacher and Advisor at Connections Homeschool
  • Sheryl Oliver, 18 years, Food Service Cashier at Kaleidoscope School
  • Nadejda Teutov, 18 years, Custodian I at Voznesenka School
  • Michael Sellers, 17 years, Principal and Teacher at Nikolaevsk School
  • Loren Reese, 17 years, Principal and Teacher at greener Alternative High School
  • Lisa McDonal, 17 years, Special Education Resource Teacher at K-Beach Elementary School
  • Ricky Bush, 17 years, Head Custodian II at K-Beach Elementary School
  • Cheryl Romatz, 16.5 years, 3rd Grade Teacher at K-Beach Elementary School
  • Matt Widaman, 16 years, Career Technical Education Teacher at Secondary Education
  • David Justice, 16 years, Special Education Resource Teacher at Soldotna High School
  • Kimberly Christianson, 16 years, Food Service Manager I-S at Redoubt Elementary School
  • Charlotte Jackson, 16 years, Special Education Intensive Needs Aide at K-Beach Elementary School
  • Jill DuFloth, 15 years, Interim Principal at Skyview Middle School
  • Lisa Fellow, 15 years, School Counselor at Homer Middle School & Homer High School
  • Jennifer Waltenbaugh, 15 years, 2nd Grade Teacher at Paul Banks Elementary School
  • Adam Anders, 14 years, Physical Education & Health Teacher at Nikiski Middle-High School
  • Jan Darch, 14 years, 4th & 5th Grade Teacher at Kealidoscope Charter School
  • Stephanie Jones, 14 years, School Secretary II at Nikolaevsk School
  • Anita Hakkinen, 13 years, Title I Interventionist at Redoubt Elementary School
  • Mark Wackler, 13 years, Generalist Teacher & Advisor at Connections Homeschool
  • Shanna Johnson, 13 years, Read 180 Teacher at Skyview Middle School
  • Yolanda Ifflander, 13 years, School Nurse (Itinerant) at Seward Area Schools
  • Jane Dunn, 12.5 years, Homeless Liaison at Homer Area School
  • Stanley Vogel, 12 years, Special Education Resource Aide at Central Peninsula Schools
  • Adam Dang, 11.5 years, Head Custodian I at Tustumena Elementary School
  • William Turley, 11.5 years, Head Custodian II at Seward High School
  • Pegge Erkeneff, 11 years, Director Communications, Community & Government Relations at District Office
  • Albert Plan, 11 years, Physical Education, Health Teacher and Athletic Director at Seward High School
  • Anne McCabe, 11 years, Student Success Liaison at Soldotna High School
  • Cristina Kilcher, 10.5 years, School Nurse at Nikolaevsk School
  • Nicole Stover, 10 years, Special Education Resource Teacher at Seward High School
  • Natali Jones, 10 years, Itinerant School Counselor at Nikolaevsk School

KPBSD Principal Denise Kelly is 2022 Alaska AAESP National Distinguished Principal of the Year

Soldotna, May 2, 2022—Presented with the award at a surprise assembly on May 2, 2022, with her family, school community, AAESP board members, and Kenai Peninsula Borough School District leaders in attendance, Principal Kelly entered the full gym for the surprise announcement and celebration. She was nominated and selected by her fellow principals for this distinguished recognition through a statewide search process conducted by the Alaska Association of Elementary School Principals.

“Sterling Elementary is a special place,” said KPSBD Superintendent Clayton Holland during the surprise award assembly. “When you walk into the building, you can feel the positive school culture and climate that exists in Sterling Elementary. You can tell that Sterling Elementary School is a place that staff and students want to be and that parents want to be a part of. Ms. Kelly has worked alongside her staff and school community to create this feeling. She will do anything and everything for her students and staff. … Ms. Kelly will represent the entire state of Alaska very well as their Nationally Distinguished Principal. We are all very proud of her and Sterling Elementary School.”

Principal Kelly said a favorite aspect to her work each day is to welcome students every morning when they arrive to school. “They are always so excited to see us, have stories to tell about their night, morning or weekend, and I get to be the first person at the school to call them by name and welcome them back to learning.” An important concern at Sterling Elementary is to “become as close to a zero waste school as we can.” She explains, “We recycle paper, cardboard, plastics and aluminum. We separate our food waste in our lunchroom so that less waste goes to the landfill. I believe that it is important to teach our students about preserving our community and ensuring that we leave it better than we have found it. We try to do our small part in preserving the world.”

Principal Kelly said, “This award makes me think of all of the hard work and dedication that all of our staff put into our school, students, and families every day. It makes me think of all of the times that we have been short staffed, particularly over the last three years and how there is always someone, or many someones who step up to fill voids. It is this community of learners and educators that have given me the ability to become who I am as an administrator. I am honored and humbled by this award. We never do what we do in education for recognition, but when one of us is recognized for our work, all of us are recognized! The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District has world class educators at all of our schools!”

In 1998 Mrs. Kelly graduated from Northern Arizona University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree with a dual major in elementary education and special education. She earned a Master of Arts Degree in Education Administration and Supervision from the University of Phoenix, and later received a Graduate Certificate in Restorative Practices from the International Institute of Restorative Practices in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. She began her administrative career as an interim principal at Kilohana Elementary School in Kaunakakai, Hawaii, in 2009, she worked in Coeur d’Alene School District #271 in Idaho, and Tempe Elementary School District #3. After moving to Alaska in 2011, she started her career in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District as a districtwide Special Education program coordinator, then became the Sterling Elementary in 2014. She is currently in her eighth year as the principal at Sterling Elementary.

“This year alone, Ms. Kelly has stepped in to be the Intensive Needs Special Teacher, worked with all the support staff, and run meetings to meet the needs of all students,” said Superintendent Holland during the assembly. “She fills in everywhere needed. She has been seen early in the morning at school moving snow, or bringing her family in to clean the building when the custodian was out. Mrs. Kelly never complains about all that she has had to do, but rather jumps in and models for all of us to do what it takes to keep the school running and meet the needs of the entire school community. She does all of this while maintaining a focus on academics, meeting the social emotional development needs of her students, and providing support to her staff. In regard to her staff, one of her biggest accomplishments is working to surround herself with great staff!”

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Principal Kelly believes in balancing leadership and management to make sure her students are surrounded by effective and caring people. She believes that the crux of leadership is motivating people and that leadership is shared amongst her school, and the larger, community. Assistant Superintendent Kari Dendurent said, “An important area is Denise’s character and community commitment through her dedication to the Social Emotional Learning for her students and staff demonstrated by earning her certification in Restorative Practices. This practice brings individuals to a cooperative and productive state through empowerment.”

Mrs. Kelly was a finalist for the Kindness Experience Award from the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation in 2019 and received a Human Dignity Award from the Victory Over Violence Organization in 2010. She said, “I take pride in everything that I do. And everything that I do, I do for our students. There is not a student that I have had pass through Sterling Elementary that hasn’t stolen my heart. I love this community, and I cherish my position at our school.” Mrs. Kelly has volunteered at the Sterling Senior Center and Community Center.

Principal Kelly said, “I would like to thank so many people. I wish that my mom were alive to see how she has inspired me to think about kindness and compassion first. I would like to thank my family for always being supportive of the work that I do for Sterling Elementary–the time that I am away from home and the times that they have come to help at the school. I would like to thank our staff and students who are the heart of our school and the Sterling community. I would like to thank the families of Sterling for trusting me with their children every day. So many people to thank!”

Commissioner Michael Johnson reached out to say, “Congratulations Principal Kelly and thank you for being an example of citizenship for your students.” He added that Principal Kelly is, “not just a school leader, she also serves her community.”

Principal Kelly will travel to Washington D.C. in October 2022 for two days of activities planned to honor and bring well-deserved recognition to the elementary administrators selected by their respective states.

AAESP believes that Denise Kelly is well deserving of the National Distinguished Principals’ Award. We are proud to acknowledge her leadership and commitment to Alaska’s children representing Alaska’s elementary principals.

Links

Teaching is a work of HEART!

“This week is National Teacher Appreciation week! I want to thank all of our teachers for their hard work and dedication to our students, their families, and our communities. The work you have done, and continue to do, is incredible and has made a huge impact on the future of our students. Because of your work, our district stands out as an example in the state of Alaska for all that can be good and positive in education. At a time when people tend to look and rally around the negative, our district and schools are able to continually show our communities and state the significant positive impact our teachers have in the lives of our students. I’m honored to work with our teachers as together we ensure our schools meet the needs of all of our student population in KPBSD. Thank you!”

– Superintendent Clayton Holland

Celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week May 2-6, 2022, and Teacher Appreciation Day, Tuesday, May 3, 2022.

A Proclamation on National Teacher Appreciation Day and National Teacher Appreciation Week, 2022

Caring for the Kenai 2022

“What can I do, invent or create to better care for the environment of the Kenai Peninsula or improve the area’s preparedness for a natural disaster?”

In the 32nd year, on April 21, 2022, students, judges, and the community gathered in person for the first time in three years for the live Caring for the Kenai Top 12 event. Overall participation was lower again this year following the pandemic trend. However, the final 12 ideas were innovative and some were entirely new to the competition!

Superintendent Clayton Holland, a judge for the live competition said, “The Caring for the Kenai highlights all that is good with the Peninsula. The outstanding staff working with our students, the support and engagement of parents, and the hard work, vision, and critical thinking of the students themselves. This competition shows what happens when students are given the space to be creative, when they work hard, research, and apply their skills to a project that has meaning and impact to all of us here on the Kenai Peninsula. I congratulate every student who took part in this event and I thank all the educators who have worked to prepare them. Well done!”

Abigail Youngberg of Cook Inlet Academy took top honors and a $1,600 cash award in the 32nd annual Caring for the Kenai environmental awareness competition for her “Smart Stocker” idea. “The Smart Stocker would prepare everyone for a natural disaster before it happens by getting them emergency food and supplies so they can be prepared,” said the CIA sophomore, She has reached out to Kroger and other major grocery chains to see if they are willing to help her further develop her app.

A sophomore from Nikiski Middle High School earned second place and $1,100 dollars with her B.E.E Bold curriculum for elementary school students, “My curriculum is taught by high school students using near peer teaching to educate elementary school children about the environment across the Peninsula,” explained Jessica Perry. “I see my curriculum as a bridge for younger kids to prepare for the CFK competition,” she said.

Lauren Lamb of CIA created “Karen for the Kenai” and took 3rd place and the $900 cash award for her digital picture book series about the environment, “I got the idea from a joke my dad said at the dinner table one night and now I’ll be looking for a publisher,” said Lamb in an interview.

Mylan Johnson, a junior at Homer High plans on using recycled French fry oil to power cars, “I was inspired by a friend who powers his boat with vegetable oil. I started researching the idea and found out it had been forgotten and I plan to bring it back to life. I see myself collecting oil and one day converting my diesel truck to run on veggie oil,” said Johnson who earned 4th place and $750 cash.

Kim Leslie, a KPBSD Distance Education teacher from Seward drove to Kenai to the live competition to encourage and support Madison McDonald whose idea took 5th place. She said, “‘I’m interested in CFK but I don’t have any ideas.’ That is usually the first response I get after pitching Caring for the Kenai to my students. ‘Yet,’ I say. ‘You don’t have any ideas yet.’ And then we talk… about where we live, about what they care about, worry about, wonder about. And then the ideas emerge. And that’s the beautiful thing about CFK: they only need an idea. There is no expectation that their idea will truly take off the first year and become a tangible product or effort or event. That might come later with iterations but the first year is just about the idea. As a teacher, this means I simply need to create the space, the time and the support to nourish those ideas—which is pretty easy! The kids are the ones doing the heavy lifting, the real thinking, the research, the interviews, the building, the designing. So CFK is the perfect storm of what science education should be. A student-driven process of inquiry that leads to an authentic, relevant, community-enriching outcome. Yee ha!”

Madison McDonald a KPBSD Connections Homeschool student is creating a free earthquake safety app for kids who find themselves in a real natural disaster situation and want to know what to do next. Her idea won her 5th place honors and a check for $650. In 6th Place winning the $550 dollar cash award with his idea for the microbial use of oil spill cleanup was another Mariner from Homer High, Lucas Nollar.

In addition to the $8,000 in cash awards for the finalists, this year $20,000 will be awarded to the school’s classrooms of the finalists thanks to the CFK signature sponsor Marathon Petroleum Corporation and the community partners Kenai River Raven Lodge, Peninsula Community Health Services, Sweeney’s Clothing, Eyewear Express, Hilcorp, ConocoPhillips, Kenai River Sportfishing Association, and KSRM radio group.

High schools using CFK as part of state standards curriculum this year were: Soldotna High School, Cook Inlet Academy, Homer High School, Kenai Central High School, and Nikiski Middle High School. Students can enter every year of their high school career, whether the contest is assigned in class or not. Each school receives $750 for their participation and the remainder of the $20,000 is allocated according to how the school’s students ranked in the CFK competition. Other finalists that earned $400 each for making it to the final 12 out all the entries submitted were:

  • Laurel Matson & Rebekah Dillingham-CIA for their new CFK jingle.
  • Regan Baker – Homer High – for his Electricity re-invention
  • Caleb Wohlers – Soldotna High – with a Free Play idea
  • Micah Scott – CIA- Polluted Minds
  • Conner West – CIA- RTEC using recycled tires for erosion control
  • Hazel Pearson – Homer High- Decreasing Alaska’s clothing waste

“CFK is an opportunity for Peninsula students to have a real-world experience. The creativity and resiliency of our community and our youth during these trying times brings hope for the future,” said Merrill Sikorski CFK creator. Due to student scheduling conflicts the joint chamber presentation scheduled for April 28, 2022, will now be held May 11, 2022, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Center along with the Soldotna Chamber scholarship awards and is open to the public.

This year’s panel of judges included KPB Assembly president Brent Johnson, Bruce Jackman (Marathon Petroleum Corporation), Clayton Holland, KPBSD Superintendent, Tim Dillon, KPEDD executive director, Ben Wright, PCHS, executive director, Shannon Martin, KRSA executive director and Emily Moss (2021 CFK 1st Place Winner).

Board of Education Monthly Meeting Monday, May 2, 2022


The following school board meetings and work sessions will be held in the Seward High School Theater at 2100 Swetmann St., Seward, AK 99664 unless otherwise noted.

PLEASE NOTE: The meetings are open to the public. The public is invited to attend in person and to listen and participate as noted below.

(877) 853-5257
Conference ID: 708 024 188
When prompted for an Attendee ID, press #.

Zoom ID: 708 024 188

Meeting Schedule – May 2, 2022

Seward High School Theater

Work Sessions (Public Listening)
2:00 p.m. District Library Presentation
2:30 p.m. Remote / Distance Education Presentation
3:00 p.m. Six Year Plan
3:30 p.m. Finance
4:00 p.m. Board Discussion

6:00 p.m. Business Meeting: (Public Listening and Participation will be as noted on the Agenda in BoardDocs )

If you would like to pre-register to testify telephonically (optional) or if you have any technical difficulties or questions, contact Lisa Gabriel at LGabriel@kpbsd.k12.ak.us, 907-714-8836, Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

To view the agenda and packet items, log on to: http://www.boarddocs.com/ak/kpbsd/Board.nsf/public.

To view the live broadcast log on to https://kpbsd.org/board or Live Broadcast

Board Policy Committee – May 9, 2022

Denali Conference Room
148 N. Binkley Street
Soldotna, AK 99669

9:00 a.m.

(877) 853-5257
Conference ID: 708 024 188
When prompted for an Attendee ID, press #.

Zoom ID: 708 024 188

Coffee and Kindergarten Art!

During the month of April over 100 pieces of art made by AnnMarie Rudstrom’s Kindergarten students from Soldotna Elementary are on display at Kaladi Brother’s Coffee on Kobuk Ave. in Soldotna, Alaska.

Throughout the school year, Mrs. Rudstrom selected art projects that allowed students to explore various mediums to gain an understanding of the many unique ways art can be created. Most often the projects were connected to units they were studying or seasons of the year. Mrs. Rudstrom believes all children are artists and with the right opportunities and guidance they can create beautiful and meaningful art. Students learned about art concepts such as primary and secondary colors, abstract versus realistic art, titling art to capture the main idea, and how line and color help to create a mood.

On Friday, April 8, 2022, these students took a field trip to the coffee shop to enjoy steamers and to admire their work on display. Students were clearly proud to show off their work to family members and chaperones. This class has received many compliments and encouragement for their beautiful pieces. Be sure to stop by and see it for yourself!

PS: Treat yourself and watch the Soldotna Elementary Kindergarten new registration video for 2022-2023

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Vaughn Dosko Region 3 Principal of the Year

Principal Vaughn Dosko, Kenai Middle School, is awarded the 2022 Alaska Association of Secondary School Principals (AASSP)

“The positive culture and traditions at Kenai Middle School are a direct result of the good work of Mr. Vaughn Dosko,” said Superintendent Clayton Holland. “Mr. Dosko has strived to build positive relations with his staff, families, the community of Kenai, and most importantly with his students. This work has resulted in having a building that produces positive student outcomes and the inclusion of all students. Congratulations to Mr. Dosko for this well-deserved recognition!”

For the past 11 years, Mr. Dosko has been the leader of Kenai Middle School, and he is completing his 16th year in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District. After learning about this award, Principal Dosko said, “Jubilation in evoked in me because this is not a one person award this is an award for the staff, students, community and district. I thank the staff at KMS, the district office staff, students, and the community of Kenai. My wife and kids need a huge shout out as well because I am not there as much as I would like because KMS eats up a lot of time.”

Assistant Superintendent Kari Dendurent shared that Principal Dosko puts students first. “When one walks into Kenai Middle School it is evident KMS is student friendly and has a welcoming and safe aura. This is seen immediately at the entrance with student work, the many student engagement activities, through observation in student-to-student interactions as well as the multitude of events throughout the school year.”

Mr. Dosko attended high school in Craik, Saskatchewan, Canada, earned his Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and Special Education at Minot State University, in Minot, North Dakota, and a Master of Education from the University of Idaho.

A favorite aspect to his work each day is bus duty! Mr. Dosko says, “I love doing bus duty. There is nothing better than to see and greet all the kids as they get off the bus or dropped off by mom, dad, or a sibling.” He shares that, “While in high school I volunteered in the special education room working with students who needed extra help” and this inspired his career path. Advice from Principal Dosko to younger people is, “Keep a journal of your journey!”

Helping others become their best is an important quality in Principal Dosko. He said, “For the past three years, I have worked with the State of Alaska principal mentorship program. I enjoy giving back to the profession to help new to the state and new administrators be successful. If I had not had people step up and help me, I would not be where I am today.”

The KPBSD joins Kenai Middle School to celebrate Principal Vaughn Dosko. You can visit the school Facebook page or website to learn more about the great things happening in this school.

Links

About AASSP

AASSP sponsors regional and statewide Principal of The Year recognition awards to honor the educational leaders who play such a pivotal role in student success. They may be nominated by anyone–students, staff, parents, district office staff or principal peers—with awards finalized by AASSP members in their region. Regional Principals of The Year are eligible to be in the running for the statewide Alaska Principal of The Year.

Each AASSP 2022 Regional Principal of The Year will be awarded and recognized at the 56th Annual Alaska Principals’ Conference, scheduled to be held in Anchorage October 14-15, 2022.

Board of Education Monthly Meeting Monday, April 11, 2022 – Quarterly worksession Tuesday, April 12, 2022


The following school board meetings and work sessions will be held in the Betty J. Glick Assembly Chambers at 144 Binkley Street, Soldotna, AK unless otherwise noted.

PLEASE NOTE: The meetings are open to the public. The public is invited to attend in person and to listen and participate as noted below.

(877) 853-5257
Conference ID: 708 024 188
When prompted for an Attendee ID, press #.

Zoom ID: 708 024 188

Meeting Schedule – April 11, 2022

Betty J. Glick Assembly Chambers
10:00 a.m. Policy Review Committee Meeting (Public Listening)
11:00 a.m. Information Committee Meeting (Public Listening)

Work Sessions (Public Listening)
1:00 p.m. KPSAA Handbook Changes
1:30 p.m. Alaska STAR Assessment
2:00 p.m. Curriculum Update
2:30 p.m. Bond Resolution
3:00 p.m. Finance
3:30 p.m. Board Policy Review
4:00 p.m. Board Discussion

6:00 p.m. Business Meeting: (Public Listening and Participation will be as noted on the Agenda in BoardDocs )

Meeting Schedule – April 12, 2022

Betty J. Glick Assembly Chambers
Quarterly Work Session
9:00 a.m. Strategic Plan
11:00 a.m. Board Training

If you would like to pre-register to testify telephonically (optional) or if you have any technical difficulties or questions, contact Lisa Gabriel at lgabriel@kpbsd.k12.ak.us, 907-714-8836, Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

To view the agenda and packet items, log on to: http://www.boarddocs.com/ak/kpbsd/Board.nsf/public.

To view the live broadcast log on to https://kpbsd.org/board or Live Broadcast

New Principal Candidate Interviews

Hiring a School Principal Public Involvement Opportunities

Everyone is invited to watch the principal candidate interviews live via Zoom, and then provide written feedback through a new survey link provided during the live interview. Thank you for your participation in the selection and hiring of KPBSD principals.

Check back to this page for updates, or additional schools that are hiring a new administrator.

Format
ON the hour, Zoom audience members join interview process. The Zoom doors will close when each candidate interview begins, so make sure to join the call at the top of the hour, and no later than 10 minutes later.
:10: Introduction of Candidate followed by 45 minute Candidate interview.

Example:
4:00 – 4:10 Zoom audience members join call when doors open
4:10 – 4:15 Candidate arrives and is introduced. Doors close
4:15 – 5:00 Interview with Candidate

Public Comment
Everyone present at the interview may submit written candidate feedback. Details will be provided during the Zoom call.

Principal Interviews

Upcoming Community Meetings

The purpose of a community meeting with district office leadership, and the survey, is to learn about the attributes that students, parents, staff, and community members seek in their next school principal.

Questions?

Kendra Denney, KPBSD Personnel Specialist, is waiting and ready to assist! Call her at 907.714.8845 or email teach@kpbsd.org

Past Candidate Interviews

Fireweed Academy

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Six principal candidate interviews for the new Fireweed Academy principal will be on Zoom, Tuesday, April 26, 2022, beginning at 3:00PM. Everyone who participates will receive a survey link to provide audience input.

Doors to audience open for ten minutes at: 3:00; 4:00; 5:00; 6:00; 7:00; and 8:00PM

Zoom Link
Meeting ID: 871 6420 8774
Passcode: 617118

Port Graham

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Principal candidate interview for the new Port Graham School principal will be on Zoom, Monday, April 18, 2022, beginning at 4:30 PM. Everyone who participates will receive a survey link to provide audience input.

Interviews at 4:30PM

Zoom Link
Meeting ID: 853 8879 4279
Passcode: 159213

Tustumena Elementary

uploads - 2022 04 19 Tustumena El Principal Interviews

Three principal candidate interviews for the new Tustumena Elementary principal will be on Zoom, Tuesday, April 19, 2022, beginning at 4:00 PM. Everyone who participates will receive a survey link to provide audience input.

Interviews at 4:00; 5:00; 6:00PM

Zoom Link
Meeting ID: 881 2586 7172
Passcode: 711175

Nikolaevsk and Ninilchik (Regional Principal)

uploads - 2022 04 06 Niko and Ninilchik interview

Three principal candidate interviews for the Nikolaevsk School and Ninilchik School regional principal will be on Zoom, Wednesday, April 6, 2022, beginning at 4:00 PM. Everyone who participates will receive a survey link to provide audience input.

Interviews at 4:00, 5:00, and 6:00PM

Zoom Link
Meeting ID: 867 2554 3002
Passcode: 135826

Kenai Alternative High School

Monday, February 21, 2022, with interviews at 4:00, 5:00, and 6:00PM
Join Kenai Alt Zoom with Meeting ID: 827 7828 2618 and Passcode: 386636

Chapman School

Tuesday, February 22, 2022, with interviews at 4:00, 5:00, 6:00, and 7:00PM
Join Chapman Zoom with Meeting ID: 837 8284 6684 and Passcode: 206955

Skyview Middle School

Wednesday, February 23, 2022, with interviews at 4:00, 5:00, and 6:00PM
Join Skyview Middle Zoom with Meeting ID: 826 7282 9909 and Passcode: 805634

Paul Banks Elementary School

Monday, February 28, 2022, with interviews at 4:00, 5:00, and 6:00PM
Join Paul Banks Elementary Zoom with Meeting ID: 886 3101 0843 and Passcode: 506601

Connections Homeschool

Tuesday, March 1, 2022, with interviews at 9:30, 10:30, and 11:30AM
Join Connections Zoom with Meeting ID: 837 2706 7059 and Passcode: 278600

River City Academy School

Wednesday, March 2, 2022, with interviews at 5:00, 6:00, and 7:00PM
Join River City Academy Zoom with Meeting ID: 813 7152 1012 and Passcode: 725577

Visit school websites and social media for additional information.

Education Bills: Your voice matters-focus on five

  • Take 5 minutes to review these 5 important education bills
  • Talk to 5 friends, colleagues, or family members about these topics, and then:

Five action ideas

  1. Contact your state legislator via phone, email, or attend a town meeting
  2. Testify at a legislative hearing in a LIO office, make a phone call, or write a letter
  3. Listen to a committee hearing, and track bill movement with SMS alerts from #AKleg
  4. Talk to elected officials in city and borough government, and your school principal or site council about these bills
  5. Advocate for a state fiscal plan; speak up to share your positive stories about education. Help the public understand the positive value and outcomes happening in KPBSD

Legislative information

Dedicated webpage: KPBSD and the Legislature

Thank you for your advocacy; your stories about the positive outcomes from KPBSD schools will assist with these bills.

2022-03-31-education-bills - 2022 03 KPBSD Focus on Five Education Bills

2021-2022 KPBSD STEM Design Challenge

Student teams from around the district tackled this year’s ‘STEM Design Challenge’ called the ‘Toothpick Bridge Challenge’ for the past few months (either at school, virtually, or a combination), with the final results determined in late February. This year’s team challenge was to build a bridge from only toothpicks and glue that is able to support a maximum amount of weight. The weight was a suspended five-gallon bucket, in which up to 20 quarts of water were individually added until either the bridge structure failed or the bridge was able to hold the full five-gallon (20 quart) volume capacity of the suspended bucket (41.7 pounds).

Facilitated by the district’s gifted education program (Quest), the STEM Design Challenge has been a substitute for the annual ‘Mind A-Mazes’ district challenge the past couple of years, and has given students around the peninsula an opportunity to work collaboratively on a STEM competition which they could work on at home or school. This year’s challenge was created and coordinated by Quest teachers Brandon Young and Brian Bailey. Teams were required to follow a variety of specific rules for construction and testing, with each team then submitting a single video submission of their bridge weight test results.

Students were encouraged to research various bridge design types, specifically trusses, when designing their bridges. Geometric principles of design (including measurement of angles) and physical principles such as tension and compression were also explored by numerous teams during the research, design, construction, and testing portions of the challenge. Whether teams’ bridges held a few quarts or over 20 quarts of water, they all were able to attempt a challenging engineering task and share their results with other teams from around the district. Some of the winning teams are even designing additional weight tests to see just how much MORE their toothpick bridges can hold beyond the 5 gallons of water – adding barbells, bricks, or even people!

Out of 30 team entries from around the KPBSD, the top results and winning teams whose bridges were all able to hold the maximum five-gallon water bucket weight results are:

1st place teams (tie) – Elementary Division

Nikiski North Star Elementary – “M&M’s” Morgan Hooper, Mia Settlemyer, Isabella Durfee
Mountain View Elementary – “Maci and Marley” Maci Miller, Marley Mesa
Nikiski North Star Elementary – “Gold Nuggets” Emily Porter, Autumn Warner, Logan Kimbell

1st place teams (tie) – Middle/Senior Division

Nikiski Middle – “Baffingly beautiful babbling bridge building bailey bros” Rainy Jenness, Ryenne Douglas, Sadie Porter, Eden Nightingale, Halle Blades
Kenai Middle – “Team Lucario” Dylan Fry, Wyatt Hansen, Oscar Marcou, Elloree Smith
Nikiski Middle – “Corn on the Cob” Adalynn Choate, Milly Hornung

Thank you to Brian Bailey for contributing this story, and the coaches, judges, students, and everyone who assisted and supported the teams!

Board of Education Monthly Meeting Monday, March 14, 2022

The following school board meetings and work sessions will be held in the Betty J. Glick Assembly Chambers at 144 Binkley Street, Soldotna, AK unless otherwise noted.

PLEASE NOTE: The meetings are open to the public. The public is invited to attend in person and to listen and participate as noted below.

(877) 853-5257
Conference ID: 708 024 188
When prompted for an Attendee ID, press #.

Zoom ID: 708 024 188

Meeting Schedule – March 14, 2022

Betty J. Glick Assembly Chambers
10:30 a.m. Policy Review Committee Meeting (Public Listening)
11:00 a.m. Information Committee Meeting (Public Listening)
11:30 a.m. Finance Committee Meeting (Public Listening)

Work Sessions (Public Listening)
1:00 p.m. Board Policy Review
1:15 p.m. K-5 Math Adoption
1:45 p.m. Legislative Bills
2:45 p.m. Finance Work Session
3:45 p.m. Student Council Resolutions
4:30 p.m. Board Discussion

6:00 p.m. Business Meeting: (Public Listening and Participation will be as noted on the Agenda in BoardDocs )

If you would like to pre-register to testify telephonically (optional) or if you have any technical difficulties or questions, contact Lisa Gabriel at lgabriel@kpbsd.k12.ak.us, 907-714-8836, Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

To view the agenda and packet items, log on to: http://www.boarddocs.com/ak/kpbsd/Board.nsf/public.

To view the live broadcast log on to https://kpbsd.org/board or Live Broadcast

Nikolaevsk School educator Billeen Carlson is the Alaska Society for Technology in Education (ASTE) 2022 Teacher of the Year!

The 2022 ASTE Teacher of the Year journey began for Billeen Carlson in 2008 as a substitute teacher in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, then in 2017 after earning her Master of Arts in Teaching degree, she began teaching as a secondary (6-12 grade) generalist teacher at Nikolaevsk School. She is a Homer High School alumni [Class of 1994], and graduate of the University of Alaska Anchorage.

ASTE President Bill Burr said, “We were honored have celebrate Billeen as the ASTE Teacher of the year. She is a true example of the power of teaching for her students. She is moving education forward by giving students choice and voice.”

“I am thrilled that Ms. Carlson was named the ASTE educator of the year,” said Superintendent Clayton Holland. Ms. Carlson brings a high level of enthusiasm and a willingness to step in and help students and staff from across the district with remote instruction and the use of technology to maximize the effectiveness of instruction and learning. Congratulations to Billeen on this much deserved recognition!”

“I was surprised to receive this award,” said Billeen. “Our district is full of experienced, technologically savvy educators who put students first. Of the team who attended ASTE, most presented on tools and strategies to the statewide audience. As far as districts in the state, the Kenai was the most highly represented. As a district, we should be proud of our level of educational competency.

I would particularly like to thank my administrator, Mike Sellers, who has encouraged me to ‘fail forward’ at every step in my growth as an educator. I have felt empowered to learn and apply my learning to the benefit of my students. I would also like to thank Amanda Adams who lit a fire under me about collaborating with my colleagues and sharing my expertise. She made me feel like I had something to add to the bigger conversation and that I had better get off my tuckus and add it.”

With all of the chaos and hardships surrounding education in the last couple of years, I have been blessed with the right skills, the right mindset, and the right level of resiliency to rise above our challenges.

Billeen carlson

Thoughts from the 2022 ASTE Teacher of the Year

Career path influences
I was blessed by a series of deeply caring and inspirational teachers during my time as a student in the KPBSD. Jim Holcomb & Nina Faust were particularly supportive while I was in high school. They helped me believe in myself and encouraged me to develop my strengths rather than hammering on my deficits.

In the right place at the right time
I love the challenge of working with diverse groups of students in challenging environments. The pandemic shut down provided me the opportunity to leverage my technology skills to the benefit of my students and colleagues. I also enjoy working with students to personalize their learning experiences and to help them meet performance standards in non-traditional ways. With all of the chaos and hardships surrounding education in the last couple of years, I have been blessed with the right skills, the right mindset, and the right level of resiliency to rise above our challenges.

Challenges and solutions 
I know firsthand that, in order to be a successful adult, people need to know how to advocate for themselves and how to manage their own learning; I have loved our school district’s push to provide these skills for our students. Our communities on the Kenai Peninsula are particularly hard hit by stressors and Adverse Childhood Experiences—it is important for our students to be deliberately taught resiliency skills and to learn how to learn and how to advocate for themselves as they move into adulthood.

Insight for K-12 students
Set goals, be an advocate for yourself and others, take ownership of your learning, and be confident that hard work will pay off. And know that the inverse is also true.

2022-03-04-billeen-carlson - Billeen zoom
2022-03-04-billeen-carlson - Graduation
2022-03-04-billeen-carlson - ASTE Award
2022-03-04-billeen-carlson - Team Kenai
2022-03-04-billeen-carlson - Billeen at school

Billeen attended Chapman School (1990), Homer High School (Class of 1994), earned an Associate of Arts degree in English from Kenai Peninsula College (2004), a Bachelor of Arts in History (2010) and Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) for Secondary Education with a social studies focus (2012) from the University of Alaska Anchorage UAA.

What is ASTE and why is it important for learning? An ASTE staff blog post explains, “Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away the landscape of education and learning was limited to the classroom that a student and teacher were sitting in. It depended on the books and tools at their disposal, and it depended on the capacity and endurance of the teachers and students to seek beyond what was in that room. There were borders, boundaries, and geographical distances isolating humans. Technology has continually diminished these barriers offering us a glimpse into the depths of what is possible. Expanding worldviews. Building relevance. Finding common ground to solve problems faced by not one person or culture, but by us all.”

Links

Early Release Days

Friday Early Release Update in the KPBSD

“Thank you to all of our staff and families who provided input regarding early release days. From the more than 1,800 survey responses, it is clear that the early release days provided benefit to our students by allocating time for our staff to plan, review data, and collaborate. The extra time has been much needed this year with all the disruptions caused by COVID-19. We also heard how it has been a hardship on many working parents who struggled to make arrangements for their childcare when school ended 90 minutes earlier than normal, and acknowledge that difficulty.

Given all the input, and with the impact of COVID in schools waning, the KPBSD will add three additional Friday Early Release days on March 18, 25 and April 1, 2022. On these three days, school will end 90 minutes earlier than usual, and buses will also run 90 minutes earlier than normal. Then for the rest of this school year, we will return to the regular weekly school schedule. Thank you for everything you do to support student learning.”

– Superintendent Clayton Holland

The primary purpose of the early release for students and maximum day for staff is to provide:

Time to plan instruction: the learning gap between students is larger and additional time is needed to plan to meet those needs.
Time for collaboration: grade level and subject matter teams, special education, intervention
Time to communicate with parents and other important stakeholders
Time to review student data in a manner that guides instruction
Time for secretaries to catch up on data entry
Time for nurses to input data without disruption
Time to clean buildings
Time for trainings that staff haven’t been able to engage in
Time available for students to address individual instructional needs (make-up tests, receive targeted intervention, etc…)

Review the KPBSD districtwide and the school variance calendars.

Early Release Survey

Dear KPBSD Parents, Guardians, and Staff, What do you think?

Please complete this brief, online Early Release survey open through noon on Tuesday, February 22, 2022.

For nine years, we have designated six school days a year as a minimum day — with a 90-minute early release for students, while staff works a maximum day.

To address the learning gaps many students are experiencing since the pandemic began, there is value and additional time needed to plan, collaborate, review data, and design targeted instruction to meet the individual needs of our students. This is largely why we added three additional early release days prior to spring break, and moved them all to Friday.

The shortened school days affects families, so through this survey, families and guardians can offer feedback to help us improve. Our nearly 1,200 school staff will also take a survey, and share their perspective and thoughts. All of your responses will help guide future early release days. Thank you in advance for your time, and the many ways everyone has needed to be flexible these past few years. My team and I would appreciate your thoughts.

Sincerely,
Superintendent Clayton Holland
Start Survey

12-16-21 Friday Early Release Day letter

Addition of Three Friday Early Release Student Days

Dear KPBSD Parents and Guardians,

I’m writing to give you advance planning notice about three additional early release days for students that will begin on Friday, January 21, 2022. In addition, previously scheduled Wednesday early release days will shift to Fridays.

While schools across the nation struggled to stay open this fall, I am extremely proud of our staff whose dedication kept schools open, buses running on schedule, and meals served, every day. More than 1,000 KPBSD employees continue to step up and help when we have staffing and substitute shortages. I am proud of everything we have accomplished together, and especially thankful to you as parents and guardians who made sacrifices to adapt, and keep our students learning.

This has been a heavy lift for everyone. I’ve found there’s a significant need moving forward to plan, collaborate, review data, and design targeted instruction to meet the individual needs of our students and address the learning gaps many are experiencing. We need to catch up with student contact updates and deep cleaning of our schools. Therefore, after talking with our principals, school board, and hearing from staff, KPBSD is adding three additional 90-minute early release for student days in the third quarter, and moving early release days to Friday from the previously scheduled Wednesday dates.

The first Friday early release day for students is Friday, January 21, 2022. From then until spring break, there will be a 90-minute early release student day every week, except for already scheduled parent-teacher conferences or inservice days. I know that childcare is a concern for some of you. Boys & Girls Club will open early during the afternoon on these Fridays. I’ve instructed principals to work with families who have no other options for childcare during the three additional early release days. Your school will have more information after we return from winter break.

Near Spring Break in March, we will evaluate the value of the student early release days through staff and parent surveys, and reviewing student data.


The primary purpose of the early release for students and maximum day for staff is to provide:

  • Time to plan instruction: the learning gap between students is larger and additional time is needed to plan to meet those needs
  • Time for collaboration: grade level and subject matter teams, special education, intervention
  • Time to communicate with parents and other important stakeholders
  • Time to review student data in a manner that guides instruction
  • Time for secretaries to catch up on data entry
  • Time for nurses to input data without disruption
  • Time to clean buildings
  • Time for trainings that staff haven’t been able to engage in
  • Time available for students to address individual instructional needs (make-up tests, receive targeted intervention, etc…)

*The KPBSD districtwide calendar and the school variance calendars are available on the KPBSD.org website. The changes to the main KPBSD calendar are as follows:

KPBSD 2021-2022 Calendar Additions and Revisions

  • Wednesday, 1/19/22, Early Release moved to Friday, 1/21/22
  • Friday, 1/28/22, Early Release
  • Friday, 2/4/22, Early Release
  • Friday, 2/11/22, Early Release
  • Wednesday, 2/16/22, Early Release cancelled; Friday, 2/18/22, is previously scheduled Parent–Teacher Conferences
  • Friday 2/25/22, Early Release
  • Friday 3/4/22, Previously Scheduled Inservice–no school for students
  • Variance calendar for Kachemak-Selo, Razdolna, and Voznesenka schools

We recognize families will need to make arrangements on the additional three early release dates, and thank everyone for the willingness to help our KPBSD schools improve through these early-release dates. Kindly contact your school principal with questions.

Sincerely,

Clayton Holland
Superintendent of Schools
Kenai Peninsula Borough School District

Every Child Has a Right to be Safe, Seen, and Celebrated!

Spring Break – March 7-11, 2022*

*variance: Kachemak-Selo, Nanwalek, Nikolaevsk, Razdolna, and Voznesenka schools are in session and have a different spring break

“March is a time of hope and optimism on the Kenai with increasing daylight and warming weather. I wish all of our staff, students, and families a wonderful Spring Break and hope you make the time to get outside and do those things that make living here great. I look forward to seeing you all again when the last quarter of school begins on March 14th.”

– Superintendent Clayton Holland

K-Beach Elementary teacher Jason Daniels receives the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching (PAEMST)

A Kenai Central High School graduate [Class of 1990] and a teacher at K-Beach Elementary for 24 years, Jason Daniels received national recognition as the Science Awardee for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching (PAEMST). His Mom and Dad were educators in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, and inspirations for his career.

2022-02-28-jason-daniels - 2022 02 28_PAEMST logo

“The Presidential Award is a symbol of teaching excellence,” said Mr. Daniels. “I work with many excellent teachers who are deserving of recognition and I am humbled to receive this honor. The award process is a reflective journey of professional development and I am a better teacher as a result. It honors my students and families, colleagues, and administrators that believed in me and I am thankful for their support. The greatest reward in my teaching is to see my students succeed in their learning.”

“Mr. Daniels is an outstanding longtime educator with the KPBSD and I can think of no one more deserving of this recognition,” said Superintendent Clayton Holland. “He is not only an exceptional educator who makes learning real and relevant to his students, he is an even better person who develops positive and trusting relationships with his students, their parents, and his colleagues. Please join me to celebrate Mr. Daniels.”

K-Beach Elementary Principal Janae Van Slyke said, “Mr. Daniels is an outstanding educator who personalizes his instruction to meet the needs and interests of individual students. Mr. Daniels creates an immersive classroom experience focused on mathematics and science inquiry. His students are engrossed in science and learning how it impacts their daily lives. This honor is well deserved!”

In his words…

Early life inspirations

2022-02-28-jason-daniels - 2022 02 28_Jason Daniels official PAEMST photo

My parents inspired my career path. They were both teachers. They came to Alaska in 1969 from Oregon and settled in Seldovia. I was born there—actually in Homer because there was no hospital in Seldovia. My Mom’s teaching superpower was her love for her students. She earned a reputation by her colleagues for her nurturing caring teaching style. I joked that she treated her students better than she treated me! All kidding aside, she was a great role model for putting kids first. My Dad went on to get his principal endorsement and was the first principal to open the doors at Redoubt Elementary. I learned a great deal from him as well. As a marine science teacher in Seldovia, he introduced me to science at an early age in the tide pools near Seldovia. I was hooked on science from then on. My Dad demonstrated the traits of a strong leader who was dedicated and who always strived to be the best educator he could be. To this day he gives me advice, whether requested or not, about how to handle challenges in teaching. I joke with him that he has never stopped teaching.

Advice to my younger self, or a current K-12 student

Stand on your own two feet. Do not worry what others are doing. Start now to decide what you want to do with your life. Start thinking of small things you can do now to get you to your goal. You are not too young to start pursuing your passions.

Favorite part of the school day

Certainly one of my students’ favorite parts of school and one of mine as well is the opportunities to experience STEM through hands on learning. English and Language Arts are an important part of science learning, and there is nothing more engaging, exciting, and sometimes surprising, in my experience, than getting your “hands dirty”. Whether it is taking apart an owl pellet, solving a real world-engineering problem, or walking to Slikok Creek to conduct water quality tests, experiential learning adds color to an otherwise pastel science learning canvas.

On teaching science

Teaching science can be scary and intimidating for some teachers. It is not a core subject, so not as much attention is spent in teaching it. I would like teachers who are nervous about jumping in and teaching STEM to know that it can start with one good lesson. One good lesson will turn into another … and another, until you look back and realize ‘I’ve got this, and the kids are getting something out of it, and I’m enjoying the engagement and deep thinking and learning that is happening here.’ Start with one good lesson.

Fun and Play

My wife and I like to get together with friends and be social, we like to bike, kayak, camp, work around the house, grow veggies, and travel.

Thankful

I want to thank my colleague Suzanne Klaben, my principal Janae Van Slyke, my PAEMST and teaching mentor Diane McBee, and many other partners in teaching over the years who have supported me, encouraged me, and inspired me.

Mr. Daniels earned a Bachelor of Science in elementary education from UAA, and an MEd in educational technology from UAS. He is a National Board Certified Middle Childhood Generalist, and holds a master teacher certificate with an endorsement in educational technology.

Links:

PAEMST awards

Celebrate Diane Buchanan, 2022 Alaska School Nutrition Association Administrator of the Year

The statewide award recognizes her commitment and dedication to school nutrition! Fun fact: every day KPBSD Student Nutrition serves a daily average of 1,200 breakfasts and 3,200 lunches!

For thirty years, Diane Buchanan has worked in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, a diverse district the size of West Virginia, with 42 schools, some only accessible by boat or plane. Starting as a student nutrition cashier in 1992 at Soldotna Junior High, for the past six years, she has served as the Student Nutrition Services Supervisor, where she oversees food nutrition services, school kitchen management, free and reduced lunch applications, and menus among other responsibilities.

During the past two years of the pandemic, she and her team stepped up to provide “Get It and Go” lunches when schools were in remote learning, juggled supply chain issues of not receiving food, and kept school meals served every day that school has been open in person. In 2020, at the start of the pandemic, the Governor of Alaska announced the shift of all schools to remote learning after spring break. Immediately, district leadership asked what can we do to provide meals to students, since so many families rely on school meals. The Director of Planning and Operations called Diane, and everyone went to work over the weekend. KPBSD was proud to offer “Get it and Go Meals” and an online ordering service that began the Tuesday after that 2020 spring break.

An avid quilter, she creates beautiful art, she is a beekeeper, goes along with her family on hunts, rides her four-wheeler, enjoys gardening and flowers, is active in her church, and loves time with her grandchildren.

In her words…

Advice to her younger self, or current students
Always have a job and work for a living and no matter what job you have, always give 110%. You do not have to have a college degree to have a job in field you have interest so keep searching for the opportunity to get into a field of work you enjoy.

How I got started…
My career in student nutrition started when I wanted a job that would allow me to be on the same schedule as my children, and allow me to volunteer in their school. I started in student nutrition not expecting it to be my life’s career choice, but after these many years I realized that this was something I really enjoyed and will have a hard time leaving.

Facing challenges
When the pandemic hit, the student nutrition staff was asked to work at different kitchens as a group preparing hundreds of sack breakfast and lunch meals each day for the students of KPBSD. The staff worked together without any questions or complaints and like all of us not knowing what this really was or when it would end. The staff would stand out in all types of weather for an hour each day handing out meals to families as they drove up.

Gratitude
I would like to thank the many student nutrition staff who I have worked with over the last 30 years. The KPBSD student nutrition staff are a remarkable bunch of people that quietly feed the students every day without much recognition of what they have accomplished each day.

Her team says, “These last two years working through the Covid-19 challenges have been trying to say the least. Diane’s leadership has been extraordinary. It is obvious Diane love her job, and she loves numbers! Diane has shared her knowledge of the ins and outs of Student Nutrition. When she retires she leaves big shoes to fill, all of which has become second nature to her. She will be greatly missed.”

“For over 30 years Ms. Buchanan has provided outstanding service to the district and all of our students,” said Superintendent Holland. “During the last two years, Diane worked through school closures, staffing issues, and supply chain shortages to make sure our students have access to food. The geographic diversity and size of our district makes this even more impressive! Congratulations to Ms. Buchanan for this well-deserved recognition. We are incredibly proud of her and all of our student nutrition services employees.”

Link

KPBSD Student Nutrition

National School Counseling Week

KPBSD School Counselors, you are appreciated!

Please join me to celebrate our school counselors during National School Counselor Appreciation week! Now, more than ever, we recognize and appreciate the great work our school counselors provide to our students and to our entire district. On a daily basis they connect with students, and are actively engaged to help them examine their abilities, strengths, interests, and talents. They work in partnership with parents as they encounter the challenges of raising children in today’s world’ they focus on positive ways to enhance students’ academic, career, and social and emotional development; they work with teachers and other educators to provide an educational system where students can realize their potential and set healthy, realistic, and optimistic aspirations for themselves. The work that our School Counselors are doing resonates not only in our schools and communities today, but also into the future lives of our students.

Superintendent Clayton Holland

Celebrate school counseling by taking part in the 2022 National School Counseling Week photo challenge. Simply download each day’s sign, write in your response and then take a picture with it to post to your social media channels. Be sure to tag ASCA and #NSCW22.

  • Monday, Feb. 7: School counselors and other school-based mental health professionals are better together because …
  • Tuesday, Feb. 8: School counselors and administrators are better together because…
  • Wednesday, Feb. 9: School counselors and teachers are better together because…
  • Thursday, Feb. 10: School counselors and the community are better together because…
  • Friday, Feb. 11: School counselors are better together because…

Celebrate School Board Recognition Month in February

February is School Board Appreciation Month in Alaska! Together throughout our school district and state, let us honor school board members who provide grassroots governance of public schools. Kindly make a special effort to tell school board members that their hard work is noticed and very much appreciated. 

We are thankful for our Board of Education!
Idea: send a thank you note to your school board representative!

The mission of public schools is to meet the diverse educational needs of all children and to empower them to become competent, productive contributors to a democratic society and an ever-changing world; and

AND, school board members are dedicated to the success of our public schools, the students who attend them, and work closely with educational professionals, parents, and other community members to promote excellence in student learning and academic achievement; and

AND, local school board members are committed to children and believe all children can be successful learners and the best education is tailored to the individual needs of the child; and

AND, local school board members contribute their time and talents to our communities, and work closely with parents, educational professionals, and other community members to create the educational vision we want for our students; and

AND, local school board members are responsible for ensuring the structure provides a solid foundation for our school system; and

AND, local school board members ensure the assessment of students, school staff, and educational programs and are accountable to the community; and

AND, local school board members are strong advocates for public education and are responsible for communicating the needs of the school district to the public and the public’s expectations to the district.

Join the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District to recognize the dedication and hard work of our local school board members, and the working in collaboration with them to mold an education system to meet the needs of all our children, today and in the future! 

Board of Education Monthly Meeting Monday, February 7, 2022

The following school board meetings and work sessions will be held in the Betty J. Glick Assembly Chambers at 144 Binkley Street, Soldotna, AK unless otherwise noted.

PLEASE NOTE: The meetings are open to the public. The public is invited to attend in person and to listen and participate as noted below. District Administration may determine if it is prudent to allow public in person participation based on risk level or if the meeting will only be virtual and streamed live.

(877) 853-5257
Conference ID: 708 024 188
When prompted for an Attendee ID, press #.

Zoom ID: 708 024 188

Meeting Schedule – February 7, 2022

Betty J. Glick Assembly Chambers

10:00 a.m. Special Meeting (Public Listening and Participation will be as noted on the Agenda in BoardDocs)
1:00 p.m. Finance Committee Meeting (Public Listening)
1:30 p.m. Information Committee Meeting (Public Listening)
2:15 p.m. Board Policy Committee Meeting (Public Listening)

Work Sessions (Public Listening)

3:00 p.m. Board Policy Review
3:15 p.m. Finance
3:45 p.m. Strategic Plan
4:30 p.m. Board Discussion

6:00 p.m. Business Meeting: (Public Listening and Participation will be as noted on the Agenda in BoardDocs )

If you would like to pre-register to testify telephonically (optional) or if you have any technical difficulties or questions, contact Lisa Gabriel at lgabriel@kpbsd.k12.ak.us, 907-714-8836, Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

To view the agenda and packet items, log on to: http://www.boarddocs.com/ak/kpbsd/Board.nsf/public.

To view the live broadcast log on to https://kpbsd.org/board or Live Broadcast

KPBSD is hiring principals

Work, lead, and live in Alaska’s Playground!

Newly announced leadership positions for the 2022-2023 school year are open for applicants until filled:

Principal Openings for 2022-2023 school year

  • Regional Principal: Nikolaevsk and Ninilchik schools
  • Port Graham School
  • Tustumena Elementary School (Kasilof)

College and Career Readiness Coordinator (District Office, Soldotna)

Community Meetings and Surveys

The purpose of the community meeting with district administration is to learn about the characteristics that students, parents, staff, and community members seek in their next principal.

uploads - 2022 04 06 Niko and Ninilchik interview

Three principal candidate interviews for the Nikolaevsk School and Ninilchik School regional principal will be on Zoom, Wednesday, April 6, 2022, beginning at 4:00 PM. Everyone who participates will receive a survey link to provide audience input.

Questions?

Kendra Denney, KPBSD Personnel Specialist, is waiting and ready to assist! Call her at 907.714.8845 or email teach@kpbsd.org

Discover the Kenai Peninsula: 42 KPBSD schools, in 17 diverse communities

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is looking for exceptional individuals to become a part of our administrative team. The KPBSED is located in a beautiful part of Southcentral Alaska and is one of the more unique and progressive districts in Alaska. KPBSD schools serve over 8,000 students from a variety of communities. KPBSD includes 42 schools ranging in size from a K-8 building of 16 to a traditional high school of over 700. KPBSD schools offer students a strong education that prepares them for life after graduation. The 1,200 KPBSD staff members are dedicated to continuous improvement that embraces our strategic plan goals in academic success, organizational excellence, and community and family engagement. If you choose the KPBSD, you will be joining an exciting and successful team of top-notch educators who do whatever it takes to help our students achieve success.

KPBSD Human Resources Web Links

Joint Assembly and School Board Budget Worksession, February 1, 2022

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education will hold a joint budget work session with the Borough Assembly at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 01, 2022, at the George A. Navarre Administration Building, Betty J. Glick Assembly Chambers, 144 North Binkley St., Soldotna, AK.

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

1:00-2:00 p.m.

For more information, visit the Kenai Peninsula Borough website and navigate to Assembly>Calendar: https://www.kpb.us/

Attend in person, or listen via the KPB Zoom

Meeting ID: 884 7373 9641

Passcode: 671108

School Board Agenda and KPBSD presentation: http://www.boarddocs.com/ak/kpbsd/Board.nsf/public

KPBSD Migrant Education Program youth travel to Washington D.C.

The KPBSD Migrant Education Program went on a long-awaited trip to Washington D.C. through the Close Up program. The trip was sponsored by Title I-C (Migrant Education), and gave 14 migrant students from the Kenai Peninsula an opportunity to have an academic experience, while learning life skills and forming new relationships. Our migrant specialists chaperoned the trip and noted incredible personal growth from each student as the week progressed. In fact, the group of students is eagerly planning a get together in December to continue developing their relationships that were formed through the trip.

Close Up

Originally scheduled for the spring of 2020 but postponed due to pandemic travel restrictions, the students were finally able to attend in November of 2021. Close Up is an incredible student travel experience that allows students to visit our nation’s capital, meet congressional representatives, and see numerous historical sites. From the moment they landed in Washington D.C., their days and evenings were packed full of learning and new experiences. Highlights from the trip include:

meeting Congressman Don Young, Senator Dan Sullivan, and one of Senator Lisa Murkowski’s aides—Brian Dusek—who talked a lot with the participants, and is a Soldotna High School Class of 2017 graduate!

History

Experiencing history through a new perspective, the focus for Washington D.C. trips has been the inclusion of women and people of color in American History.

Sitting on the steps of Capital Building and learning about our government in action, and visiting historical landmarks like the Washington Monument, Mount Vernon, Historic Williamsburg, along with the Lincoln Memorial and many others.

Curiosity and Inquiry

Students were overheard wondering why certain people and wars get memorials, asking critical thinking questions about who has access to our countries history, along with the exclamation of awe when they were actually standing next to the Washington Monument. Many students wanted more time in the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and enjoyed learning in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

Students came back to Alaska eager for new opportunities and excited to continue learning. This type of experience that weaves academic, life skills, and engagement together is incredible for student success. We are so happy that we could make this experience possible!

From Senator Dan Sullivan’s November 29, 2021, social media post:

“It’s always the highlight of my day when I get to meet with young Alaskans. I welcomed a group of students from the Kenai Peninsula visiting our nation’s capital with the Close Up Program. It was great to take some questions and hear about their goals and plans for the future.”

Student Voice

“After high school, I still don’t know what I’ll be doing, but after DC, I know there are so many opportunities I can do. I’ve always loved meeting new people and trying new things, But Washington D.C is something I could have never imagined.” –Clavdia Kulikov

Story contributed by Jessica Scogin, KPBSD Federal Programs Coordinator
Photos provided by Jessica Scogin, and Senator Dan Sullivan’s Facebook page post

Free Developmental, Vision & Hearing Screenings for preschoolers

Would you like more information about your child’s development?
CHILD FIND Can Help!

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District (KPBSD) provides free screening for children 3 through 5 years old (not yet in kindergarten)

Areas screened include: speech and language, learning and understanding, coordination and movement, social-emotional skills, self-helping skills (feeding, dressing, and toileting), vision or hearing.

Children already identified with disabilities should also be screened if not receiving special education services through the district.

Screenings in your area

Central Kenai Peninsula
Kenai and Soldotna Area

Friday, February 25, 2022: 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. by appointment only. Frontier Community Services Infant Learning Program and KPBSD Child Find, 43335 K-Beach Rd. Suite 36, Soldotna. Call 907.714.6660 to schedule an appointment or learn more.

Eastern Kenai Peninsula
Seward Area

Call Casie Warner at 907.491.0544 to schedule an appointment

Southern Kenai Peninsula
Homer Area

Call Kelli at 907.260.5148 to schedule an appointment

To make an appointment or for more information call the KPBSD Child Find office at 907.260.5148 or email ChildFind@kpbsd.k12.ak.us

Additional locations on the Kenai Peninsula will be added throughout the year

Developmental Checks

By Age 3

  • Count to 3
  • Speak to most adults and be understood
  • Build a tower of at least 8 blocks
  • Walk up and down stairs
  • Run without falling very often
  • Follow simple directions
  • Repeat simple sounds or rhymes
  • Match colors and shapes
  • Put on some clothes without help
  • Point to 6 parts of the body (hair, nose, eyes, feet, hands, mouth)
  • Name several objects (chair, box, ball, etc…)
  • Imitate drawing a circle (even if it is not quite round)

By Age 4

  • Count to 5
  • Speaks in sentences of about 5 words
  • Asks “how” and “why” questions
  • Cuts with scissors
  • Stands on one foot without falling
  • Catch and throw a ball
  • Holds crayons with fingers, not fist
  • Answers simple question like: “What do you do when you are hungry?”
  • Recognize and name 3-4 colors
  • Enjoys playing with other children
  • Dresses self completely (with help on pullover shirts and sweaters)

By Age 5

  • Count 5 objects
  • Explain what objects are used for
  • Understand the concept of “yesterday”, “today”, and “tomorrow”
  • Climb a ladder to a slide
  • Cuts with scissors on a straight line
  • Copy a picture of a circle and a square
  • Understand words like “on”, “under”, and “behind”
  • Match colors and shapes
  • Go to the bathroom without help

Affordable Connectivity Program

The Affordable Connectivity Program is a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program that replaces the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBB Program) to help qualifying households pay for internet service and connected devices.

If your household is eligible, you can receive:

  • Up to a $30/month discount on your internet service
  • Up to a $75/month discount if your household is on qualifying Tribal lands
  • A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer (with a co-payment of more than $10 but less than $50)

Only one monthly service discount and one device discount is allowed per household. To receive the connected device discount, consumers need to enroll in the ACP with a participating provider that offers connected devices (Note: not all internet company offer device discounts.) The internet company will provide the discount to the consumer.

Other options

If you do not qualify for service under the current Affordable Connectivity Program but are still experiencing instructional hardships due to a lack of internet connectivity, you may qualify for support under the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) program. This ECF is limited to services delivered during the school year and is currently available through the end of the 2021-2022 school year. Review or complete the ECF application at https://go.kpbsd.org/ecfapp. Once completed, kindly submit the completed ECF application to your child’s school for processing.

Board of Education Monthly Meeting Monday, January 10, 2022

The following school board meetings and work sessions will be held in the Betty J. Glick Assembly Chambers at 144 Binkley Street, Soldotna, AK unless otherwise noted.

PLEASE NOTE: The meetings are open to the public. The public is invited to attend in person and to listen and participate as noted below. District Administration may determine if it is prudent to allow public in person participation based on risk level or if the meeting will only be virtual and streamed live.

(877) 853-5257
Conference ID: 708 024 188
When prompted for an Attendee ID, press #.

Zoom ID: 708 024 188

Monday, January 10, 2022

Betty J. Glick Assembly Chambers

 9:00 a.m. Policy Review Committee Meeting (Public Listening)
10:00 a.m. Information Committee Meeting (Public Listening)
10:30 a.m. Finance Committee Meeting (Public Listening)
11:00 a.m. Special Meeting (Public Listening and Participation will be as noted on the Agenda in BoardDocs )

Work Sessions (Public Listening)

1:00 p.m. Board Policy Review
1:15 p.m. Assessment Report
1:45 p.m. Board Governance Handbook Review
2:15 p.m. Soldotna Reconfiguration
2:45 p.m. Legislative Priorities
3:15 p.m. Finance Work Session
4:30 p.m. Board Discussion

6:00 p.m. Business Meeting: (Public Listening and Participation will be as noted on the Agenda in BoardDocs )

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Betty J. Glick Assembly Chambers

Quarterly Work Session

9:00 a.m. Special Meeting
10:00 a.m. Finance Work Session
11:00 a.m. Project Grad
4:00 p.m.  Charter School Committee Meeting-Redoubt Conference Room(Public Listening)

If you would like to pre-register to testify telephonically (optional) or if you have any technical difficulties or questions, contact Lisa Gabriel at lgabriel@kpbsd.k12.ak.us, 907-714-8836, Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

To view the agenda and packet items, log on to: http://www.boarddocs.com/ak/kpbsd/Board.nsf/public.

To view the live broadcast log on to https://kpbsd.org/board or Live Broadcast

Winter Break for students

December 20, 2021 – January 3, 2022*
*variance calendar for Nanwalek and Port Graham schools

Dear KPBSD Staff and families,

As we head into winter break, I wish you Happy Holidays, and a Happy New Year!

Thank you to all of our staff for what you have done to keep our schools open and our students learning in person. I know that it has been exhausting and everyone has stepped up to fill many roles as we have faced staffing and substitute shortages. You have done so much for our students and communities. Thank you!

Thank you to our parents and guardians for all you have done to support your children and our staff. You are why the Kenai is a special place to live, work, and to educate our children. The lift has been hard for all of us, and you have been there with our staff to make our schools work. You are appreciated!

May your holiday season be filled with warm memories and joy!

Thank you,

Superintendent Clayton Holland

Friday Early Release Days start January 21, 2022

Addition of Three Friday Early Release Student Days

Dear KPBSD Parents and Guardians,

I’m writing to give you advance planning notice about three additional early release days for students that will begin on Friday, January 21, 2022. In addition, previously scheduled Wednesday early release days will shift to Fridays.

While schools across the nation struggled to stay open this fall, I am extremely proud of our staff whose dedication kept schools open, buses running on schedule, and meals served, every day. More than 1,000 KPBSD employees continue to step up and help when we have staffing and substitute shortages. I am proud of everything we have accomplished together, and especially thankful to you as parents and guardians who made sacrifices to adapt, and keep our students learning.

This has been a heavy lift for everyone. I’ve found there’s a significant need moving forward to plan, collaborate, review data, and design targeted instruction to meet the individual needs of our students and address the learning gaps many are experiencing. We need to catch up with student contact updates and deep cleaning of our schools. Therefore, after talking with our principals, school board, and hearing from staff, KPBSD is adding three additional 90-minute early release for student days in the third quarter, and moving early release days to Friday from the previously scheduled Wednesday dates.

The first Friday early release day for students is Friday, January 21, 2022. From then until spring break, there will be a 90-minute early release student day every week, except for already scheduled parent-teacher conferences or inservice days. I know that childcare is a concern for some of you. Boys & Girls Club will open early during the afternoon on these Fridays. I’ve instructed principals to work with families who have no other options for childcare during the three additional early release days. Your school will have more information after we return from winter break.

Near Spring Break in March, we will evaluate the value of the student early release days through staff and parent surveys, and reviewing student data.


The primary purpose of the early release for students and maximum day for staff is to provide:

  • Time to plan instruction: the learning gap between students is larger and additional time is needed to plan to meet those needs
  • Time for collaboration: grade level and subject matter teams, special education, intervention
  • Time to communicate with parents and other important stakeholders
  • Time to review student data in a manner that guides instruction
  • Time for secretaries to catch up on data entry
  • Time for nurses to input data without disruption
  • Time to clean buildings
  • Time for trainings that staff haven’t been able to engage in
  • Time available for students to address individual instructional needs (make-up tests, receive targeted intervention, etc…)

*The KPBSD districtwide calendar and the school variance calendars are available on the KPBSD.org website. The changes to the main KPBSD calendar are as follows:

KPBSD 2021-2022 Calendar Additions and Revisions

  • Wednesday, 1/19/22, Early Release moved to Friday, 1/21/22
  • Friday, 1/28/22, Early Release
  • Friday, 2/4/22, Early Release
  • Friday, 2/11/22, Early Release
  • Wednesday, 2/16/22, Early Release cancelled; Friday, 2/18/22, is previously scheduled Parent–Teacher Conferences
  • Friday 2/25/22, Early Release
  • Friday 3/4/22, Previously Scheduled Inservice–no school for students
  • Variance calendar for Kachemak-Selo, Razdolna, and Voznesenka schools

We recognize families will need to make arrangements on the additional three early release dates, and thank everyone for the willingness to help our KPBSD schools improve through these early-release dates. Kindly contact your school principal with questions.

Sincerely,

Clayton Holland
Superintendent of Schools
Kenai Peninsula Borough School District

Every Child Has a Right to be Safe, Seen, and Celebrated!

KPBSD Winter Music Programs

Celebrate what is right in the world, and treat yourself–attend or watch a school music concert or play!

Programs are at school location unless otherwise noted, and some will be prerecorded and shared with families via school websites or social media. Some schools have more than one program, and so the location may vary by date.

  • Aurora Borealis Charter School – December 14, 6:00 p.m., Soldotna Creek Park
  • Chapman School – December 10, 1:45 p.m., Grades K-4; December 14, 7:00 p.m., Grades 5-8
  • Cooper Landing School – Virtual Event (Recorded) – Available by December 17
  • Homer High School – December 13, 7:00 p.m., Winter Concert, Mariner Theater
  • Homer High School – December 16, 7:00 p.m., Candlelight Carols & Desserts, Mariner Theater
  • Homer Middle School – December 9, 7:00 p.m., Winter Concert, Homer High School Mariner Theater
  • K-Beach Elementary School – Winter Program Virtual Event (Recorded)
  • Kaleidoscope School of Arts & Science Charter School – Winter Program Virtual Event (Recorded)
  • Kaleidoscope School of Arts & Science Charter School – n/a for band this year.
  • Kenai Central High School – December 2, 7:00 p.m., Dessert Auction and Holiday Concert featuring the KMS and KCHS Bands
  • Kenai Central High School – December 12, 3:00 p.m., Holiday Choir Concert
  • Kenai Middle School – December 2, 7:00 p.m., Dessert Auction and Holiday Concert featuring the KMS and KCHS Bands
  • Kenai Middle School – December 14, 7:00 p.m.. Holiday Choir Concert, KCHS auditorium
  • McNeil Canyon Elementary School – December 8, 6:30 p.m., Grades 4-6 Band and Winter Program; December 9, 6:30 p.m., K-3 Winter Program
  • Mountain View Elementary School – December 16, 6:30 p.m., Livestream Sing-Along (online)
  • Nanwalek School – December 22, 1:00 p.m., Nanwalek Christmas Program
  • Nikiski Middle-High School – December 14, 7:00 p.m., Winter Concert, school auditorium
  • Nikiski North Star Elementary School – Winter Program Virtual Event (Recorded)
  • Port Graham School – December 22, 6:00 p.m., Winter Program
  • Redoubt Elementary School – Winter Program Virtual Event (Recorded)
  • Seward Middle School – Winter Program Virtual Event (Recorded) available by December 14
  • Soldotna Elementary School – December 7, 6:00 p.m., Choir Concert (SOEL and SMCS), Soldotna Elementary gym
  • Soldotna High School – December 9, 7:00 p.m., Holiday Band & Choir Concert, Soldotna High auditorium
  • Soldotna Montessori Charter School – December 16, 6:00 p.m., Winter Concert Grades K-6, Soldotna High auditorium
  • Soldotna Montessori Charter School – December 7, 6:00 p.m., Choir Concert (SOEL and SMCS), Soldotna Elementary gym
  • Susan B. English School – December 9, 3:00 p.m., Grades K-2 Open Air Holiday Concert, Main Entrance Parking Lot
  • Tebughna School – Winter Program (recorded) available by December 14, and shared on school social media

Homer High School student earns perfect score on AP computer science test

Spencer Kuan Co, now a sophomore at Homer High School, is one of only a couple hundred people worldwide to receive not just a score of 5 on the AP Computer Science exam, but also received every point possible on the test, putting him in the top .29% of people who took the test!

A long time KPBSD student, Spencer attended Fireweed Academy, and Homer Middle School. He is definitely on track to graduate from Homer High School with the Class of 2024.

district-highlights - Spencer-Co

What sparked an interest in [computer] science?

I’ve been interested in mathematics and engineering for a large portion of my life. I used to tinker a considerable amount with small motors and wires, and try to create little cars and machines. To me, creating something that can move or do something of its own volition is instantly rewarding. Computer science, and coding specifically, seemed like a natural extension of that. I became especially engrossed in coding after taking the programming courses on Khan Academy a few years ago. Once the pandemic hit, I found I had a large amount of time to myself, and I decided to use some of that time to further my programming abilities.

It’s really rewarding to know that the time and commitment I put into studying computer science was recognized in some regard. Still, my perfect score was in a way simply a matter of chance. I’m sure that other students could have achieved the same, but had only missed a few questions.

Thank you…

I would like to thank Mr. Spurkland, who was my Computer Science teacher at the time, for a large part of this honor. I went into his class with prior knowledge that covered many of the actual computing topics that were taught in the class. He understood this, and challenged me to go beyond the assignments, which forced me to continue to grow and develop. I could have left a similar class with little more than I knew beforehand, but instead the class served as a great opportunity to learn many new things.

Play and fun

I am an avid programmer. 3D graphics are particularly satisfying to research and create, and I enjoy making interesting programs that expand my understanding of mathematics. Aside from that, when I’m not doing schoolwork, I like to read, play with my dog, and of course hang out with friends. Additionally, I debate on the school’s Drama, Debate, and Forensics (DDF) team, which takes up a fair portion of time. I hope to be able to get out and do some skiing this winter. My favorite book is The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin, which is a really thought-provoking science fiction novel, and the first of a wonderful trilogy.

My advice to others is to simply stick with and study the topics that really interest them, because it often pays off in the end.

Board of Education Monthly Meeting Monday, December 6, 2021

The following school board meetings and work sessions will be held in the Betty J. Glick Assembly Chambers at 144 Binkley Street, Soldotna, AK unless otherwise noted.

PLEASE NOTE: The meetings are open to the public. The public is invited to attend in person and to listen and participate as noted below. District Administration may determine if it is prudent to allow public in person participation based on risk level or if the meeting will only be virtual and streamed live.

(877) 853-5257
Conference ID: 708 024 188
When prompted for an Attendee ID, press #.

Zoom ID: 708 024 188

December 6, 2021
Betty J. Glick Assembly Chambers

Policy Review Committee Meeting – Redoubt Conference Room (Public Listening) Zoom Meeting
https://kpbsd.zoom.us/j/84072610487
Zoom ID: 840 7261 0487
9:00 a.m.

Information Committee Meeting (Public Listening)
10:00 a.m.

Finance Committee Meeting (Public Listening)
10:30 a.m.

Work Sessions (Public Listening)
11:00 a.m. Finance Work Session
1:15 p.m. Building Safe, Supportive, & Challenging Learning Environments
2:00 p.m. Kenai Peninsula Athletic Association (KPSAA) Handbook Updates
2:15 p.m. KPBSD Facilities Capital Priorities
2:45 p.m. Mitigation Plan Update
3:00 p.m. Discussion with Kenai Peninsula Legislators
4:30 p.m. Board Discussion

6:00 p.m. Business Meeting: (Public Listening and Participation will be as noted on the Agenda in BoardDocs)

If you would like to pre-register to testify telephonically (optional) or if you have any technical difficulties or questions, contact Lisa Gabriel at lgabriel@kpbsd.k12.ak.us, 907-714-8836, Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

To view the agenda and packet items, log on to: http://www.boarddocs.com/ak/kpbsd/Board.nsf/public

To view the live broadcast log on to https://kpbsd.org/board or Live Broadcast

KPBSD Health Care Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment: November 15, 2021 – December 15, 2021

Election Changes will be Effective January 1, 2022

  • ENROLLMENT DEADLINE: You MUST enroll no later than 4:30 pm AKST on December 15, 2021
    All legal documents and other required documents must be turned in to Stacey Cockroft (Vinson) at the District Office by the deadline of 4:30 pm AKST on December 15, 2021
  • CURRENT ENROLLEES — IF YOU HAVE NO CHANGES: No action is required from you; your current enrollment will remain the same
  • Enrollment forms are available online
  • ALL changes made during Open Enrollment will be effective January 1, 2022.

If you are enrolling a new dependent, you must provide legal documentation as follows:

  • Spouse:
    Marriage Certificate (photocopy)
  • Children:
    A photocopy of the child’s birth certificate, naming you or your spouse as the child’s parent; or appropriate court order/adoption decree naming you or your spouse as the child’s legal guardian.

If you are electing the HRA Plan:

  1. Complete enrollment form with all changes marking “OPEN ENROLLMENT” & “HRA PLAN”
  2. You don’t need to list currently enrolled dependents that you wish to remain enrolled, however, if you would like to drop a dependent child, mark “DROP” next to their name. If you are dropping your spouse, you must also include the Request to Remove Spouse Form that must be notarized. List any new dependents and check “ADD” next to their name, be sure you include the required legal documents.
  3. Submit all documents to Stacey Cockroft (Vinson) by the Open Enrollment deadline.

If you are electing the HSA Plan:

  1. Fill out the paper enrollment form in the Open Enrollment Guide marking “OPEN ENROLLMENT” & “HSA PLAN”
  2. You don’t need to list currently enrolled dependents that you wish to remain enrolled, however, if you would like to drop a dependent child, mark “DROP” next to their name. If you are dropping your spouse, you must also include the Request to Remove Spouse Form that must be notarized. List any new dependents and check “ADD” next to their name, be sure you include the required legal documents.
  3. Carefully read the HSA FAQ and eligibility guidelines to ensure you are eligible. If you are unsure of your HSA eligibility, we recommend that you consult a tax, legal or financial advisor to discuss your personal circumstances that may affect your HSA eligibility. KPBSD cannot consult you about your HSA eligibility.
  4. Fill out the HSA Enrollment Form and return all pages
  5. Rehn requires you to list a physical address on the form even if you don’t receive mail at that address. If you have a PO Box you may also list this on the form so Rehn can note that in their system.
  6. Submit all documents to Stacey Cockroft (Vinson) by the Open Enrollment deadline.

Remember, this is your opportunity to make changes to your elections for the 2022 Plan Year. The deadline for submitting your enrollment form is 4:30 PM on December 15, 2021. After that date, you cannot change your elections until the next Open Enrollment period in Nov/Dec 2022, unless you experience a Special Enrollment (Qualifying) event as described in the Summary Plan Description.

Please submit your enrollment forms by the Open Enrollment deadline to:
Stacey Cockroft (Vinson)
Employee Benefits Manager
Kenai Peninsula Borough School District
148 N. Binkley St. Soldotna, AK 99669
Phone: 907.714.8879 | Fax: 907.262.9645
SVinson@kpbsd.k12.ak.us

Available online: The Open Enrollment packet and medical option descriptions

Will Chervenak Alaska AP of the Year

The Alaska Association of Secondary School Principals (AASSP) named Kenai Central High School Assistant Principal Will Chervenak the 2022 State of Alaska Assistant Principal of the Year!

Previously on November 8, 2021, a KPBSD story featured Mr. Chervenak’s recognition as the 2022 Region III Assistant Principal of the Year.

district-highlights - 2021-11-08-HL-Will-Chervenak-Region-III-Assistant-Principal-of-the-Year

From the AASSP, November 15, 2021, news release announcing the 2022 Alaska Assistant Principal of the Year:

AASSP President and 2021 Alaska Principal of Year, Robin Jones said, “Will Chervenak is an extraordinary leader who has moved mountains to create a school culture where students and staff thrive, and it is our distinct privilege to announce him as the 2022 Alaska Assistant Principal of Year!”

Chervenak has been with the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District (KPBSD) for six years and Assistant Principal at Kenai Central High School for the last three years.

“Mr. Chervenak has a continual growth mindset,” Clayton Holland, Superintendent of KPBSD, said. “He always seeks to find ways to improve and thereby become even more effective at positively impacting students. He is supportive of staff, and he seeks to include their voice on decisions made at the site level.” 

Sharing how he has continued to grow as a leader despite a pandemic, Chervenak said, “I have pushed myself to improve my professional practice and have taken a new approach to student discipline, focusing on restorative justice and building positive relationships.” This year Chervenak has facilitated the N.O.T. (Not On Tobacco) youth cessation program as part of this new approach. N.O.T focuses on tobacco product education and cessation, providing an alternative to out-of-school suspension for students found using tobacco products at school. He shared that he will continue to learn and advocate for response to intervention best practices techniques to bring back to his school. 

Kenai Central High School Principal Dan Beck shared his excitement about Chervenak’s recognition saying, “It has been a pleasure to join Will Chervenak on the administrative team at Kenai Central High School this year. He is a true advocate for our community and school.”

Chervenak said the success of Kenai Central High School comes from the dedication and leadership of everyone on staff, “I am very proud of the culture that exists at my school. We are focused on student voice and providing a student-centered curriculum that is further supported by the personalized learning framework.”

“Will is motivated to serve the community, specifically students, which makes him an effective educator,” said Peter Gundunas, Resource Teacher at Kenai Central High School. He taught with Chervenak for four years. 

Links

Kenai Peninsula Middle College School

district-highlights - KPMCS-logo

In the 2020-2021 school year, the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, through River City Academy (RCA), launched a middle college pilot program! The Kenai Peninsula Middle College School (KPMCS) is a partnership with Kenai Peninsula College (KPC) and creates a bridge between high school and college by providing eligible students the opportunity to exceed their high school academics through classes at KPC. Tuition, books and fees are paid by KPBSD and students receive both high school and college credit while working toward their Associate of Arts degree and meeting their high school graduation requirements. Through RCA, students benefit from the support of a collaborative learning environment, a cohort of middle college peers, and a structured mentoring program.

Now in its second year, 35 students enrolled for the fall semester in August 2021, and there is capacity for an additional 15 students to enroll in the second semester beginning in January 2022.

In the 2020-2021 pilot year, 21 students from River City Academy, Soldotna High School, Kenai Central High School, and Nikolaevsk School earned more than 200 college credits. One family said that middle college, “provides access to more advanced classes for high school students. Additionally, it serves as an introduction into the college framework with extra support both at the college and at a local school.”

Links

Learn more about the Kenai Peninsula Middle College School at https://kpbsd.org/schools/river-city-academy/kenai-peninsula-middle-college-school/

KPMCS brochure

Revision high school through KPMCS

Superintendent’s Welcome

Welcome to the 2021-2022 school year! Our district is very excited to have all of our students, staff, and parents back in school after a tumultuous few years. Our 42 schools are committed to meet the needs of every student, every day. This includes a safe and supportive learning environment for students and staff. Our overall philosophy is to establish strong, positive relationships with all students to provide a high quality learning experience. We take these responsibilities very seriously and look forward to working with our staff, students, parents and guardians, and diverse communities to fulfill these commitments.

All of us at KPBSD will focus to keep everyone informed with current issues and information. The COVID-19 mitigation plan to ensure safety for everyone, and to keep each school open for onsite learning is updated for this year. We are committed to work closely with state and local leaders to develop a long-term fiscal plan that makes sure our children are the highest priority. The year the KPBSD focus is on literacy; academic achievement; social and emotional learning (SEL); and positive relationships.

At the district office, I am pleased to welcome Ms. Kari Dendurent, the new Assistant Superintendent; Mr. Eric Pederson, Director of Elementary Education; and Mr. Tony Graham, Director of Secondary Education. We welcome back our teachers, instructional aides, nurses, custodians, secretaries, bus drivers, and food service professionals—they are the backbone of our district’s success. Join me with a warm welcome to new school administrators:

Mr. Greg Melvin, (AP), Connections Homeschool

Ms. Meghan Redmond, Homer Middle School

Mr. Dan Beck, Kenai Central High School

Mr. Ken Felchle, (AP), Kenai Middle School

Ms. Hannah Dolphin (AP), Mountain View Elementary

Ms. Penny Bearden, Nanwalek School

Mr. Shane Bostic; Mr. Mike Crain (AP), Nikiski Middle-High School

Mrs. Jenna Fabian, Nikiski North Star Elementary

Mr. Jerry Stapleton, Paul Banks Elementary

Mr. Eric Hart, Port Graham School

Dr. Michael Sturm, Razdolna School

Mr. Henry Burns, Seward High School

Mr. Matt Potter, Seward Middle School

Ms. Jill DuFloth; Ms. Shonia Werner (AP), Skyview Middle School

Mr. Sarge Truesdell, Soldotna High School:

Mr. Scott Jonsson, Susan B. English School, Seldovia

Ms. Christy Gomez, Tebughna School

Parents and community members are invited volunteer in the schools and become involved in partnerships to support students. Schools need the help of parents and community members in order to be successful with every child. It is also critical for young people to know that their parents, guardians, relatives, and friends are supportive of their schooling process. A student without this support may, at times, feel at a loss to find the necessary focus to excel in their learning.

I hope to see you in the coming months and wish you a great start to school. Join me as I travel throughout the district this year to schools and to meet our communities. Connect with the KPBSD through our mobile app, and on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube. We look forward to an outstanding year!

Sincerely,

Clayton Holland,

Superintendent of Schools

KPBSD School Safety Protocol

The current Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Emergency Action Plan (EAP) is up-to-date, with actions and procedures that are practiced regularly.

KPBSD requires employee safety and emergency action training in order to instigate and implement the EAP for a school or the school district. 

KPBSD takes seriously the safety concerns from families, employees, students, and the community. We call upon our school communities to renew a determination to keep children safe by reporting any safety concerns to a school principal or the district office.

School Delays and Closure Protocol webpage

Emergency Drills

Every school practices several drills each year, including school lock-downs, hit-the-deck drills, and emergency actions and evacuations in the event of intruders, fire, earthquakes, or other circumstances.

Law Enforcement

The school district and each neighborhood school work closely with law enforcement in order to coordinate communications, the EAP, and identify areas of concern. The school district and individual schools are responsive to make adjustments when or if gaps in safety protocols are discovered.

Safety Procedures

In order to continue to improve school safety, the district and schools are reviewing the district-wide EAP, and school site implementations. Every school has safety for school visitors, traffic flow during school start and end times, mandatory check-in at the school office, designated entrances and exits, and so forth. Schools do send home notices prior to a drill that involves law enforcement. All school volunteers must go through a district-level screening.

Emergency Action Plan (EAP)

For security purposes, our district-wide KPBSD Emergency Action Plan is not available on our website for public viewing. Protocols and procedures are in place and practiced regularly and in conjunction with local law enforcement. Our school administrators and teachers know the action plan, and have access to it on site, and online.

The EAP organizational system used by KPBSD is designed to be applied to any emergency. It is based on the Incident Command System, a proven emergency management tool to organize an emergency response.

“Families trust our schools to keep their children safe during the day. The reality is, however, that schools may be touched either directly or indirectly by a crisis at any time. Knowing what to do when faced with a crisis can mean the difference between calm and chaos, courage and fear, life and death” -KPBSD Emergency Action Plan

Tsunami Evacuation Information

In the event of a Tsunami, please review this community resource including maps for evacuation routes, and what to do in an emergency. https://ready.alaska.gov/Plans/

Bargaining

Updates

September 13, 2021: the KPBSD Board of Education approved the FY22-24 Kenai Peninsula Education Association (KPEA) and Kenai Peninsula Education Support Association (KPESA) Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA).

September 2, 2021: KPEA and KPEA ratified and certified the Tentative Agreement (TA) reached with KPBSD for the FY22-24 school years.

May 21, 2021: “The Interest Based Bargaining (IBB) teams have successfully concluded their final meeting and are pleased to announce that we have reached consensus on the subjects brought forward during the bargaining process. We will spend the summer finalizing a tentative three year agreement so that members of all bargaining units can be fully informed early next school year. We will hold a ratification vote soon thereafter. Enjoy your summer!” – KPBSD, KPEA, KPESA bargaining teams

May 5, 2021: “The Interest Based Bargaining (IBB) teams continue to meet and are confident in the process. We have several meetings scheduled over the next couple of weeks. Our final meeting is scheduled for May 19, 2021. In order for membership to have the opportunity to attend informational meetings and have time to review the contracts, we will vote to ratify in the fall of 2021.” – KPBSD, KPEA, KPESA bargaining teams

February 11, 2021: “The Interest Based Bargaining teams continue to meet and feel confident in the process. The teams have participated in financial training with Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services. Topics discussed thus far include a variety of leave, initial salary placement, stipend positions, and custodial staffing. Subcommittees have been assigned to each topic for further input and research. Look for updates after our next full session on February 25, 2021.” – KPBSD, KPEA, KPESA bargaining teams

January 25, 2021: “The school district, KPEA, and KPESA bargaining teams met, and are moving forward through an Interest Based Bargaining (IBB) process. As a team, we are working toward shared understanding, mutual trust, and a collective list of topics for consideration. In the coming weeks we look forward to meeting in smaller committees to refine those discussions for our next full session on February 4, 2021. IBB is closed to the public—watch for our next joint update after February 6, 2021.” – KPBSD, KPEA, KPESA bargaining teams

Public Involvement in School District Negotiations
Now Open: Public Comment Opportunity

Share your thoughts about issues to be addressed in the school district negotiations process. In December 2020, the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District (KPBSD) begins Interest-Based Bargaining (IBB) with the Kenai Peninsula Education Association (KPEA), and the Kenai Peninsula Education Support Association (KPESA). The process includes issues and items for discussion such as compensation, employee benefits, health care, and work environment that one or both sides want to address for possible revision. 

The public is invited to comment about issues that will be addressed through the bargaining process. Options:

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District
Attn: Negotiations
148 N. Binkley
Soldotna, Alaska 99669
Fax: 907.262.5867 or email:  Negotiations@KPBSD.org  

2020 Collective Bargaining QR

Links

Collective Bargaining Agreements

AS 23.40.235. Public Involvement in School District Negotiations

Before beginning bargaining, the school board of a city or borough school district or a regional educational attendance area shall provide opportunities for public comment on the issues to be addressed in the collective bargaining process. Initial proposals, last-best-offer proposals, tentative agreements before ratification, and final agreements reached by the parties are public documents and are subject to inspection and copying under AS  40.25.110 –  40.25.140.