Newsletter of the Association of Alaska School Boards
Our Mission: To advocate for children and youth by assisting school boards in providing
quality public education, focused on student achievement, through effective local governance.

Norm Wooten AASB Executive Director

Timi Tullis, Director, AASB Board Development and Field Services
Pete Hoepfner
AASB Board President

AASB's Secret Weapon for Political Clout: Our Members
One goal in our long-range plan is to strengthen the positive political influence of AASB at the local, state, and national level. How? With your participation.
These 10 Practical Services Make AASB Membership Valuable
During difficult budget times some may question the value of their AASB  membership. Here's why it's vitally important to be a member of our statewide organization!  Read More
Do Relationships Give Students A Learning Advantage?
When students have good relationships with the schools and can use skills to navigate social and emotional challenges, we will see academic gains.
Guest Columns
Alaska's Future: A Tale of Two Legislative Visions 
By Paul Seaton (R) Homer  
Rep. Paul Seaton
Education is perhaps the single largest responsibility of the Alaska state government. The Alaska House Majority Coalition has made clear that our constitutionally mandated obligation to provide K-12 education and to
support the University are amongst our highest priorities.
We understand that education is an investment in the future of our state. We are preparing our children and grandchildren for success; we are training our citizens, workforce, and the leaders of tomorrow. We are deciding our fate today, and will get out what we put in.  
Read More 
Inside the Creation of the First Denaakk'e Language Digital Book
By Kerry Boyd, Superintendent, Yukon-Koyukuk School District 
Tobaan Utsuh, the first Denaakk'e language digital book 
During two days in February, 37 students, teachers and elders gathered at Allakaket school to participate in a digital publishing workshop that resulted in the creation of Tobaan Utsuh, a digital picture book adapted from a traditional Athabaskan legend
that goes back for generations. Tobaan Utsuh was originally an oral story and now for the first time the story has been captured into a modern digital format that can be easily shared for everyone to enjoy. Read More  
Interested in creating interactive digital books for your school or district? AASB can facilitate a digital publishing workshop in your community. Contact Us
"Fund The Future" Campaign Shows What Learning Looks Like In Sitka 
By Dr. Mary Wegner, Superintendent, Sitka School District
Dr. Mary Wegner
How can we tell the story of quality learning so that policy makers and funders understand the complexity and needs of our public education system? Sitka Schools asked ourselves this very question three years ago. The result was the development of the Fund the Future advocacy campaign.  Voices from students, staff, board members, and community members combine to paint a compelling picture about why we need adequate funding. Our goal is to highlight the good things happening in education and why it matters to our collective future.  Read More
New Regulations for School Wellness Policies Go Into Effect June 30, 2017
By Lauren Kelsey, School Partnership Coordinator, State Obesity Prevention Program 
Lauren Kelsey
Healthy students learn better. Multiple studies show that school districts can achieve better overall test scores, grades, and attendance rates by h elping students stay healthy through eating nutritious foods and being physically active. One of the best ways to improve the health of your students is helping your school district pass and implement a strong school wellness policy.
Read More
Book Review: The World is Who We Are 
By Tam Agosti-Gisler, President, Anchorage School Board 

Linda Kantner writes a true story entitled The World is Who We Are which is rich and raw, heart-warming and tear-jerking, all in one. I never expected to be grasping for tissue to wipe my eyes or feeling the urge to track down some of my former students and tell them how they'd actually been MY teachers. Read More 

Read a great book lately? Write a review!
Board Briefs
How to go with the (policy) flow
Policy is a fluid process. To stay current with new rules, regulations, statutes and laws, its important to keep your district's manual updated. Read More  
What are the reasons a board can go into Executive Session?   
There are four reasons to enter Executive Session. Here are examples of Motion statements:
Read More
Which education funding plan do you think is best? 
The Senate, House or Governor's plan? Or a combination? Read brief explanations of each plan, and take a 30 second Poll 
Fourteen Alaska high school seniors were chosen out of 178 applicants to receive a $1,500 scholarship. In addition, one college freshman was awarded a $1,500 scholarship for the coming year. Previous scholarship winners can compete for an additional award the following year. The scholarship, named after a long-time Kotzebue school board member, is an annual tradition of the Association of Alaska School Boards.
2017 Scholarship Winner Essays  
Enjoy These Top 20 'Honorable Mention' June Nelson Essays
While these 20 essays weren't awarded scholarships, the judges felt they stood out. We present them here to give these talented students a shout-out for their hone s t, passionate writing and compelling storytelling. For a captivating glimpse into the lives, challenges and dreams of young people from communities across Alaska, it's well worth your time to give these short essays a read. (Average read time: 2-3 minutes per essay). 2017 Honorable Mention Essays
2017 Marks 25th Anniversary of June Nelson Scholarship
June Nelson
Since the inception of the June Nelson Memorial Scholarship in 1992, the Association of Alaska School Boards has awarded 247 scholarships totaling $265,900, made possible through the generous donations of school board members and friends of AASB.

We're proud of our long tradition of assisting students in achieving their dreams of higher education, and look forward to continuing it for the next 25 years...and beyond! 

Who was June Nelson? Find Out Here
Aleknagik Students Learn Survival Skills
By Molly Dischner, The Bristol Bay Times-Dutch Harbor Fisherman
Learning to use a compass
On a sunny, brisk Tuesday afternoon, 16 Aleknagik students turned toward the mountains north of their school, mostly in unison. Their heads were down, studying bona fide compasses, rather than taking in the views. Then instructor Ward Jones told them to turn south. "And don't just copy," he admonished them. "Do it for real!" The students were learning compass skills March 21 as part of an "Arctic Survival Skills" class Jones was teaching for the Aleknagik School's exploratory week. Read More

Article suggested by Kay Andrews, Board President, Southwest Region School District

ACTION ALERT!   E-Rate Filing Deadline: May 11, 2017    FINAL DAYS!
Districts applying for E-rate discounts on Internet Connectivity or Internal Connections must file their FCC Form 471 applications by May 11, 2017   
E-Rate Questions and Assistance
If you have questions or need assistance, please contact DEED E-Rate Consultant Valerie Oliver at or the USAC Client Service Bureau at 1-888-203-8100. 

E-Rate Filing Webinar 
The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) will be hosting a webinar intended to assist last minute filers with the application process on Thursday April 27, 2017 from 9:00-10:15 Alaska Time. This webinar will walk you through the application process. Register Now! If you cannot attend the live webinar, it will be recorded and posted to the USAC Online Learning Library. 

School Broadband Assistance Grants: Legislative Update
The Alaska Legislature is fast-tracking passage of SB 102, which will expand the current School Broadband Assistance Grant (BAG) program from 10 mbps to 25 mbps. SB 102 was introduced on Monday, April 3 and has already been passed by the Senate Education Committee and the Senate Finance Committee.

Does your district have schools with less than 25 mbps?
You may want to consider submitting a new FCC Form 471 to cover 25 mbps before the E-rate filing deadline of May 11, 2017 (if your current contract allows for growth to that level). If you do not increase your E-Rate 471 to this level, you will not able to take advantage of the School BAG enhanced funding during FY2018, if the bill should pass this legislative session .

School BAG Applications Coming May 1st
School BAG applications will be sent out to districts on or near May 1st with the most recently available information at that time, including a School BAG filing deadline.
What's Happening In Your District? 
Include Your News in Commentary! 
Superintendent Search
Looking for a New Superintendent?

The Association of Alaska School Boards has been conducting superintendent searches for over 20 years. Learn about our search services.

If you would like AASB to conduct a superintendent search for your district, or have questions, Contact Us

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