Voices of Alaska Education
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.
Special Edition - April 20, 2020
To help keep you informed of rapidly changing new developments, special editions of Commentary will be published weekly through the end of the 2020 school year.
What's Your Sign?
Juneau has its own
homemade hashtag:
This nautical-themed social distancing bumper sticker has been spotted in Craig and Ketchikan
Have a sign from your community to share? Email photos here
AASB Congratulates 2020 June Nelson Scholarship Winners!
The Association of Alaska School Boards is pleased to announce the winners of the 2020 scholarship competition!
Named in honor of long-time Kotzebue school board member and education advocate, the June Nelson Memorial Scholarship competition is an annual AASB tradition. Each year, association members, students, and district superintendents gather to raise money that is awarded to Alaskan students to support their post-high school education pursuits. This year’s successful fundraising efforts have allowed AASB to award fifteen, $1,500 scholarships, which may be applied toward the student’s choice of a business, trade, or college institution.

Of this year’s 75 applicants, fifteen graduating Alaska high school seniors have been selected to receive June Nelson scholarships. One of the fifteen scholarships was awarded to a student pursuing a credential in career and technical education (a skilled trade).

- Free 'Professional Boundaries' Policy -
Dear School Boards,
Last year during the Board Policy Updates, subscribers received a newly adopted AASB Board Policy designed to protect students from inappropriate adult behaviors. This policy was a joint project of Alaska Public Entity Insurance (APEI) and the Association of Alaska School Boards (AASB) along with the assistance of Donald Austin, MAT, JD.
During recent discussions and because of our concern for student safety, we have determined to send the policy out to all school districts and not to just those subscribing to AASB’s Policy Update Service nor only those insured by APEI. This policy is comprehensive and clearly identifies behaviors and corrective actions to assist you in your responsibilities of caring for students. 
We strongly encourage you to consider adopting the policy into your local policy manual:
If you have any questions about these policies or would like more information about training opportunities for school district employees, feel free to contact either of us.
Your School Board Meetings:
How are they going?
Jenni Lefing, AASB School Climate and Conference Coordinator
The COVID 19- pandemic has changed how we carry on many aspects of life, including how public meetings are held. Over the past month, many of your school boards have moved to virtual meetings- through Zoom or other platforms.

Jurassic Parliament’s Ann Macfarlane held a Zoom session on this very topic last week. Here are some insights she shared during the session:

- Workshops for You and Your Board -
  • Board/Superintendent Relations
  • How to run Effective Meetings
  • Board Self Evaluations (with a resulting board improvement plan)
  • Parliamentary Procedures
  • Board’s Quasi-Judicial Role
  • Using Your District’s Data for Planning
  • Data for School Boards
  • School Budget & Finance
  • Family Engagement
  • Youth Engagement
  • Roles and Responsibilities
  • Policy
  • Facilitated Superintendent Evaluation
  • Advisory School Committees
  • Charter Schools
  • Communications with your board
  • Labor Relations
  • Ethics
  • School Climate: What does School Climate & Connectedness look like now?
  • Trauma-Engaged Schools
  • Specialized facilitation:
  • Focus on particular issues
  • Choice of program
  • Scheduling to meet the needs of your board members and administrators
  • Team building
"Thank you for providing training last night via Zoom. I know this was a new format for you but regardless it was a very good training. In my opinion that last night's training helped continue to build trust with a confirmation that following processes is extremely important." - Superintendent feedback after a recent AASB Zoom workshop.
- How Can We Assist? -
We're here to help like we always have been. Things may look a little different as AASB adapts to changing times, but we're still providing uninterrupted service to our members.

To allow boards and board members to continue learning and growing during this vitally important time, we're now offering shortened digital versions of most of our workshops and training sessions. Member districts receive a special rate for AASB sessions: $600 includes preparation, up to 3 hours of training, and a post-training report.

Looking for a superintendent? We stand ready to assist with a range of economical search services.

We can provide customized solutions based on your needs. Please reach out to us.

- More Information -

Email Timi Tullis or call 907-321-4758

Upcoming AASB Webinars
- AASB WEBINAR - FREE TO MEMBERS - Working With Your Community
Tuesday, April 21 at Noon
Join Claudia Plesa and Tyler Breen to learn about how your Board and you as a Board member can work more effectively with your community to improve student success.
Archived AASB Webinars
- AASB WEBINAR - Distance Teaching with Zoom
In this "office hours" session Professor Megan Gahl and AASB staff answer questions and hear teacher insights on how to keep students engaged while teaching online. Discussion Notes

- AASB WEBINAR - Tips for Engaging Learners From a Distance
In this educator-focused webinar, Professor Megan Gahl, Heather Coulehan and Emily Ferry provide an overview of Zoom basics and best practices, and engagement in online classrooms. Webinar & Resources | Distance Learning Tips and Tools guide

- AASB WEBINAR - Holding Your Meeting Remotely
In this board-focused webinar, Lon Garrison and Timi Tullis provide an overview of what board members need to know to hold successful remote meetings.

- AASB WEBINAR - Working with the Board
Learn more about working with your fellow board members in an effective way that results in improved student achievement.
Using Zoom Safely?

These Zoom Security Protocols for setup and hosting will help keep your meetings safe and student privacy protected.

New Resources
Free BYU Online High School Curriculum

As a response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Brigham Young University and Agilix have agreed to make our online high school curriculum available to U.S. schools and districts that have closed, free of charge until July 1, 2020.
BYU Independent Study is pleased to offer more than 100 free high school online courses. The courses are to be used by the school’s teachers as content during a shutdown to continue the classroom teaching and learning online.

The courses contain subject matter content, assignments, formative and summative assessments and they include all 7th to 12th – grade core subject areas as well as some of our most popular elective courses. They are also completely 100% online so no textbooks are required. The courses will be available through July 1, 2020 for your use.

Kansas Teachers Create Free
Web-based CTE Resources

Trevor Maiseroulle and Chris Ball, two technology teachers from Kansas, are helping connect teachers from across the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic with web-based curriculum and teaching strategies for delivering CTE courses remotely to students.

The pair had initially compiled a shared drive of CTE teaching resource materials to help connect local area teachers, but it has since grown into a large-scale effort.
Trevor Maiseroulle (left) and Chris Ball
“We've touched upon every career cluster and pathway identified by the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE),” Maiseroulle said. “We have lessons that were submitted by teachers in the areas of construction, woodworking, welding, agriculture, photography, video production, automotive, and many others.”

Maiseroulle and Ball request that individuals accessing the resources also make an effort to add to them. "We need to be cohesive and work together," said Maiseroulle. " We want this to become a resource for everyone. Our goal is to help connect the thousands (possibly even millions) of CTE, Technology/Engineering, and STEM teachers throughout the US and rest of the world."

Over 400 teachers have accessed the drive so far, with more requests coming in daily. Despite the challenges and stay-at-home orders that limit hands-on learning, Maiseroulle remains positive and optimistic. “This is an exciting time for technical education across the nation,” he said. " I’m more than happy to do whatever Alaska might need."

Want access?
To access the shared drive of CTE resource materials, teachers and school administrators may send email requests to Trevor Maiseroulle using an email address connected to a Google account.

DHSS survey explores how COVID-19 pandemic is impacting Alaska families

The ongoing pandemic is affecting families with children and teens in multiple ways, and programs in the Division of Public Health are seeking the public’s input in understanding the challenges Alaskans are facing. The responses will be used to improve programs serving Alaska families.

Here's how to take the survey
Spike Jorgensen Scholarship
The Spike Jorgensen Scholarship is awarded annually to students from Coalition for Education Equity member school districts who show strong promise to overcome academic, personal, or societal obstacles to excel in his or her chosen area of post-secondary education.

In light of the extraordinary measures being taken in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Coalition for Education Equity has extended the deadline for this year’s scholarship application to April 30, 2020. Renewal applications must be received by June 16, 2020.

Wellness, Safety, and SEL Resources
Being quarantined at home for extended periods can increase the amount of stressors for families, students, and teachers connecting remotely. Here are resources to help.
Native Wellness
Power Hour

Celebrating 20 Years of Bringing Wellness and Healing to the Native Community. The Native Wellness Power Hour is a Daily Facebook Live broadcast at Noon PST.

Coffee Time
for the People

Facebook Live broadcast with Valerie Davidson, Liz Medicine Crow, and Barbara Blake. Gunalchéesh to our guests who joined us and shared their wisdom and stories.


Compiled resources from the First Alaskans Institute include Advocacy, Financial Relief, Tribal and Regional Responses to COVID-19 Frequently Asked questions and other information.

ASDN Resiliency Series with Ricky Roberts

Recorded webinars and resources for Educators, Students, Administrators, & Paraprofessionals. C lick on 'Social/Emotional Supports' under 'Session Recordings and Resource Links.'

SEL At Home: Remote Learning Options

The Great Lakes MHTTC School-based Supplement has compiled a list of SEL resources, lesson plans, activities, games, and tip sheets to get you started on your SEL at home journey.
School Mental Health Resources

COVID-19 is impacting students, families, and educators. The Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MHTTC) has compiled school mental health resources for coping with a public health crises.

Distance Learning During COVID-19: Seven Equity Considerations for Schools & Districts
Titilayo Tinubu Ali and Mirel Herrera, Southern Education Foundation
Government officials are taking swift public health actions to slow the rapidly spreading COVID-19 pandemic. By the end of March, statewide school closures affected 55.1 million K-12 public school students across our country. Over 20 million of these students live within the seventeen states covered by the Southern Education Foundation, and a majority of these students live in poverty. While school closures affect all students, students from underserved communities feel this impact even greater.

Engaging Families Through the Coronavirus Pandemic - National Organizations Share Their Plans
National organizations at the forefront of providing resources and tools that parents and practitioners need to navigate through this uncharted territory shared what they are currently providing and what is planned moving forward.
Free Youth Thrive Online Training
Join us this month for a FREE  Youth Thrive Online Training . This training will provide a brief overview of the  Youth Thrive Framework  and practical application of the framework into programs.
Training Schedule
  • April 24, 2020 10:00 am-12:30 pm (AKDT) - Overview of Youth Thrive Guiding Premises and Youth Thrive Framework
  • May 1, 2020 10:00am-12:00 pm (AKDT) - Youth Thrive Program Application Workshop Programs will be able to do a deeper dive to explore practical application of the Framework to their program or practice.

Social-emotional Support by Text Message
ParentPowered PBC is offering a free enhanced version of the core Ready4K program through the end of the 2019-2020 school year to US early education providers to support at-home learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Developed by educational researchers, Ready4K is an evidence-based family engagement curriculum delivered via text message.
Each week, parents and caregivers receive fun facts and easy tips on how to promote their children’s development by building on existing family routines. This approach has been shown to increase child development by 2 to 3 months over the course of a school year.

Trauma-Informed Leadership Guide for Leaders from All Sectors and Industries
This guide is aimed at supporting leaders navigating the COVID-19 pandemic. It is based on the 6 principles of SAMSHA’s Trauma-Informed Care Approach and adapted by Kindred Consulting, LLC . This guide is not a replacement for mental health support or treatment. It is intended to help leaders build or reform their organizational culture to become one that promotes empathy and resilience.

Early Childhood Education Resource Center
As the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis grows in Alaska and worldwide, Alaska's early childhood educators and programs are here for you. Resources and updates to provide support during uncertain times.


Molly of Denali

The official Molly of Denali PBS Kids website. You'll find new episodes, games, activities, podcasts, and more!

Molly of Denali
Teaches Inupiaq

Learn the Inupiaq words for parts of the body with Molly of Denali. Coming soon: Inupiaq words for parts of the face!

Inupiaq Coloring Pages

Inupiaq Indigenous coloring pages available to print and use/color at home from Nasuġraq Rainey Hopson. Good for all ages and skills.

Alaska dinosaurs featured in a new at-home learning program for students of all ages
The Perot Museum of Nature and Science is globally recognized for its paleontology program, which has significant ties to Alaska. Kids of all ages will attest that dinosaurs are a wildly popular science topic, making them a gateway for the public to learn about science.
Check out a wealth of paleontology-focused, fun-to-do, educational content specifically geared to children, from toddlers to high schoolers. The program is free and open to the public. Alaska dinosaurs will be featured this week at the Perot Museum’s new online, at-home learning program called  Amaze Your Brain At Home .
Coronavirus Information and Resources
NEW National District Responses
to COVID-19 School Closures

More than 100,000 public schools across the country have closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many are expected to remain closed for weeks, and in some cases, for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. This project will track how districts shift instruction, student support, and organizational operations.

NEW Resources for Parents and Educators with Students at Home
An ever growing list of ideas and materials to support teachers, parents, and caregivers in search of ways to deliver instruction and daily activities to students learning remotely at home.
Virtual Meetings and Instruction
AASB webinars for School Boards and Educators on conducting meetings and delivering instruction online, plus these other AASB webinar resources:
NEW Alaska Coronavirus Newsfeed
A summary of statewide Alaska media coverage
of the coronavirus pandemic impact. Updated daily.
Internet Service Providers
Special offers for new or upgraded service for the remainder of the school year from ISPs, including ACS , ASTAC , GCI , KPU , MTA , and 2.5 GHz Rural Tribal Window from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
District Dispatches

How is your district supporting students at home?
What have been your successes and challenges?

Anchorage School District
Margo Bellamy, School Board
  • Food distribution centers
  • Chrome Book distribution
  • Technical support
  • ASD Help Center (742-HELP)
  • Homework help
  • Online Resources/Guidelines for online learning
  • Remote Education portals
  • Educational Resources for distant learning
Lower Kuskokwim School District
Bessie Weston, School Board

Though we have not been getting regular updates from administration, my local school continues to send home school work and meals.
Wrangell School District
Debbe Lancaster, Superintendent

We have a variety on online support. Our teachers are contacting students on a regular basis but not pressuring them unnecessarily.
Our paraprofessionals are delivering lunches and reaching out to support students either one on one or in small groups. We keep administrators available to support students, staff, and community members as needed. We communicate as needed and have a tiered systems of how intense our information is distributed.

We have regular admin and department meetings to regroup, refresh, and stay fluid in planning. We empower anyone with a great idea to move forward. We keep safety and well-being in the fore front of our minds.
- Sneak Peek - Graduation Ceremony Ideas -

As traditional graduation ceremonies are cancelled to comply with social distancing mandates, here are some alternate ideas we've heard about this week that are currently in the discussion, planning, and implementation phases!
Hydaburg City School District

Graduation Car Parade: In honor of their 2020 graduates, Hydaburg families and staff are planning a Car Parade. Students and families will decorate their cars and drive them in a parade through Hydaburg in a graduation celebration. Families are invited to drum and sing from their cars.
Juneau School District

Sign Fairies: Class of 2020 graduating Seniors throughout the community awoke one morning to find that signs celebrating their academic achievement had been mysteriously placed in their front yards!
Nome Public Schools
Jamie Burgess, Superintendent

Alaska Adopt a Senior 2020: Parents and family members of Class of 2020 Nome Beltz High School Seniors are invited to visit an awesome Facebook page called, Alaska Adopt A Senior 2020. Find the page and request to be added, or leave a comment and I'll get you an invite. You can post pictures of your senior and share a little bit about them. Folks then "adopt" your senior and send them some goodies in the mail to help celebrate them.

So many of our wonderful students will miss out on the traditional rites of passage and celebrations for their senior year, so we want to find special ways to recognize them and show them that they matter to us.

Deadline to post your student to get "adopted" is May 1st!
Unalaska City School District
John Conwell, Superintendent

Virtual Graduation Ceremony: The administration, parents, and high school seniors are looking at other, possibly virtual, ideas to celebrate the senior class. We're working hard to make this a memorable year for the seniors, in a positive way, because they've had a pretty rough year under very unusual circumstances.
Yukon-Koyukuk School District

Graduation In a Box: The district mails graduation decorations and diplomas to each graduate's family. The decorations are used to create a background and a photo is taken of a family member presenting the graduate with their diploma. The district collects the photos and posts them online as a virtual graduation ceremony.

YKSD has also sent birdhouse construction kits to every student in the district. The birdhouses are designed to be simple to construct. Developmentally appropriate connections to math, science, and language arts are included in each student's kit.
How is your district planning to conclude the school year?

What are your plans for celebrating graduates, final semester grading, and offering summer classes?
Federal & State Government News
Please note - some news outlets may require registration or a paid subscription for link access. Others may grant free access to a limited number of articles before requiring a paid subscription.
Secretary DeVos Announces $3 Billion in Emergency Education Block Grants for Governors
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced today that nearly $3 billion will quickly be made available to governors to ensure education continues for students of all ages impacted by the coronavirus national emergency.
The Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund, authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, is an extraordinarily flexible “emergency block grant” designed to enable governors to decide how best to meet the needs of students, schools (including charter schools and non-public schools), postsecondary institutions, and other education-related organizations.

In an effort to get these emergency funds to states as quickly as possible, the Department has streamlined the application process and reduced the red tape and delays typically associated with the award of federal grant funds; all that is required is the completion of a brief application, which can be digitally signed and submitted in PDF to the email address  GEERF@ed.gov .

Alaska's Congressional Delegation Briefs State Education Leaders on CARES Act
Norm Wooten, AASB Executive Director
In an Educational Leaders meeting this week with Senators Sullivan & Murkowski hosted by ACSA, we received an update of the federal COVID funding that might be of interest to you.
It was pointed out that this bill was hurriedly put together and enacted. There are no doubt mistakes in it, which are being corrected as they become evident. Senators requested that as school leaders and educators come across needed corrections, to notify their offices.
  • Probably of most interest to educators is the Education Stabilization Fund within the CARES Act. It covers both K-12 and higher education. This section has $13.5 billion in it. Funds will likely begin to be released next week. The K-12 section will be allocated to states using Title I formulas.
  • The CARES Act does not provide for flexibilities to IDEA. However, the bill contains a requirement for the SecEd to provide, within 30 days, a report of what flexibilities might be needed for IDEA.
  • The CARES Act also includes $1.25 billion in the State Stabilization Fund. These funds cannot be utilized for previously funded state appropriations. However, Alaska’s delegation is requesting flexibility to be able to expend the funds for lost revenue.
  • The Educational Release Funding is routed through the governor to be expended through his discretion to mitigate COVID-19 effects. For Alaska, that is $6.5 million.
  • Funding through federal HHS contains $19.5 million for Alaska to be used for higher education. Nine Alaska institutions are funded. Two will be directly paid to students with the remaining to the institutions. Within HHS also is $13 billion for early education & Head-Start. HHS funding has not been released yet.
Alaska Legislature to hold Joint Meeting on the Status of Alaska Education
Senate and House Education Committees will be holding a joint committee meeting on Wednesday, April 22, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm.

The presenters will be DEED Commissioner Michael Johnson and UA President Dr. Jim Johnson with short presentations by AASB Executive Director Norm Wooten and ACSA Director Dr. Lisa Parady. The meeting will be live streamed on AKL.tv.
Here is the agenda for the joint meeting:

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
“Virtual Learning, Florida Schools Contract, Vetoes Relating to FY 21 Education Funding, and CARES Act Funding”
By: Dr. Michael Johnson, Commissioner, AK Dept. of Education & Early Development

2:00 PM - 2:20 PM
“The Current Status of Local School Boards and Their Communities”
By: Norm Wooten, Executive Director, Association of Alaska School Boards

2:30 PM - 3:00 PM
“The Status of Local Education Funding and Of Delivering Virtual Education to Students”
By: Dr. Lisa Parady, Executive Director, Alaska Council of School Administrators
[Superintendent(s) TBA]

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
“University of Alaska COVID-19 Update: Impact and Response”
By: Dr. Jim Johnson, President, University of Alaska
Alaska Education News
Please note - some news outlets may require registration or a paid subscription for link access. Others may grant free access to a limited number of articles before requiring a paid subscription.
Spring Hill Elementary brightens students’ days with picture collage
Caleigh Jensen, KTVA
Since they can’t see their students in person, Spring Hill Elementary School found a creative way to let its students know that they are loved.

The school sent out a collage on Friday that featured teachers and staff members holding handmade signs and hearts, spelling out a special message: “We miss all of our Spring Hill Otters! We’re thinking about you, stay safe and healthy! We can’t wait to see you all again! That will be an awesome day! We love you.”

Image courtesy of Jennifer Eatherton
‘Everyone is learning a new way to learn’
Victoria Petersen, Peninsula Clarion
For Kenai Central High School junior Rileigh Pace, life has changed “a lot” since the transition from the physical classroom to emergency remote learning.
She takes classes like U.S. history, trigonometry, honors language arts, anatomy and physiology and ceramics online using a computer she’s set up on a small desk in the corner of her bedroom.

Pace is just one of the more than 8,000 students in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District who have had to shift to home-schooling due to state-mandated school closures, which have shut students off from school sites across the state for the rest of the academic year.

Soldotna High School English teacher Nicole Hewitt teaches her students remotely from her empty classroom
at Soldotna High School.
Photo: Victoria Petersen
Nome Public Schools’ Staff & Students Adjust to New Normal of Distance Learning
Joe Coleman, KNOM
Even though Governor Mike Dunleavy has issued an order that all schools will remain closed through the rest of the school year, distance education continues, forcing teachers throughout the state to adapt. But with challenges related to internet access, Nome Public Schools’ teachers have to get creative to meet their students’ educational and emotional needs.

Photo: KNOM
As Anchorage classrooms shift to online learning, many families still need computers and Wi-Fi
Emily Goodykoontz, Anchorage Daily News
For a week and a half, Sue Armstrong’s daughter was doing her online schoolwork with just a smartphone, squinting down at its small screen and scrolling through lessons. “I’m worried about her eyeballs,” Armstrong said Wednesday.

Armstrong’s three kids — in the second, fifth and eighth grades — are all participating in at-home online education with the Anchorage School District’s Winterberry Charter School. For the family of five, vying for Wi-Fi bandwidth and computer time with a limited number of devices in the home was becoming a challenge.

On Thursday, the school principal delivered a Chromebook laptop to Armstrong’s doorstep.

Vivi Armstrong, 11, studies Spanish using the Duolingo app on her phone at home on Friday, April 10, 2020. Armstrong is a fifth grader at Winterberry Charter School.
Photo: Loren Holmes
Families of children with special needs worry their children will be left behind as education moves online
Mayowa Aina, Alaska Public Media
As the coronavirus pandemic continues, students across the state are logging on to class from home. But some groups of students face significant challenges and barriers to online education.

Children with special needs have a range of learning differences that often require individualized and specialized learning strategies which can be difficult to transfer online.

Anthony and Liz Qaulluq Cravalho of Kotzebue care for their 21-year-old son, Alika.
Alika is severely autistic and non-verbal, and for him, just getting used to the technology has been a big hurdle.

Anthony Cravalho (right) and Alika Cravalho (left) video chat with Alika’s special education teacher in Kotzebue on April 10, 2020. For Alika, who is severely autistic, just getting used to using the device in this way has been a challenge and requires constant supervision.
Photo courtesy of Liz Cravalho
Shocked and confused, high school seniors navigate a school year cut short by the coronavirus
Mayowa Aina, Alaska Public Media
Gov. Mike Dunleavy has closed public schools through the rest of the school year. For the 9,606 high school seniors across the state who make up the class of 2020 that means final sport seasons have been cut short and proms and graduation ceremonies have been postponed at best or canceled at worst.

But despite such an abrupt end to a highly anticipated school year, some seniors are taking these transitions in stride.

Students wait to receive their diplomas at Sullivan Arena
File Photo: Anne Hillman
For high school seniors, the pandemic means life on hold
Iris Samuels, Kodiak Daily Mirror
Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced last week that school buildings would remain closed until the end of the school year, forcing the Kodiak Island Borough School District to reconsider important annual traditions such as graduation ceremonies and end-of-year celebrations. For Kodiak seniors, the changes in the spring semester can be particularly difficult.

“We all remember how exciting the last day of school is,” said district Superintendent Dr. Larry LeDoux. “We have to find a way to bring joy into that.”

UCSD Prom Cancelled, Graduation Goes Virtual, As Schools Remain Closed Through End Of School Year
Hope McKenney, KUCB, Unalaska
Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced on Thursday that schools in Alaska will remain closed through the end of the school year.

Unalaska City School District Superintendent John Conwell said local schools will continue home-based education through May 29, 2020.

"For the last two weeks, we've been implementing home-based education," said Conwell. "We're getting some great reports of this working, and we're improving everyday. So we'll continue to provide as high quality home-based education as we can through the end of the school year."

Alaska's public and private K-12 schools will remain closed to students for the rest of the school year amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Photo: Laura Kraegel
School board member talks about impact of COVID 19
KINY, Juneau
Governor Dunleavy's order closing schools in Alaska down for the balance of the school year comes as no surprise to Juneau School Board member Paul Kelly.
"I think we expected this and I think it was the right decision," Kelly said on Action Line. "While it makes it harder for everyone, parents, teachers, especially seniors getting ready to graduate right now, this is how we have to flatten the curve and this is how we save lives and whatever our role is in the district that has to take precedence. So my reaction is is that we will adapt and we will get through this as a community."

School is closed. So far, Dillingham's school district has provided over 5,000 meals to kids
Tyler Thompson, KDLG, Dillingham
The Dillingham City School District delivered over 5,000 meals in the past two weeks. The service kicked off at the end of March after the state mandated that schools remain shut down until May 1 due to the coronavirus.

Any person 18 years or younger in the Dillingham area is eligible for the meal service program, which provides breakfast, lunch and a snack. Business Manager Phil Hulett and 11 other staff members at the school are volunteering to make deliveries Monday through Friday. They start at 10:45 a.m. and follow the normal bus routes. Hulett said they average over 280 stops per day.

Scores of Alaska villages implement travel restrictions amid pandemic
Associated Press
About 70 Alaska tribes have implemented travel restrictions to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, limiting incoming air, land and water traffic in remote villages scattered across the state.Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy has given communities regulation leeway through their councils and other governmental entities, so travel restrictions vary throughout the state,  Indian Country Today reported

“But the less mixing we have going on at this point, the more we slow the virus down,” Dunleavy said. “Right now they are (helping out), but if there are issues or incidences where folks, let’s say go overboard, then we can have that discussion with them.”

The tribe in Eek is restricting outbound travel to hospital emergencies and fuel pick-up.
Photo: Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development
High school mask maker wants to make a difference during pandemic
Margaret Bauman, The Cordova Times
A 17-year-old Anchorage high school junior who wanted to help others during the novel coronavirus pandemic is busy sewing dozens of masks for Alaska Regional Hospital and raising money to benefit local seniors and the Children’s Lunchbox program. In just a week Carolyn Kostka was near reaching her $2,500 goal on a Go Fund Me page to benefit the Anchorage Senior Activity Center and the Children’s LunchBox.

“Over the course of my life, medical professionals have helped me due to athletic injuries and most recently a bad car accident,” Kostka explained to potential donors on her “ Adopt A Mask Make A Difference” page.

Carolyn Kostka, a high school junior, models one of the masks she will donate to Alaska Regional Hospital for use by their employees.
Photo: Margaret Bauman
Lower Yukon Board of Education appoints new Chief School Administrator (Superintendent)
LYSD staff, The Delta Discovery
The Board of Education for the Lower Yukon School District is pleased to announce their choice for a new Chief School Administrator, Mr. Gene Stone, beginning July 1st, 2020. The Board wishes to express their sincere thanks to everyone who participated in and supported the search for the next educational leader of the District.
Gene Stone
Mr. Stone made the following statement upon his appointment: “I am honored to have been selected as the Chief School Administrator for the Lower Yukon School District. Special thanks to Lon Garrison and Rich Carlson for the process they facilitated.”

The Kuspuk School Board appoints new Superintendent of Schools
Kuspuk staff, The Delta Discovery
The Board of Education for the Kuspuk School District is pleased to announce their unanimous choice for a new Superintendent, Mr. James Anderson, beginning July 1, 2020. The Board wishes to express their sincere thanks to everyone who participated and supported the search for a new superintendent during these extraordinary times.
Mr. Anderson made the following statement upon his appointment: “My wife and I are excited to be coming to the Kuspuk School District and to become a part of the KSD family. Harvey Hoffman and the Kuspuk School Board, along with Lon Garrison of the Association of Alaska School Boards, took an enormous amount of time and energy to get to know me, both professionally and personally. I appreciate their efforts and look forward to meeting with community members at each of the Kuspuk schools later in the fall.”

Superintendent Search Service
Looking for a New Superintendent?

The Association of Alaska School Boards has been conducting successful and economical superintendent searches for over twenty years.
Our Superintendent Search Service provides expert facilitation of the entire search process, including identifying the needs of the district, recruiting candidates, conducting background searches, facilitating interviews, and all the steps to help with the hiring process. Learn about our Search Service

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

Your school district is a vital member of the Association of Alaska School Boards, our state’s leading advocate for public education. Together, we work to ensure equity by strengthening the connections between schools, families, tribes, communities, and government so that every Alaskan child has the opportunity to receive a quality public education.

The many services AASB offers are designed to provide maximum benefit to our members in meeting their district's goals. Check out our Membership Benefits brochure and let us know how we can assist you!

Association of Alaska School Boards | aasb.org