STEPS Alaska Updates
Stepping Up for Alaska's Youth!
Trauma-Engaged SchoolsProject Transform focuses on expanding and piloting the Transforming Schools trauma-engaged schools toolkit and resources for school staff. Five districts participating – STEPS districts included are Chatham and Juneau - will receive comprehensive professional development and a rigorous evaluation component will help build the evidence base for this work in Alaska.

Full-Service Community SchoolsThis project will allow us to go deeper with key components of the STEPS work with six schools in four Southeast communities and will provide services across the “Four Pillars” of Community Schools:
Shak’ Shaani Éesh leads a family dialogue in Yakutat.
Collaborative Leadership, Integrated Supports, Expanded and Enriched Learning, and family and Community Engagement.
The four pillars of Community Schools.
Our other work still continues with other funding streams and we continue to support all of our member districts across the state toward building the conditions for learning.
Celebration: Better, Together.
When we started on the STEPS grant we had a long list of solutions, but it was sometimes difficult to see how all the pieces fit together. If our goal was to improve transitions out of high school, was it more important to focus on dual enrollment, mentoring, early college experiences or family events? And why were we all working so hard and not seeing big-picture results?
Working together, we developed a model - the Bridging Framework - that helps illuminate how the list of solutions are complementary strands that weave together a web of wholistic support. In creating the framework, we could see where our web might need some repair. For postsecondary, that was fostering cultural identity as a strength and engaging families as partners earlier in the planning process.

The Bridging Framework doesn’t contain a ton of new ideas, but it does help us understand the “why” so we can prioritize the “what” and “how.” The Framework also helps schools map “when” and “where” to cultivate postsecondary support efforts.
Cultural identity is a critical postsecondary strength.
Fortunately, our STEPS partners including Tlingit and Haida’s Navigator’s program, Sealaska Heritage Institute’s Indigenous College Fair, and Sitka Tribe of Alaska’s mentorship programs have developed great examples of navigation support that foster cultural identity as a strength. AASB has also been working to develop tools like the Finding Your Future workshop, which can be used with students and families to help them envision and start planning for life after high school.
AASB and partners have been exploring how to bring families into the conversation about planning for life after high school.
And we’ve been able to explore how other regions are able to do more by doing it together. In February, the Director of the Bristol Bay Region Career and Technical Education and the four superintendents who oversee the collaborative effort shared how they moved from an idea to full-scale implementation. These types of collective learning opportunities have helped us build a shared vision for our future.
The career pathways developed by Bristol Bay Region Career & Technical Education may also be relevant to Southeast Communities.
What’s a tool or resource everyone should know about?
The Conditions for Learning Team’s
Upcoming Opportunities
Workgroups or Trainings
How Are Our Schools Doing Implementing Trauma-Engaged Approaches?
When: Thursday, March 16, Noon
What: As part of AASB’s “How Do You Know?” webinar series, we will be looking at ways of evaluating trauma-engaged approaches and what difference it's making.
Who: School board members, administrators, and program staff.
Southeast Network of Alaska CAN
When: First Wednesdays of the month at 10:00 am
Who: Southeast Alaskans working to increase access to postsecondary education
Where: Zoom, contact Emily for the link,
How Are Our Schools Doing Applying an Equity Lens?
When: Thursday, April 20, Noon
What: As part of AASB’s “How Do You Know?” webinar series, we will be looking at ways of evaluating how our schools are achieving equity goals. 
Who: School board members, administrators, and program staff.
Family-School Partnership Teams In-Person
When: Thursday, April 27, 2023 (all day)
Who: Required for Alaska Family Engagement Center grantees and optional for STEPS community/school teams.
Where: Anchorage
How: Contact Lori if you are interested,
Alaska Native Language Summit Pre-Conference
When: Thursday, April 27, 2023, 9 am - 4 pm
Where: William A. Egan Civic & Convention Center, 555 West 5th Avenue Anchorage, AK
STEPS Annual Gathering
When: Tuesday, May 2-3 
Where: Juneau
Who: STEPS partners
Our Cultural Landscape: Culturally Responsive Education Conference
When: June 13-15, Proposals due April 7 
Who: Open to all educators
Where: Juneau
Rural Career Counseling 101 Class
Who: Staff in schools that do not have career counselors and would like to build a program from the ground up. 
What: Anyone can take this class for free on the Alaska Department of Education & Early Development CANVAS platform. Rural Career Counseling 101 is also available for one 500-level UAA credit. Those taking the class for credit will pay a $79 fee and must complete the class by May 15, 2023.
When: Ongoing
How: for an invitation to the class.
Grant Opportunities
Child Abuse & Negligence Primary Prevention Grants (up to $10,000)
When: Apply Now, Through Friday, March 24, 2023 at 5:00 pm
How: Apply here
Positive Youth Development Grant
When: Proposals are due April 7, 3:59 pm, Questions are due March 28
How: Apply here
For Students, Families and Staff
Voices on the Land: Taakw.eetí naawulgáas’i

What: Spring Break camp with Frank Henry Kaash Katasse

Where: Perseverance Theater, 914 3rd St, Douglas
Who: Students in grades 4 through 8
When: March 20-24, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Ilakucaraq Youth Leadership 
What: A cohort of rural and urban indigenous youth who will travel to two communities and connect virtually over the year to explore positive identity development and create a supportive network of peers.
Who: Indigenous youth in grades 8-11
When: Apply by March 20 
How: Apply here
Parents as Teachers
Who: Adults who are parenting kids ages 3 and under
What: AEYC’s Parents as Teachers program continues to offer in-home AND virtual home visits. If you know of a family with young children who could use some extra support.
When: Ongoing
How: Please send referrals to Emily Thompson,
The Learning Connection
Who: Anyone over 16 needing support taking the next step toward college and career training
When: Daily
Where: Downtown Juneau and the Valley Library
IT'S REAL! Teens & Mental Health
What: Presentation, conversation & dinner
Who: Parents and supportive adults
When: Thursday, March 15, 5:00 - 7:00 pm
Where: Thunder Mountain High School Library
How: Register here (so they know how much food to order)
Looking for additional ideas? Check out the STEPS Resources page for past newsletters and other STEPS-related resources.