STEPS Partners,

On behalf of the AASB team, we wanted to wish each of you a peaceful holiday season and a happy new year. 


This fall, many of you helped to open up schools, began offering in-person or hybrid programs again, and provided needed services to students and their families.


At the same time, many of you adjusted to new work conditions and protocols. You continued to work towards supporting cradle-to-career solutions better and doing this work more effectively together.


Thank you for your commitment to students and families. Some of our favorite highlights from this fall include: 

  • Connecting with you more frequently through the quarterly Regional Roundups. If you missed the September session where we use data to have focused conversations about culturally responsive education, family partnership, and post-secondary access, or the November session on incorporating lived experiences of students and community members, you can check out the recordings here (September) or here (November).

  • Working with you to identify the best practices and strategies for helping students transition to life after high school, developing a statewide post-secondary bridging framework that starts at 6th grade.  

  • Increasing our commitment to using data to drive our work together, including recent highlights from the 2021 School Climate and Connectedness Survey that show we are making a difference for students in our communities, especially in the areas of Cultural Connectedness, Family Engagement, and School Climate During COVID-19.

To our Chatham STEPS district team, we would like to extend our condolences and our appreciation to the late Supt. Bruce Houck. We’d met with Chatham days ago and then received word of Bruce’s passing. We are sad but as his team had shared news with the students, they noted, “While we are sad in losing our friend, we also will celebrate the great contributions and friendships Supt. Houck had made in Chatham.”  

Bruce brought together a strong team, provided clear vision and support for staff and students to embrace and practice trauma engaged schools practices, and in doing so, made Angoon school not only a safe space for kids to learn but a place they all felt welcome and support. Gunalchéesh, Bruce, for your leadership and friendship.

Winter Reading and Videos:

If you use this time of year to catch up on reading or watching videos please check out these resources below. 

  • Our gift to you - choose your own book using this google form and we will send it to you!
  • Trauma Engaged Video Library  - These 5-10min video resources are intended to provide practitioners with actionable tools for incorporating trauma engaged practices into their work.
  • Practice a little Self-Care using Transforming Schools Toolkit Resources
  • Juneau Critical Participatory Action Research (CPAR) Project Share out Presentation by Amy Rautiainen and Brenda Taylor on a CPAR project that JSD teachers carried out to better understand creating equitable classrooms. More info and how to join can be found here.

Get organized for next year: Key dates

Q4 Reports Due! January 20, 2022

  • Reporting Office Hours - Tuesdays in January - 3:30-4:30pm -
  • Join Via Zoom Link

Jan. Regional Round-up - Jan 13, 2021, 3pm 

Racial Equity Dialogue Host - January 17th & 18th (all communities invited) Hosts will have an opportunity to work on practicing general dialogue hosting skills and will have an opportunity to prepare for specific dialogues you may host on (racial equity, youth leadership, family conversations, community priorities or education-centered dialogues). Yacht club Juneau. 

In the words of the late Chatham Supt. Bruce Houck in his letter to students and family on November 25, 2021:

“During this time of giving thanks, I want to share just a few of the things we are grateful for: We are thankful for our students who come to school every day ready to learn. They are a constant reminder of what is important to us all.  

The most important thing is that we are grateful for the parents that have continued to place their trust in us. Sharing the most valuable possessions they have with us and working hard to be a partner in the education, safety, and well-being of their children. ...I hope you all have a healthy and relaxing holiday!” 

Wishing you and your families health and happiness in 2022.