State of Alaska

Vol. 45 No. 26 June 30, 2017

Erin Hardin to Edit the Information Exchange

Starting July 1, Public Information Officer Erin Hardin will compile and edit the Information Exchange. Please send your school, district, or organization news briefs to Ms. Hardin at erin.hardin@alaska.gov. She can be reached at 907-465-6535.

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U.S. Department of Education Seeks Comments on Regulations and Guidance

The U.S. Department of Education is seeking suggestions on how it can improve regulations and guidance related to issues such as school accountability, special education services, Office of Civil Rights reporting, Impact Aid, Indian Education, charter school grants, FERPA, CTE programs, federal student aid programs, grants for institutions of higher education, among other issues.

The department published in the Federal Register an opportunity for the public to suggest changes to federal education regulations and guidance that have a policy impact. The link to this notice is federalregister.gov. The comment period ends at 7:59 p.m. Alaska time on August 21.

You can review all of the department’s regulations at ecfr.gov. The links are arranged to pinpoint issues that affect you.

You can review the department’s guidance at ed.gov. It will open as a Word document with embedded links to specific guidance on Adult Education, CTE, Civil Rights, Elementary and Secondary Education, Grants and Contracts, Higher Education, and Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. Although there are links to comment on specific guidance documents embedded in this document, you may want to use the Federal Register notice comment button to submit your suggestions. The department asks members of the public to be as specific as possible in their suggestions and to copy into their comments links to the specific regulations or guidance about which they are commenting.

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DEED Employee Deb Riddle Receives Governor’s Denali Leadership Award

Deb Riddle, an Education Administrator I with the Division of Student Learning, was selected as the Leadership Award Recipient for the Governor's 2017 Denali Peak Performance Awards Program. The Denali Awards recognize the valuable contributions and hard work of state employees. Governor Walker visited DEED's offices in Juneau earlier this month to present the award.

Ms. Riddle was nominated by a co-worker who wrote, "Deb doesn't accept ‘we've always done it this way’ as a solution; instead, she constantly reviews the team's vision to ensure they are working in the most efficient and effective ways. Deb never shies away from putting in the extra hours it takes to make sure that a project is done right, as opposed to just done. She shares information, provides realistic information to management, and sets consistent expectations for her staff. Deb ensures that her own example goes above and beyond those expectations, and she provides support to staff to help them reach their goals and the goals of the division and department. Deb's drive and commitment to excellence is seen by all who work with her."

For more information about the Denali Awards visit doa.alaska.gov.

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Federal Grants Available to Address Opioids, Obesity, and Mental Illness

School districts are eligible to apply for federal grants focused on family-centered strategies to address the opioid epidemic, childhood and adolescent obesity, and serious mental illness. Applications are due August 1 by 1 p.m. Alaska time. For more about the Empowered Communities for a Healthier Nation Initiative.

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Title IIA Subgrant to Eligible Partnerships Grant Opportunity

The Department of Education and Early Development (DEED) announces a federal partnership grant for teacher/administrator professional development. Grants will focus on short, intensive instructor/administrator academies in multiple content areas. These areas will be high-needs priorities as determined by individual districts. Such academies will provide teachers the opportunity to develop skills and curricula appropriate to their classrooms and communities while incorporating aspects of ongoing DEED initiatives. The request for applications is available at http://www.eed.alaska.gov/forms/home.cfm. Search under Title IIA. The deadline is 4 p.m. on August 31.

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Early Registration is Open for CTE Conference

This year’s premier annual gathering of CTE professionals at Alaska’s ACTE Professional Development Conference takes place October 30 – November 1 in downtown Anchorage. Early-bird registration is now available for a discounted rate. You can also check out the Marriot’s special attendee rate for your stay.

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State Board Seeks Comment on Proposed Regulation about School Bus Standards

The proposed regulation adopts the most recent state and national standards for school buses that are manufactured on or after January 1, 2018. You can submit written comments up to 4:30 p.m. August 7, or oral comments at an audio conference hearing on September 14. See online comment form.

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State Board Seeks Comment on Proposed Regulation about Vocational Education

The proposed regulation would define vocational education to include grades seven through twelve. (It currently includes grades nine through twelve.) The change would allow school districts to spend federal vocational education funds in grades seven through twelve. You can submit written comments up to 4:30 p.m. August 7, or oral comments at an audio conference hearing on September 14. See online comment form.

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State Board Seeks Comment on Proposed Regulation about Assessment Scores

The proposed regulation: 1) gives the department the flexibility to require statewide assessments in English language arts and mathematics in grades three through eight and at least once in grades nine through twelve, and 2) sets the range of scores in the achievement levels of the Performance Evaluation for Alaska’s Schools (PEAKS) assessment in English language arts and mathematics and the Alaska Alternate Assessment in science. Submit written comments by 4:30 p.m. July 12 and oral comments at an audio conference hearing on July 14. Visit online comment form.

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Department is Recruiting for Architectural Assistant

The Department of Education and Early Development is recruiting for an Architectural Assistant.

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Listen to Meetings of Alaska’s Education Challenge Committees

Audio conferenced meetings of Alaska’s Education Challenge committees will start next week. The public is encouraged to listen to a livestream of meeting audio at akl.tv. Here is the master schedule. More information, including meeting agendas, will be posted to the main education challenge webpage. The committees are developing recommendations to transform Alaska’s public schools. Governor Bill Walker introduced Alaska’s Education Challenge in his State of the State Address in January. He challenged Alaskans to establish an efficient, sustainable, and comprehensive system to provide an excellent education for every student.

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