Inside This Edition:
- Alaska Teacher of the Year Nominations Open
- Applications for the BRIGHT Girls Summer Academy are Open
- All Ages Welcome to Submit Designs for Alaska License Plates
- Alaskans Submit 18,574 Suggestions for Education Reform Topics
- Summer Food Service Program Looking for Local Sites
- Department Recruits for Child Nutrition Position
- Alaska CAN-Together Conference Set for March 23-24
- Study Says GPA Predicts College Grades Better than Test Scores Do
- SLED Highlight: Governors of Alaska Guide
- Arctic Broadband Forum Set for May in Fairbanks
- UAF to Host an Athabascan Astronomy Event
- ASD Creates Lessons Related to Commemoration of the Treaty of Cession
- Museum of the North Focuses Family Day on Photography
- Department Recruiting for a Director of Student Learning
- Attend an AAEC Summer Arts Institute
- Eric Fry: (907) 465-2851
Alaska Teacher of the Year Nominations Open
The Alaska Teacher of the Year 2018 nomination process is open. Alaska has many outstanding teachers who are worthy of the award. The Alaska Teacher of the Year Program gives us an opportunity to identify Alaska’s best teachers. Any interested Alaskan may nominate a teacher for the award. Teacher of the Year is an excellent way to acknowledge the expertise, skills, accomplishments, and professionalism of teachers in your school. Contact: Cecilia Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org or 907-465-8703. For additional information: https://education.alaska.gov/RecognitionPrograms/TOY/.
Applications for the BRIGHT Girls Summer Academy are Open
BRIGHT Girls offers two-week, free, day-only academies in Fairbanks (July 10-21) and Juneau (July 24-August 4) for high school girls. Participants explore the biology and habitat of salmon (in Fairbanks) or harbor seals (in Juneau). Expect to go boating, take pictures, use science tools and technology, take measurements in the field and the lab, and explore the outdoors with new friends. Visit brightgirlsak.org to learn more and submit an application by April 1. For more information, contact Laura Oxtoby at email@example.com, 907-474-5396.
All Ages Welcome to Submit Designs for Alaska License Plates
Do you know a kindergartener with an eye for color? Are you a professional artist looking for opportunities in an unusual medium? Are you an Alaskan looking to gain fame and recognition in both visual art and vehicular transportation? The idea is simple: the state of Alaska is opening a call to all Alaskans to brainstorm, create, and submit designs for their ideal license plate. Submissions will be accepted from February 28 to April 24. Find more info (including guidelines, examples, and templates) at http://alaskaartisticlicense.org/.
Alaskans Submit 18,574 Suggestions for Education Reform Topics
Nearly 1,400 Alaskans from 109 communities completed an online survey about education reform for Governor Bill Walker’s Alaska’s Education Challenge. The respondents submitted 18,574 total suggestions for topics within the State Board of Education’s five strategic priorities: student learning, educator excellence, modernization and finance, tribal and community ownership, and safety and well-being. Governor Walker has challenged Alaskans to address student achievement gaps and increase our graduation rate by making sure every student has equal opportunity to learn and succeed. To meet Alaska’s Education Challenge, the State Board of Education is leading a highly participatory process with the public. It will result in recommendations to the Governor and Legislature by year’s end.
The public’s next opportunity to participate will be in mid-March, when the Department of Education and Early Development will release a second survey that will be posted at https://gov.alaska.gov/administration-focus/alaskas-education-challenge/. From the ideas generated during the first survey, Alaskans will select up to five topics for each strategic priority. Five committees, one for each strategic priority, will begin meeting in late spring and continue into September to turn the public’s preferred topics into recommendations. Two members of the State Board of Education will co-chair each committee, which will include parents, students, educators, legislators, tribal representatives, and educational partners. Committee meetings will be open to the public.
Summer Food Service Program Looking for Local Sites
Are there children in your community who will go hungry this summer? The Alaska Department of Education and Early Development’s Child Nutrition Programs unit is looking for school districts, parks and recreation departments, non-profit organizations, camps, and churches to operate Summer Food Service Program feeding sites for children and youth in low-income areas in Alaska.
In FY16, only 1 out of 11 Alaskan children that participate in the National School Lunch Program also participated in the Summer Food Service Program. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Summer Food Service Program helps provide nutritious meals to individuals 18 years and under in low-income areas when school lunch rooms close for the summer.
Sponsors are reimbursed with federal funds for each eligible meal served at approved feeding sites (school, park, local café, Boys & Girls Club, YMCA, or another location). All sponsors receive training and technical assistance from Alaska Child Nutrition Programs prior to starting their Summer Food Service Program and throughout the program’s duration.
All trainings will be in person or by phone, please contact Cyde Coil at firstname.lastname@example.org or 907-465-4969 to register:
Distance Delivery for All Sponsors: Training delivered via WebEx. April 13 8:30 a.m.-noon New and Returning Sponsors.
Schools Training: Training Delivered via WebEx. April 20 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. All School District Sponsors and Staff.
Anchorage In-Person Training: Located at BP Energy Center 900 E. Benson Blvd. May 2 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. New and Returning Sponsors and Staff.
To sponsor a program this summer, schools and organizations should contact program specialist Alicia Maryott at 907-465-4788 or email@example.com. Applications, training and sponsor information will be sent upon inquiry. For more information please visit: https://education.alaska.gov/tls/cnp/sfsp.html
Department Recruits for Child Nutrition Position
The Department of Education and Early Development is recruiting among Alaska residents for a project assistant in the Child Nutrition Programs. The position, in Juneau, administers the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program; coordinates residential child care institutions participating in the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, and Afterschool Snack Program; supports the administration of the Summer Food Service Program for schools; and other duties. The recruitment closes at 5 p.m. on March 13. The State of Alaska is an EEO/ADA employer. Individuals requiring accommodations should call 1-800-587-0430 or (907) 465-4095 in Juneau or (907) 465-2815 (TTY). See Job Bulletin.
Alaska CAN-Together Conference Set for March 23-24
The Alaska CAN–Together conference will be held March 23-24 in Anchorage. The conference is sponsored by the Alaska Postsecondary Access & Completion Network, whose goal is for 65 percent of Alaskan adults to have an educational credential by 2025. See http://65by2025.org/ or www.facebook.com/65by2025. The conference includes presentations by the Kodiak Transition Age Group Coalition, the Maritime Apprenticeship Program, and ACT’s STEM report for Alaska. The conference also will partner with Spirit of Youth, which will host its annual awards at an evening reception on March 23.
Study Says GPA Predicts College Grades Better than Test Scores Do
A new study by Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Northwest has found that high school GPA was better than college entrance exam scores at predicting college course grades for recent Alaska high school graduates from both urban and rural areas. The study focused on nearly 18,000 first-time University of Alaska students who enrolled between fall 2008 and spring 2012, and it examined how well high school GPA predicted readiness for college by timing of college entry and whether students came from rural or urban hometowns.
“A common concern around using high school GPA for placement is it might not be comparable across high schools,” said lead researcher Michelle Hodara. “So, we looked at how its predictive power might vary based on whether high school graduates came from rural or urban hometowns in Alaska. While these students attended very different high schools with potentially different rigor, high school GPA remained a strong predictor of college success.”
The study also found that high school GPA was more predictive of college course grades for students who directly entered college from high school compared with those who delayed entry. This study builds on a previous REL Northwest study that found high school GPA was a stronger predictor of college academic performance than scores on standardized college entrance exams among first-time students at the University of Alaska.
SLED Highlight: Governors of Alaska Guide
The library workers behind SLED, the Statewide Library Electronic Doorway, have implemented a new highlighted resource feature. Their first highlighted SLED resource is Governors of Alaska guide. Using primary resources, this guide offers the locations of official papers of the governors. It includes locations of records that are not considered part of the official records, such as personal papers, campaign papers, and other materials.
Arctic Broadband Forum Set for May in Fairbanks
The University of Alaska and University of the Arctic are hosting the Arctic Broadband Forum 2017 in Fairbanks on May 8-9. It is being held just prior to the Arctic Ministerial meeting and in conjunction with the International Arctic Assembly and the Mayor’s Arctic Roundtable. The forum will unite educators, researchers, and industry from across the world to discuss telecommunications and broadband deployment in the Arctic for business, healthcare, and education. Emphasis will be placed on the role of broadband and digital technologies in cultural preservation and the self-determination of indigenous populations in the Arctic. See http://tabf2017.alaska.edu.
UAF to Host an Athabascan Astronomy Event
The University of Alaska Fairbanks will host a free stargazing event, Northern Dene (Athabascan) Astronomy, on March 6, starting at 6:30 p.m. The evening will begin in Room 202 of the Reichardt Building on the Fairbanks campus. UAF doctoral student Chris Cannon will give a presentation about Northern Dene astronomy, including the Alaska Gwich'in constellation yahdii, which spans nearly the entire sky and comprises 16 groups of stars named after body parts. Following the presentation, Mr. Cannon will lead a star walk. Participants are encouraged to dress for the weather. Mr. Cannon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ASD Creates Lessons Related to Commemoration of the Treaty of Cession
From Seward's Day, March 30, 2017, through Alaska Day, October 18, 2017, Alaska will commemorate the sesquicentennial of the signing of the Treaty of Cession that took place on March 30, 1867. The treaty transferred Alaska from Russia to the United States. The Anchorage School District received an incentive grant from the Alaska Historical Commission. Anchorage teachers produced lessons and activities focused on this rich history for students from elementary through secondary level. These resources are now available for teachers across Alaska to use in their classrooms. ASD Russian immersion teachers translated specific lesson handouts, enabling students to learn about this significant event in Russian. See the Sesquicentennial of the Treaty of Cession Resource and click on resources.
Museum of the North Focuses Family Day on Photography
The University of Alaska Museum of the North will hold a Family Day exploring film and photography on March 4, from noon to 4 p.m. There will be examples of historical films on display, as well as a portrait gallery, scavenger hunt and other activities. There is no admission fee for children 14 and under at Family Days. The museum is also exploring film and photography at hands-on programs all month. Families are invited to drop in with children 5 and under at Early Explorers each Friday from 10 a.m. to noon. Junior Curators, for kids 6 and up, meets March 11, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. A newer program, Teen Studio on March 25, offers an opportunity for young adults ages 13-18 to try light painting. See www.uaf.edu/museum.
Department Recruiting for a Director of Student Learning
The Department of Education and Early Development is seeking a Director of Student Learning, who will be responsible, either directly or through division staff, for overseeing the work of the Deputy Director, the Rural Education Coordinator, an Education Associate, and four teams working to ensure that each student in Alaska is offered an education that meets the state standards, and has the supports necessary to achieve excellence in that education. Applications are due by 4:30 p.m. Alaska time on March 15. The State of Alaska is an EEO/ADA employer. Individuals requiring accommodations should call 1-800-587-0430 or (907) 465-4095 in Juneau or (907) 465-2815 (TTY). View the complete recruitment notice.
Attend an AAEC Summer Arts Institute
The Alaska Arts Education Consortium has announced plans for five 2017 Summer Arts Education Institutes. For institutes that are open for registration, see www.akartsed.org. May 22-26, Unalakleet Arts are Exceptional Special Education and the Arts Institute one week, 3 credits. June 5-16, Sitka Basic Arts Institute, two weeks, 4 credits. July 24-August 4, Juneau Basic & Beyond Arts Institute, two weeks with special event during the second week, 4 credits. July 31-August 4, Anchorage Arts are Exceptional Special Education and the Arts Institute one week, 3 credits. August 9-13 Sitka Cultural Arts Institute, one week, 3 credits.