Inside This Edition:
- Alaska Teacher of the Year Nominations are Open
- Alaska State System of Support Seeks Experienced Alaska Teachers as Coaches
- State Board to Meet March 27-29 in Juneau
- Help Develop the ESSA State Application
- Milken Family Foundation Highlights Alaska Educator Paul Campbell
- Nominations Open for Superintendent of the Year
- Two Students Named Alaska Delegates to National Youth Science Camp
- Nominations Open for Presidential Awards in Math and Science Teaching
- Department Publishes Updated Handbook for Capital Project Administration
- Arts Training for Teachers Working with Special Education Students
- Deadline Extended for a UA Scholarship Related to Education Degree
- Recipients of First Alaska Performance Scholarships are Entering the Workforce
- Recorded WebEx on the Alaska Developmental Profile is Available
- Museum Lecture to Explore Life after Kasatochi Volcano Eruption
- School Leadership Institute Set for May 22-24
- Summer Food Service Program Looking for Local Sites
- Attend an AAEC Summer Arts Institute
- Della Hall Named Executive Director of Museums Alaska
- Foundation Helps Nonprofits, Including Schools, Build Capacity
- Eric Fry: (907) 465-2851
Alaska Teacher of the Year Nominations are Open
The Alaska Teacher of the Year 2018 nomination process is open through May 1. 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 AlaskaTOY@alaska.gov or 907-465-8703. For additional information: education.alaska.gov/RecognitionPrograms/TOY/
Alaska State System of Support Seeks Experienced Alaska Teachers as Coaches
The Department of Education and Early Development is seeking responses from qualified and experienced Alaskan educators for the State System of Support Coaching Program. Coaches will apply their education skills to increase the capacity of low-performing schools and districts to raise student achievement. Offerors must have knowledge of current research and practices in the six effective school domains of curriculum, assessment, instruction, supportive learning environment, professional development and leadership. Coaches work as independent contractors. See http://notice.alaska.gov/184945.
State Board to Meet March 27–29 in Juneau
The State Board of Education and Early Development will meet on March 27–29 at the first–floor classroom in the Andrew P. Kashevaroff Building at 395 Whittier Street, Juneau. The meeting will begin at 1:00 p.m. March 27 with a work session, 8:30 a.m. March 28 for board professional development, and 10:15 a.m. March 29 to continue the work session and hold the business meeting. In addition, the advisory board of the Alaska Public School Trust will hold its annual meeting at 4:15 p.m. March 27 in the same location as above, to review the trust’s finances and investments.
The board will take public comment on agenda and non-agenda items starting at approximately 1:15 p.m. March 27. Comment at this oral hearing is limited to three minutes per person and five minutes per group. Public comment can be made for this meeting, during this time only, by calling 1-844-586-9085 if you are outside of Juneau. For participation from Juneau, call 586-9085.
This meeting will be streamed through the Legislative Information Office over http://www.alaskalegislature.tv/ (audio only) beginning at 1:00 p.m. on March 27 and 10:15 a.m. March 29. Click on the meeting name to listen to the proceedings. When public comment is over, the meeting will continue to be broadcast at the above website.
Oral comment also can be made by visiting your local Legislative Information Office (LIO). The following LIO’s will participate: Anchorage, Barrow, Bethel, Cordova, Delta Junction, Dillingham, Fairbanks, Glennallen, Homer, Juneau, Kenai, Ketchikan, Kodiak, Kotzebue, Mat-Su, Nome, Petersburg, Seward, Sitka, Tok, Unalaska, Valdez, and Wrangell. For more information about LIO’s, call 907-465-4648.
Topics at the work session include an update on the state plan to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act, the final school construction and major maintenance lists, an update on the legislative session and the department’s budget, a resolution to support more credit pathways at the University of Alaska, renewals of three charters (Aurora Borealis, Fireweed Academy, and Soldotna Montessori), three regulations to go out for public comment (pre-elementary, physical exams for school staff, and career and college ready assessments), and adoption of a museum fee regulation.
Topics at the business meeting include the regulations listed above, approval of Robert Williams as Director of Educator & School Excellence, standing reports from department divisions and the Commissioner, strategic planning, previous meeting minutes, the charters listed above, the resolution mentioned above, and the construction and major maintenance lists.
The board may amend its published agenda. Agenda times are estimates only, and the board may consider agenda items out of order without amending its agenda. The board’s meeting packet is available online at http://education.alaska.gov/State_Board/ by clicking on the meeting date. Persons with disabilities who need accommodations to participate should contact Melissa Bell at 907-465-2802 or e-mail email@example.com at least five days before the accommodation is needed. For more information, call 907-465-2800.
Help Develop the ESSA State Application
2017 Spring Leadership Working Conference, Building the ESSA State Application, Friday, April 21, Dena’ina Center, Anchorage. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) offers Alaska an opportunity to develop state policy that is responsive to Alaska’s unique educational environment. Join us in Anchorage on Friday, April 21 for presentations, discussions, and planning as we consider how to move forward with teaching and learning in our state.
ESSA shifts much of the policymaking power from the U.S. Education Department to the states. The legislation empowers states to develop their own accountability systems that measure student progress and affords them the authority to determine how best to improve student and school performance.
- To clarify what ESSA is and is not for Alaska.
- To learn about specific actions for complying with key elements of the plan under Title I.
- To provide feedback regarding the areas of standards and assessment, accountability, and support for low-performing schools.
- To learn about new classifications for teachers and administrators under Title I and Title II.
The event is sponsored by the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development in partnership with Alaska Staff Development Network/Alaska Council of School Administrators. For more information and online registration, visit https://www.regonline.com/builder/site/?eventid=1958479.
Milken Family Foundation Highlights Alaska Educator Paul Campbell
The Milken Family Foundation has published an online article about Milken Educator Paul Campbell of Alaska. Mr. Campbell teaches first and second grade at Chester Valley Elementary in the Anchorage School District. You may find the article at www.milkeneducatorawards.org/connections/articles/view/paul-campbell-chester-valley-anchorage-alaska-spotlight.
Nominations Open for Superintendent of the Year
The selection committee is seeking nominations for the 2018 Alaska Superintendent of the Year. Nominations can be made by school board members, parents, colleagues, community members, or anyone who has personal knowledge of an Alaska superintendent’s performance and qualifications. Candidates should exemplify educational effectiveness, knowledge, leadership, ethics, and commitment.
In addition, the selection committee will judge each candidate on the following criteria:
- Leadership for Learning — creativity in successfully meeting the needs of students in his or her school system
- Communication — strength in both personal and organizational communication.
- Professionalism — constant improvement of administrative knowledge and skills, while providing professional development opportunities and motivation to others on the educational team.
- Community Involvement — active participation in local community activities and an understanding of regional, national and international issues.
Any superintendent or top leader of a school system who plans to continue in the profession may be nominated. Please email nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to the ASA Executive Director, 234 Gold Street, Juneau, AK 99801 by May 1. Nomination application: SOY2018 Nomination Form (pdf).
Two Students Named Alaska Delegates to National Youth Science Camp
Grace Day from West High in Anchorage and Cameron Edwards from Ketchikan High School have been named this year’s Alaska delegates to the National Youth Science Camp in West Virginia. The camp is a residential science program for youth the summer after they graduate from high school. Students from around the country are challenged academically in lectures and hands-on studies, and they can participate in an outdoor adventure program and establish friendships that last a lifetime. For more information, visit http://www.nysf.com/w/.
Nominations Open for Presidential Awards in Math and Science Teaching
The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) program honors excellent teaching and promotes strong STEM education. A White House program administered by the National Science Foundation (NSF), it is the nation’s highest honor for K-12 teachers of mathematics and science (including computer science). Awardees receive a trip to D.C., a certificate signed by the President, and a $10,000 award from NSF. To be eligible in 2017, teachers must be full-time employees of a school or school district who teach within grades 7 to 12 at least half of the day, and who have at least five years of teaching experience prior to this school year. Nominate teachers at www.paemst.org. The deadline is April 1.
Department Publishes Updated Handbook for Capital Project Administration
The Department of Education and Early Development has published a revised Capital Project Administration Handbook, 2017 Edition. The publication provides information to school districts and municipal entities on meeting project agreement requirements in compliance with statutes and regulations governing debt reimbursement and grant capital project funding (AS 14.11). Revisions include additional information for required project submittals and guidance on additional work and changes in project scope. Visit education.alaska.gov/Facilities/publications/CapitalProjectAdminstrationHandbook.pdf for details.
Arts Training for Teachers Working with Special Education Students
The Alaska Arts Education Consortium is offering Arts are Exceptional one-week institutes in Unalakleet, May 22-26, and Anchorage, July 31-August 4. These special education-focused institutes are open to all K-12 educators who are interested in learning skills and techniques pertinent to special needs students, including modifications and adaptations of classroom practices through the arts. Daily sessions include theory and hands-on activity sessions—including art, music, drama, and movement. Educators will experience the diverse ways that students can access learning and gain skills, increasing the ease and likelihood of success for all students. See www.akartsed.org or contact Barbara Short at email@example.com.
Deadline Extended for UA Scholarship Related to Education Degree
The University of Alaska Change Force (drivechangeak.org) is accepting applications for a $12,000 scholarship for an Alaska high school student who plans to pursue a degree in education. Applications are due April 15. See https://uaptw.typeform.com/to/MBs2Sc.
Recipients of First Alaska Performance Scholarships are Entering the Workforce
Karen Clement was among the first students to be eligible for an Alaska Performance Scholarship (APS), created by the Alaska legislature in 2010. Now she has earned her degree and is a member of Alaska’s health care workforce, with her story illustrating how the APS is delivering on its goals. “My decision to attend college in Alaska was greatly influenced by the Alaska Performance Scholarship,” she said.
Like many Alaska high school graduates, Ms. Clement initially attended college out-of-state. As college debt began to accrue, Ms. Clement soon realized her APS was something she didn’t want to pass up. “I had to make the decision of how much debt I wanted to graduate with and what I really wanted. I chose to come back to Alaska to work on my degree and I don’t regret it,” she said. Ms. Clement returned to Alaska, enrolled at the University of Alaska Anchorage, and graduated with her bachelor of science degree in health sciences in 2016. She is now working in Alaska as a medical assistant. She said she is confident she made the right decision and that her degree has prepared her well.
One goal of the APS is to encourage our higher education-bound recipients to stay in Alaska for college or career training, which increases the likelihood of their remaining in Alaska after graduation and contributing to the Alaska workforce. Early indications are that APS is meeting both these goals.
Stephanie Butler, Executive Director of the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education (ACPE), which administers the APS, says the scholarship is a key tool in preventing an anticipated workforce crisis as Alaska diversifies its economy. “Alaska is facing a shortage of 22,000 workers with career and college education. APS has a role in heading off that crisis by reducing the continued need to hire people from out-of-state for Alaska jobs,” said Ms. Butler.
As reported in the 2016 APS Outcomes Report, 83 percent of APS-eligible students said the APS influenced their decision to attend college or training in-state. Another goal of the APS is to inspire Alaska’s high school students to prepare academically for success in college and career training. Since inception, 14,674 Alaska high school graduates have completed the rigorous requirements needed to become eligible for the APS.
According to the Outcomes report, 74 percent of APS recipients enter college or training ready for college-level work, compared to 43 percent of non-APS recipients. Better academic preparation makes students more likely to complete their degree within four years, as Ms. Clement was able to do. “This scholarship enabled me to finish my degree without having to work more than part-time. I was able to focus on my academics rather than stress about how I would pay for it,” she said.
Other key findings from the recently released APS Outcomes report include that APS-eligible graduates – even those who never received the award - were motivated by the APS to pursue positive behaviors: 67 percent to achieve better grades; 64 percent to take placement exams; 60 percent to seek out college/academic advising; and 56 percent to take more challenging courses.
As Ms. Clement settles into her new career, she reflects on how the APS impacted her: “Had I not had APS, I would have most likely gone to school out-of-state and then joined the workforce in another state. The APS is still making a difference in my life. I did not graduate with a discouraging amount of debt. I am able to work post-graduation, live on my own, and save money for my future.” Find the full 2016 APS Outcomes report at www.acpe.alaska.gov.
Recorded WebEx on the Alaska Developmental Profile is Available
The Department of Education and Early Development’s Early Learning team held a WebEx on February 27 to announce the new Alaska Developmental Profile results. The results can be found at education.alaska.gov/tls/Assessments/Results/results2017.html.
The recorded WebEx explaining the ADP can be found stateofalaska.webex.com/stateofalaska/ldr.php?RCID=00c6a27a332db603bcd9cbe0e5e77637.
Museum Lecture to Explore Life after Kasatochi Volcano Eruption
The University of Alaska Museum of the North Discovery Series features a different curator each month unveiling new discoveries based on research in the museum’s collections. The presentations will be held in the museum auditorium on Thursdays at 12 p.m.; they are free and open to the public. This year’s series includes the following presentations:
- March 23, “The Ongoing Return of Life to Kasatochi Volcano,” by Derek Sikes
- April 20, “Worth a Thousand Words: Preserving Alaska’s Visual History” by Leonard Kamerling
For more information, call 907-474-7505 or visit the museum’s website.
School Leadership Institute Set for May 22–24
Alaska School Leadership Institute 2017, Leadership to Support Instructional Excellence: Making a Positive Impact on the Culture of a School and Maximizing Student Learning, May 22-24, Hilton Hotel, Anchorage. This conference is tailored to small and rural schools and districts. Topics include:
- cultivating the leadership dispositions that grow a positive school culture,
- providing effective feedback,
- building and supporting a highly effective system with mathematics,
- and the impacts and opportunities of the new ESSA for rural school systems.
More information and registration. This event is sponsored by Alaska Staff Development Network/Alaska Council of School Administrators and the Anchorage School District.
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.
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 p.m.-3 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.-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: education.alaska.gov/tls/cnp/sfsp.html.
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 http://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.
Della Hall Named Executive Director of Museums Alaska
Museums Alaska has hired Della Hall of Fairbanks as its new executive director. The selection was made after a statewide search process. “Della has been an active and engaged member of our board since 2015,” said Molly Conley, President of Museums Alaska. “She is a strong leader, a great communicator, and an excellent problem solver. Della knows the needs of our organization and has no shortage of ideas for pushing us to the next level.”
Ms. Hall holds a master’s degree in history with a certificate in museum studies from the University of Delaware and a bachelor’s degree in history, technology, and society from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She has worked in Alaska as an archivist with the Alaska and Polar Regions Collections and Archives, collections manager at the Pioneer Air Museum, curatorial assistant at the University of Alaska Museum of the North, and as a consultant at the Tanana Valley Railroad Museum. She will be responsible for providing a central office for Museums Alaska, administering two statewide grant programs and assisting with the coordination of the annual conference held in conjunction with the Alaska Historical Society each fall.
Foundation Helps Nonprofits, Including Schools, Build Capacity
The Alaska Community Foundation offers the Strengthening Organizations grant program to fund projects that will help Alaska nonprofits become better equipped to meet their missions. Eligible nonprofit organizations apply for grants to build the capacity of their organizations. Eligibility is limited to 501(c)3 nonprofit, or equivalent, organizations located in Alaska. Equivalent organizations may include tribes, schools, churches, local government agencies and programs. Applicants are strongly encouraged to speak with staff ahead of time to discuss their project and to submit a draft proposal for review. Please contact program staff at firstname.lastname@example.org or 907-334-6700 for a draft review. See http://www.alaskacf.org.