Inside This Edition:
- Fifth-grader Liliana Rovira Wins Choose Respect Poster Contest
- Request for the K-12 Talent Pool Nominations
- Opportunity to Comment on Draft of ESSA State Plan is Extended
- Caroline Tritt-Frank Helps Teach a Village the Value of Education
- Lorrie Heagy to Receive Honorary Doctorate from UAS
- Dr. Johnson-Struempler Named Secondary Principal of the Year
- Robotics Program Helps Drama Club with a Complicated Prop
- Fish and Game Offers Resources for Educators
- Fourth R Healthy Relationships Curriculum Teacher Training on June 1-2
- Title IIB Math & Science Partnership Grant Opportunity
- Sheldon Jackson Museum Switches to Summer Operations
- Juneau, Anchorage Libraries to be NASA@ My Library Partners
- Anchorage School District and Municipality Add Shared Services
- Juneau Public Lecture on Treatment of Opiod Addiction
- Online Publication Ranks UAF Elementary Education Program Highly
- Anchorage Students to Join Bike to School Day on May 10
- Workshop Set for FY2019 Capital Improvement Project Grant Application
- Openings Still Available at Summer Arts Institutes for Teachers
- Seminar about Resilient Educators set for June in Girdwood
- Register for DTi Network Conference in Soldotna by May 8
- Department is Recruiting for Two Positions
- Sixth-grade Classrooms Invited to Submit Names for Two K9s
- E-rate Filing Deadline is May 11
- State Board Seeks Comments on Three Proposed Regulation Packages
- Opportunity for Title IIA Subgrants to Eligible Partnerships
- Alaska State System of Support Seeks Experienced Alaska Teachers as Coaches
- School Leadership Institute Set for May 22-24
- Eric Fry: (907) 465-2851
Fifth-grader Liliana Rovira Wins Choose Respect Poster Contest
Governor Bill Walker has announced the winner of the 2017 poster contest for Choose Respect: Alaskans Pulling Together, which is part of his Safer Alaska Initiative. Liliana Rovira, a fifth-grader at Government Hill Elementary in the Anchorage School District, was selected from more than 200 entrants. She will receive a framed copy of the winning artwork and a plaque.
"It is always a pleasure to see our young people and students engaged on critical issues facing Alaska," Governor Walker said. "Donna and I were thrilled with all of the entries and the unique ways our young people encapsulated what ‘pulling together for each other’ truly means. Congratulations to Liliana for her winning entry." View the winning poster.
Request for the K-12 Talent Pool Nominations
This is your opportunity to give something back to the educators who are of great value to your district, community, and state. The Department of Education and Early Development is seeking applications that identify exemplary K-12 teachers and principals. We are looking for educators, relatively new to the profession, who demonstrate outstanding instructional and leadership abilities that impact students, colleagues, and the community. These distinguished educators are considered for special recognition programs, statewide and national advisory boards, and task forces. A minimum of five years in education is required.
These educators may be elementary, middle, or high school teachers or administrators — typically classroom teachers, as opposed to specialists — and are known by peers and supervisors as unique in their field. Previous formal recognition is not required. In fact, we prefer educators who are outstanding but have not received other recognition.
The information you provide will be confidential. The application form is available online: K-12 Talent Pool Nomination Form. All questions must be answered, preferably typewritten. Include a resume and one-page narrative that addresses how the candidate meets the criteria mentioned in your letter. We ask that you keep this recommendation confidential and do not share it with the nominee. Complete applications are due by June 1, 2017. For questions, please contact Cecilia Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org or 907-465-8703.
Opportunity to Comment on Draft of ESSA State Plan is Extended
The Department of Education and Early Development (DEED) is seeking public comment on the first draft of the state plan to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the new federal education law. ESSA provides states with greater flexibility than the No Child Left Behind Act it replaces. States must submit plans to the U.S. Department of Education by Sept. 18 to show how they will implement ESSA.
Alaska’s first draft was shaped by over 4,000 stakeholder comments from nearly 1,000 Alaskans at 40-plus meetings conducted across the state over the last year. DEED now is seeking additional public comment to strengthen the first draft, ensuring that the plan takes full advantage of expanded state and local options and addresses the state’s unique educational needs and priorities.
DEED will gather public comment on this first draft through 8 p.m. on May 28. For the public’s convenience, DEED has created eight feedback forms that address the plan’s various sections. Members of the public may comment on the entire plan or only on the sections that interest them. DEED encourages the public to read the plan’s section(s) before commenting. The plan and all eight feedback forms are available at on the DEED's Alaska ESSA page.
Caroline Tritt-Frank Helps Teach a Village the Value of Education
Looking Forward, an online publication of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, has published an article about the achievements of Caroline Tritt-Frank. She became the first person from Vashraii K’oo (Arctic Village) — a community of about 175 people where Gwich’in have lived for thousands of years — to graduate from college.
After graduating from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 1990, Ms. Tritt-Frank was promoted from a teacher’s aide to the teacher at the Arctic Village School, where she had worked since 1972. As a Gwich’in immersion teacher, she taught all classes in science, reading, and social studies in her indigenous language. Although it wasn’t possible to translate all of the curriculum into Gwich’in, Ms. Tritt-Frank used the language to make academics more meaningful and relevant to her students. The article was written by Leona Long, the public information officer for the UAF College of Rural and Community Development and Interior Alaska Campus. To receive Looking North, contact email@example.com.
Lorrie Heagy to Receive Honorary Doctorate from UAS
Lorrie Heagy, the music teacher at Glacier Valley Elementary School in Juneau, will receive an honorary doctorate of education from the University of Alaska Southeast. She will deliver the commencement address at the UAS Juneau graduation ceremony on May 7. Ms. Heagy works alongside other teachers to provide arts-integrated experiences to all students. She has 20 years of experience in the classroom and was Alaska Teacher of the Year in 2011. Ms. Heagy attended the New England Conservatory as a Sistema Fellow, after which she created Juneau Alaska Music Matters, which provides tuition-free string instruction to 600 students throughout the Juneau School District. Ms. Heagy provides teacher training in brain-based learning, student engagement, and positive youth development throughout the nation and at the UAS Master of Arts in Teaching program. She holds three master’s degrees in education and is pursuing a Ph.D. in education.
Dr. Johnson-Struempler Named Secondary Principal of the Year
Dr. Kersten Johnson-Struempler, principal of South Anchorage High School, has been selected as the Alaska Secondary School Principal of the Year by the Alaska Association of Secondary School Principals (AASSP). She has served as principal at South Anchorage High School for seven years.
"I’m in awe with how much knowledge she has and the busy schedule she is able to handle, while still being able to attend every sports game to cheer on the wolverines with her students," said a South Anchorage High School student who wrote an essay for Principal Johnson-Struempler’s application. "While she puts an extreme emphasis on the academics at South, she recognizes high school is more than that for us. It's not only where we learn subjects like calculus and literature, but where we meet our friends, build social skills, thrive in sports, and learn valuable like skills that are going to stick with us for the rest of our life."
Mary McMahon, President of AASSP said, "Dr. Johnson-Struempler is a committed education leader. We are so pleased to have a person of her talent and skills to represent Alaskan principals."
"SAHS serves about 1500 students and is widely known as the number one achieving comprehensive high school in the State of Alaska. Academics are of high importance, as is community and school involvement," Principal Johnson-Struempler said. "SAHS students are largely involved in a variety of athletic and club offerings both during the day and as extra-curricular activities. Eighty-five percent of South students will participate in one or more activities during the school year. This large participation rate is a key to success for SAHS students."
Principal Johnson-Struempler will be honored during the 2017 Alaska Principals’ Conference. The event will be held at the Anchorage Sheraton Hotel on October 22-24. Visit alaskaprincipal.org.
Robotics Program Helps Drama Club with a Complicated Prop
Members of the robotics program at Thunder Mountain High School in Juneau — Teilhard Buzzell, Miranda Hirst, and Ryan Galaktionoff — collaborated with the school’s drama club to enhance a prop for Beauty and the Beast, the spring musical.
Together with coach Carol May and community volunteer Kerry Lear, they went through several phases of designing and building. The final product includes four clumps of petals attached to the bud by magnets. Each petal clump is attached to a servo motor (hidden beneath a table) by fishing line. The students used JAVA to program a controller to rotate the motor just enough to drop a petal at the touch of a button. The controller is up in the booth and communicates with the rose through two phones using Wi-Fi direct. Watch how the robotic rose works.
Coach May said, "The students are so grateful to have this opportunity to work with the drama department. During our robotics season they are very focused on their own robot. This gave them a chance to share their programming and design skills in a real-life application." The feeling was mutual. When the cast and crew saw the rose working for the first time, they enthusiastically applauded the young engineers.
The Juneau Economic Development Council proudly implements the FIRST Robotics programs across Alaska, funded by corporate partners, including statewide sponsors BP, Alaska Airlines, GCI, Alaska Communications, Conoco Phillips, and Delta Western.
Fish and Game Offers Resources for Educators
The Department of Fish and Game offers Alaska Wildlife Curriculum Guides to inspire students to learn more about math, science, and the outdoors. All five curriculum guides download free. In addition, fall workshops are planned for the Iditarod School District, Fairbanks North Star Borough School District, Yukon Koyukuk School District, and in Mat-Su and Anchorage. Call 907-267-2216 to ask about professional development.
Fourth R Healthy Relationships Curriculum Teacher Training on June 1-2
Special Fourth R Healthy Relationships Curriculum training is being offered June 1-2 in conjunction with the Anchorage School District Summer Learning Academy. One professional development credit is offered by the University of Alaska Anchorage. See course #52 at asdk12.org/pld/asdsummeracademy/.
The Fourth R (R = Relationships) is an evidence-based comprehensive health education curriculum that focuses on healthy relationships and decision-making relevant to adolescents to reduce violence and many of today's risk behaviors. It is one of the recommended curricula by the Alaska Safe Children’s Act Task Force for dating violence prevention in grades 7–12. The training is designed for teachers and health teachers grades 7–12, school nurses or school counselors intending to implement the Fourth R Curriculum in a school setting, or professional community partners intending to implement the program in a community setting or assist their school district with instruction. To pre-register, please contact Samantha.Wilson@alaska.gov or call 907-465-2304.
Title IIB Math & Science Partnership Grant Opportunity
The Department of Education and Early Development announces a federal partnership grant for teacher/administrator professional development in science and mathematics. Two grants will be awarded—one to focus on science standards, and one to focus on math practices. Both grants will highlight curriculum development and cross-curricular integration. Projects will prepare Alaska teachers and school administrators to develop strategies, units, and ways of thinking that incorporate math and science principles to further career and college readiness. Proposals are due June 16. You may download a copy of the RFP. at Please direct all questions to Bjørn Wolter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sheldon Jackson Museum Switches to Summer Operations
The Sheldon Jackson Museum in Sitka has changed its hours and admission prices for the summer season. Beginning May 2, the museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The museum is closed state holidays. Beginning May 2 general admission is $7 for adults and $6 for seniors. Visitors ages 18 and younger, Friends of Sheldon Jackson Museum, and individuals with Alaska State Museum and Sheldon Jackson Museum passes will be admitted free.
Juneau, Anchorage Libraries to be NASA @ My Library Partners
The Anchorage Public Library and the Juneau Public Libraries have been selected as NASA @ My Library Partners. They will present STEM-related programming from May 1, 2017 to October 31, 2018 (Phase I), with the option to continue into December 2020 (Phase II).
They will receive:
- Two NASA STEM Facilitation Kits for hands-on STEM programming by library staff or outside groups, such as NASA subject matter experts, on the themes Sun-Earth-Moon Connections and Expanding Your Senses.
- A tablet computer, pre-loaded with apps, educational games, and visualizations relevant to the kit materials.
- A $500 programming grant.
- Training webinars about using NASA @ My Library materials in programming.
- Inclusion in a NASA workshop in Denver (February 28 to March 1, 2018).
- An $800 stipend for travel costs.
- Ongoing networking opportunities with participating libraries.
Phase I programs include national and international STEM/space events (such as Earth Day, the 2017 solar eclipse, or International Observe the Moon Night), as well as story times, maker clubs, science cafes, and other STEM-related offerings. Phase 2 programs will receive additional resources, training, and support to continue their STEM program initiatives.
Anchorage School District and Municipality Add Shared Services
The Anchorage School District and Municipality of Anchorage have expanded the services shared between organizations to create operational efficiencies. The additional shared services are in facility and fleet maintenance to reduce labor costs and overhead on needed parts and materials. School district employees will provide preventative maintenance and support to the municipal solid waste facility. The Municipality will assume maintenance work for the district’s heavy equipment fleet. The Municipality will cover labor costs for its employees, and the district will pay for parts and materials. The district and the Municipality also recently merged workers compensation adjustment systems. This shared services agreement means the district no longer needs to purchase a new system, saving taxpayers thousands of dollars. Additionally, the Municipality and District’s Risk Management staffs will support each other during times of heavy workload in order to prevent a lag in response time.
Juneau Public Lecture on Treatment of Opiod Addiction
Rainforest Recovery Center at Bartlett Regional Hospital is hosting a public lecture on medication-assisted treatment of opioid addiction, on May 8 at 6:30 p.m. in the @360 Studio in the KTOO Building, 360 Egan Drive. The lecture with Dr. Rachel Solotaroff will be taped for future broadcast on @360 North Public Television. Dr. Solotaroff is the Chief Medical Officer of the Central City Concern in Portland, Oregon. She will discuss the basics of medication-assisted treatment and the evidence for such treatment. Central City Concern uses a comprehensive integrated approach to address the need of individuals by providing them with housing, health, and recovery assistance.
Bartlett Behavioral Health Medical Director Dr. Jenna Hiestand will introduce Rainforest Recovery Center’s office-based medication-assisted treatment program. The program combines counseling and other recovery supports with the prescribed medications (buprenorphine and naltrexone). A question and answer period will follow the lecture. Come learn about treatment options available in Juneau for those struggling with opioid addiction. For further inquiries, please call 907-796-8654.
Online Publication Ranks UAF Elementary Education Program Highly
The University of Alaska Fairbanks is ranked 7th overall on a new ranking of the 35 best elementary education degrees for 2017. The ranking was published by College Choice, an independent online publication.
"Future elementary schoolteachers want to learn the best educational practices possible," Christian Amondson, Managing Editor of College Choice, said of the ranking. "But they also want to be sure that their education will prepare them to get a job straight out of school, and get one that will pay enough so they don’t remain mired in debt. With a very respectable expected early career salary and extremely low tuition, UAF is a fantastic prospect for future educators."
College Choice developed the ranking by looking at institutional academic reputation, specific program quality, and return on investment. Data comes from the National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. News & World Report, individual college websites, and the National Council for Teacher Quality.
Anchorage Students to Join Bike to School Day on May 10
Paralympic Sit-Skier Andrew Kurka, who recently won a world cub crystal globe, will join more than 100 students from Bayshore Elementary School in Anchorage as they ride their bikes to school for Bike to School Day on May 10. The Bayshore students will gather at 8:15 a.m. outside Carr-Gottstein Park. More than 2,000 students and staff from 49 Anchorage School District schools and facilities are expected to participate in this national Bike Month event. Physical education teachers, health teachers, and other staff are coordinating Bike to School Day events at their schools to encourage a fun and healthy alternative for getting to school. Bike to School Day promotes bicycling safety, safe routes to school and environmental and community benefits. Organizers hope to increase awareness of healthy activities and prepare students for a safe summer season of bicycling.
Workshop Set for FY2019 Capital Improvement Project Grant Application
The Department of Education and Early Development, Facilities section, is offering a free workshop on the FY2019 CIP Grant Application on May 17 at the Westmark Hotel in Anchorage. This full-day workshop will review the FY2019 application, discuss the changes from prior-year applications, offer tips to assist districts in submitting an application that reaches its full scoring potential, and provide an opportunity to ask specific questions on current or upcoming projects. The workshop is open to school district or municipal personnel and interested members of the public. More information.
Openings Still Available at Summer Arts Institutes for Teachers
The Alaska Arts Education Consortium still has some open spaces in the dynamic Arts Summer Institutes. Study arts and culture with teachers from throughout Alaska. Earn credits and return to teaching invigorated. For more information or registration, go to akartsed.org or contact: email@example.com.
- July 24-August 4
- four credits
- two weeks of arts and study of local culture
Very reasonable housing available at the university. In partnership with Sealaska Heritage Foundation, Juneau School District, and the University of Alaska Southeast. Registration fee $495 (member) and $600 (non-member). Scholarships for Juneau, Angoon and Hoonah teachers.
- June 5-16
- four credits
- two weeks of arts, technology, and Alaska culture
Housing available at Sitka Fine Arts Camp. In partnership with Sitka School District and a Sitka committee representing a number of organizations. Registration fee $495 (member) and $600 (non-member).
- July 31-August 4
- three credits
- one week of building knowledge of working with special education students in the arts
In partnership with Anchorage School District and Kennedy Center VSA. Registration fee $249 (member) and $350 (non-member). Twenty $100 scholarships available to the first 20 teachers signing up.
Seminar about Resilient Educators set for June in Girdwood
Brightways Learning is presenting a seminar about resilient educators. It is set for June 12 & 13 at Alyeska Resort in Girdwood. The registration fee is $249. One continuing education credit is available from the University of Alaska Anchorage; the fee must be paid by the participant.
Register for DTi Network Conference in Soldotna by May 8
The DTi Network Conference offers the opportunity to get training in blended learning, designing personalized professional development programs, paper circuitry and data literacy, conductive materials and STEAM in any classroom, and UAS/UAV piloting. The strand fees range from $150 to $330. The conference takes place June 5-7 in Soldotna. The registration deadline is May 8. Get the full details and registration information from smore.com/wqqrs. If you have additional questions, please contact Nicole Fuerst at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Department is Recruiting for Two Positions
The Department of Education and Early Development is recruiting for two positions:
Sixth-grade Classrooms Invited to Submit Names for Two K9s
Alaska’s sixth-grade classes are invited to submit names for two new law enforcement K9s, whose tasks will include searching for illegal drugs. Governor Bill Walker recently declared a public health crisis to address the drug epidemic. The dog-naming contest is an initiative of Safer Alaska Building Strong Communities, to engage students in illicit-drug prevention.
Each sixth-grade class can submit one name for each dog. Be sure to match each name to a specific dog.
- K9A is a very friendly Belgian Malinois, one and a half years old, who prances like a horse when he walks. He is long and lanky.
- K9B, also a Belgian Malinois of the same age, pounces on his toy when he retrieves it. His fur is black from his paws to his knees, so he looks like he’s wearing socks.
Avoid cute names, scary names, or the names of drugs. The names should be easy to say, preferably of one or two syllables. Names with a connection to Alaska might be strong contenders. Winning classes will receive acknowledgement from the Governor or Lt. Governor, a visit from the dog and his handler, and a plaque with a picture of the dog. Submit names or questions to Sharon Fishel at the Department of Education and Early Development at Sharon.email@example.com or 907-465-6523. The deadline is May 10.
E-rate Filing Deadline is May 11
The filing window for all school year 2017-2018 E-rate applications opened February 27. We are in the last days of the filing window. All districts applying for E-rate discounts on Internet Connectivity or Internal Connections must file their FCC Form 471 applications by May 11. If you have questions or need assistance in the matter, please contact DEED E-rate Consultant Valerie Oliver at Valerie.firstname.lastname@example.org or the USAC Client Service Bureau at 1-888-203-8100. The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) will be hosting a webinar intended to assist last-minute filers with the application process on April 27 at 9:00–10:15 a.m. Alaska time. This webinar will walk you through the application process. Register for the webinar online. If you cannot attend the live webinar, it will be recorded and posted to the USAC Online Learning Library.
State Board Seeks Comments on Three Proposed Regulation Packages
The State Board of Education and Early Development has sent out for public comment three packages of proposed regulations. One package repeals regulations that mandated college and career readiness assessments; it also clarifies which holders of a certificate of achievement are eligible for a high school diploma. The second package repeals a state requirement that school district employees undergo a physical examination once every three years. Under the third package, only pre-elementary schools operated by school districts or Head Start agencies will be required to obtain department approval; the program will be more closely aligned with the department's statutory duty to supervise pre-elementary schools that receive direct state or federal funding. Visit DEED Comments page for more details and information on how to comment. The deadline for written comment is 4:30 p.m. May 12.
Opportunity for Title IIA Subgrants to Eligible Partnerships
The Department of Education and Early Development announces a federal partnership grant for teacher/administrator professional development. Grants will support professional development institutes using WIDA CLIMBS curricula. Content and Language Integration as a Means of Bridging Success (CLIMBS) is a professional learning curriculum designed to introduce participants to the use of research-based approaches and WIDA resources to support ELL students in their classrooms.
Training may be either:
- The CLIMBS Course Trainer program (to train district staff as CLIMBS instructors).
- The CLIMBS Course (to train teachers directly at a WIDA event).
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 notice.alaska.gov/184945.
School Leadership Institute Set for May 22-24
The Alaska School Leadership Institute 2017 is titled Leadership to Support Instructional Excellence: Making a Positive Impact on the Culture of a School and Maximizing Student Learning. It will be held May 22-24 at the Hilton Hotel in Anchorage. This conference is tailored for 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 Every Student Succeeds Act for rural school systems.