Inside This Edition:
- Two Alaska Students Named Presidential Scholars for 2017
- Department Seeks Educators for Alignment Study
- Fourth R Healthy Relationships Curriculum Teacher Training
- State Board to Hold Work Session on May 24
- Alaskans Can Vote for K9s’ Names on Governor’s Facebook Page
- Anchorage Fourth-graders Will Learn About Salmon in Urban Streams
- Student Loan Corporation Sets Base Rates for 2017-2018
- Math Society Sponsors High School Competition
- Michael Dunham to Lecture at APK Building in Juneau
- Request for the K-12 Talent Pool Nominations
- Comment on Draft of ESSA State Plan is Extended to May 28
- Alaska Receives Grant to Engage Teachers in its ESSA Plan
- Title IIB Math & Science Partnership Grant Opportunity
- East Anchorage High Wins Music Grant
- Workshop Set for FY2019 Capital Improvement Project Grant Application
- Openings Still Available at Summer Arts Institutes
- Seminar about Resilient Educators set for June in Girdwood
- Department is Recruiting for Two Positions
- Opportunity for Title IIA Subgrants to Eligible Partnerships
- School Leadership Institute Set for May 22-24
- Eric Fry: (907) 465-2851
Two Alaska Students Named Presidential Scholars for 2017
Makayla Maisey, a graduating senior at Dimond High School in Anchorage, and Adam Skelton, a graduating senior at South Anchorage High School, have been named Alaska’s 2017 Presidential Scholars. They will be invited to a recognition program in June in Washington, D.C., where they will receive medallions. The Presidential Scholars Program recognizes graduating seniors who have demonstrated leadership, scholarship, contribution to school and community, and outstanding accomplishments in the arts, sciences, humanities, and other fields of interest. From nearly 3.5 million graduating seniors this year, only 723 students were selected semifinalists in the program. From that pool a young man and woman were chosen from each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and families of U.S. citizens living abroad. See ed.gov/psp.
Department Seeks Educators for Alignment Study
The Department of Education and Early Development is seeking Alaska educators to participate in a study of the alignment of the new state assessments to the Alaska standards. The study will take place in Anchorage on August 2-4. Panelists’ travel, lodging, a per diem, and a daily stipend will be covered, if eligible. Apply by May 22. For questions, contact Margaret MacKinnon, Director of Assessment & accountability, at Margaret.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fourth R Healthy Relationships Curriculum Teacher Training
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 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 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. Travel scholarships are available. To pre-register, please contact Samantha.Wilson@alaska.gov or call 907-465-2304. Deadline to pre-register COB May 15.
State Board to Hold Work Session on May 24
The State Board of Education and Early Development will hold a work session on May 24 by audio conference originating at the Commissioner’s Office boardroom, second floor, 801 West 10th Street in Juneau. The meeting will begin at 2 p.m. The board will not take public comment. The public is invited to listen to the audio conference, which is expected to last one hour, by calling 1-800-315-6338 and using access code 16107. The purpose of the meeting is to hold a work session to receive an update from Commissioner Dr. Michael Johnson on department activity. The board’s meeting packet is available on DEED's State Board page under meeting dates. Persons with disabilities who need accommodations to participate should contact Shawn Sypeck 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.
Alaskans Can Vote for K9s’ Names on Governor’s Facebook Page
As part of the Safer Alaska initiative, Governor Bill Walker has announced the final stage of the competition to name two new drug-detection K9s for the Alaska State Troopers. Sixth-grade classrooms from around the state submitted their favorite names for the dogs. Those suggestions have been narrowed down to the top three names for each dog. All Alaskans are invited to vote for their favorite name via a poll on Governor Walker’s official Facebook page. The winning names will be announced May 15.
“On behalf of the Departments of Education and Early Development and Public Safety, I would like to thank the more than 1,000 students in more than 70 classrooms from all across our great state who submitted names for consideration,” Governor Walker said. “We would also like to recognize the many teachers who rallied their classrooms to participate in the contest and to acknowledge those who used the Department of Education’s accompanying lesson plan to inform students of the dangers of illicit drug use. It’s critical that citizens of all ages are engaged in creating a Safer Alaska.”
Anchorage Fourth-graders Will Learn About Salmon in Urban Streams
More than 300 fourth-graders from the Anchorage School District will gather at Westchester Lagoon on May 16-18 to receive hands-on learning about what it takes for salmon to survive and complete their life cycle in the city’s Chester Creek watershed and other urban streams. It’s part of the district’s effort to boost science, technology, engineering and math education. With help from Alaska Sea Grant through its Alaska Seas and Watersheds curriculum, the students have learned about their watershed and the salmon life cycle during classroom instruction. They have visited the stream nearest their school to apply their knowledge to determine if salmon can survive there.
This event is part of the Anchorage School District’s Watershed Education Program developed by the Anchorage School District STEM Department in partnership with Alaska Sea Grant, Alaska Geographic, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the 4-H program of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service, Get Outdoors Anchorage, and the Anchorage Parks Foundation. Alaska Sea Grant is a statewide marine research, education, and outreach program. It is a partnership between the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. See alaskaseagrant.org.
Student Loan Corporation Sets Base Rates for 2017-2018
The Alaska Student Loan Corporation has set base rates for 2017-2018 student and family loans at 5.75%, with a discounted rate available to students who attend school in Alaska or who live in Alaska after graduation. This is a steep drop from the prior year, and a sharp contrast with federal rate increases. The rate on the federal PLUS loan for parents and graduate students is expected to be 7.0%. These new rates mean a parent planning to take out a $10,000 PLUS loan could save $822 over the life of the loan by choosing the Alaska Family Education Loan (FEL) instead. The corporation’s public mission drives it to set interest rates as low as possible while maintaining fiscal soundness.
Joey Crum, President of Northern Industrial Training and Chair of the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education, appreciates that state loans make career training accessible to students. “Our programs are designed to and succeed in putting students to work, but don’t qualify for federal financial aid,” he said. Corporation Executive Officer Stephanie Butler stresses that it’s important for students to access all non-loan aid before borrowing, and to do their research before taking on an education loan. “If you borrow, borrow only the minimum you need — and read the fine print when choosing the loan that’s right for you. Remember that federal loans often offer unique benefits, such as income-based repayment. Make sure you double-check to see which benefits apply to your loan before you sign.” See acpe.alaska.gov/Loans.
Math Society Sponsors High School Competition
The American Mathematical Society sponsors the contest Who Wants to Be a Mathematician for high school students in the U.S. and Canada; there is no cost to participate. Qualifying takes place in two rounds, which most students take online, starting in September. Finalists qualify for the third round, which takes place in the host city for the annual Joint Mathematics Meetings. The top prize is $10,000: $5,000 for the student and $5,000 for the math department of the student’s school. All of the finalists win cash and a prize. The next finals take place in San Diego on January 13. The sponsor pays for travel, food, and lodging for each of the 11 contestants and one accompanying adult. Teachers who would like to register for next school year’s contest or who would like more information can email Michael Breen at firstname.lastname@example.org. See ams.org/programs/students/wwtbam/wwtbam.
Michael Dunham to Lecture at APK Building in Juneau
Michael Dunham, author of The Man Who Bought Alaska and The Man Who Sold Alaska, will present a slide-lecture at the Father Andrew P. Kashevaroff State Library, Archives, and Museum at 395 Whittier Street in Juneau on June 6 at noon. The presentation will connect key events in the lives of U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward and Tsar Alexander II. The talk puts what is popularly called "the Purchase of Alaska" into the context of the other significant events in the careers of these two statesmen, including their part in ending slavery in their respective countries. It also sheds light on U.S. General Jefferson Davis and Chilkat leader Koh'Klux at the time of the acquisition of Russia's claims in North America by the United States 150 years ago.
A person experiencing a disability who needs accommodation for events hosted by the Alaska State Library, Archives, and Museum can contact the division’s ADA coordinator at 907-465-2988 to make any necessary arrangements. The Alaska State Library provides research services for state employees, assists historical researchers and the public, manages Talking Book services for Alaskans with visual impairments, and collects Alaska-related books, photographs, manuscripts, newspapers, government documents, and periodicals. Hours at the Alaska State Library are Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., or Mondays by arrangement. For more information about the library and its services, please visit library.alaska.gov/.
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. Please fill out the 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 email@example.com or 907-465-8703.
Comment on Draft of ESSA State Plan is Extended to May 28
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 online.
Alaska Receives Grant to Engage Teachers in its ESSA Plan
Alaska has received a $10,000 grant from the Council of Chief State School Officers to further engage educators about the new federal K-12 law, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Under the grant, a group of Alaska teachers will gain a deeper understanding of ESSA so they can reach out locally to engage educators about the state’s plan to implement the law. Alaska also will convene teacher focus groups to help implement the state’s plan and to propose recommendations on future policy decisions.
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. Please direct all questions to Bjørn Wolter at firstname.lastname@example.org. A one-hour webinar FAQ about the grant will be held at 3 p.m. May 22. The meeting number is 802 598 923. You also can join by phone at 1-907-269-3000 and 1-907-269-7570.
East Anchorage High Wins Music Grant
East Anchorage High School is one of seven schools nationwide to receive a Grammy Museum enterprise award this year. The $2,000 grant will boost their music programs. The Grammy Museum is a non-profit partnership between The Recording Academy and the Anschutz Entertainment Group.
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
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.
- Summer in the Juneau Rainforest
- 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.
- Arts, Culture and Technology in Sitka
- 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).
- Arts are Exceptional in Anchorage
- 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.
Department is Recruiting for Two Positions
The Department of Education and Early Development is recruiting for two positions:
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).
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 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 Every Student Succeeds Act for rural school systems.