‘The Our Alaskan Schools Blog Celebrates Its Second Year’ by Sam Jordan

It has been an unprecedented year in Alaskan education for so many reasons. The Our Alaskan Schools blog has been humbled to continue elevating educators’ voices during a time marked by so much challenge and change.

This year our blog hosted over 40 distinct Alaskan education stories from across our great state. To celebrate the completion of our second year, here is a recap of some of our most viewed stories about the ‘great things happening in Alaska’s schools’.

In The Importance of K-12 libraries in Alaska we highlighted the important contributions of school libraries to the school environment. From LKSD we learned how the GEAR UP grant program is supporting rural college and career readiness. In ‘Timing, Timing, Timing’, we saw how educators from across Alaska came together in March virtually to provide reflection and support for the new era of pandemic teaching. Bowman Elementary showed us how the power of focusing on calm can heal us during challenging times. Amidst the pandemic crisis, we saw how schools across Alaska provided unprecedented support to students, parents and communities. We also celebrated the 50-year tradition of Sea Week around Alaska – learning the history behind this uniquely Alaskan education endeavor. Chief Ivan Blunka School shared how it celebrated its 2020 graduating seniors despite COVID lockdowns. We also got to celebrate student art with the Alaska Council of School Administrators virtual ‘Alaska’s Heart through Student Art’ exhibition. From Seward Elementary we learned how puppets can help nurture conversations about social emotional health. Finally, YKSD told us how they are embracing computer science literacy though district wide #CSEdWeek celebrations.

We are already at work on new posts for 2021 and cannot wait to bring them to you. Thank you to everyone who reads this blog and, especially, to the educators around the state who have taken the time to share their unique stories!

(If you missed the amazing stories from year one, you can check out the highlights here.)