‘We Breathe!’ The Power of Calm Classroom by Linda Hulen at Bowman Elementary

What do we do in this new reality of quarantines, hunker downs, alternate work sites, and social distancing? When the numbers of sick and dying are exponentially increasing, alongside more and more friends and family losing their jobs as businesses close? How do we deal with the unprecedented changes that COVID-19 and Coronavirus cause in our daily lives? When stress, anxiety, and fear loom constantly, and normal as we’ve known it no longer exists.

We breathe. We breathe without thinking. Automatically we breathe, unless we are one of the unfortunate souls caught in the worst of Coronavirus.

Continue reading ‘We Breathe!’ The Power of Calm Classroom by Linda Hulen at Bowman Elementary

‘Preludes Program Brings Huge Benefits to the Paul Banks School’ by Sam Jordan at ASDN

For the past three years, students at the Paul Banks K-2nd Elementary School in Homer, Alaska have been spending part of their school week learning to play violin. The ‘Paul Banks Preludes’ program was inspired by the JAMM music program in Juneau, which itself was inspired by the El Sistema music program in Venezuela. Kindergarten and 1st grade students have violin sessions three times per week, while 2nd graders have optional after school sessions twice per week. The program is open to every student, including those with special needs.

Continue reading ‘Preludes Program Brings Huge Benefits to the Paul Banks School’ by Sam Jordan at ASDN

‘Celebrating Black History Month at Clark Middle School’ by Teacher Mary Wells-Brown

We celebrated Black History Month at Clark Middle School in Anchorage this year by creating a walk-through museum. The museum told the story from the days of picking cotton and sharecropping to Katheryn Johnson, the great mathematician whose life was portrayed in the recent movie, “Hidden Figures.”

Continue reading ‘Celebrating Black History Month at Clark Middle School’ by Teacher Mary Wells-Brown

A View From The Window: Our Alaskan Schools in Winter by Sam Jordan at ASDN

Alaska’s winter season is something special. Extreme. Beautiful. Unpredictable. Long. To get to and from school, many students and staff stoically suit up with the necessary hats, gloves, jackets, snow pants and boots, often traversing formidable snow berms and ice encrusted roadways. They also sometimes brave temperatures that can reach down to -65 below zero. The moving thing about Alaska’s school communities is that they embrace these realities with a special brand of Alaskan hardiness and inspired appreciation.

The Our Alaskan Schools Blog is pleased to offer ‘A View from the Window’, a showcase of visual snapshots from seven different schools across the state that highlight what students and staff are experiencing during this unique season in The Last Frontier.        

Continue reading A View From The Window: Our Alaskan Schools in Winter by Sam Jordan at ASDN

‘Baby Raven Reads Visits Evergreen Elementary School in Wrangell’ by Assistant Principal Jenn Miller-Yancey

Evergreen Elementary School students gather to read ’10 Sitka Herring’

Recently at the Evergreen Elementary School library in Wrangell, Alaska, we had a special guest from the Baby Raven Reads program, Delilah Ramirez. Baby Raven Reads is a reading program through Sealaska Heritage that promotes early literacy, language development and school readiness for Alaska Native families with children up to age 5. Continue reading ‘Baby Raven Reads Visits Evergreen Elementary School in Wrangell’ by Assistant Principal Jenn Miller-Yancey

The Our Alaskan Schools Blog Celebrates Its First Year! by Sam Jordan at ASDN

Highlighting and celebrating public education in Alaska is a privilege. Over the past year, the Our Alaskan Schools blog has hosted over 50 unique education stories from across Alaska, most written by educators themselves. To celebrate our first year, here is a brief recap of our ten most viewed stories about the ‘great things happening in Alaska’s schools’.

Continue reading The Our Alaskan Schools Blog Celebrates Its First Year! by Sam Jordan at ASDN

Akiak School Strives to Support Culture! by Middle School Teacher Alberta Demantle

Akiak is a predominately Yupik village located on the west bank of the Kuskokwim River. It is rich in culture with a heavy reliance on subsistence.

Highbush cranberries are picked by the gallons in August to make delicious jams.

Students at the Akiak School in the Yupiit School District are involved in many subsistence activities that take place in a particular season. Students learn at home what is “in” season, how to care for food, and about respecting nature: animals, plants and the environment. The Akiak School supports the culture by preparing subsistence foods to share with elders and families, experiencing the hard work involved in subsistence, and the value of hard work. Continue reading Akiak School Strives to Support Culture! by Middle School Teacher Alberta Demantle

The ‘Love Alaska’ Project by Sarah Petersen and Lisa Longlet at Bowman Elementary School

We are an energetic group of fifty 3rd and 4th graders at Bowman Elementary School in the Anchorage School District who make up S & L’s (Sarah and Lisa’s) family group. Our ‘Alaska Love’ project is an activity for elders (grade 4 students) that allows them to share one of their special Alaskan experiences with our family group. While youngers (3rd graders) don’t present, they look forward to being an elder the following year and having their chance to share their special family memory. The academic focus of the project is writing a personal narratives, public speaking, and Alaska geography.  Continue reading The ‘Love Alaska’ Project by Sarah Petersen and Lisa Longlet at Bowman Elementary School

‘Building Community Partnerships in Tuluksak’ by Lesa Meath, Matthew Brown and Principal Douglas Bushey

Tuluksak students welcome community members to an open house event.

The Tuluksak School is located in the Yupiit School District in southwestern Alaska, a region where many families are from a Yup’ik cultural background and speak the Yup’ik language. The school district is comprised of three schools in the communities of Akiachak, Akiak, and Tuluksak.

Tuluksak is located in southwestern Alaska along the Kuskokwim River.

Kicking the year off with a personal welcome, the Tuluksak School staff divided into small groups to do a “walk about.” Continue reading ‘Building Community Partnerships in Tuluksak’ by Lesa Meath, Matthew Brown and Principal Douglas Bushey

‘Hutchison High School Encourages Life Long Learning Through CTE’ by Principal Robyn Taylor

James T. Hutchison High School or ‘Hutch’ as we affectionately call it, is a Career and Technical Education (CTE) school of choice within the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District. We enroll approximately 100 students per grade, 9th-12th grade. In addition to our core 400 students, there are 164 students from across the district that attend classes at Hutch on a part-time basis.
Hutch provides an integrated learning environment within a culturally diverse community, where academic and career-technical experiences encourage a life-long love of learning, personal integrity, civic mindedness and preparation for successful post-school employment.

Continue reading ‘Hutchison High School Encourages Life Long Learning Through CTE’ by Principal Robyn Taylor