‘Advancing College Success with Upward Bound in Alaska’ by Adam Low at UAF

The University of Alaska Fairbanks campus has been home to Alaska’s Upward Bound (UB) program for over 52 years. The federally grant-funded Upward Bound project reaches across the state to assist first-generation-to-college students in small, rural high schools. The program strives to increase the number of high school graduates who continue on to enter universities and colleges.

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‘Fifty Years of Sea Week in Juneau and Alaska’ by Peggy Cowan

It is a rare educational innovation that both endures and remains relevant for 50 years. Ask any person under 55 years old from Juneau about their elementary school memories and they will say, “Sea Week.” At first it was called Sea Week, but it grew exponentially to Sea Month. Sea Week is a Juneau school and community success story.

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‘We Are All In This Together: ASDN Supports Alaskan Educators’ Transition to Online Learning’ by Austin Burdette at ACSA

As educators across the state face the challenge of creating and navigating virtual classrooms, the Alaska Staff Development Network (ASDN) and Alaska Council of School Administrators (ACSA), have stepped up to provide relevant, researched-based online programs for Alaska’s teachers and school administrators. 

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‘Inspiring Stories from Alaska’s Schools Emerge Amid the Crisis’ by Seanna O’Sullivan and Sam Jordan at ASDN

In a matter of a few short weeks public schools around the world have been challenged by COVID-19 virus with an unprecedented task: with little or no time for training, resources or directives, assemble a widespread distance education program that reaches every student, in every grade, in every home. 

Alaskan principals from across the state meeting to plan for the COVID-19 response (photo courtesy of New Stuyahok Principal Robin Jones)

Superintendents, educators and support staff around Alaska have responded to this crisis with resolve, creativity, care, and at times, some well needed humor. Our schools have developed meal distribution sites in different locations, assessed needs of students, families and communities across the state and developed systems for delivering instruction, ever mindful of the need to avoid risk of transmitting the virus.  Continue reading ‘Inspiring Stories from Alaska’s Schools Emerge Amid the Crisis’ by Seanna O’Sullivan and Sam Jordan at ASDN

‘Timing, Timing, Timing’ – Virtual EdCamp in Fairbanks, Alaska by Christina Hum, Richard Hum & Tana Martin

Timing, both in comedy and education, is everything! After helping to organize Alaska Interior EdCamp for March 24th, 2020, we couldn’t agree more. EdCamp is a grassroot version of unconference. An opportunity for educators to come together & make connections by learning from others. There are no planned sessions. EdCamp is free & open to everyone. When participants arrive, they communicate the topics about which they hope to learn & share. Organizers use that information to quickly build the schedule board of sessions. Click here to learn more about EdCamp

One of the small group breakout sessions in the virtual EdCamp… excited educators!

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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’.

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“I Want Kids To Know Who They Are”: An Interview with Nick Hanson, the Eskimo Ninja Warrior by Sam Jordan and Austin Burdette at ASDN

Nick Hanson is on a mission.  He wants to motivate every kid in Alaska to know who they are and to know their purpose in life. In 2015, Nick became the first person of Inuit/Inupiaq background to compete in the NBC TV show American Ninja Warrior (ANW). Since then, he has used his fame to connect with kids across the state and encourage them to choose a path of positivity and health.

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‘How Alaska Is Learning to Teach Computer Science with Code.org’ by Sam Jordan and Cheryl Bobo at ASDN

For the past 9 months, over 300 teachers from across Alaska have been attending Code.org curriculum workshops to learn how to implement computer science in their classrooms. Alaska has recently joined 33 other states in adopting its own K-12 computer science standards with the goal of preparing students for careers and college programs in fields as diverse as data science, computer programming, video game design, cybersecurity and film animation Continue reading ‘How Alaska Is Learning to Teach Computer Science with Code.org’ by Sam Jordan and Cheryl Bobo at ASDN

“Other Athletic Events Spark Emotions but Native Youth Olympics Stirs Something Deep Inside” by Jeff Erickson, Student Activities Director at BSSD

Summer Sagoonick in One Hand Reach

The Bering Strait School District (BSSD) is comprised of a unique group of fifteen school sites, even by Alaskan standards. It is a rural district, with three separate cultures, spread out over 86,000 square miles of land and water.

Continue reading “Other Athletic Events Spark Emotions but Native Youth Olympics Stirs Something Deep Inside” by Jeff Erickson, Student Activities Director at BSSD

‘Meghan Redmond, Assistant Principal of Chief Ivan Blunka School in New Stuyahok, Named 2019 National Assistant Principal of the Year’ by Sam Jordan at ASDN

The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) has named Meghan Redmond, assistant principal of Chief Ivan Blunka School in New Stuyahok, Alaska, the 2019 National Assistant Principal of the Year. Her award announcement is made during NASSP’s annual celebration of National Assistant Principals Week.

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