This month, the Alaska Council of School Administrators (ACSA) hosted the 9th Annual ‘Alaska’s Heart Through Student Art’ reception. The event, held in Juneau at the the Andrew P. Kashevaroff State Museum, is an annual statewide celebration and auction of student art from Alaska’s 53 school districts. Legislators, statewide educational leaders, teachers, and student artists came together to celebrate and support student artistic expression in Alaska. Continue reading ‘9th Annual ‘Alaska’s Heart Through Student Art’ Reception Honors Student Artistic Talents Across State’ By Sam Jordan
This past February four long-time Alaskan school Superintendents celebrated their graduation from the AASA National Superintendent Certification Program. The AASA is the premier national association for school system leaders and serves as a leading national voice for public education and district leadership.
The opportunity to participate in the certification program came as part of their district’s participation in a federal grant called Increasing Performance and Retention in Alaska’s Rural Schools (IPRARS), which is administered by the Alaska Council of School Administrators (ACSA). Continue reading ‘Alaska Superintendent Cohort Completes National Certification’ by Sam Jordan
This spring in Denali Borough School District, we collectively engaged in supporting our students to share their learning through a specific student-engaged assessment strategy called Celebrations of Learning. Celebrations of Learning invite students to publicly engage and assess their learning experiences through reflection. We saw enhanced student engagement when our students were able to reflect on and take the lead of their work. Taking ownership of these experiences encouraged insight, self-assessment, and complex learning, and was especially nurtured when our students wondered about their learning publicly with others. Making learning public became an authentic purpose that empowered and motivated our students to care about the quality of their work.
Celebrations of Learning is a community event that nurtures classroom-based learning experiences that ensure that students are fully empowered in the process of understanding themselves as learners. Students presented high-quality products and performances that were often modeled after real-world formats and intended for audiences beyond the classroom. The ultimate intent of Celebrations of Learning was to invite students to reflect on and articulate what they have learned, questions they answered, research they conducted, and areas of strength and struggle in order to understand and take ownership of their own growth as learners.
Eric Filardi, Principal, Anderson School
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.
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
On May 3rd, 2019 Hoonah City Schools in southeast Alaska held their 29th Annual Heritage Celebration Ḵu.éex’. The word ku.éex’ in Tlingit, the language of the Tlingit people who live throughout southeast Alaska, means ‘people are invited’. Continue reading Hoonah City Schools holds the 29th Annual Heritage Celebration Ḵu.éex’ by Sam Jordan at ASDN
This year, our district implemented a new initiative called “Shadow a Teacher” to build connections and enhance communication among district staff. It took place the week of October 1st and was a smashing success. Staff who work behind the scenes to support district functions spent an entire day shadowing teachers who volunteered to host guests in their classrooms. Visitors included staff from facilities maintenance, network services, business administration, human resources, teaching and learning, federal programs, special education, communications, and the superintendent’s office. Even school board members participated! Continue reading ‘Shadow A Teacher Day’ by Dr. Karen Gaborick, Superintendent of Fairbanks North Star Borough School District
Arts, culture, and technology are more than words in the Sitka School District. To us, arts, culture, and technology represent education that is grounded in our explicit embrace of culture as a context for learning, a desire to have students graduate with an appreciation for the role of arts in community life in Sitka, as well as in personal happiness, and a need to prepare students for success in a digitally-rich life. The Sitka School Board adopted our Arts, Culture, and Technology (ACT) Standards in 2014, and we haven’t stopped ACTing since then! Continue reading ACTing to Transform Learning by Dr. Mary Wegner, Superintendent of Sitka School District
Annually, the Yukon-Koyukuk School District invites high school students to participate in the Career Fly-In. At this weeklong camp, students learn about a variety of careers and post-secondary options, build employability skills, and prepare for life after high school. Continue reading YKSD’s Career Fly-In by Superintendent Kerry Boyd, Yukon-Koyukuk School District