‘BSSD Students Win Honors at the Alaska Science & Engineering Fair’ by ASDN Staff

Special thanks to BSSD teachers Luzviminda Dinglasan and Lya Duncan for their contributions to this blog post.

A large trophy topped with a winged figure sitting on a classroom desk.
The Outstanding School trophy home in Gambell.

Five students from Bering Strait School District advanced from their school science fairs to the Alaska Science & Engineering Fair in Anchorage Alaska. The students represented Gambell and Wales, two rural Alaskan villages with populations of 630 people and 160 people respectively. With the support of the Rural Alaska GEAR UP Partnership, the competitors and their teachers flew 735 miles from their remote villages to Anchorage to participate in the statewide competition. Continue reading ‘BSSD Students Win Honors at the Alaska Science & Engineering Fair’ by ASDN Staff

‘A Focus On Visible Learning Practice: Two Teacher Perspectives from Shungnak School’ by Sam Jordan

Shungnak School students and staff start the school day with movement to energize learning.

This spring, a cohort of educators from four partner school districts  participated in an online professional learning class focused on the implementation of Visible Learning practices in their classrooms. This class was formed as part of a multiyear effort to deepen the use of researched-based practices in classroom instruction through the Increasing Performance and Retention in Alaska’s Rural Schools (IPRARS) initiative, a federal grant managed by the Alaska Council of School Administrators (ACSA). Continue reading ‘A Focus On Visible Learning Practice: Two Teacher Perspectives from Shungnak School’ by Sam Jordan

‘A Historic Moment for the Nuniwarmiut School Basketball Teams’ by Peter Hawkins

The Mekoryuk Herders boys basketball team huddles as they prepare for the first basketball games held at their school since 1998.

On Friday evening, January 13, 2023, the Nuniwarmiut School gym was full of lively basketball fans; entire families of lively basketball fans. The aroma of freshly popped popcorn and the sound of basketballs being dribbled filled the air. These fans had come to watch boys basketball as Nightmute, Toksook Bay, Chefornak and Mekoryuk squared off for a weekend of round robin basketball. Any observer would have sensed nothing unique about this scene. These fans knew, however, that this was indeed an historic event. Continue reading ‘A Historic Moment for the Nuniwarmiut School Basketball Teams’ by Peter Hawkins

College Tour Time!: LKSD GEAR UP Students Visit Alaskan Post-Secondary Programs by ASDN Staff

LKSD GEAR UP students visited the Troth Yeddha’ Campus at University of Alaska at Fairbanks

Students from Rural Alaska don’t often get the opportunity to participate in college tours. Weather, distance, and logistics are a challenge when your hometown is accessible only by small plane or boat. Thanks to the support of the Rural Alaska GEAR UP Partnership, 19 students from villages served by Lower Kuskokwim School District got the opportunity to go on a statewide tour of post-secondary programs at UAF, UAA, APU, and AVTEC. Continue reading College Tour Time!: LKSD GEAR UP Students Visit Alaskan Post-Secondary Programs by ASDN Staff

‘Alaska Superintendent Cohort Completes National Certification’ by Sam Jordan

Superintendents Scott MacManus, Kerry Boyd and Pat Manning pose with fellow Superintendent and cohort mentor Dr. Bridget Weiss.

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

‘Developing A Place-Based Computer Science Curriculum’ by YKSD Teacher Andrew Bellamy

Place-Based Computer Science Curriculum Website: Place-Based Computer Science Curriculum

Place-based education is a philosophy that utilizes the context of student knowledge – culture, location, nature, and history – to connect to curricular and core content within the classroom. Despite numerous articles and studies on the merits of land-based and place-based education in rural Alaska, there is little information regarding a connection between the culture and ecology of this culturally rich land with a substantial computer science curriculum. One can find math modules, art and music units, and ELA lessons that attach to Alaska Native culture through a simple web search, but Computer Science has remained a subject that is primarily in the classroom and focused on materials that do not necessarily connect with the students’ lives outside of school. Continue reading ‘Developing A Place-Based Computer Science Curriculum’ by YKSD Teacher Andrew Bellamy

‘8th Annual ‘Alaska’s Heart Through Student Art’ Event Showcases Alaskan Student Art’ by Sam Jordan

(Photos by Sam Jordan)

Last month, the Alaska Council of School Administrators (ACSA) hosted the 8th 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 54 school districts. Legislators, statewide educational leaders, teachers, and student artists came together to celebrate and support student artistic achievement in Alaska. Continue reading ‘8th Annual ‘Alaska’s Heart Through Student Art’ Event Showcases Alaskan Student Art’ by Sam Jordan

‘Reflections From ASTE: YKSD Students and Teachers Present on Engaging Math Program’ by Nuri Johnsen

I had the pleasure of attending the Alaska Society for Technology in Education (ASTE) conference in Anchorage a few weeks ago. This conference brought together speakers from all over the country and state to discuss technology in education. It was my first time attending and it will be on the calendar every year from now on. I listened to Fredrick Lane talk about cyber-ethics and the issues facing educators now, I learned about all the free resources that are available with Cyber.org and I had the pleasure of attending a presentation from two teachers in the Yukon-Koyukuk School District (YKSD) on how they use FLIP! to stay in communication with the students throughout their vast school district.

YKSD teachers Simon Huff and Andrew Bellamy were joined by students to present on making math engaging in their district.

Continue reading ‘Reflections From ASTE: YKSD Students and Teachers Present on Engaging Math Program’ by Nuri Johnsen

‘The 2023 RTI/MTSS Effective Instruction Conference’ by Sam Jordan

Over two weekends in January, over one thousand educators from across Alaska gathered online and in-person for the 2023 RTI MTSS / Effective Instruction Conference. Hosted and lead by the Alaska Staff Development Network (ASDN), this annual professional development gathering is the largest K-12 education conference in the State of Alaska and brings national caliber presenters and education experts from across the curriculum together with Alaska’s education community. Continue reading ‘The 2023 RTI/MTSS Effective Instruction Conference’ by Sam Jordan

‘Napaskiak Student Creates Calillguteluta “Working Together” Project Logo’ by Sam Jordan

Napaskiak student artist Kristen Maxie works across many mediums, including photography.

The Lower Kuskokwim School District (LKSD) is in the process of converting its previous district wide Yugtun language assessment into a fully online assessment called the Yugtun Piciryaranek Qaneryaranek-lluCuqyun (YQPC) that will provide new capabilities for using data to drive curriculum revision and improve instructional practices. This project, named Calillguteluta “Working Together”, is funded through a federal Alaska Native Education (ANE) grant with the U.S Department of Education – Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. Alaska Staff Development Network (ASDN) serves as a project partner. Continue reading ‘Napaskiak Student Creates Calillguteluta “Working Together” Project Logo’ by Sam Jordan