‘What Works: Tanana Middle Built Upon Its Strengths When The Learning Landscape Changed!’ by Tana Martin

Tanana Middle School in Fairbanks, Alaska has a 40+ year history of excellence. Tanana serves about 350 students in grades 7 & 8. About one third of our students are part of families with a member serving at Fort Wainwright, a US Army post adjacent to the school. 

When COVID hit in March of 2020, school immediately shifted to remote learning. Our captain, Principal Carla Marquand, called on Tanana staff to rise to the challenge.  She knew her crew was capable.  We had to stretch a bit farther outside our comfort zones. We took a deep breath, adjusted, & built upon our strengths.  We didn’t reinvent the helm…we simply changed direction of the ship. Collaboration, Chromebooks, & communication were assets our Tanana crew already possessed.  When everything about “doing school” changed on a dime, Tanana was prepared to succeed. Continue reading ‘What Works: Tanana Middle Built Upon Its Strengths When The Learning Landscape Changed!’ by Tana Martin

‘Engaging Students in a Virtual Environment’ by Principal Robin Jones

As the Principal of Chief Ivan Blunka School in the Southwest Region School District, I want to showcase one unique way that we are engaging students in a virtual environment in New Stuyahok, Alaska. I was born and raised in Alaska, and I have always been very connected to the land and its’ resources.  I actively participate in subsistence activities to harvest fish, game, and edible plants, and my chief goal as a principal is to help my students and staff connect to the traditional way of life in a meaningful way.One opportunity we have had while in the red risk level where students are participating in distance learning is facilitating a way for them to connect through Subsistence Bingo.

Continue reading ‘Engaging Students in a Virtual Environment’ by Principal Robin Jones

‘YKSD Celebrates #CSEdWeek 2020!’ by Chelsea Hurst

Computer Science Education Week (#CSEdWeek) “is an annual call to action to inspire K-12 students to learn computer science, advocate for equity in computer science education, and celebrate the contributions of students, teachers, and partners to the field” (https://www.csedweek.org/). This year’s #CSEdWeek is focused on the intersection of computer science and social justice, and raising up diverse voices in technology.

Over the past two years, the Yukon Koyukuk School District (YKSD) has partnered with the Alaska Staff Development Network to introduce, develop and implement Computer Science Education to all students across the district through an Alaska Native Education Program grant called the Math and Computer Science Advancement (MaCSA) Project. Continue reading ‘YKSD Celebrates #CSEdWeek 2020!’ by Chelsea Hurst

‘Keeping the Focus on Secondary Transition’ by Jim Kreatschman

During these crazy times it’s hard to get what needs doing done! Even more difficult is focusing on planning for the future. Help is here.

The Alaska Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) and the Alaska Department of Education & Early Development (DEED) have partnered with the Southeast Regional Resource Center (SERRC) to build Transition Alaska.org as a virtual classroom for teachers and students to keep the focus on transition. Continue reading ‘Keeping the Focus on Secondary Transition’ by Jim Kreatschman

‘Curiosity and Learning Through Global Virtual Connections’ by Sam Jordan @ASDN

This week, educators from across the world, including here in Alaska, are participating in a unique educational event called the Global Learning Connection 2020. Sponsored by Microsoft’s educational program Skype in the Classroom, this event leverages the communication apps Skype, Microsoft Teams and Flipgrid to create live and asynchronous connections for students around the world to meet with peer in other state or countries, or with guest content experts. The whole event is aimed at making it possible for students to travel the world virtually and make meaningful connections to people, cultures and information that would not be available to them in any other way, especially during the global pandemic.

Continue reading ‘Curiosity and Learning Through Global Virtual Connections’ by Sam Jordan @ASDN

‘Puppet Play To Support SEL During COVID’ by KPBSD School Counselor Christy Jordan

Last Spring, a third grade teacher asked me to join her Zoom class to introduce myself as the new Elementary School Counselor for Fall and to share a story to address anxiety. We were at the start of the Covid crisis, adjusting to remote learning amidst a worldwide pandemic.

Christy Jordan’s collection of puppets, including the anxious turtle Bartholmew.

I unpacked my puppets and introduced the class to a shy anxious turtle named Bartholomew. I told them Bartholmew moved to Seward over Spring Break, right when Covid hit, and now I can’t get him to come out of his shell. I asked them to help by sharing what they like to do when they feel scared, worried or shy. One by one kids raised their hands and told me different coping strategies that worked for them. As the students spoke, Bartholmew slowly poked his head out, and I thanked the kids for making him feel less alone. Continue reading ‘Puppet Play To Support SEL During COVID’ by KPBSD School Counselor Christy Jordan

Alaska’s Heart through Student Art Expands Its Reach in 2020

Alaska’s Heart through Student Art is an annual celebration of student expression that brings legislators, statewide educational leaders, students, teachers and artists together to celebrate the beauty, inspiration, and creativity of student artists across the state. The event is launched annually in the capital city of Juneau as statewide leaders gather for the legislative session.

More than 100 pieces of student art were meticulously packaged and shipped to the Alaska Council of School Administrators last winter and transported to the Andrew P. Kashevaroff State Museum. Carefully arranged and labeled in this beautifully appointed open gallery space in preparation for the March 2020 event that, as with so many other life events, became upended by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Continue reading Alaska’s Heart through Student Art Expands Its Reach in 2020

‘Six Alaska Teens Honored for Community Service as Local Heroes’ By Heather Marron, Alaska Communications

Collage photo identification – Top row, left to right: Asya Gipson, Zoe Nelles, Ted (Emily) Tedrick – Bottom row, left to right: Trevor Morgan, Joy Martin, Rosalie Cortes

Alaska youth are doing remarkable work to improve lives in our local communities.

Through the Summer of Heroes Program, Alaska Communications is proud to celebrate six youth for their outstanding community service across Alaska. Five youth heroes at large and one youth hero from the company’s employee program will be awarded a $1,500 scholarship for their efforts. Additionally, as part of the program, Alaska Communications will donate $15,000 to Boys & Girls Clubs – Alaska to further support youth development in the state. Continue reading ‘Six Alaska Teens Honored for Community Service as Local Heroes’ By Heather Marron, Alaska Communications