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Welcome to a New School Year!

Superintendent’s Welcome

20130820_HL_New_Year_1

On behalf of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District it is my pleasure to welcome you to the 2013-14 school year. After ten weeks of summer break it is time for our students to resume their education journey. By extension, this means that it is also time for our community to reengage with our schools and to offer, as it can, support for our students; thank you in advance for doing this. It was a busy summer at the District Office with a lot of time spent reviewing last year’s performance data. Generally, the vast majority of our students continue to make good progress toward graduation and perform well above the averages on our state’s standardized tests.

In the upcoming school year, we will have a ninety minute early-release on six school days (see dates below) in order for teachers and instructional support staff to collaborate. An ongoing challenge in our schools is to find time to adequately review data and then plan improvement efforts. While our negotiated agreement does give teachers a small amount of time to work after school, all teachers and instructional support staff will benefit from more collaboration time to support their instructional practices. This additional time supports our five year strategic plan goals in the areas of Academic Success and Organizational Excellence. As we look ahead, I am pleased that we have made several improvements that should help our students find greater academic success.

First, we’ve made good progress toward meeting the goals of our strategic plan. You are able to view this progress through a link on our website. The coordinated effort by our schools to meet the plan’s goals is impressive. Second, is the continued refinement of our certified staff’s evaluation system. Each year we make small adjustments to the system and add a new layer of training for our principals. I am pleased that this process and our good level of teacher collaboration are leading to improvements in instruction. A third item of note that is tied to instruction is our curriculum development process. In response to new state standards and a need for more student learning data we improved this process to produce a tighter guide that includes quarterly assessments. The assessments will provide a standardized district level source of feedback to help us determine how well our students are mastering the taught standards. Finally, the borough made numerous upgrades to our facilities including the completion of several reroofing projects.

All of us at KPBSD strive to keep you, our stakeholders, informed about all of our operations; this is a responsibility that we take seriously. Our website is our main source of this communication and is in a constant state of change with postings of new information. We will continue to provide school district information to you through Facebook, Twitter and my blog. In addition, your school newsletters and other district publications will keep you up to speed on what is going on with KPBSD. Also of note with communication is that we are considering creating a KPBSD App.

We welcome back our teachers, nurses, secretaries, custodians, bus drivers, and food service professionals—they are the backbone of our District’s success. I am pleased to welcome the new administrators at several schools and the District Office.

We invite parents and community members to join us by volunteering in the schools and becoming involved in partnerships to support students. Schools need the help of parents and community members to be successful with each student. It is also critical for our students to know that their parents, guardians, relatives, and friends are supportive of their schooling process. A student without this support may at times feel at a loss to find the necessary focus to excel at his or her studies.

Please let your principal know of recommendations that you may have for improvement at your school or for the district; we are always receptive to hearing your thoughts. I hope to see you in the coming months and wish you a great start to the school year. We anxiously await the return of our students and look forward to another outstanding school year!

Sincerely,

Steve Atwater Signature

Steve Atwater, Ph.D.
Superintendent

Early Release days in the 2013-2014 school year
Six times in the new school year, KPBSD school days will end ninety minutes early in order for teachers and instructional support staff to collaborate.

Six times throughout the academic year, on a Wednesday, schools will meet the minimum day, leaving teachers with approximately ninety minutes of additional time to work on improvement strategies. The length of the school day on the following six days will be reduced by ninety minutes, for a total of nine hours during the 2013-2014 school year. On these early release dates, school will end ninety minutes (1.5 hours) earlier. Bus transportation will be adjusted by ninety minutes.

  • September 18
  • October 30
  • November 20
  • January 22
  • February 26
  • April 16

We recognize families may need to make arrangements on the early release dates, and thank everyone for the willingness to help our KPBSD schools improve through these six early-release dates.

Links

KPBSD Facebook Logo 2013 SML

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