October 2000 / Education on the Peninsula

Question Mark
Ask the Superintendent: Education on the Peninsula
Superintendent's Column
Peninsula Clarion
D. Peterson

October 2000

We are so lucky to live on the Kenai Peninsula! Besides the quality of life and the terrific people who live on the Peninsula, we are extremely fortunate to have a Borough government that fully and completely supports the heart of our future educating our youth.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is one of few school districts in the state that receives the maximum amount of funding available under the Alaska funding formula for schools. In addition, the Borough also maintains our buildings. One just needs to travel around the state to understand what an enviable position we are in. Our buildings are not in such a state of disrepair that they are uninhabitable quite the contrary. Even considering the age of some buildings, all are functional and very well maintained.

The most recent manifestation of support by the Borough to make a positive difference for all students is the implementation of the phased technology plan. In a time when money is tight and the possibility of funding for technology is next to nothing throughout the state, we’ve made a quantum leap in this area. Last summer 750 PCs were placed in five of our larger high schools. Similar technology infusions will occur over the next five years at all schools throughout the Borough. A world-class fiber optic network, made possible by Homer Electric Association and Alaska Communications Systems, is now operational and ties our far-flung school networks together. This was through a strong partnership between the Borough and the School District. A joint committee was developed, issues identified, past efforts celebrated, and a sound direction charted for our future.

What does this mean for the students of the Peninsula? We know our children will live in a world very different than the world we grew up in a world changing at an accelerating rate. We know that information is doubling every eighteen months and the World Wide Web is doubling every ninety days. You can know that you have our commitment to provide your children with a quality education -an education rich in technology skills and opportunities that will help prepare them to take their places as the future leaders of Alaska and the world.

So, again, I say, we are so lucky. The energy and synergy of the group working together to best meet the needs of the students of the Peninsula and the public is unparalleled. The results of this investment are already apparent and will be noticeable for years to come. Thanks again to the residents of the Peninsula, the Borough Assembly and Borough administration, and to the Board of Education and employees of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District for making the dream of adequate access to technology a reality over the next four years.