Positive notes: School board meeting starts off with musical performance

Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion Tustumena Elementary School Principal Doug Hayman takes a picture of several students from Redoubt Elementary School during their presentation to the Kenai Peninsula Borough Board of Education Monday Nov. 4, 2013 in Soldotna, Alaska.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education was treated to a concert Monday night.


One of the first items on the agenda for the school board meeting was a school report by Redoubt Elementary Principal John Pothast.

His report began with a musical presentation from Tara Oberts’ two Pre-Kindergarten classes, which inspired smiles and laughter from the board members and administrators. The school has morning and afternoon Pre-K sessions.

Pothast said the school collaborates with Soldotna Middle School for band and Spanish, the school also hosts the Boys and Girls Club, a portable classroom is currently being built for the quickly growing program.

“I think we do great things at our school,” he said.

“If you walk down our hallways, you get to see all the art work that teachers hang in the hallway,” he said.

Pothast said a new television monitor has been set up in the lobby to display a daily slide show of the process and making of that artwork.

“We have gotten a lot of real good feedback on that,” he said.

He then highlighted the school’s Positive Intervention Behavior and Support program.

The school has been using the program for the past two years, which has a clear definition of the expectations adults have for student behavior, teach those behaviors and then positively reinforce the behaviors.

“The bottom line is if we have more positive interactions with people in the course of a day, our day tends to be pretty positive,” he said. “If we have more negative interactions in the day, that also sets a tone for our day and so the idea for PBIS is that we really need to make a conscious effort to make sure the words coming out of our mouths are at least four to one on the postitive side.”

Several members of the public took the three minutes of allotted time during meeting to make their voices heard.

Soldotna Middle School Art teacher Andrea Eggleston, shared with the board her support of team Spartan.

She said although much of the staff is more than willing participants in the action of the move to the current Skyview High School that will benefit students, with the changes, she hoped that relocated school could keep its mascot and colors.

“Could you please support us holding on to us as Spartans, as a part of that identity?” she said.

Austin Laber, Skyview student representative shared a letter from student council about the concerns on the upcoming reconfiguration.

He said the reconfiguration plans has left fear and uncertainty amongst the students, parents and teachers of the school. Miscommunication and conflicting ideas have lead to confusion.

“Skyview’s body is anxious about the change. We are not confident that our district will provide a fair ground for the new school and fearful that the desires will not be met in the reconfiguration process. Skyview wants a successful transition and is willing to put time and effort to accomplish it.”

Public comment was also heard in the matter of the Administrative Recommendation Regarding Reconfiguration of Seward Elementary and Middle Schools, which the board approved.

All other action items on the agenda were approved, including approval of resignations, approval of long term substitute contracts and new teacher contracts and board policy approvals on health examinations, performance scholarships, Alaska Performance Scholarship, restraint and seclusion and co-curricular activities.

The next school board meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Dec. 2.


Reach Sara J. Hardan at sara.hardan@peninsulaclarion.com.


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