Choir sings to school board, crowd Monday night

Before a large crowd, the students of the Mountain View Elementary School Choir performed on Monday at the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education meeting at the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly Chambers.

Before the performance, Norma Holmgaard, Mountain View principal, and Karl Kircher, assistant principal, presented three priorities that define the school.

The commitment of the staff to collaborative work in the interest of student learning is one of the priorities.

Fifth-grade teacher Renee Christensen shared with the board the importance of education collaborative efforts, with conferences, early release days and monthly meetings outside of school days.

Holmgaard said another priority of the school is safety.

In the spring of last year the school administration put together a school climate committee charged with a focus on safety, with Kircher as the chair of the committee.

Kircher said the safe school climate extends beyond the classroom, and even the school and onto the school bus.

“Indeed the school bus is the place where you may try your first misbehavior out, it is certainly the environment where self-regulation is somewhat problematic,” he said.

The school has taken a collaborative effort with First Student to resolve any problematic situations on the school bus.

First, Kircher explained they took all the don’t do rules of the bus and turned them into a list of simple behavior rules kids can easily follow which are instilled on the bus and in the classroom daily, as well as practiced periodically in the gym and on practice runs through the school’s neighborhood.

Kircher explained that the data set showed that the focus of rules did work with the decrease of bus related interactions.

“It is really working out good,” he said.

Holmgaard, while introducing the choir, shared the importance of the kids getting ready to perform.

“These two priorities only exist because of this priority over here — our students,” she said.

More than 15 fourth- and fifth-grade students performed three songs for the school board and audience. The group, under the direction of Jonathon Dillon, is a volunteer choir that meets three times a week to practice and perform.

After the lengthy public comment and board discussion and decision on the Soldotna Schools Advisory Committee Recommendations, the board went on to approve several other agenda items.

Approved items included budget transfers, resignations, 2013-2014 Long-term Substitute and new teacher contracts and leave of absence requests.

Approval of Science and Social Studies curriculum was postponed to January’s meeting with approval from Steve Atwater, KPBSD Superintendent.

The next board meeting will be held January 13 at the assembly chambers.

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