Crucial budget sessions planned
The public is invited to a series of public hearings about the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District budget plan for next year. The planning is especially important because the district faces declining revenue and employee demands for pay raises.
The school board will have a work session update on the budget Monday at 2:30 p.m. downstairs at the Borough Buildling in Soldotna. The meeting is on a listen-only basis, but seating is limited.
A series of public hearings around the peninsula runs Tuesday through Feb. 12. The hearings include an explanation of the budget process, potential cutbacks and opportunities to ask questions. These hearings are an excellent opportunity to learn about the financial challenges to area schools and future changes they may cause.
The schedule is:
Seward High School Auditorium, 7 p.m. Tuesday;
Soldotna High School library, 7 p.m. Feb. 6;
Kenai Central High School Little Theater, 7 p.m. Feb. 7;
Homer High School library, 7 p.m. Feb. 11; and
Nikiski Middle-Senior High School library, 7 p.m. Feb. 12.
School board to meet Monday
The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District's Board of Education meets Monday at 7:30 p.m. in the Borough Building in Soldotna. All school board meetings are open to the public.
Agendas are available at the meeting or at the district's Web site at www.kpbsd.k12.ak.us.
Choirs join for concert
The annual high school mass choir festival will take place this year at Kenai Central High School, with the culminating concert Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. Students will rehearse Monday and Tuesday with Kevin Fenton, Ph.D., from Florida State University.
In addition to preparing for the concert with Fenton, the individual schools will work in a clinic situation with him for one half hour each in preparation for individual performances Tuesday evening.
All of the choir students in Homer, Kenai Central, Nikiski, Ninilchik, Seldovia, Seward, Skyview and Soldotna high schools will attend the festival.
The public is invited to attend the concert free of charge.
Students prepare for Ocean Sciences Bowl
In just a few short weeks, 50 of the state's brightest high school students will gather in Seward to test their knowledge of the oceans and Alaska's marine ecosystems to see who among them will represent Alaska in the National Ocean Sciences Bowl.
So far, 10 teams representing urban communities like Anchorage and rural villages like Kotzebue have signed on to compete in the state's fifth annual National Ocean Sciences Bowl Alaska regional competition. Competitors include two teams from Soldotna High School and one each from Skyview, Ninilchik and Seward high schools.
The three-day academic challenge begins Feb. 22 at the Seward Marine Center's K.M. Rae Building.
The event includes a fast-paced, tournament-style competition designed to challenge and recognize students' knowledge of marine science terms, topics and issues.
Teams also prepare and present research projects. In this year's competition, teams must evaluate an Alaska wildlife species under human or environmental pressure and develop a plan for the species' recovery that considers impacts to local communities.
The team with the most points in these combined events will win the regional competition. Beside receiving a host of prizes that include free first-year tuition at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the winning team will join 19 others from around the country to compete in the NOSB National Finals April 26 through 29 in Providence, R.I.
Also occurring during the academic contest is a creative competition in the form of a juried art show. Entries must depict marine subjects. Awards and prizes for best of show, first place, second and third place will be given in three categories: two-dimensional (painting, drawing and photography); three-dimensional (sculpture, pottery, jewelry); and mixed media (fiber, collage etc.)
For more information, look online at www.uaf.edu/seagrant/ nosb/index.html or call Doug Schneider at (907) 474-7449.
New student works online
The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District has added two new sites to the student showcase section of the district Web site.
The first is the Nikiski Middle-Senior High School online newspaper, The North Roader.
The second is Project: Wiinaq III, taking place in Marc Swanson's sixth-grade classroom at Seward Elementary School. Students are dissecting a seal and a sea lion and assembling their skeletons. This project is being integrated into the Jason Project and is part of its nationwide broadcast.
You can view these and other student projects by opening the district Web page and clicking on the student showcase button in the upper right hand corner or entering http://www.kpbsd.k12.ak.us/students/showcase/default.htm
Alaska Permanent Fund inspires contest
Rural high school students have until Feb. 12 to submit entries to an essay contest to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Alaska Permanent Fund.
Five entrants will win $100 U.S. savings bonds. The title of the contest is The Alaska Permanent Fund: Past, Present and Future. The themes should focus on the $25 billion permanent fund rather than just the dividend.
Essays must be typewritten, 350 to 500 words, have an original title or use the above theme, address each theme element equally or emphasize one area (such as the past) as the main focus as long as a connection to other components (e.g. present and future) is made. Research can be done at the Alaska Permanent Fund Web site at www.apfc.org.
Entries must be postmarked by Feb. 12 and submitted to Bradley/Reid Communications, Kate Hostetler, 1840 S. Bragaw, Suite 200, Anchorage, AK 99508. Include title, name, grade, school and phone number.
The contest is open only to high school students outside Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau school districts. Students in the larger districts have their own contests and prizes.
For more information, contact Joan Cahill at 465-2047 or email@example.com.
Poster contest seeks student entries
The Alaska Soil and Water Conservation Poster Contest is an annual event open to all students in kindergarten through grade six, including home-school students, within the conservation districts, which include the central and south peninsula. This year's theme is "The Gift of Trees." First-place winners in each category automatically will be entered in the statewide poster contest. The top state winners in each of three grade categories will receive cash awards. The top prize is $75.
Entries must be mailed to NRCS, Attn: Alaska SWCD, 510 L St., Suite 280, Anchorage, AK 99501. The deadline is Feb. 27.
For more information, check the Internet at http://ak.nacdnet.org/ contests/poster02.htm or call the central peninsula office at 283-8732, ext. 108.
Boys and Girls Club offers programs
Movement and Music and indoor soccer registration are taking place at the Kenai Boys and Girls Club.
Lauralee Smart will teach music, dance and tumbling for 3- to 4-year-olds Wednesdays from 1 to 2 p.m. Feb. 6 through April 24. For more information, call 283-2682.
Registration for ages 4 through fifth grade indoor soccer ends Feb. 8. The season runs from March 25 through May 11.
For more information about activities at the Kenai Boys and Girls Club, call Kim Lee at 283-2682.
Aluminum can recycling drive starts
The seventh annual Great Aluminum Can Roundup is under way. Schools and organizations can enter and win monetary awards for recycling. Winners are determined by the amount of aluminum cans turned in. Last year's winner was Kenai Middle School, which turned in more than a ton.
The contest ends April 20. For more information, call Peninsula Sanitation at 262-1847.
Skyview announces Students of the Month
Skyview High School has announced its January Rotary Students of the Month: Summer Engler, Stacia Pfaffe, Amber Welch, Tara Rich, Donna Sadler, Deric Peterson, Jennifer Mead, Anna Barnes, Jaime Miller, Oneida Cason, Devin Downs, Lori Paulino and Angel Hollers.
SoHi announces Students of the Month
Soldotna High School has announced its National Honor Society Students of the Month for January: Ben Histand, music; Stacey Foster, vocational education; Terra Kendrick and Whitney Biggs, science; Dash Vester, physical education; Amanda Boll, art; Terra Kendrick, government; Bekah Edmunds, health; Amy Shoemaker, math; Caelin Kubena, film as literature; and Sierra Williams, Spanish II.
Congratulations, also, to the January Rotary Students of the Month: Spencer Litzenberger, Brandi King, Courtney Hawks, Charlene Collins, Jay Guilliam, Dan Silver, Joe Smith, Brice Miller, Chris Nyland, Candice Rysdyk, Jessica Cole, Kym Oldring, Jeremy Kauffman, Trevor Metteer, Dale Brewster, Dominique Benson and Jimmy Bowers.
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