District School News

Posted: Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Aurora Borealis Charter

Mrs. Uponen's second-graders are learning about the solar system and making books about the nine planets.

The fourth- through eighth-grade classes are starting music with Elizabeth DeVolld. The program is "We Haz Jazz" and will be performed in late spring.

Mr. Severson's class will go to the Iditarod on March 1. The students also will visit the Anchorage Native Heritage Center, Alaska Experience Theater and the Anchorage Museum on Feb. 28.

Mr. Palms' fifth- and sixth-grade class completed a successful comet mission at the Challenger Learning Center a couple weeks ago. The Columbia crash, just a day later, raised the students' awareness and appreciation not only for the center, but also for astronauts and the dangers they face.

The school has completed its fund-raiser for the American Heart Association. All money was turned in Friday. The children worked hard meeting their goals in jumping rope and shooting hoops.

Aurora Borealis Charter School, a public school within the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, will conduct an enrollment lottery April 8. Personnel from Mikunda, Cottrell and Co. CPAs will supervise the lottery. Applications and copies of the enrollment and lottery procedures are available at the school office from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. All applications for enrollment for the 2003-04 school year must be delivered in person to the school office by 4 p.m. March 14. The lottery results will be posted April 21. If your child has a lottery number, you do not need to go through another lottery. Families who are no longer interested in being on the waiting list are asked to call Debbi Palm at 283-0292.

Montessori Charter

The kindergarten class finished its study of Asia with a special Chinese New Year decoration. Now the students are studying the continent of South America. They are learning about the different animals found there and the layers of the rain forest and are working on continent map projects. In science, the students are studying botany by learning the different parts of a plant.

The first- through third-graders are continuing to study Africa and are making three-dimensional animals and building a pyramid out of paper.

The bulbs and perennials that the children planted last fall are beginning to sprout.

The school will host workshop-open houses from 3:30 to 5 p.m. every Wednesday and Thursday, from today through March 13. The open houses will be held in room 410 at Soldotna Elementary School and are designed to provide information for families interested in learning more about the Montessori method. The school also is accepting applications for next year. The deadline to apply is March 15, and a lottery will be held March 29.

Mountain View Elementary

"The Trial of Goldie Locks," a play starring Mountain View students, will be performed March 6 and 7.

Mountain View's third- and fourth-grade Battle of the Books team placed fourth in the district battle. Congratulations to team members, Olivia Fair, Briana King, Alicia O'Brien, Lincoln Wensley, Ben Gilman and Russell Dukowitz.

Congratulations also to the school forensics winners.

In third grade: McKenna Murray, first, Navina McGee, second, and Morgan Wensley, third, humorous poetry; Sarah Douglas, first, Zack Zulkanycz, second, and Kataie Evans, third, nonhumorous poetry; Vanessa Carreon and Taylor Galley, first, Amber and Gwen Bundy, second, and Brandon McCauley, Sam Schilling and Colton Hayes, third, multiple poetry; and Hali Carer and Taylor Ross, first, Heidi Herrmann, McKenna Dunn and Jordanne Wilson, second, and David Dormady and Tatiana Edelen, third, interpretive reading.

In fourth grade: Lincoln Wensley, first, Kenny Mayer, second, and Isaac Crier, third, humorous poetry; Tyler Spalding, first, Kristina Taylor, second, and Rachael Quiriarte, third, nonhumorous poetry; Samantha Little, first, humorous prose; Natalie Kurzendoerfer, Rikki Riley, Dylan Lawrence, Jennifer Lackey and Sierra Aguilor, first, nonhumorous prose; Suzi Deardoff and Mary Pat Mills, first, Marisa Guiest, Ella Stephens and Amber Chapman, second, and Zack Weisz and Connor Hamman, third, multiple poetry; Morgan Cunningham, first, Victoria Bounds, second and Robin Pharris, third, interpretive reading; James Watkins, first, storytelling; and Jacob Iverson, Ben Gilman and Tyler Williams, first; Aundrea Moulton, Rikki Riley and Dylan Lawrence, second, and Jared Frates and Kyle Hayes, third, multiple interpretive reading.

In fifth grade: Jen Kohler, first, Miranda Rizzo, second, and Cody Anderson, third, humorous poetry; Audrey Forrest, first, Mariah Howarth, second, and Alexi Beeson, third, nonhumorous poetry; Deandra Latz, first, and Vanessa Dukowitz, second, humorous prose; Anders Nyquist, first, and Ashley Delay, second, nonhumorous prose; Maya Johnson, Jenna Thomas and Kara Stables, first, Dane Otten, Christopher Liddlelow, Steele Mahan and Nick Rouswell, second, and James England and Marc Burger, third, multiple poetry; Dylan Wannamaker, first, Molly Graves, second, and Christina Grimsley, third, storytelling; Zach McKenzie, first, and Erick Trickel, second, interpretive reading; and Tresha Kent, Rachael Estes and Amber Kent, first, Faith McKinnon, Monique Samson, Stuart Martinez, Ryan Jensen, Mike Braun and Shaele Bryant, second, and LeeAnn Mageria, Amber Wright and Eleanor Baker, third, multiple interpretive reading.

Redoubt Elementary

Parent-teacher conferences were Monday and Tuesday. Thanks to all the parents who attended conferences and visited the book fair.

The school forensics competition will be at 9 a.m. today for sixth-graders and at 12:45 p.m. today for fourth-graders. Fifth-graders will compete at 9 a.m. Thursday.

Fun Fest is Friday. Students attending must return their permission slips and money by noon Friday.

Sears Elementary

Spring pictures will be March 6.

The PTA will meet at 6 p.m. March 6 in the library to discuss magnet classrooms for the 2003-04 school year. Parents who have not filled out a magnet school survey are asked to do so at the school by Monday.

Thanks to Safety Seal for leading the Teddy Bear Parade.

The spring carnival will be May 2.

Sterling Elementary

Individual and group pictures will be taken Thursday. Notices were sent home last week. For more information, call the school.

Mr. Wheat will have a bake sale Friday.

Falcon Fun Night for students in kindergarten through third grade will be from 3:45 to 5 p.m. Friday.

Congratulations to the intermediate students who participated in the forensics competition Friday. All first-place winners will compete at the borough competition in March. School winners were:

Fourth grade: Dakota Elsey and Cody Warfield, first, Krissy Barker and Liana Perzechina, second, multiple poetry; Megan Parham and Carly Lund, first, and Brittany Mercier and Danielle Graybeal, second, multiple prose; Leah Garske, first, Johnny Bishop, second and Shelli Coila, third, humorous poetry; Matthew Fellman, first, Erin Twohy, second, and Ariel Self, third, interpretive reading; Spencer Wilson, first, Samantha Skuse, second, and Haili Hoeldt, third, nonhumorous poetry; and Phellisha Dobson, first, nonhumorous prose.

Fifth grade: Shelby Smith and Jessica Ellison, first, Chelsy Payne and Sarah Overpeck, second, and Tory Norenberg and Brianna Merkes, third, multiple poetry; Jasmine Clock, first, Kathrine Quelland, second, and Shana Powell and Lexi Graybeal, tied for third, humorous poetry; Michael Griffin, first, Chad Oakes, second, and Michael Orth, third, interpretive reading; Derrick Parham, first, Sarah Barsis, second, and Jantina Roberts, third, nonhumorous poetry; Andrew Shassetz, first, and Mathew Cox, second, nonhumorous prose; and Shelby Smith, first, storytelling.

Sixth grade: Nicki Collet and Elaina Mercier, first, Jimmy Shearer and Eric Gochenauer, second, and Gregory Parker and Daemin Shinew, third, multiple poetry; Jordan Merkes, Matt Grubb and Kevin Garske, first, and Tiffany Persinger and Tasha Mallett, second, multiple prose; Ramona Walsh, first, Andrea Leindecker, second, and Bradley Maples, third, humorous poetry; Melissa Massey, first, Robert Skuse, second, and Jenna Grant, third, interpretive reading; Austin Struthers, first, Daniel Geller, second, and Angie King, third, nonhumorous prose; and Brittany Meyer, first, humorous prose.

Tustumena Elementary

The school forensics competition will be Thursday in the school library. Sixth grade begins at 9:30 a.m., fourth grade at 10:45 a.m. and fifth grade at 1:30 p.m. Top qualifiers in each category will move on to the district competition March 1.

The memory book committee is compiling the 2002-03 publication, which is to be submitted for printing soon. Parents with recent school-related photographs are urged to get them to the school this week.

Mrs. Cowart's sixth-grade class will travel to the Challenger Center of Alaska on Feb. 27. Students will participate in the Voyage to Mars mission, as well as a workshop on robotics. The trip is an extension of class studies on rockets, space exploration and technology.

Mrs. Klunder and Mrs. Worsfold are the teachers featured on the display boards in the front foyer at Tustumena. Mrs. Klunder has 20 years of teaching experience, 19 of which are at Tustumena, and has her master's degree as a reading specialist. Mrs. Worsfold has taught for five years, four of those at Tustumena, and is working toward her master's degree as well.


Congratulations to state wrestling champions Eli Hutchinson, first place in the 112-pound weight class, and Dallas Seavey, third place in the 130-pound weight class.

State mandated tests for grades three through 12 will be March 4 to 6. Practice material covering the tests is available at the Connections office. Parents should receive a letter with more specific information. Anyone who does not get the letter can call Doug at 262-6315.

The Young Women's Conference, sponsored by Soroptimist International of the Twin Cities is open to all girls in grades six through eight. The conference is March 1, and registration forms are available in the Connections office. Preregistration is required.

Scholarships for home-school students are listed online at connect.kpbsd.k12.ak.us/scholarships/hs_scholarships.htm.

Families who are using the History of U.S. curriculum also can get support materials online at www.pbs.org/wnet/historyofus/index.html.

The Soil and Water Conservation poster contest is open to students in kindergarten through fifth grade, and the essay contest is open to students in grades six through eight. The deadline is Feb. 26.

The deadline for the NASA Northern Lights essay contest is March 31. Details are available on the Connections Web site.

Registration for the 2003-04 school year will begin in April.

IDEA (Interior Distance Education of Alaska)

Shirley Johnsrud will present a workshop titled "De-Stressing Testing," at 1 p.m. today in the Soldotna office at the Red Diamond Center. The one-hour overview of testing will cover test taking skills from getting a good night's rest to clues for answering the different types of questions. Anyone interested in attending the workshop should e-mail Debbie at debbie@ideafamilies.org or call the office.

Mo Sanders will present two workshops in Homer on Friday. Hot Tips for Teaching Reading and Brain-Friendly Teaching both will offer fun and effective teaching strategies for parents of home-schoolers. The classes will be held at the Kachemak Bay Research Reserve. To attend, e-mail debbie@ideafamilies.org.

The Soldotna Science Fair will be Tuesday at the Soldotna office in the Red Diamond Center. For more information, e-mail steveh@ideafamilies.org.

Testing will be March 4 to 6. For more information, call your teacher. Test sites, times and locations for each grade are as follows:

Soldotna area: Soldotna Sports Center

(Clam Gulch/Kasilof/Kenai/Nikiski/Soldotna/Sterling)

Exit Exam for grades 10 to 12: Check-in at 8:30 a.m.; test begins at 8:45 a.m. each day.

Benchmark Test for grades 3, 6 and 8: Check-in at 8:30 a.m.; test begins at 8:45 a.m. each day. The test is not timed, but most students finish by noon.

TerraNova for grades 4 and 5: Check-in at 1 p.m.; test begins at 1:15 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday.

TerraNova for grades 7 and 9: Check-in at 1 p.m.; test begins at 1:15 p.m. Thursday and Friday.

Soldotna area: Aspen Hotel

(Clam Gulch/Kasilof/Kenai/Nikiski/Soldotna/Sterling)

Exit Exam for grades 10 to 12: Check-in at 8:30 a.m.; test begins at 8:45 a.m. each day. Most students finish by 2 p.m.

Homer area: Land's End

(Anchor Point/Fritz Creek/Halibut Cove/Homer/Nikolaevsk/Ninilchik)

Exit Exam for grades 10 to 12: Check-in at 8:30 a.m.; test begins at 9 a.m. each day. Most students finish by 2 p.m.

Benchmark Test for grades 3, 6 and 8: Check-in at 8:30 a.m.; test begins at 8:45 a.m. each day. Most students finish by noon.

TerraNova for grades 4 and 5: Check-in at 1 p.m.; test begins at 1:15 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday.

TerraNova for grades 7 and 9: Check-in at 1 p.m.; test begins at 1:15 p.m. Thursday and Friday.

Seward area: Seward Public Library

(Seward/Moose Pass)

Benchmark Test for grades 3, 6 and 8: Check-in at 8:30 a.m.; test begins at 8:45 a.m. each day. Most students finish by noon.

TerraNova for grades 4 and 5: Check-in at 1 p.m.; test begins at 1:15 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday.

TerraNova for grades 7 and 9: Check-in at 1 p.m.; test begins at 1:15 p.m. Thursday and Friday.

Seward area: Alaska Vocational Technical Center

(Seward/Moose Pass)

Exit Exam for grades 10 to 12: Check-in at 8:30 a.m.; test begins at 8:45 a.m. each day. Most students finish by 2 p.m.

Kenai Middle

Congratulations to last week's Character Counts award winners: David Ashkenasy, Skye Bender, Jordan Brown, Madison Cheeseman, Cora Chidester, Michael Dormady, Andrew Fahnholz, Trisha Fitzpatrick, Amy Garten, Ben Matson and Sam Stenglein. Congratulations to Jillian Corr, who won the pizza drawing last week.

Staff and students would like to thank everyone who purchased raffle tickets for the drift boat. The winner was Carole Nolden. Students now are working on a kayak. It will be completed soon. For more information, call 283-4896.

Congratulations to spelling bee winner, Brad Denesen, and to alternate Kim Kurzendoerfer. Brad will represent the school at the state competition Thursday and Friday.

The seventh- and eighth-grade Battle of the Books competition was Feb. 4. Kim Kurzendoerfer, Mercedes Hughes, Brad Denesen, Hannah Watkins and Rebecca Gilman represented KMS and placed second in the district. The sixth-grade Battle of the Books was held on Feb. 5. Representatives were Kristi Louthan, Kiy'a Wilshusen and Jillian Corr.

Mark the following dates on your calendars:

Thursday -- The site council will meet at 5:30 p.m.

Saturday -- Volleyball at Nikiski; borough wrestling tournament at Homer; cross-country skiing at Homer.

Tuesday -- Student of the Month luncheon at Burger King.

Feb. 27 -- Volleyball at Soldotna Middle School.

Feb. 28 -- Volleyball at KMS.

March 6 -- Spaghetti dinner hosted by the band program

March 4 to 6 -- Benchmark and TerraNova testing.

Soldotna Middle

Both the silver and maroon volleyball teams went 1-1 for the weekend. The silver team will play at SMS this Saturday, and the maroon team will play at Kenai Middle School.

The SMS Battle of the Books team, including Sam Kilfoyle, Trafford Evanoff, Kahlia McDermott, Ashley Myers and Elnora Hammer, will compete in the state competition Feb. 26.

Congratulations also to area Soldotna Elks Hoop Shoot winners. Larsen Kohler took first, and AJ Needs placed second in the 12- and 13-year old category. Shelly Barker took first for the girls, and Mara Hohler took second.

Yearbooks are available by preorder for $25. Orders should be placed by March 3.

SMS is in the lead in the blood drive.

Mr. Gustkey's class visited Redoubt Elementary School to read with Ms. Cox's kindergartners. Students also created valentine book marks for the kindergartners.

Love of Reading continues with door decorations, book covers and daily book excerpt questions. SMS also is celebrating with daily silent sustained reading for one period a day.


Zach Schindler, a sophomore at Ninilchik, has been selected to travel to Magadan, Russia, for a three-week exchange program. Patrick Tilbury was invited to view a launching of a space shuttle at Cape Canaveral. A.J. Berger has been accepted to Western Washington University and received a Presidents Scholarship for $2,000.

Marcos Valintim, a foreign exchange student from Brazil, will attend Ninilchik for the rest of the year.

This year's Battle of the Books team took second in the district, losing to Skyview in the championship battle by one point.

The yearbook class has 16 yearbooks left, and the books are on sale for $50 each.

Eighth graders will take the NAEP Benchmark Tests on Feb. 25. There is only one makeup testing date.

High school basketball will play at Seldovia on Saturday. Junior high volleyball will be at Nikiski, and the junior high wrestling borough meet will be at Homer.

Skyview High

Congratulations to Eli Hutchinson for winning at the state wrestling tournament and to the entire wrestling team for placing second overall.

Congratulations also to the girls' Nordic ski team for finishing in first place at the borough meet and to Stephanie Lambe for her first-place finish and her placement on the Junior Olympic team.

The Skyview Battle of the Books team won the district championship for the fourth consecutive year. Team members were Rebekah Osterman, Kimber Martin and Rachel Beatty.

The basketball teams will play at Houston on Friday and at Wasilla on Saturday.

The state Nordic ski races will be in Fairbanks from Feb. 27 to March 1.

The band will travel to Homer for the borough mass band concert Monday through Feb. 26.

Sophomores, juniors and seniors will take the High School Graduation Qualifying Exam and freshmen will take the TerraNova from March 4 to 6. Testing will be in the mornings, with classes in the afternoons.

Soldotna High

SoHi students will participate in Model United Nations on Friday and Saturday in Anchorage.

SoHi academic teams will host the sweetheart dance in the commons from 8 to 11 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $5 per student, and dress is casual. Guests must be enrolled in high school and must be registered in advance. Parents are invited to attend as well.

The TerraNova test for freshmen and the High School Graduation Qualifying Exam will be administered March 4 to 6. Students should get plenty of rest prior to the exams.

KCHS will host the district honor band Monday and Tuesday.

Cook Inlet Academy

Second-graders are studying the 17 species of penguins. The students have completed art projects, reports and writing assignments, read stories and watched a movie about the birds. The writing projects will be put into a booklet for the students to keep. The students also are just one library award away from a trip to the Nikiski pool.

The public is invited to stop in and see the new Orff instruments, music stands, concert drums, cymbals, congas and sheet music that was purchased with money from the Christmas banquet fund-raiser. Mrs. Rehm and the music students thank the parents and guests who donated money to the music department. The next musical program will be March 31, when the preschool through sixth-graders will present a musical folk tale night.

This month's volunteer is Jan Hanrahan. She has worked as a teacher aid in the lower elementary grades and served as the honorary storyteller for preschool through second grades.

Grace Lutheran

This week, students will study the story of the rich young ruler. The young ruler wanted to know what he had to do to be saved. He felt he had been a good man and kept the commandments as best he could. Jesus' response was that he should sell his riches and give to the poor. The man didn't want to give up his riches for Jesus. Students learned that it isn't God-pleasing to put things before God.

Also this week, students in seventh and eighth grades are studying the difference between catastrophism and uniformitarianism -- or the difference in the two beliefs of the creation of the world.

The fourth- through sixth-graders are studying plants,. Thanks to Cindy Wentzlaff, who came in to speak to the students about parts of angiosperms, or flowering plants.

Upper-grade students are doing cross-country skiing for physical education.

Congratulations to Tom Werth, the Word Power Challenge champion for the state. He will compete nationally in Williamsburg, Va., in March.

Kenai Cooperative Preschool

Thanks to the parents who helped at the Valentine's Day party. Students went to the Forget-Me-Not center and had fun singing and sharing valentines.

The students are moving on to a new unit of study: "Growing Up Healthy." This week, students are focusing on teeth. There are giant teeth in the texture tub for students to practice brushing skills. The class also is working on a science experiment. Students dropped a boiled egg in soda and are observing the effects. They will get a chance to see first-hand what happens when a toothbrush and toothpaste are used on the eggs. Next week, the class will learn about the human body.

Kenaitze Cuya Qyut'anen Head Start

Thanks to Vickie Segura for working with staff on a cultural project, to Chuda Mary Showalter for working on "All About Me" books, to Jane Stein for financial planning classes for parents, and to Ingrid Shaginoff for teaching nutrition classes to the children and offering nutrition counseling to parents. Thanks also to the school policy council members for their time and energy and to the Dena'ina Dental Clinic for continued service to the children.

Carol VanDerWege will teach the first of five family reading and early childhood literacy classes for parents Feb. 27. Dinner will be served, and families need to sign up in advance.

Students are working on food pyramids, rhythm sticks and a nutrition unit. Ingrid Shaginoff was the guest speaker for the monthly family night.

Kenaitze Cuya Qyut'anen Head Start has a waiting list of income-eligible children. If you believe you would qualify for Head Start, call the school at 283-0707 to begin the application process.

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