Around the District

Posted: Wednesday, February 21, 2001

Schools page gets new logo

The new logo on the Around the District column was designed by Chance Percival, a Kenai Central High School junior who visited the Peninsula Clarion as part of the Job Shadow Program sponsored by the school and the Kenai Chamber of Commerce.

Students face vital tests

Next week, students in certain grades face important tests mandated by state law.

High school sophomores and juniors who have not previously passed, will take the Alaska High School Graduation Qualifying Exam, also known as the exit exam. The three-part test will be given over three days, beginning Tuesday. The mathematics test will be first, followed by the writing, with the reading last.

The Alaska Benchmark tests for grades three, six and eight also will take place those days. The Benchmarks are state tests to gauge if students are on track to eventually pass the high school requirements.

CAT 5 tests will be given to grades four and seven sometime between Monday and March 9. Individual schools determine the CAT 5 test schedules. These are achievement tests comparing students to national and state averages.

Help your children do their best with encouragement, a good breakfast and a full night's sleep.

Exit exam practice tests available

A practice copy of the three-part Alaska High School Graduation Qualifying Exam is available on the Internet through the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development. To get a copy, go to and click on the "HSGQE Practice Test" link. The test is a 64-page document in PDF Adobe Acrobat format.

The department also has posted the eighth-grade Benchmark Examination.

"The new high school exam practice test is superior to the old one," said Deputy Commissioner Bruce Johnson in a notice from the state.

He said test publisher CTB/McGraw Hill developed the new practice test in reading, writing and math and the old one was developed in state.

"Since CTB has developed the actual high school exam, this practice test is a closer approximation of what students will face when it's time to take the actual high school exam," Johnson said. "I would characterize this practice test as a good diagnostic tool that will give teachers some predictability of how well students will score on the actual exam."

Two more practice tests are under development, one for the third-grade and one for the sixth-grade Benchmark Exams. They are expected to be available within the month.

Exit exam preview offered for Nikiski teens

All Nikiski High School freshmen, sophomores and juniors are invited to a free practice session for the Alaska High School Graduation Qualifying Exam from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in the school library. If you are curious about what to expect on the exam and want to familiarize yourself with the format, you are welcome to attend. The school will provide lunch.

For more information, call the counseling office at 776-3456.

Charter school plans enrollment lottery

Aurora Borealis Charter School, a public school within the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, will conduct an enrollment lottery April 10. The lottery determines the 2001-02 school year placement of students now on a waiting list.

Personnel from Mikunda, Cottrell and Company, certified public accountants, will supervise the lottery. Applications and copies of the enrollment and lottery procedures are available at the school office from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

All applications for enrollment for the 2001-02 school year must be delivered in person to the school office no later that 4 p.m. March 16. The lottery results will be posted at the ABCS April 16. If your child has a lottery number, you will not need to go through another lottery. The school asks that if you no longer want to be on the waiting list, you contact Debbi Palm at 283-0292.

Nikiski High announces Students of the Month

Nikiski Middle-Senior High School has announced its Students of the Month for January.

The senior high: Nicole Deshong, art; Tonya Dunlap, Chris Roofe and Jennifer Grumbo-Perkerson, mathematics; Pius Hanson, world history; Paul Kendall, tri-science; Alice Lee, on-the-job training; Chris Overhuls, biology; Gordon Stanley, language arts; Seth Tauriainen, woodworking; Zach Womack, power mechanics and metals; and Dan Zulkanycz, reading.

The middle school: Samantha Calderwood, physical education; Jessica Copple and Terah Mobbs, mathematics; Krystall Gladden, language arts; Karina Lorenzo, band; Rick Miller, world history; and Saharai Thompson, eighth-grade social studies.

University honors peninsula teacher

During the "Celebrating Success in Career and Technical Education" banquet at the University of Alaska Anchorage campus Friday, Kurt Racicot of Homer High School was honored as an outstanding educator in the field of vocational education.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District was one of only five districts selected from the entire state by the university to be included in the celebration of superior vocational programs.

The Dean of the Community and Technical College and the University Provost attended to share in the celebrating outstanding vocational educators and programs.

Homer hosts science teachers

The Kachemak Bay Research Reserve hosted a teachers' science workshop in Homer Friday and Saturday. It was the first of three two-day sessions of an Alaska Coastal Climate Change-GLOBE (Global Learning Observation to Benefit the Environment) Workshop.

Nineteen teachers from around Kachemak Bay learned how their students can monitor the environment using GLOBE protocols and about global climate change lessons for the classroom.

Schools and organizations scheduled to participate included Voznesenka School, Nikolaevsk School, Susan B. English School (in Seldovia), the Seldovia Native Association, the Port Graham Village Council, Nanwalek School, Magpie Academy (a private school in Homer), West Homer Elementary, Homer Flex High School, the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies and home-school parent teachers from Homer, Anchor Point, Kenai and Soldotna with the Interior Distance Education of Alaska program.

The second and third sessions of the workshop will be March 16, 17, April 27 and 28.

Students invited to job fair

The Peninsula Job Center will host a job fair March 31 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Soldotna High School. The job fair will be in the library and is part of the Healthy Communities-Healthy People's sixth annual Village Fair, Health Fair and Safe Kids Fair.

High school and college students should check with their school and college counselors, read school newsletters for more information and get their resumes and cover letters prepared. For out-of-state college students returning to the peninsula this summer, e-mail resumes, cover letters, job preferences and schedules to or mail it to the Peninsula Job Center, 11312 Kenai Spur Highway, Suite 2, Kenai, AK 99611.

A list of employers attending the job fair will be furnished to schools in late March. For more information or to sign up for booth space, call 283-2901.

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