School news around the district

Posted: Wednesday, February 21, 2001

Aurora Borealis Charter School

The first- and second-graders made a model of Egypt. The Nile River runs through the middle of the scene, and sugar cube pyramids can be seen along one bank. The students planted birdseed crops along the other bank and flooded the river to sprout the seeds.

The Teddy Bear Tea for the parents was last week. Each child got up in front of the room and read their own story or poem written about their favorite teddy bear. This aids in developing the children's early public speaking skills.

Mr. Palm and Mr. Severson will have their classroom forensics meet Thursday. Parents will attend for viewing and judging. The winning students in each of the categories can participate in the district forensics meet in March.

ABC holds a monthly drawing for the students who turn in Campbell's Soup labels. The company offers a wonderful program for students to earn different items for their school by bringing in labels and box tops. The January winner was kindergartner Brandi Wagoner. If you have labels to donate, drop them off at the office.

Are you interested in enrolling your child in our school? This is the time to register your child for the lottery. For details, call the office at 283-0292.

Kalifornsky Beach Elementary

Mr. Daniels' "Cobras" are in the staging area of two great field trips and a project. The class will visit the Challenger Learning Center today to learn about the geology, mapping and coordinate system of Mars. They will build rockets Friday. Monday they will use the Challenger Center's special rocket launcher to send them into the atmosphere. March 8, the class will travel with their study buddies from Mrs. Dover's class to see Circo Comedia, a two-man act at Kenai Central High School.

Mrs. Cowart's sixth-grade class went to the Challenger Learning Center Feb. 1. They had a mission that successfully made a rendezvous with a comet. This mission was a culmination of their space studies. Congratulations to the students and parents attending for this challenging adventure.

Mrs. Dover's second-graders enjoyed their trip to Alaska Great Skate on Valentine's Day. They are still working on poetry recital pieces and weather.

Reserve your copy of the 2000-01 school yearbook today.

For up-to-date news, stop by the school Web site at

Mountain View Elementary

Mr. Vedders' class kicked off its unit on the Earth, sun and moon by making "cosmic creations" with district art specialist Celia Anderson. They will follow-up with creative writing and poetry projects while learning about gravity, moon phases, tides and the seasons.

Mrs. Keating's class enjoyed Hawaii Day Feb. 12. They participated in activities and tasted fresh pineapple Mrs. Keating brought back from her recent Hawaiian trip. Teacher and students dressed in clothes appropriate to Hawaii, all in sharp contrast to the temperature and snow outside.

Mrs. Ermold thanks everyone who sent in items for the fun ice cream party with their study buddies. The Tupperware fund-raiser earned about $400 toward a trip to the Challenger Learning Center in March. Tupperware items will arrive sometime next week. Silver Lining Sales and Tammy Wolf supported and organized the fund-raiser. Students will celebrate with Mrs. Gustkey's class during an ice cream party sponsored by Mrs. Wolf.

The school thanks Linda Swarner, Mary Estes, Bettina Brown and Mary Jo Foglia for judging the school forensics tournament. Winners will be announced next week. Fourth- and fifth-grade first-place winners will represent Mountain View at the borough forensics meet March 3.

Spring portraits will be taken Monday.

Nikiski Elementary

The all-school spelling bee will be Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. Families of participants are invited.

The fourth-grade students are scheduled to take the CAT 5 tests Monday and Tuesday. Monday through March 1 the third- and sixth-grade students will take the Alaska Benchmark Test. The school asks parents to make sure children get a good night's sleep and a good breakfast to help them perform at their best during testing.

The fifth- and sixth-grade Battle of the Books teams placed third out of 22 schools in the district competition. The students worked hard and were well prepared. The team coaches worked hard and also deserve recognition. If you see these young folks, thank them. The fifth- and sixth-grade team was Jessica Bowlin, Jeremy Narlock, Tyler Payment, Joel Ribbens and Mike Wicker. The coaches were Amber Herrmann, Leora Olsen, Billie Rae Parrish and Keyna Quinn. The third- and fourth-grade team also did a great job representing Nikiski Elementary.

The PTA thanks the parents who turned out for parent-teacher conferences Monday and Tuesday. Attending conferences is an important step to helping your child succeed.

Miss Cox will have a schoolwide book swap for students Feb. 28. Students may bring books to school through Feb. 28 that they have already read or no longer want. For each book turned in, the students will receive a coupon to swap for a book of their choice.

North Star Elementary

The school geography bee results are in. Spike Hammon was the winner in a tie-breaking round. Elisha Chenault received second place, and Julia Baker placed third.

Redoubt Elementary

Family Reading Night is today from 6 to 7:30 with guest readers. All students and their families are invited. The Scholastic Book Fair will remain open for this event. Refreshments will be served.

The school is looking for children's books for Bingo for Books. If you have any to donate, drop them by the school office.

Troopers will carry the Special Olympics torch through the city of Soldotna and into Redoubt Elementary, where a Special Olympics World Games assembly will be held at 12:45 p.m. March 2. This formal welcome ceremony will honor Special Olympians and an international delegation of troopers. Special guests, Redoubt students and staff, the Soldotna High School band and assorted dignitaries will attend the ceremony.

Redoubt Reading Challenge continues through the end of February. Students should be reading and completing challenge forms. A drawing will be held at the end of the reading challenge. The student drawn wins a pizza party for his or her class.

Turn Off Your TV Week is March 2-8. Family activities will be held at the school during this week. Complete information will go home with students.

Sears Elementary

The students had a great Valentine's Day with parties and the traditional teddy bear parade. Several classes took advantage of the snow and had a sledding party on the playground.

Mrs. Sorenson's and Mrs. Atchley's classes are studying stars. Mrs. Hanson's and Mrs. Porter's classes had a visit from members of the Kenaitze tribe. Miss Ralston's class has been studying planets. Mrs. Knudsen's and Ms. Laffety's classes blasted off their rockets. Mrs. Thomas' class is studying night time. And Mrs. Anderson's class is studying nursery rhymes.

The Sears PTA will sell Sears Seal T-shirts again this spring. Watch your child's Friday folder for more information and order forms. PTA is looking for anyone interested in being a PTA officer next year. If you are interested or want to nominate someone for a position, contact Cheryl at 283-3980.

The Girl Scouts are looking for girls and leaders. There will be a meeting for parents and daughters Thursday from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. For more information, contact Joyce at 262-5996.

Remember to send your child with appropriate snow gear so they can enjoy the snow at recess.

Soldotna Elementary

Congratulations to classroom winners of the 2001 spelling bee: J. Mohorcich, Gabe VanZee, Jamie Sinclair, Andrew Miller, Kyle France, Erin Powers, Kelli Acton, Clarissa Turvin, Jeff Pindras, Theresa Ramponi, Evan Druce and Eli Holt. They will participate in the schoolwide spelling bee Thursday at 1:30 p.m. in the gym.

Third- and sixth-grade students will take the Alaska Benchmark tests next week. Help your child to do his best with your encouragement with a good breakfast and a full night's sleep,

Keep sending in your General Mills Box Tops for Education with your child. The school will collect from classrooms through March 16 and then select the top classroom for an ice cream party. Another competition will start after spring break and go through May 1.

Sterling Elementary

Friday was pajama day. The PTA sponsored the celebration to break up the February doldrums.

Friday also was the Reading Is Fundamental second book giveaway for the year. The RIF evening book bingo and taco feed will be Friday in the gym from 5:30 to 6:30. Bingo will be from 6 to 7.

The school staff thanks parents who attended conferences Tuesday.

The Young Authors Celebration had authors visiting classrooms to share their love of writing.

James Bisgaard is the school spelling bee champion, and Jenna Grant is runner-up.

The Battle of the Books teams were third- and fourth-graders Robert Skuse, Jordan Merkes, Chad Oakes and alternate Melissa Massey, and fifth- and sixth-graders Becky Warton, Teagun Coreson, Mara Mohler and alternate Nick Swain. Battle of the Books had been absent from Sterling Elementary for years, but this year the Falcons returned to the competition and placed fourth out of 22 schools.

The forensics classroom competitions will be this week.

Ms. Biggs, the music teacher, is teaching fifth- and sixth-graders English handbell ringing. Playing handbells is a team effort. Each child only plays one or two notes instead of playing an entire score. Ms. Biggs has conducted handbell choirs for 10 years and is a published composer of handbell music.

Tustumena Elementary

Tustumena T-Shirt sales will begin later this month and end before spring break.

The state Battle of Books will be Thursday and Friday.

Mrs. Knobf's class will sell raffle tickets for a friendship star quilt made by the students. Tickets are $5 or three for $10. The money raised will be used for her class to visit the Kenai Fjords. Mrs. Ely helped with this project.

The library could win a set of 2001 World Book Encyclopedias at the Alaska Library Association conference in March. Every library in the state is eligible for the drawing. The school will receive one chance to win the encyclopedias for each $1 donation it gets. The donations stay with the library. Mrs. Barkman will attend the conference in Sitka.

The Scholastic Book Fair will remain open through Feb. 28. The book fair will be open during the public library hours today and Monday.

If you can serve as a PTO officer, call PTO president Judy Johnson at 262-4763 or the school office at 262-4844. Each position is a one-year term.

The first practice for wrestling will be Monday in the Soldotna High School upper gym at 5 p.m. Practice will be Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. For more information, call 260-3448.

Kenai Middle School

The wrestlers travel to Soldotna Saturday, the volleyball players will go to Seward, and the cross-country skiers will participate in the borough tournament at Skyview.

A clinic will be held at Kenai Middle School for the first hepatitis A and B shots March 27. If you want your student to receive this shot, complete the paperwork from the last newsletter and turn it in to the office this week. If you would like to volunteer to help with the clinic, call nurse Pam Howard at 283-4896.

The next site-based council meeting will be Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in the library.

About 120 eighth-grade students and 15 adults will travel to Johnson Lake for the day Thursday. The first half of the year in science is spent on a fishery unit. The students will participate in various activities, including compass orientation, cold weather survival and ice fishing as a healthy recreational activity. They also will enjoy a barbecue, sack races and a fishing derby. Prizes will be awarded for the first, biggest and smallest fish.

The Koppert-Blacklock sixth-grade classes visited the Challenger Learning Center as a culminating activity for their space exploration interdisciplinary unit.

Soldotna Middle School

The Dairy Queen Winners of the Week are student Jeff Dolifka and staff member Bill Altland. The Pepsi trivia winner was Katie Franzmann from Mr. McBee's class.

Congratulations to Leanne Drown, the spelling bee champion, who will travel to Anchorage to represent Soldotna Middle School in March. Virginia Berg is the alternate.

SMS students Eve Green, Leanne Drown and Deana Glick are performing in the musical, "The Music Man," showing at Kenai Central High School.

The volleyball team will travel to Nikiski; the wresters are at home; and the cross-country skiing borough championships are at Skyview Saturday.

The school thanks J.P. Roberts, an eighth-grade student, and seventh-graders Shane Strausbaugh, Orlando Cuaresma and Adrienne Marey for their hard work of shoveling the sidewalks after the snowfall Feb. 12. These students volunteered to help the custodian.

Derick McKenzie, an eighth-grade student, placed fourth in the state for the physical fitness decathlon sponsored by the Boys and Girls Club and the Sports Authority.

Due to a high volume of parent phone messages during the school day, the school requests that parents and students make plans before the school day begins. If a message must be submitted, do so before lunch. Emergency messages always are accepted.


Connections students attended the author's talk by mystery writer S.J. Rozan Feb. 14 at Kenai Middle School. It included a question-and-answer session of her life as a professional writer.

The presentation included how she worked as an architect for 20 years, but followed her passion for writing, publishing her first of seven books and various short stories in 1989. The publishing process of writing, editing, revising and rewriting, until the editor publishes the final piece, was a strong message to young writers about writing as a process.

Connections thanks Ann McLain and KMS for including district home-school students in her visit.

If you have not already done so, you must notify the school and the Connections staff today of the location where you will take the upcoming CAT 5, Benchmark and high school exit exam tests. Most buildings are giving the CAT 5 tests Tuesday, Feb. 28 and March 1, so be aware that the testing dates for buildings differ from the Connections CAT 5 date scheduled March 8.

The student and family social for February will be a roller skating event today at Great Land Skate in Soldotna from 2:30 to 4 p.m. The cost is $3 for skaters.

Kenai Central High School

Congratulations to the Kenai hockey team for making it to the state competition.

The after-prom committee will meet Thursday at 7 p.m. If you are interested in helping with after prom activities, attend or call Liana Bigham at 283-7524.

Class ring packets will be handed out in the next few weeks. If you want a school ring, see the Josten's representatives.

February is Love of Reading Month. The Kenai Peninsula Reading Council and the Phi Delta Kappa fraternity are sponsoring a book collection drive. Any new and like-new books for any age level, can be donated, as can cash, checks or bookstore gift certificates. For more information, contact Mrs. Nabholz at 283-7524.

Good luck to the Mock Trial team as they travel to Anchorage this weekend for the state competition.

Any junior uncertain of which High School Graduation Qualifying Exam test he or she needs should see a counselor as soon as possible. Most testing will be in the auditorium starting at 7:45 a.m. Tuesday. Some students will be tested in the library. All test takers are invited to breakfast in the cafeteria from 7:15 to 7:45 a.m. All test materials will be provided. Calculators are not allowed. Food and drink must remain in the student's backpack in the back of the testing room. Students may access those items during the monitored break or when finished testing.

Nikiski Middle-Senior High School

Character Cornerstone awards are given for going beyond the classroom. Having a great attitude, helping others and doing the right thing cornerstone characteristics. The following students were honored for February: Adam Segura and Phillip Kensinger, respect; Gabby Damro, Anthony Sykes and Terah Mobbs, kindness; Lake Nash and Megan Thye, trustworthiness; and Tracie Nightingale, C.J. Yeager and Justin Trenton, responsibility.

Yearbooks are still on sale for $55 or $60 for a personalized cover. The books are sold in the school bookstore Wednesdays and Fridays. After spring break they will not be available.

The jazz band and chamber choir did a great job at the dessert dance.

Soldotna High School

Congratulations to the Soldotna High School Battle of the Books team: Sara Youngren, Amanda Loshbaugh, Christa Martin, Crystal Carlson, Kaitlin Vadla and Amber Benson. The team placed second in the Feb. 8 district competition.

Congratulations to the February Rotary Students of the Month: Denise Metcalf, Neil Gardner, Cassandra Kennedy, Kyle Foster, Will Powell, Zachary Boll, Aaron Dolifka, Jennifer Luckman, Amber Benson, Jeremy Kauffman, Kirilana Scanlon, Roy Hammer and Sam Gerber.

The midwinter dance will be Friday night from 8:30 to 11 after the basketball games against West Valley. Cost is $5 per person. SoHi students are reminded to sign up guests by 3 p.m. Friday. The sign-up sheet is on Mrs. Moock's office door.

The Mock Trial team and Model United Nations members will be in Anchorage Friday and Saturday for their respective activities. About 50 SoHi students will participate.

Parents of juniors will meet in the staff lounge Monday at 7 p.m. Parents of juniors interested in helping with the after-prom party are invited.

The High School Qualifying Exam will begin Tuesday. SoHi students will be transported to the Soldotna Sports Center for testing.

For more information about Soldotna High School, check out the Web site at

Cook Inlet Academy

The VFW Voice of Democracy contest for the state of Alaska selected Cameron O'Connell for second place. She won $500.

Students of the Week are Bryce Horton, Reid Schmelzenbach, Chuck Kopp, Kyle Kjeldson, Sarah Seynei and Dalton Johnson.

This week's science lab project involved hands-on experience with a volleyball to determine the speed when thrown various ways for different distances.

During Missions Week, alumna Nicole Reese was chapel speaker on the subject of communication. She made the point that God holds people accountable for what they say and how they treat other people.

February is the appropriate month for the study of relationships, the topic in Bible class. Each week a different relationship aspect will be discussed.

Teacher evaluations were the week of Feb. 9. Parent-teacher conferences were held Monday.

Tuesday was the monthly Child Evangelism Fellowship party.

Parent-teacher Fellowship will be Monday at 7 p.m. Principal Chuck Crapuchettes will present a mini-seminar and information about school business. During the January PTF, he encouraged parents to nurture a desire and thirst for learning.

Visit Cook Inlet Academy on the Web at www.cookinletacade

Wings Christian Academy

Wings is having a spirit month. Each Tuesday of the month is a spirit day. Last Tuesday students dressed up as their favorite old person for Over-The-Hill Day. Next Tuesday will be the last spirit day, and it will be Bible character day. There are so many options, students can be creative.

The basketball teams play Togiak at home Friday. The girls play at 6 p.m. and the boys at 7:30 p.m. Saturday the games start at 10 a.m. and go until 11:30 a.m.

There will be a bake sale at Kmart from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday. The money will go to the Wings coed and girls' volleyball teams.

The A and B honor roll students have earned a tubing trip to Solid Rock Thursday.

The kindergarten class is learning new sounds for this week. The children learned "oo'" as in "book" or "hook."

Students made stained-glass candy jars for their moms and fellow teachers last week.

Alexis Beatty and Troy Consiel had the tidiest desks of the week.

Kenaitze Cuya Qyut'anen Head Start

The Head Start preschoolers will visit the Challenger Learning Center today, in conjunction with their space theme.

Miss Maggie and the Jabila'ina Dancers performed Dena'ina dancing for the children last week. They also helped the preschoolers rehearse their songs and dances for the Heyi program in March.

Head Start staff appreciates the parents who helped make goodies and participated in the Valentine's Day party.

February is dental health month. Tracy from the Parent Support Program will present information on dental health care at the parent family meeting Tuesday. The Dena'ina Clinic donated toothbrushes and toothpaste to each family member in the Head Start program.

Peninsula Grace Preschool

This week's helpers are Sidney, Allie, Jonah and Jordan.

To celebrate Presidents Day, the students are learning about Washington and Lincoln. Students will learn songs and read stories about each president's life and what they did as president. The children will be introduced to the presidents on the penny and quarter.

The students have enjoyed the physical education time they get each week in the gym. They like sharing the games they know with classmates.

The school would like to thank Bonnie Nichols at Central Peninsula General Hospital for giving the students a tour. Everyone learned new information and the staff was friendly.

For more information, call Chris at 262-1284.

Soldotna Cooperative Preschool

The children had a fun Valentine's Day party. Monday they had a sledding party with hot chocolate and cookies afterward.

A new super preschooler will be coming soon. Keep watching to see who it might be.

The children are celebrating friends and friendship this week. They are putting on puppet shows, playing games and exploring common interests.

Happy belated birthday to Shaelyn, who turned 5 Thursday.

The preschool still has some openings for children ages 3 to 5. For information, call Susan at 262-4102 or the preschool in the mornings at 262-9149.

To have information published in Schools, please send a description of the event or accomplishment to Shana Loshbaugh at P.O. Box 3009, Kenai, AK 99611. Information will be accepted by e-mail at or by fax at 283-3299.

The deadline for submission is Thursday at 5 p.m. for publication in the following Wednesday's paper. For information, contact Shana Loshbaugh at 283-7551.

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