Welcome to the 2010-11 school year. After a summer of rest, recreation and a little too much rain, the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District staff is again ready to do all that it can for our students. Over the summer the district's principals and administrators diligently planned and prepared for the return of students and staff.
Many teachers, as well as administrators, participated in professional development through college courses, workshops and other trainings designed to help our staff meet the needs of our students. I know that all of us at KPBSD are excited about the start of the year and are eager to implement our plans that will lead to improved learning opportunities.
As the numbers below illustrate, I am pleased to report that our KPBSD students continue to perform above the state's average on the state's annual standardized tests. These results would not be possible without everyone's on-going commitment to offering our students a quality education.
* Tested Subject -- Reading: percentage of state students proficient or advanced was 81.9 and percentage of KPBSD students proficient or advanced was 90.1;
* Tested Subject -- Writing: percentage of state students proficient or advanced was 74.1 and percentage of KPBSD students proficient or advanced was 83; and
* Tested Subject -- Math: percentage of state students proficient or advanced was 71.1 and percentage of KPBSD students proficient or advanced was 79.1. All of us at KPBSD strive to keep you, our stakeholders, informed about all of our operations; this is a responsibility that we take seriously. Our Web site is the main source for this communication and is in a constant state of change with postings of new information. Please note the communications section that is a part of our new Web site design.
We also plan to provide district information to you through Facebook, Twitter and a suprintendent's blog. I trust that the new site will be more user-friendly; we encourage your feedback on this. School newsletters and other district publications will also keep you up to speed on what is going on with KPBSD. Please feel free to visit our schools when you can; we welcome visitors into our buildings.
The school board members and staff of Kenai Peninsula Borough School District will continue our commitment to doing all that we can to help our students find academic success. We invite parents and community members to join us by volunteering in the schools and becoming involved in partnerships to support students. Schools need the help of parents and community members to be successful with each student. It is also critical for our students to know that their parents, guardians, relatives and friends are supportive of their schooling process. A student without this support may at times feel at a loss to find the necessary focus to excel at his or her studies.
In the Central Peninsula area, we welcome 28 new teachers and two new administrators. Dawn Edwards-Smith will be the principal with teaching duties at River City Academy. Lisa Callahan will be the new principal at Nikiski North Star. Former North Star Principal, Lori Manion, joins the district office to coordinate the district's professional development. KPBSD also welcomes back our support staff-nurses, custodians, bus drivers, food service professionals-the backbone for district success.
Please let your principal know of recommendations that you may have for improvement at your school or for the district; we are always receptive to hearing your thoughts. I look forward to seeing you in the coming months; have a great start to the school year. We are anxiously waiting the return of our students and look forward to another outstanding school year!
Steve Atwater, Ph.D.
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