Welcome back! Summer once again has flown by, and school supplies are available at many stores... a sure sign of fall. A special welcome to our entering kindergartners, the Class of 2014 -- may your experience at school be one that is productive and positive.
Let me bring to your attention some changes in the school calendar. First, we have returned to a Wednesday start of school, with the first day of classes being Aug. 24. Second, this year we will not be doing partial days of school with conferences in the afternoon. Instead, because of a change in the state interpretation of in-service days, we have designated two days in the fall (Oct. 26-27) and one day in the late winter (Feb. 20) for conferences.
Finally, though not a change in the dates but a change in the calendar document itself, we will not be publishing the school calendar as a take-home item for every student on the first day of school. We found that many times the dates changed after the calendar was printed, and that led to confusion for everyone. We will be sending home a magnetic school calendar with the important dates for the year shown. Our hope is that you'll put this on your refrigerator and use it throughout the year. Please let us know how this new idea works.
So, without a monthly calendar, how will you know what is going on at your school and when events are happening? As always, the schools will be doing calendars of local events on a regular basis. Your best source of up-to-the-minute calendars and information will be our Web site, which is found at http://www.kp bsd.k12.ak.us. Links to schools are from the main Web page.
If you haven't visited our Web site lately, I urge you to do so because we've redesigned it to make things more easily accessible. Your feedback is always important to us.
A couple of incredible things relating to technology happened during last school year. Do you remember where you were when you received your first e-mail from someone out of state? The same positive feeling happened this spring when we livecast, for the first time, events like concerts and graduation through our Web site to the world. On a single night of one high school graduation, we recorded 4,000 hits to the Web site -- this is a big deal.
We can't imagine working without e-mail anymore (the district has about 10,000 messages a week), and in a very short time we won't be able to imagine life without livecasts of everything!
You will see the biggest changes next year at the local high schools where, through generous support from the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly, new technology will be available for student use. Our new infrastructure is making possible things we only have dreamed of doing in the past. The goal of increasing opportunities for students and staff through technology will be pursued throughout the year with training and support for success.
As "keepers of the dream," we are responsible for assuring that all students of the Kenai Peninsula receive a quality education. That means that we must have inspired teachers, involved parents, peaceful schools, excellent administrators and adequate human and material resources to do the job.
In these times of difficult decisions regarding finances, we must all work together in pursuit of this quality education in each of the diverse communities on the peninsula.
Thank you for choosing to live, work and and send your children to public schools on the Kenai Peninsula. To each parent of the 10,000 students at our 40 schools, know that we appreciate your sending your child to school well rested, fed and prepared for the day. We will continue to work on our mission of developing creative, productive learners who demonstrate the skills, knowledge and attitudes to meet life's challenges.
Thank you for all that you do with us and for us as we strive toward a future that is exciting and wonderful.
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