District School News

Posted: Wednesday, September 04, 2002

Kalifornsky Beach Elementary

Ms. Tyler's sixth-graders started their week learning the days of the week, alphabet and numbers in French. They also are starting their second annual mosaic project that will result in a donation to the local Hospice.

Mrs. Furlong's class had a great first week of school, studying plants and forests.

All fifth-graders will visit the Kenai Fjords on Sept. 12.

Mr. Daniels has a hard-working group of kids this year. The fourth-graders will travel to Exit Glacier this month to learn about geology, and will study simple machines, weather, birds and foreign languages.

Deb Hayes, Connie Meyer, Cheryl Barber and Linell McCrum finished administering Reading Curriculum Based Measurements to all fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders within the first two days of school. The information obtained from this assessment is used to monitor reading fluency progress. It is administered three times a year, in August, January and May. Assessment results are shared with teachers, administrators and parents.

Parents are asked to pull all the way forward when dropping students off and to have children exit from the right side of the car.

K-Beach offers a pat on the back to parent volunteer Misty McCown for her assistance in making the traffic flow safer for students.

Thanks to the PTA for all of its hard work to starting the school year off on a positive note.

Nikiski Elementary

Members of the Kenaitze Indian Tribe visited Mr. Floyd's and Mrs. Kendall's fifth- and sixth-grade classes to share traditional plant lore. Students took a hike through the woods on the North Peninsula Recreation Center's trails while tribe members taught identification and traditional uses of plants. The afternoon was informative and recreational and helped students understand more about local heritage and environment.

First- through sixth-grade students will bring home their packets for the library fund-raiser today. This annual fund-raiser supports the Accelerated Reader program, visiting authors, Love of Reading Month and other projects that benefit the whole school.

The first meeting of the PTA will be at 3:45 p.m. Sept. 12 in the library. Food, door prizes and a special prize for the class with the most parents attending will be offered.

The Nikiski Elementary Band will begin next week. For more information, call Ann Holloway at the school.

Redoubt Elementary

Welcome to Redoubt's new staff members: Tammy Newby, Jayne McFarland, Cathy Kibling, Holly Davis, student teachers Rick Boyarko and Tamara Passe and counselors Amy Simons and Joe Stratman.

All students must return an orange emergency form. The following classes returned 100 percent of their forms: Mr. Faris's second and third grade; Mr. Mills' and Mrs. Harding's fourth grade; Mrs. St. Onge's third grade; Mrs. Dusek's second grade; and Mrs. Lewis's first grade.

Families are asked to complete a free and reduced lunch application. If a family qualifies for benefits but chooses not to participate, their information can still help the school receive much needed funds and other benefits. All information provided is strictly confidential. Students enrolled in the lunch program last school year are covered under a 20-day grace period which ends Sept. 18.

Parents also should complete the non-permission form sent home last week if they do not want their child included in school related photographs and/or videos or do not want their child to use the Internet.

Lunchroom snack sales begin this week on Tuesdays and Thursdays for grades one to six. Prices range from $.25 to $1. Students may use cash or their ala carte accounts to purchase snacks. They may not use money from their lunch accounts.

Ice Cream Friday resumed last week. Students may purchase a variety of ice cream treats on Fridays for $.75. Proceeds are used for student birthday celebrations and other rewards, as well as the Redoubt Scholarship. Juice drinks and bottled water may be purchased before and after school for $.75.

Intramural soccer games begin next week. Students are working on spirit posters.

The PTA meets at 3:45 p.m. Tuesday in the school lounge.

All staff and students are encouraged to wear red, white and blue to school Wednesday in honor of Sept. 11. Other memorial activities also planned, including a luncheon hosted by the staff for local emergency personnel.

How to Help Your Children with Homework will offer tips to parents the evening of Sept. 12. Complete information will be sent home in the school newsletter.

Through the efforts of many generous volunteers and organizations, Redoubt's breakfast program has resumed. Cold cereal and milk are served daily before school. The intent is to make this program available to any child. However, the target is children and families whose need is great. This program is not a part of the school's lunch program and there are no qualifying conditions or paperwork involved. To help, call Diane Bush at 262-8570.

Soldotna Elementary

It's Innisbrook time again. Innisbrook product packages will be sent home today and are due back at school by Sept. 18. This is the only fund-raiser in which Soldotna Elementary participates and support is greatly appreciated. Past funds have purchased playground equipment, a playground aide and computers. This year's main goal will be to fund a playground aide to further playground safety. Innisbrook products include designer gift wraps, gourmet foods, note cards and handy bags.

The Sol El Singers, under the direction of music teacher Erin Southwick, is looking for members to join this fifth/sixth grade group. A choir letter will be sent home to parents, and a meeting is scheduled for Thursday at 2:45 p.m. in the music room.

Fourth-grade students in Ms. Courtright's class had a special opportunity to hike to Russian River Falls last week. Miranda Smith, Matthew Deatherage, Cassi Hollingsworth, Dominique Essig and Adam Williamson, as well as their parents, accompanied Ms. Courtright on this hike to get to know each other as part of a new fourth-grade community.

Tustumena Elementary

The school would like to thank Sarah Armstrong of Clam Gulch and Martha Hapeman of Kasilof for designating Tustumena School to receive $50 in NYE Frontier Toyota's "Spirit of Giving" program. The donation will be passed directly to students during the upcoming school year.

Planning will begin soon for the Tustumena Halloween Carnival scheduled for October. The event requires parent assistance. To join the carnival organizing committee, call the school.

Tustumena welcomes the following new staff members this year: Jennifer Haddix, grade six; Terri Cowart, grade six; Carol VenDerWege, librarian and Title I; Elizabeth DeVold, music; Danielle Thompson, speech/language pathologist; Tammy Dudley, nurse; Trudy Davis, kitchen assistant; and Darrel Williams, special education aide.

Student teachers serving at Tustumena this fall are: Kelly Johnson in Ms. Worsfold's classroom, and Ms. Maria Chythlook in Ms. Blossom's classroom.

Kenai Middle School

Congratulations to last week's Character Counts kids: Candace Walker, Naythen Hansen, Brittany Magill, Molly Watkins, Elizabeth Deardorff, Amanda Mills, Christina Fischer and Logan Rosing. These students were recognized for demonstrating trustworthiness, respect, care, rsponsibility, fairness and citizenship.

In an effort to cut costs, KMS will be placing its monthly newsletters online. News and student homework assignments can be accessed at www.kpbsd.k12.ak.us/kms.

Remember the following dates: The school store opens today. There will be a back to school barbecue from 5:30 to 6:30 Thursday night, followed by an open house from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The soccer team will host a game at 10 a.m. Saturday, and the cross country running team competes at Skyview at 10 a.m. Saturday. The sixth-grade car wash will be Sept. 14, and school pictures will be Sept. 18.

The counseling department, faculty and administration would like to thank parent and student volunteers who volunteered during student registration. Thanks especially to Kenda Blanning, Denise Dukowitz, Maria Iverson, Laura Liddelow, Bobbie McGahan, Johnelle McCauley and Kim Navarre.


Enrollment applications are still being accepted for Connections, the district home school program. Students are able to take up to two classes in their area school of attendance and can participate in school sport programs. Those interested may call 262-6315 or, in the Homer area, 235-3260. Soldotna and Homer office hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Offices are closed from noon to 1 p.m.

Book orders are here for all different grade levels.

Connections is offering a new reporting option for grades two through eight. Advisers have information on the EduTest Option, and training for parents will begin soon.

New computers are here and available to pick up at the office. For arrangements, contact Becky.

Test results from the spring administration of the High School Qualifying Exam will not be returned to the district until early October. Due to this delay, the fall administration of the HSGQE will be Oct. 28 for writing, Oct. 29 for math and Oct. 30 for reading. These fall tests dates are for juniors and seniors who have not passed the test.

Nikiski Middle-Senior High

The school would like to welcome all of its new staff members: John Owens, assistant principal; David Brown, special education; Breta Brown, eighth-grade math; Chris Jenness, eighth-grade language arts; Jake Doth, middle school science; Rae Ellen Kurzendoerfer, at risk; Ned Clooten, athletic director and science; Pam Lettington, teacher's aide; and Sue Tauriainen and Margie Warner, secretaries.

The SAT test will be administered at 8 a.m. Oct. 12 at Kenai Peninsula College. Students must register no later than Sept. 13. Registration on Sept. 14 will result in a $15 late fee. Standby positions are available, but a fee of $30 will be required.

Skyview High

Skyview High wishes to congratulate all sports players for their hard work this past weekend.

This Friday, Skyview will host Soldotna High in football Friday. The junior varsity game will start at 3 p.m., and the varsity game will start at 6 p.m.

The volleyball team will play at home Friday against Kodiak. The volleyball matches begin at 4:15 p.m.

The Swim Team will be at the Homer Invite on Friday and Saturday.

The cross country team will travel to Palmer.

Skyview will host an open house from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday. This is a time for parents to come in, view the school and get a chance to meet teachers and staff.

Soldotna High

Students will take a test on school rules and policies Thursday morning. In the afternoon, class meetings will be scheduled to plan homecoming, which will be Sept. 23 to 28.

Thursday evening, SoHi will host its annual open house from 7 to 9 p.m. The evening will begin with an opening assembly featuring the SoHi band, under the direction of BP Teacher of the Year, Vernel Schneider, and the Swing Choir, directed by Trudy Petersen. After the opening program, students and parents will participate in class meetings and attend classes on a simulated schedule. Afterwards, beverages and snacks will be served in the commons.

In addition to welcoming more than 160 new freshmen this fall, SoHi also welcomed several new staff members: Janne Lillestol, history and reading; Linda Frink, math and English; Galen Brantley, history and photography; Olga Vaissenberg, special education aide; Cecilia Deatherage, speech therapist; and Ben Praker, support counselor.

The PTSA will meet at 5 p.m. Sept. 12 in the staff lounge.

Grace Lutheran School

Classes got under way Aug. 26 with an opening service emphasizing the school's "Work While It is Day" theme for 2002-03. To begin the school year, primary students are studying the Bible's creation story. Upper-primary grades are learning about the promise of the Savior to the world. The fifth- and sixth-graders are enjoying "Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH," and the seventh- and eighth-graders are beginning "Where the Red Fern Grows" in literature class.

In science, second- and third-graders are investigating plant life; fifth- and sixth-graders are studying plant and animal cells; and seventh- and eighth-graders are examining the history of science beginning with the ancient Egyptians.

All students are working toward the Presidential Physical Fitness Award. Students took a fall baseline test of various skills and will work to improve these abilities to earn the award in the spring.

For more information about Grace Lutheran School, call School Minister Dennis Leckwee at 283-9551.

Wings Christian Academy

Wings Christian Academy will have its third annual Walk-A-Thon Monday. Students will walk on the Kenai trail from the park on Forest Drive to Kenai Fellowship Church and back. The total distance is 15 kilometers. The kindergarten and first-grade classes will only complete half the course. The goal is to raise $1,500 for a school laminator.

Music lessons will be taught by Geri Brigham starting Thursday.

Tuesday will be the first skate night of this school year. It will be at the Alaska Great Skate from 6 to 8 p.m.

The school is collecting box tops again this year. The student who brings in the most box tops by the end of the year will get to pick their favorite book to be added to the school library in their honor.

Lindsay Thompson and Melissa Newton earned the cleanest desk awards this week.

The first people to get a 100 percent score on their tests were Eben Spilman for the Upper Learning Center and Greg Vancuren and Zachary Bargar for the Lower Learning Center. Zachary Thompson has read the most books so far and has four leaves added to his tree.

Peninsula Grace Preschool

Teachers and students spent last week getting to know each other. Everyone is off to a good start.

The Bible story was about Joseph and his coat of many colors. Students will cut out Joseph's coat from papers they painted.

Students also practiced writing their names and reviewed the alphabet and numbers.

This week, students will start the alphabet book and learn Bible verses.

Playing outside in the sand has been fun. Students enjoy playing with balls, chasing butterflies, going down the slide and finding bugs.

Space is still available in the 4-year-old class that meets Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

For more information, call 262-1284.

Soldotna Cooperative Preschool

It is time to get those 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds ready for school. Research shows that the best way to get kids off to a good start with school is with a preschool experience. Children learn how to get along with others and discover that learning can be fun. The co-op offers a wonderful experience for both the children and their parents.

An open house was held Aug. 26, but there are still slots available for both two- and three-day students. For more information or to register, call Susan Mathews at 262-4102.

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