District school news

Posted: Wednesday, September 05, 2001

Aurora Borealis Charter School

The Aurora Borealis Charter School announces the newest member of its teaching staff, Dan Roach. Mr. Roach is now instructing the first-grade class. The school welcomes back its previous educators and staff: Julie Ball, Lori Uponen, Bill Severson, Gene Palm, Susie Phillips, Michelle Hinkle, Larry Nauta, Anita and Debbie (the office staff) and Mrs. Parks, the nurse.

Mrs. Uponen's class is starting off the new year going "out of this world." The children are learning about outer space and the solar system.

This summer, students had many valuable moments of travel and a variety of unique experiences as far away as Norway. They began the year writing about their favorite summer activities. Summer trips added to classroom discussions and helped teach the geography of the world. Students are also excited about the newest materials in Latin.

Kalifornsky Beach Elementary

Mr. Daniels' class performed a song they wrote for the whole school. Their new class name this year is the Eagles.

Mrs. Furlong's class visited Slikok Creek to compare and contrast plants in various environments. On Sept 13, they will travel to Seward to explore Resurrection Bay.

Mrs. Carter's class is investigating the Kenai River watershed. They hiked to Russian River Falls to get a first-hand look.

Students who want to be involved in Battle of the Books can begin reading the books. The library is looking for plants again. Students who bring in a plant will be entered into a drawing on Sept. 14 for gift certificates at River City Books and Arby's.

The climbing wall project is scheduled for the first week in October. The school still is selling "pieces of the rock," which means with a $10 or higher donation the name of your choice will go on a school-wide plaque in the hallway. Contact Mrs. Bagley if you have questions.

There will be no regular kindergarten classes Sept. 12, 13 or 15 because the school will be doing kindergarten screening. Check the assigned appointment time for your child.

Mountain View Elementary

John DeVolld has returned as the half-time librarian and half-time Title I tutor. Other new staff members are Nurse Mary Lou Klauder and Title I tutor Nancy Egbert. Mountain View has two student teachers: Ms. M.J., working with Mrs. Jackson, and Mrs. Truesdell, working with Mrs. Stephens.

After-school soccer for the fourth and fifth grades has started. Girls practice Tuesdays and Thursdays, and boys practice Mondays and Wednesdays. All practices end at 5 p.m.

Today, Mr. Knudsen's and Mr. Vedders' third-graders are on a field trip to the Russian River with Mrs. Berkhahn from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

September is "All American Breakfast Month." The students working with Mrs. Springer-Hann will complete activities related to breakfast. Look for graphs, collages and nutritional information on the hallway bulletin board.

The PTA is conducting its annual membership drive. Forms are available at the office. Officers this year are Bobbi McGahan, president; Jill Beeson, vice president; Sharon O'Hara, secretary; and Amy Bowen, treasurer. The fall fund-raiser will begin Tuesday.

Mrs. Stephens' and Mrs. Truesdell's fourth-grade class went to the Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center to see the 2001 Fish Odyssey.

Mrs. Keating's class adopted class guidelines and elected a job selection committee to read resumes and decide who gets class jobs.

Nikiski Elementary

Come visit Thursday for a wonderful evening. The open house will start at 6:30 p.m. and include class information, school goals and an ice cream social.

A site-based council meeting is scheduled Monday at 3:45 p.m. in the school library. All are welcome to attend.

Just a reminder that you can log on anytime to http://www.calendars.kpbsd.k12.us:/nikiskiel to view the monthly school calendar. All PTA and school events are posted.

Mrs. Kendall's sixth-graders have been learning about the principles of flight. They designed, decorated and built their own kites to demonstrate lift, gravity, thrust and drag. On the first dry and windy day, look for them flying kites in the schoolyard.

North Star Elementary

North Star's first PTO meeting ever was Thursday at 3:45 p.m. Organizers invite all parents to join this new organization, which replaces the school's previous PTA chapter. The open house and ice cream social will be Sept. 13 from 6 to 8 p.m. sponsored by the PTO.

Parents, check in at the office and sign the volunteer or visitor book when you are in the school. Staff track volunteer hours on a weekly basis and appreciate parent and community help. Last year, the school had community volunteers like Marion Nickelson, who helped with the reading program, and Jean Thompson, who helped during recess to keep children safe.

The Nikiski Fire Station No. 1 has done an excellent job in helping North Star stay safe by cleaning the playground area last spring and teaching fire safety classes during the school year.

The site council will meet Monday at 5:30 p.m. in the library. Members are Ann Krogseng, Hara Hansen, Patti Glaze and Sue Liebner. They hope to have a community representative by this meeting and two certified staff. The school thanks Tanna Chenault, Romayne Hindman, Brian Zinck, Tina Stamer and Brandi Rademacher for their help as council members last year.

Redoubt Elementary

Fall school pictures will be taken Oct. 2.

Recipes for the school cookbook are due by Friday. The school wants all students to be represented in the cookbook. You can order copies of it through Sept. 17 for $10 each. They make great Christmas gifts.

Please return your child's orange emergency form if you haven't already done so. Congratulations to Mrs. Harding's fourth-graders, Mr. Mills' fourth-graders, Mrs. Friedersdorff's fifth- and sixth-graders and Mr. Chavka's sixth-graders. They were the first four classes to return 100 percent of their forms and win free ice cream.

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

For security purposes, all visitors and volunteers are asked to sign in at the office.

Teacher and school evaluation forms and health curriculum opt-out forms are available at the school office.

The school newsletter is sent home every Friday. It contains important, helpful information for parents and students.

Sears Elementary

Don't forget to join the Sears PTA for the fourth annual back-to-school barbecue Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. The cost will be $2 per person. Hot dogs, chips, pop and dessert will be provided. If you would like to volunteer to help with the barbecue, call Ann at 283-5956.

The open house and ice cream social will be Tuesday, from 6 to 7 p.m. This is an opportunity for your child to show you his or her classroom, then join the PTA for ice cream sundaes. Watch your child's weekly folder for more information. Volunteers also are needed to serve ice cream. If you can help, call Ann at 283-5956.

The volunteer training will be Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. It will be offered again Sept. 13 at 5 p.m. This training is mandatory for anyone who will be volunteering at Sears this year. If you cannot come to either training session, call the office to make other arrangements.

Remember to bring your box tops and drop them in the collection box in the office. The money earned from box tops purchases books.

Soldotna Elementary

Picture day is today at Soldotna Elementary School. Young children not yet in school can be photographed at 3 p.m.

Soldotna Elementary School's goal focus for this year is in writing. Check out standards for each grade level as well as Alaska State Standards on display in the front foyer of the school. Ask your child's teacher if you have questions about classroom writing activities being planned to meet these standards.

Ms. Pfitzner's sixth-grade class visited Soldotna Creek Thursday as part of their ongoing adoption of this waterway. They will continue to monitor the creek and complete a variety of activities in all academic areas using Soldotna Creek as their focus.

Both fourth grades, under Ms. Courtright and Ms. Cox, made a field trip to Russian River Falls last week, a coordination of their social studies and science standards. Students are gaining a better understanding of geological features, animal characteristics and environmental effects as they used scientific inquiry during their trip. Fourth-grade students are also increasing their knowledge of Southcentral Alaska, which is a focus of the fourth-grade social studies curriculum.

Sterling Elementary

Reading is Fundamental (RIF) has been putting books in the hands of students for many years at Sterling Elementary. The RIF ladies, Mrs. Evans, Mrs. Lyons and Mrs. Freese, are raising funds to purchase books. They are selling pasta, pasta soup and pasta salad mixes in all shapes. So shop early for Christmas gifts and help support the Sterling RIF program.

Ms. Dierick's and Mrs. Holt's third-fourth-graders are examining rocks and soil. They even made "dirt" for parents to eat at open house. They will practice new archaeological skills on a field trip to search for fossils.

Mrs. Biggs will have the Soaring Falcons Choir begin practice Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. during lunch recess. All intermediate students are invited.

A bus evacuation drill will be today at 8:40 a.m. All students must participate in the three drills held with Laidlaw each year.

The PTA will meet the first Thursday of every month. The first meeting will be Thursday at 4 p.m. in the library. Come and join.

Mrs. Harrison's class will have a bake sale Friday. Classrooms hold many Friday bake sales. Most items are 25 cents and available after lunch. This is a way to earn money for special projects or field trips.

The first student awards assembly will be Friday at 2:30 p.m. Parents are encouraged to come to honor students for their good citizenship.

Tustumena Elementary

The annual open house will be Thursday at 5:30 p.m. Stop in and meet the staff and familiarize yourself with the school facility. The PTO sponsors a potluck dinner that evening as well. Serving will begin shortly after 6 p.m.

Staffing was reduced because student enrollment has declined, causing combined grades in three classrooms this fall. The school has yet to hire a speech therapist and has a temporary music teacher. The fifth-grade beginning band is on hold until the music program staffing is clarified.

The Tustumena Elementary PTO needs a secretary. Duties include taking minutes of each meeting and helping with PTO events. PTO board meetings are 4 p.m. every second Tuesday of each month and general meetings are at 4 p.m. every third Tuesday of each month. For more information, contact Lynda Blake at 262-1633.

The new American flag was flown over the Capitol on Inauguration Day 1993, and was passed on to Tustumena by the Sen. Ted Stevens.

Kenai Middle School

The Kenai Middle School Open House will be Thursday from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Students got a flyer to take home with specific times listed for grade level presentations. All parents and guardians are invited to come meet the teachers and other staff members.

Many volunteers helped the registration process at KMS go smoothly. Special thanks to the following people: Kim Navarre, Kelly Brewer, Denise Dukowitz, Carmen Walker, Veon Kiech, Marilyn Keener, Jill Beeson, Beth Mishler, Hope Mishler and Starla Ferguson.

Sixth-graders in physical education will be swimming at Kenai Central High School starting Monday through Oct. 4. Parent volunteers are needed to observe students at the pool. If interested, call the school.

School pictures will be taken Oct. 4.

The leadership class sponsored an activity night the first week of school that was very well attended. More than 260 KMS students enjoyed an evening with fun jump, belly bouncers, a parachute, basketball, dancing and other activities.

Teachers are posting homework assignments on the school's Web page at: www.kpbsd.k12.ak.us/kms/.

A limited quantity of KMS sweatshirts in large and extra-large sizes are available in the school store for $5 each. Students are encouraged to wear school colors Fridays.

Soldotna Middle School

The PTSA's first meeting will be Sept. 13 at 5 p.m. in the library. Principal Lee Young will be facilitating. This meeting is for new officers, and everyone is invited to attend.

Open House also will be Sept. 13 from 6 to 8 p.m. Stop in and meet your child's teachers.

The language arts department just purchased grammar and writing text books. Each textbook will come with two free novels, adding 1,200 books to Soldotna Middle School's shelves.

SMS yearbooks are on sale now. The price for this memory book is $22. After Dec. 1, the price will go up to $24. You can purchase your child's yearbook at the front office.


Connections, the district's home-school partnership program, has grown. It has a new principal, four new advisers, two returning advisers and has expanded to include both portable buildings at 152 Park Ave. The main office is still in the first portable nearest Soldotna Elementary School in Soldotna.

Registration for the Connections home school continues. Check out the Web site at http://connect.kpbsd.

k12.ak.us or phone 262-6315 for an appointment.

Book club orders for September from Scholastic, Troll and Trumpet for grades kindergarten through nine are available in the office or from Tanya or Jane. September orders are due Sept. 14. Make checks payable to the book club and write a separate check for each different order form.

As educational materials arrive Connections will phone you for an appointment with the adviser for discussion and pick-up. Computers are now available; for information about picking them up, call Liz in the office at 262-6315.

New state requirement for hepatitis immunizations apply, especially if the home-school student participates in area school activities or family events sponsored by the program. If you have questions regarding immunizations, call the office.

Nikiski Middle-Senior High School

Mrs. Williams would like to thank the teachers and people who came to the "Northern Exposure" back-to-school night. It turned out to be a huge success with more than 300 people, tons of prizes given out and Mr. Sanders' fiery chemistry demonstration.

Nikiski will celebrate its homecoming starting Monday through Sept. 15 with numerous events. For Spirit Week, students are encouraged to dress for the set days. For example, Sept. 14 will be school spirit day, where students should dress in school colors. On Sept. 13 at 3 p.m. there will be a "powderpuff" football game at the Nikiski football field. Come watch the football players dress up as the cheerleaders and the girls play football. That night there will be a bonfire by the Nikiski High School trail at 7 p.m. The main football game will be Sept. 14.

On Sept. 15, the homecoming dance will start at 8 p.m. No one will be admitted after 9:30 p.m. School identification is required. All students from other high schools must be signed up at the office by a Nikiski student before noon on Sept. 14.

Ninilchik School

The back-to-school open house and potluck will be Tuesday. Watch for notes home about the time and suggestions for potluck dishes.

Mrs. Vadla is the Close-Up sponsor and will take 12 students to Washington, D.C., this spring. She needs some great fund-raising ideas, as this is an expensive endeavor. The annual "slave auction" will be held during Tuesday's potluck. You can call her at school at 567-3301 with suggestions.

Junior high cross country started last week with Mr. Skjold as the coach. Practice is after school. Some of the high school cross country team began running back in July, and the runners now have two full teams. They will be running at the ACS Invitational Friday at 3:30 p.m. and the Palmer Invitational on Saturday.

The third- and fourth-graders in Mrs. Bosick's room will go on their first field trip next week to the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.

Seniors need to be getting their head and shoulders only portraits for the yearbook. These are due the middle of October.

Skyview High School

The school has been very busy with a total of 634 students this year. It is very exciting having 70 percent of the student body involved in an activity. Freshman elections for student council will be Thursday during seventh hour.

Thursday, the volleyball teams will be at Kenai. Game times are 3, 4 and 5:30 p.m. Saturday, the varsity team will play against Juneau at Skyview. The diving team will travel to Homer Friday, and the swimming team will be there Saturday. The big football game of the season will be against the Soldotna Stars at Soldotna High School on Saturday. All fall team pictures will be Sept. 12 after school.

The PTSA will meet Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the library. The new dress code will be discussed.

To check on other activities happening at Skyview, check the Web page at www.kpbsd.k12.ak.


Cook Inlet Academy

The first regular chapel at Cook Inlet Academy has stirred excitement among the students. There was lots of singing, with guests from Russia joining the school.

The honor of being "Student of the First Week" of school went to new CIA students Ramsey Arneson, Trapper Allsworth, Alex Muller, Chelsea Lutrell and Sasha Jackson.

As cross country coach, Ted McKenny takes the runners into the deep reaches of their character. Three-, 5- or even 16-mile training runs not only condition the body but ensure persistence and courage. The runners will be proving this at meets around the state: Friday, ACS Invitational; Saturday, Palmer Invitational; Sept. 15, Su Valley Invitational; Sept. 22, regionals at Su Valley; Sept. 29, state at Palmer.

Other dates to watch: Spiritual Emphasis Week will be Saturday through Sept. 16 for the junior high Yukon River trip. The high school retreat in Glennallen will be Sept. 12-14.

The next parent-teacher fellowship will be Sept. 24.

The Jog-a-thon, Bike-a-thon and Work-a-thon will be Sept. 29. This once-a-year student fund-raiser covers school activities from field trips and music programs to sports to journalistic projects such as the annual and newspaper. Students are organizing their sponsors now.

Kenaitze Cuya Qyut'anen Head Start

School starts Thursday for Kenaitze Cuya Qyut'anen Head Start preschool children.

The school thanks all the families that brought their children in for the developmental screening last week. Head Start staff especially appreciates the community partners who helped screen the children's height, weight, vision, hearing, language, concepts and motor development.

Salamatof Native Association is breaking ground soon for a multipurpose room adjacent to the playground. This will serve as a family and tribal community center.

Head Start is still accepting enrollment applications for Native and non-Native income eligible families. For more information call 283-0707.

Peninsula Grace Preschool

Last week the 3- and 4-year-old class made back-to-school books and paper dolls to represent themselves. This week they will be reviewing colors. The class will discuss "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?" then make their own book, graph their favorite colors and separate items by color. Students will begin alphabet papers and memory verse books.

Last week the 4- and 5-year-olds got acquainted, practiced writing their names, drew pictures of themselves and their families and began their daily journals. The children made colorful birds while reviewing shapes, practicing cutting skills and listening and following directions.

This week they will learn about the changing seasons. Next week the class will go on a field trip to the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.

Space is available in the ages 4 and 5 class that meets Mondays and Wednesdays. For more information contact 262-1284.

The deadline for Schools 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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