District School News

Posted: Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Aurora Borealis Charter

Many people attended the open house held Sept. 23. The staff and teachers welcomed back the students and parents to a new school year.

The school has two new teachers. Fifth-grade teacher Mrs. Hagen and art, physical education and music teacher Mr. McFarland.

Mrs. Ball's kindergartners have just finished a social studies unit on Native Americans. They have been looking at how different environments affect the kinds of houses, boats and containers people made. The class thanks Carol and Larry Ford and Connie Stephan for volunteering.

Mrs. Uponen's second-graders have been studying weather. The class did experiments to find out which type of roof is best in snowy weather. After making predictions, the class poured flour onto paper roofs to see which one held up best. They discovered a slanted roof worked better than the curved or flat ones.

Mr. Drury's third-grade class is studying world rivers for geography.

Carroll Martin of the Diamond M Ranch hosted the sixth- through eighth-grade students for an anatomy lesson. Students were able to view and handle organs of the various systems of a goat.

There is a new traffic pattern at the school. The first four parking spots in front now are designated and marked for dropping off students. Parents are asked to keep traffic flowing one way and exercise caution.

Kalifornsky Beach Elementary

Mr. Daniels' class had a great time at Exit Glacier, where students took water and air temperature measurements and a glacier water sample for further study in the classroom.

In Mrs. Hayward's class, reading and language arts stations are going well. Students are learning graphs and statistics, studying the Vietnam War, the Cold War and Watergate and learning about cells.

During the RIGS summer reading assembly, a new record of 346,822 minutes was revealed. That is the total number of minutes read by all who participated. Mrs. Peterson's two-year reign of "The Queen of Reading" came to an end when sixth-grader King Skyler Labor turned in his reading log with 23,309 minutes logged on it. Thanks to Agrium, the Soldotna Rotary Club and the VFW Ladies Auxiliary for their support.

There will be a Title I meeting after school Thursday in Mrs. Reynolds office. Parents are encouraged to attend.

The kindergartners will head to the Kenai Beach to collect rocks. The students also will visit Slikok Creek to begin their science studies.

Mrs. Klaben's class is working on descriptive writing.

The students in good standing activity is Friday.

Mrs. DuFloth's class is studying volcanoes. The class is looking for individuals with interesting stories of the Mount Redoubt eruption. If you would like to be interviewed or share your story with the class, contact Mrs. DuFloth.

Mountain View Elementary

Picture retakes are Tuesday morning.

The Family Math-Science Night is Thursday.

Families of students enrolled in Title I are invited to an ice cream social. The annual Title I parent meeting will be from 5:30 to 6 p.m. Thursday in room 16.

This week is health screening week. The children are screened for height, weight and vision. The staff appreciates the following people for volunteering their time: Allison Sawyer, Kathy, Tim Taylor, Pat Evans, Lisa Zulkanycz, Kim Scofield, Pam Carter, Cheryl Rubalcava, Dena Cunningham, Mary Daly, Jerri Chivers, Terry Dunn, Phil Sonnichsen, Sue Dukowitz, Chris Watkins and Lara Ross.

Nikiski Elementary

The PTA is looking for community volunteers to sit on six committees to assist with planning for the consolidation of Nikiski and North Star elementary schools. For more information, call Peggy Jones at 776-4161 or Ann Holloway at 776-4144

Mrs. Durrant's class is collecting pennies for a field trip. Last year, the class collected enough to go to H2Oasis in Anchorage. The class would appreciate any penny donations.

Picture day was successful and pictures should arrive back to the school in two weeks. Picture retakes will be Oct. 27.

Volunteers are needed to assist with the fall carnival. To volunteer, call Ann Holloway at 776-4144.

The Nikiski Clubhouse is providing after-school homework help and other activities for students. For more information on the program, call Ann Holloway at 776-4144.

Students are invited to attend the before-school reading program from 8:15 to 8:45 a.m. Monday through Thursday. There are tutors available to help students as they enjoy books.

Redoubt Elementary

The site council ballots were sent home in last Friday's newsletter. Completed ballots may be brought to the school office or sent to school in a sealed, signed envelope. Ballots must be received by 3:30 p.m. Friday. All parents are encouraged to vote. Elections results will be announced the week of Oct. 13.

The deadline for the fourth- through sixth-grade poster contest is Friday. Kindergarten through third-graders will have their "Beep-Beep" contest assembly Friday as well.

There will be no school newsletter next week.

Fun Fest will be held Oct. 17 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Permission slips and complete information will be sent home soon.

Families who did not qualify for the school lunch program this fall are encouraged to review the financial guidelines and reapply after receipt of their permanent fund dividend in October.

The staff would like to thank Patty Dombovy, Stephanie McDowell and Cynthia Norman for helping with school pictures last week. Picture packets are due to arrive by the end of October and picture retakes will be Oct. 22.

The PTA is planning Redoubt's holiday kindness activities. Volunteers are needed to help. Projects planned include a food drive, gifts for families in need, an angel tree and the young shoppers club. For more information or to volunteer, call Anne Bixby at 262-9473.

Sears Elementary

There will be a Title I meeting from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Sears gym. Parents of Title I students are encouraged to attend and learn more about the program. There will be materials for parents to make a simple book and a snack with their child. Parents are needed to volunteer for the Title I advisory committee.

Many classrooms will make apple sauce to celebrate fall. Counting apples, apple slices and making homemade applesauce can all be fun family activities.

Mrs. Lafferty and Mrs. Knudsen's class has been studying about the life cycle of insects and the importance of habitat for the animals in their classroom.

Mrs. Anderson and Mrs. Thomas's kindergarten class has been studying about colors and shapes and made zoo animals out of them.

The weather is starting to turn a bit cooler. Parents are reminded to make sure children bring warm coats and gloves.

School pictures will be taken Friday. Sibling pictures will be available before school starts, at lunchtime from 11:50 a.m. to 1:20 p.m. and after school on Friday.

Soldotna Elementary

A Title I orientation meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. Parents who have questions or comments or are interested in participating on the committee, call Katrina Cannava or Vicki Hollingsworth at 260-5144.

Music teacher Erin Southwick will hold a workshop for parents interested in learning zoophonics at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

The Title I after-school reading club with Vicki Hollingsworth began Sept. 29 for Title I students in first through third grades.

The site council will meet Oct. 7.

The PTA will meet Oct. 9 at 3:45 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

The school would like to thank everyone who contributed to the Innisbrook wrapping paper fund-raiser. Mr. Kircher's fourth- and fifth-grade class had the highest percentage participation and won an ice cream party. All sellers' names were put in a hat, and Kobie Talbott, Jamie Fenton, Miranda Smith, Jared Lingafelt and Kaitlyn Groleske won stuffed frogs for their efforts.

Mrs. Baktuit's second-grade class is studying animal habitats as part of their science-social studies curriculum. The students have made habitat dioramas and will present reports on a chosen animal's food, water, shelter and space to the rest of the class.

Soldotna Montessori Charter

A workshop for Montessori parents who are interested in training strategies for reading one-on-one with children in the classrooms of Anne McCabe and Susan Larned will take place from 9 to 10:30 a.m. and from 10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Oct. 13. The workshop will include an introduction of a book using the "5 P's" prompting strategies and guided reading cues.

Montessori academic policy committee (APC) meetings are open to all parents and held the second Monday of each month in Sheryl Sotelo's classroom.

The APC quarterly schoolwide parent meetings are on the second Tuesday in November, March and May.

Pictures are scheduled for Monday. There is no prepayment.

Tustumena Elementary

The cash raffle sponsored by the PTO is under way with the drawing scheduled for Dec. 6. Tickets are $50 each. Only 400 tickets will be printed. The grand prize for the final ticket drawn is $5,000.

Tustumena will serve as an election site for the Kenai Peninsula Borough on Tuesday. Voters in Kasilof area precincts will be accommodated in the library.

The PTO's school supply "Community Chest" is growing. The VFW Women's Auxiliary donated $500 to this cause which will supplement the needs of students throughout the year. The teachers, staff and students appreciate the generous donation.

Title I parents and students are invited to attend a technology training session at 4 p.m. Oct. 8. in the Dell Lab. Tracey Withrow will conduct the session. The topics include exploring selected Internet sites and using a computer to assist a child in completing homework. Refreshments will be served following the program.

Tustumena still is seeking applicants for a playground aide for the remainder of the school year. The position is for one hour at noon, Monday through Friday. Applications may be obtained at the district's human resources department in the Borough Building in Soldotna.


Enrollment for kindergarten through 12th grade at Connections ends in mid-October. For more information, call 262-6315.

School pictures are scheduled for today at the Aspen Hotel. Scheduled times are by last name as follows: A-C, 1:30 p.m.; D-H, 2 p.m.; J-Q, 2:30 p.m.; R-S, 3 p.m.; and T-Z, 3:30 p.m.

The Pudewa Excellence in Writing Workshop will be from 10 a.m. to noon beginning Thursday for eight weeks at the Soldotna City Hall Conference Room. To register, call Tanya.

The "Book It" reading incentive program forms can be obtained from Natalie. The program is sponsored by Pizza Hut.

October book clubs are available for kindergarten through 12th grade. Order forms are due to Tanya by Oct. 10.

The High School Graduation Qualifying Exam for juniors and seniors will take place Tuesday through Oct. 9. For more information, call the Connections office.

Home-school families will be able to attend the hay maze at Solid Rock Bible Camp from 2 to 4 p.m. Oct. 22 for $5 per person. To sign up, call the office.

Aleks, an online kindergarten through 12th-grade math tutorial, will be Oct. 14. Space is limited. To register, call the Soldotna office.

The individual learning plans were due Tuesday. Contact the office if you still need assistance.

IDEA (Interior Distance Education of Alaska)

Individual Learning Plans and samples were due Sept. 19.

Computer games will be available from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. today. All age groups are welcome.

The High School Graduation Qualifying Exam will be administered next week for juniors and seniors. On the central peninsula, the test will be offered Tuesday and Oct. 8 at the Aspen Hotel and Oct. 9 at the Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association Building. In Homer, the test will be offered Tuesday through Oct. 9 at the Land's End Resort. In Seward, tests will be administered at the library. For more information and times, call your student's teacher.

The fall workshop will be "Time Management and Family Communication" with Keli Hite McGee. McGee will be in Homer at the Land's End Hotel on Oct. 15 and in Soldotna at the Aspen Hotel on Oct. 16. The time management section will be from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and family communication will be 1:30 to 4 p.m. for both workshops. The fee for the workshop is $10 per family for IDEA families or $15 per person. To preregister, call Debbie Mackie at the IDEA office.

Pictures will be taken Nov. 7 and 8. Contact Kathy Phillips to set up an appointment time. Additional information and pricing is available in the office.

Soldotna Middle

The main gym will be open for basketball Monday through Friday from 7:20 a.m. to 7:40 a.m. The weight room is open for safe and guided weight training on Mondays, Wednesdays and every other Friday from 7:20 a.m. to 7:40 a.m.

Mara Mohler was the September Chamber of Commerce Student of the Month. Mara is an excellent student, a talented athlete and overall good citizen.

The next Fortnightly will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 17.

Picture retakes will be Oct. 21.

There will be a PTA meeting at 5 p.m. Oct. 23.

Kenai Central High

Seniors will have a class meeting Thursday to discuss graduation announcements.

There will be an eligibility check Friday.

The High School Graduation Qualifying Exam will be Tuesday through Oct. 9. The order of testing will be math, reading then writing. The exam is for students who have either not passed portions of the exam or who missed the exam when it was previously given.

There will be no school Oct. 10.

The school will put on a production of Neil Simon's 1991 Pulitzer Prize-winning "Lost In Yonkers" Nov. 6 to 9. The play tells the story of a family that seems to survive in spite of itself. Set in Yonkers, N.Y., in 1942, the story unfolds in Grandma's (Daisy Kyriss) apartment. It also is about what happens when her son, Eddie (DJ Tyson), reluctantly asks her to take in his children, Jay (Spike Hamman) and Arty (David Hoisington). The story is a mixture of comedy, generation clashes and learning about life the hard way. The boys are not the only ones who get a lesson in life. The gangster Uncle Louie (Phil Daniel), wacky Aunt Bella (Kassi Kiel) and nervous Aunt Gert (Bridget Middaugh) round out the cast and teach a few lessons of their own.

Nikiski Middle-Senior High

The High School Graduation Qualifying Exam will be administered next week. This round is for juniors and seniors who have not yet passed a portion of the exam.

Congratulations to Ramona Baker for her selection as the Nikiski Chamber of Commerce Student of the Month.

Congratulations to Whitney Hitchcock and Ramona Baker for earning a spot in the state cross country running competition that was held in Palmer.

The high school volleyball team will travel to Anchorage this weekend.

Football semi-finals will begin Friday. Time, place and teams are to be announced.

Middle school soccer will host Kenai Middle School at 3 p.m. Thursday. The borough soccer competition begins Tuesday. Teams and times will be announced at a later date.

Middle school cross country teams will attend the borough competition in Soldotna beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday.


The cross country running teams took part in the Region II Championships. Coach Penny Vadla had six of the seven members from the girls team place in the Top 20. For the boys team, senior Jason Schollenberg placed 15th.

There will be a volleyball match Thursday with Nome and Seldovia. Nine volleyball teams will participate in "Spike Fest 2003" Friday and Saturday.

The school library is open from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

The annual book fair will be held Oct. 13 to 16 during library hours, and on Oct. 17 the fair will be open from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Picture retakes will be Oct. 15.

The pool is scheduled to open Oct. 15.

The National Honor Society catalog fund-raiser will continue through Oct. 24. For more information, call Jamie Leman at (907) 567-3722.

School planners are available for $5 each. Proceeds will benefit the junior high volleyball team. For information and purchase locations, call Tammy at 567-3709.

Skyview High

Last week, Skyview hosted the borough student council conference. Schools participating in the conference included Nikiski, Homer, Soldotna, Kenai Central, Nikolaevsk, Ninilchik, Seward and Skyview. The guest speakers included the governor's education specialist, Becky Hultberg; Borough Mayor Dale Bagley; Soldotna Mayor and Skyview teacher, Dave Carey; Skyview Principal John Pothast; Skyview BP teacher of the year, Linda Raemaeker; local businessman, Dave Casswell; and Skyview student, Kim Martin. The leadership conference included several workshops, such as exploring careers in government, parliamentary procedures, action plans, building leadership, understanding the activities of borough assembly and building school and community relations. The students and staff would like to thank all the guest speakers for being instrumental in helping to make the conference a success.

The High School Graduation Qualifying Exam will be Tuesday through Oct. 9. For students needing to retake all or a portion of the test.

The first Student of the Month lunch will be Thursday. The luncheon is held to recognize students, staff and support positions for their service to Skyview.

The Skyview volleyball team is in Anchorage.

The swim team will host the Skyview Quad swim meet at 10 a.m. Saturday at the school. It's the last home meet of the season. The public and student body is encouraged to come out and show support for the swimmers.

Soldotna High

The High School Graduation Qualifying Exam for students needing to retake all or part of the test will be Tuesday through Oct. 9. Students are encouraged to seek after-school tutoring and to attend Saturday school from 9 a.m. to noon for additional study assistance.

The PSAT-NMSQT (Preliminary SAT-National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) is scheduled to be given at SoHi at 7:50 a.m. Oct. 21. This test is recommended for all juniors considering post-secondary education and may also be taken by freshmen and-or sophomores interested in practicing for SATs. To register, students must pay $11 to the counseling office prior to Oct. 17.

Seniors Tess Caswell and Ryan Walton have been nominated for the Wendy's High School Heisman Award. Similar to the collegiate Heisman recognition, this award honors the nation's top high school seniors who best exemplify a supreme "scholar, citizen, athlete." They were recognized for their academic aptitude, athletic talent and display of commitment to their communities. Tess is the daughter of Steve and Sue Caswell, and Ryan is the son of Matt and Pat Walton, all of Soldotna.

Make a difference in the life of a student: Become a mentor. Participants will need to invest one hour a week with a student and 1 1/2 hours a month in training. For more information, call site coordinator Annie Berge at 262-7411.

The new freshman class officers are Lydia Ames, president; Nathan Gallagher, vice president; Jessica Hintermeister, secretary; and Ashley Myers, treasurer.

Cook Inlet Academy

The boys' cross country running team took first place in the Region II championships on Sept. 20. Brian Beeson took first place and was awarded Region II Runner of the Year. Other top finishers were Thomas Minelga, third; Greg Brown, eighth; Andy Hall, 10th; and Trapper Alsworth, 11th. Sara Wood finished 10th for the girls' team.

The girls' volleyball team is selling soup, salad and sub sandwiches on Wednesdays. The proceeds will provide a new net system. The team's first tournament will be in Ninilchik on Friday.

Students of the Week are Xander Miller, Brandy Hanson, Makenna Rosin, Madison Orth, Emma Seldon, Kayla Haus, Chloe Nelson, Kevin Powers and Taylor Desormeaux.

The staff is grateful for the generous donation to the library. Six new bookcases were purchased from the Alaska Correctional Facilities in Seward.

The fourth-grade classes are tracking Ferdinand the Goldfish. Ferdinand sends clues each day as to his whereabouts and the students use any means necessary to discover his location. So far, he has been to Venice, Italy, and the Great Wall of China.

Grace Lutheran

Students in kindergarten through eighth grade enjoyed an all-day field trip to the Portage area Sept. 12. The students viewed the movie "Voices of the Ice" at the visitors center and did a quarter-mile glacier hike with a ranger. The ranger pointed out kettle lakes, moraines, u-shaped valleys, erratics and other footprints left behind by the glaciers. Students then broke into small groups and completed a scavenger hunt inside the center to uncover interesting facts about Alaska land forms. After a picnic lunch at Moose Flats, the children visited the animals at the Big Game Alaska Wildlife Center. The highlight for many was the bugling of the bull elks. The students and staff would like to thank JR and Cindy Wentzlaff, Cindy Brown, Diane Ames and Doty Coligan for driving and chaperoning on this trip.

The kindergartners are studying plants. The students have learned the names of the parts of plants and discovered that at times they eat roots, leaves, stems or flowers.

The Bible lesson of the week was, "The Sin of Cain." He murdered his brother Abel.

Grace Lutheran will begin preschool Oct. 1. For more information, call 283-9551.

Wings Christian Academy

The cleanest desks of the week awards went to Cassie Sutton and Matanya Bush.

Jared Wood was the first student in the Lower Learning Center to make it to the 1000's club.

The Bible Institute classes at Immanuel Baptist Church started Sept. 30. The classes will be Tuesdays and Thursdays for the rest of the first semester.

Junior high and high school volleyball has begun. Monica Brown is coaching both teams.

Karen Burger will coach junior high basketball. The first practice is Thursday.

The kindergarten class has finished learning all the letters of the alphabet and recently read their first complete sentence. The students have studied about different occupations, including a baker, a firefighter and a zoo keeper. The class also learned about the earth's rotation around the sun and the four seasons.

Kenaitze Cuya Qyut'anen Head Start

Head Start staff welcomes returning and new students and their families. The classrooms are filled with activities and students eager to learn.

Thanks to the staff for providing a safe and enriching environment. A special welcome to new staff members Karen Brewer Fair, Susie Parks, Susan Rorrison, Michael Bernard and Kati Eddy.

Thanks to the Monfor family for hosting the third annual Johnny Monfor Golf Classic. Thanks also to community businesses and individuals for their support, especially Arco, Mike Navarre, Rob and Judy Salo, Rita Smagge, the Kenaitze Indian Tribe, Penny Carty and Salamatof Native Association.

H. Stephen Glenn recently visited the family house and provided a workshop for families.

Classes have been learning about their mascots: bear, moose and raven. Students also have been covering fall time, leaves and berries. They went on field trips to the Kenaitze Indian Tribe's education setnet site and berry picking at the tribal main office.

Peninsula Grace Preschool

The students have enjoyed learning about colors and would like to thank Kathy, Ehren and Sawyer for the crafts and games.

The students will learn about dinosaurs. They will learn about meat eaters and plant eaters. Measuring activities are planned, and students will get to see how big some dinosaurs got. They also will learn some new songs.

Miss Karen has been keeping a scrapbook of what her students have learned so far. Her students enjoy looking back at what they have accomplished.

The book orders are due Tuesday. The preschool receives free books from these orders.

Space is still available in the 4- and 5-year-old class. The class meets Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. For more information, call 262-1284.

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

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

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