Around the District

Posted: Wednesday, November 01, 2000

KCHS to host special concert

The Kenai Central High School Band teams with the University of Alaska Anchorage Wind Ensemble for a special concert Saturday at 8 p.m.

The UAA Wind Ensemble is a pre-professional group that performs compositions ranging from Renaissance transcriptions to modern premieres. Under the leadership of conductor Mark Wolbers, the ensemble has grown to become one of the leading wind bands in Alaska. The ensemble regularly presents premieres of new compositions by outstanding composers and features many of Alaska's finest musicians as well as national guest artists as soloists.

UAA students pursuing degrees in music make up the core of the ensemble. The remaining chairs are awarded through auditions to high school musicians, university students who are not music majors and community musicians who wish to continue to explore new musical experiences.

One highlight of this concert will be a performance of the "Rhapsody in Blue" by George Gershwin, featuring guest soloist Timothy Smith on piano. A native of Seattle, Smith has won major prizes and recognition in international competitions, including the Artists International Competition and a New York recital debut in Carnegie Recital Hall. He has appeared with many orchestras internationally.

The musical highlight of the KCHS Concert Band will be the presentation of three David Holsinger compositions: "On A Hymnsong of Phillip Bliss," "A Childhood Hymn" and "On An American Spiritual."

Skyview names Students of the Month

Skyview High School has announced its Students of the Month for October. They are Laura Cooper and Kim Martin, English; Brandon Sachwitz and Buck Ackerman, science; Anna Beaudry and Mike Bollinger, math; Desirae Dix, business; Taylor Magone and Kristine Harris, social studies; Ryan Staab and Heather Barrett, vocational education; Christine Hayes and Josh Rowell, physical education; Hanna King, performing arts; Christina Richart, work co-op; Jennifer Tolliver, fine arts; and Ole Olson, health.

Congratulations also to Gregori Vaissenberg, Russian teacher, who is Teacher of the Month; counselor Patti Lawyer, who is Staff of the Month; Jami Campbell is Chamber Student of Month; and Leon Galbraith is Rotary Student of the Month.

District issues warning for snowy season

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District puts out the following information about weather closures:

During the coming winter there may be times when road conditions become too hazardous for a bus along certain roads. Parents should listen to the radio for announcements of roads that buses cannot travel on. The following radio stations will be notified and will air a public service announcement every 15 minutes or so, with an update on bus services: KSRM 920 AM, KWHQ 100.1 FM, KPEN 102.3 FM, K-WAVE 103.5, 104.9 and KZXX 980 AM.

If it is determined that most main roads are impassible due to inclement weather, the school district may delay school starting times by two hours. This would be done instead of closing schools for an entire day and would not necessitate a makeup day later in the year. The two-hour delay would give the road crews additional time for sanding and plowing, and the increased daylight would decrease hazards. Schools would dismiss at their normal time.

A decision to close schools is the responsibility of the superintendent of schools. If the decision is made to either close schools for the day or delay the starting times, it will be announced on the above radio stations.

You should have an alternate plan for the safety of your children for those days when schools may be either delayed or closed due to road conditions.

Educators win principals' scholarship

Two teachers from the Homer area have been awarded scholarships to pursue careers in public school administration.

Friday the Alaska Associations of Elementary and Secondary School Principals announced that it had awarded the Larry Graham Aspiring Principal's Scholarship to Dick Sander of Homer High School and Sharon Conley from McNeil Canyon Elementary School east of Homer.

Sander is a math and physics teacher who has worked statewide on mathematics education issues.

Conley has taught grades from elementary school to college and served on the state standards committee for reading and writing.

Both teachers are enrolled in the University of Alaska Education Leadership Program.

School board meets in Homer Monday

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District's Board of Education meets Monday at 7:30 p.m. at Homer High School. All school board meetings are open to the public.

Agendas are available at the meeting or at the district's Web site at

District experts featured at brainy conference

Twenty-six educators from the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District traveled to Juneau Oct. 19 -21 to attend "The Brain: Literacy and Learning" conference sponsored by the Alaska State Literacy Association. Guest speakers included Susan Knowles, first lady; Rick Cross, Alaska commissioner of education; Donna Ogle, president-elect of the International Reading Association; Robert Sylwester, author of "A Biological Brain in a Cultural Classroom: Applying Biological Research to Classroom Management"; and Gay Su Pinnell, author of "Guided Reading."

Alice Tucker, language arts teacher at the new Spring Creek School in Seward, presented "Image ... to Text ... to Image," integrating art to enhance literacy development.

Carol VanDerWege, KPBSD reading specialist, presented "Prompting for Strategies in a Guided Reading Group K -3," which focused on helping students solve reading problems independently.

Dorothy Gray, KPBSD staff development specialist and director of the Alaska State Writing Consortium, facilitated three workshops at the conference: "Literacy At Home: Family Writing Nights," "Gray Matter: The Brain and Writing" and an all-day "training the trainers" workshop called "Writing On Target: Hitting the Standards" for teachers in 30 districts around the state who will conduct this one-credit graduate class to help teachers better understand the new state writing assessments while preserving best practices in writing instruction.

Evaluations now available online

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District school and principal surveys are now online. Parents and students can complete the forms and submit them electronically. Responses will be compiled on a regular basis.

Note that the district has links to the surveys from the district Web page under the community and parents, schools, students and district information sections.

You can access the forms directly at the following addresses:

Principal Performance Survey

School Survey:

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