Around the District

Thanksgiving break Thursday, Friday

Posted: Wednesday, November 22, 2000

Area schools will be closed Thursday and Friday for Thanksgiving break. Classes resume Monday.

Students, tribe celebrate in Cooper Landing

The Cooper Landing School and the Kenaitze Indian Tribe got together Nov. 13 to showcase joint studies and projects to the parents and community.

"The only bad part was having them leave," said Sheryl Sotelo, the teacher who organized the Cooper Landing school project.

Students at the school are working on "Windows to the Past," an archaeology and interdisciplinary project in the Cooper Landing area focusing on Dena'ina culture and history. The get-together included art and craft displays, authentic style costumes, storytelling, dancing, singing, drumming, a lunch of modern and traditional foods and demonstrations of Native Youth Olympics sports. The Jabila'ina Dancers, students from Kenai, were special guests.

The event originally was scheduled for Nov. 10 but was postponed due to inclement weather and poor road conditions.

Bernadine Atchison, from the tribe, said even the food survived the last-minute change of plans.

"It was delicious. They put on such a good feast," she said. "Everyone had fun."

The event was such a success that organizers are planning a follow-up event in the spring.

Preschools offer federal food program

Sonshine House Daycare and Preschool in Soldotna and the Kenaitze Cuya Qyut'anen Head Start has announced they are participating in the U.S. Department of Agriculture Child and Adult Care Food Program. Children from low-income families may qualify for free or reduced-price meals.

Parents' income and family size determine the amount of money the USDA will reimburse. Contact the preschools for details of monthly income eligibility levels.

Challenger offers rocket day

The Challenger Learning Center of Alaska plans a workshop Friday called "Rockets." Students will build and launch a model rocket to gain an understanding of the history, development and principals of rocket science.

Students in grades three through six are invited. It runs from 9 am. to 4 p.m. Cost is $45. For more information or to register, call 283-2000.

District solicits input on long-range plan

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District currently is revising its long-range plan, the plan that defines how the school district will improve student achievement through specific strategies.

The public is invited to comment on the current plan by logging on the district Web site at and clicking on "Long Range Planning."

This site is specifically designed to gather comments from the entire educational community regarding the mission and vision of the KPBSD. This site will be updated regularly with additions to the process as the procedure unfolds this school year.

Aurora Borealis Charter

The first- and second-graders participated in the Good Deed for Literacy project as part of the Pizza Hut Book It program. For their good deed, the children decided to purchase books for the Kenai Cooperative Preschool. The students did extra jobs at home to raise money and then went on a field trip to River City Books in Soldotna. At the bookstore they enjoyed listening to several stories, were treated to hot chocolate at the espresso cafe and then purchased seven books with the money they had raised. The students visited the preschool the following week to present the books. They also performed choral readings of two of the books, complete with instruments and costumes. The preschoolers were a great audience.

Kalifornsky Beach Elementary

The deadline for next year's federal funding of the Title I Program is coming soon. Forms for free and reduced lunches are being sent to each K-Beach family. Take the time to see if your family qualifies. This is the only way the school can fund extra reading help for youngsters.

Mrs. Tobin's class will visit the Soldotna Animal Hospital to investigate careers involving animals. While there, there also will be a watercolor lesson in their upstairs art gallery.

Mrs. Hollandsworth's class is studying energy and energy conservation. Students are inventing their own wind-powered devices that pick up paper clips. The monthly visit to Slikok Creek is scheduled for Nov. 30.

Third-graders in Mrs. Colvin and Ms. Nielson's class have been learning about solids, liquids and gases. To demonstrate, Ms. Nielson made homemade ice cream. The third-graders experimented; they made Gak and watched as raisins danced and balloons expanded with carbon dioxide.

Mountain View Elementary

Mrs. Wannamaker's class is learning about properties of liquefied natural gas at Phillips Petroleum Plant today. This visit correlates with study of the changing states of matter. After the Phillips demonstration, the class will join Mrs. Cramer's class for a Thanksgiving dinner at the Old Town Village Restaurant in Kenai.

Classroom winners in the fire safety poster contest were Mrs. Heath's: Max Stasek, first; Jasmine Klauder, second; and Seth Blumenshine, third. Mrs. Wannamaker: Lee Ann Magiera, first; Dylan Wannamaker, second; and Bryson Lowe, third. Mr. Knudsen's: Christina Grimsley, first; Dominick Eubank, second; and Molly Copple, third. Mrs. Cramer's: Vinnie Madrid, first; Vanessa Dukowitz, second; and Alexi Beeson, third. Mrs. Ermold's: Jamie Dunn, first; Becca Ford, second; and Hannah Heath, third. Mrs. Gustkey's: Dean Howell, first; Grace Oseuk, second; and Megan Sheffield, third. Jamie Dunn in Mrs. Ermold's class was the school's grand-prize winner.

Mrs. Gustkey, Mr. Emmerich and Mr. Knudsen's classes won the fire department's "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" contest. They will receive a pizza party.

Five fifth-grade classes studied Native Americans. They wrote reports, made visual displays, learned legends to retell, made houses and created art projects. The unit will culminate with a potlatch celebration.

Mr. Daniel's class began investigating the mystery of magnetism. The majority of the class is sure magnets attracted only metal, but they want to know why and how. They are experimenting to answer these and other questions.

North Star Elementary

Preschool meets in the lower activity room from 9 to 10:30 a.m. today.

There is a "Where's Waldo" contest going on the library. Waldo is traveling the United States viewing parks, monuments and other interesting features. Congratulations to Lacie Wortham, Kara Bethune, Sherra Pritchard and Juanita Millyard, who are the winners so far. Encourage your students to read the clues and use their research skills to answer the daily questions.

The North Star United Methodist Church will put up Thanksgiving food boxes this year for the holidays. Families who live in the Nikiski area, north of Mile 15.5, may apply. Applications are available on the magazine rack outside of the school office. For more information, call 776-8732.

Redoubt Elementary

The school needs parents' help. If you meet the financial guidelines of the free and reduced-lunch program, complete an application. The information will help the school receive Title I and other funds even if you choose not to participate in the lunch program. All information provided is strictly confidential. Apply by Dec. 5.

Congratulations to Merissa Schoendaller and Brandon Bixby, Big G Box tops drawing winners, and Emily Brown and Josh Marquardt, Campbell's Soup label drawing winners.

The school must have a classroom emergency supply kit for each student. If you have not returned your child's form and kit, do so as soon as possible.

If you need help with Christmas this year or can brighten someone else's Christmas, contact the school as soon as possible. Redoubt's Christmas Kindness Program benefits Redoubt families who may need extra help at Christmas. Complete information went home last week. Christmas angel tree and stockings will go up Monday.

The Kids Caring for Kids Food Drive runs through Dec. 1. Students are asked to bring nonperishable food items. Kindergarten through grade three will bring breakfast items, and grades four through six will bring lunch items.

Sears Elementary

The school goal of collected box tops is 10,000. Box tops are worth 10 cents each for the school and add up fast. The teachers hope to add more books to the reading program. This is the ticket to free cash to do it. The books are the core of the Sears reading program. The school will print how many box tops it has and how many are needed in coming weeks. When shopping, look for the Box Tops for Education logo on Betty Crocker and General Mills products.

Santa's Secret shop will come to Sears Dec. 4 through 8. Look for more information in your child's folder.

Nineteen years ago, a committee formed to work on Christmas drives to benefit children in area schools. The goal remains the same. In the past, 60 to 65 families have enjoyed the Christmas spirit through the generous donations of local families and businesses. Look for information in coming weeks on how the school can help.

If you drop off children at Sears, you must go by the flag pole. Students are getting out of cars in the far lane from the building, which is for moving traffic only and unsafe for students.

The PTA will meet 3:30 p.m. Dec. 5 in the library.

Soldotna Elementary

Coming soon to Soldotna Elementary School will be the Christmas program under the direction of music teacher Yvonne Emery. First-, second- and third-graders will present "Special Delivery" to the community at 6 p.m. Dec. 5 in the school gym. It is open to the public.

The PTA is planning a Fun Fest for students from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Dec. 8 at the school. Students will get sign-up permission sheets to complete and return with a $3 fee. There will be activities sponsored by staff members and snacks for sale. PTA is sponsoring Fun Fest and will send home information with students.

The school thanks the many community members who called or stopped at the school to alert the staff to the recent moose wandering around the playground. Your concern and effort was most appreciated.

Tustumena Elementary School

The site council will meet at 4 p.m. Monday. One item will be to appoint a person to fill the remainder of a term coming vacant due to a resignation. If you are interested, contact the school or a council member. Also this month, the council will review the school's discipline policy.

Recent weeks have brought many children to the nursing office with headaches, feeling sick and feeling tired. The flu is working its way through Tustumena. If your child feels sick in the morning, he or she may well benefit by staying home and getting lots of rest. Also, each of us need to get to bed early each night so our bodies can stay healthy. These flu germs like a tired body.

Battle of the Books practice will begin Tuesday for grades three through six in the library. Grades three and four will practice Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 12:30 to 1. Grades five and six will practice Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from noon to 12:30. The program is optional but open to any interested students. There are 15 books on each list.

Time is running out for the $5,000 cash raffle. Turn in all raffle tickets, sold or unsold, no later than Monday.

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