School board to hear about survey

Group to explain Prevention Needs Assessment plan

Posted: Monday, December 03, 2007

For the third time in as many years, the Community Action Coalition will present the ins and outs of its planned student survey to the school board which meets today.

During a 4:30 p.m. work session, the coalition is slated to describe the Prevention Needs Assessment and clear up any misconceptions people may have about the intended use of information gathered and the incentives offered to students, according to Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Superintendent Donna Peterson.

She said the coalition made similar presentations to the school board in January 2005 and again in January 2006. Students in sixth, eighth, 10th and 12th grades were surveyed Feb. 22, 2006.

The school board also is scheduled to consider the district's six-year plan on capital improvements and major maintenance projects.

Peterson said, among items on the list that will probably be receiving public comment is a planned remodel for Kenai Middle School. Currently the remodel is scheduled for 2012, but a number of school parents believe the need is immediate, Peterson said.

Topping the list is teacher housing at remote schools. Peterson said the Tyonek school would like another duplex to be built, adding to the one already there. Also, construction of teacher housing that has been funded for Nanwalek is slated to begin next construction season.

A work session on fiscal year 2009 enrollment projections is scheduled for 3:45 this afternoon.

According to Peterson, this is the first time the KPBSD enrollment is expected to be below the 9,000-student mark.

She attributed the decline in enrollment to changing demographics bringing more people to the Kenai Peninsula, but not people with school-aged children.

Additionally, the declining projection takes into account the imminent closure of the Agrium fertilizer plant in Nikiski.

As of Oct. 26, the school district had 9,165 students. Next year, that number is expected to be 8,963.

Assistant Schools Superintendent Glen Szymoniak is on the agenda to give an update at 5 p.m. on Quality Schools-Quality Students, a school improvement service designed to increase student achievement to meet or exceed state standards.

Peterson said, through the service, communities learn that when there is a change in culture of a school, students exceed state standards.

On the school board's consent agenda is a resolution seeking support of student housing to be built at Kenai Peninsula College.

The college would like letters of support from peninsula cities and the Kenai Peninsula Borough in hopes of persuading the University of Alaska Board of Regents to approve an 80-100-bed facility to house students.

In supporting information provided by the college, KPC students living on campus would be allowed to dine at neighboring Alaska Christian College, which has a conference-dining facility that can feed up to 200 students. The Christian college enrollment does not exceed 50.

"If that's going to keep village kids closer to home ... and get them higher education good," said Peterson.

The school board meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in the Kenai Peninsula Borough Building on Binkley Street in Soldotna.

Phil Hermanek can be reached at

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