Big Lake, Alaska and The Susitna Valley News, Weather, Events, And More

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Friday, January 19 2018 @ 11:51 AM AKST


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Grant Addresses Mental Health of Students

Education and Local School NewsJUNEAU -- The Alaska Department of Education & Early Development has been awarded a $9.1 million grant to improve school safety by addressing mental health issues in school-aged youth through Alaska’s Project AWARE.

The five-year federal award, funded through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration, will provide $1.8 million annually for districtwide Youth Mental Health First Aid training in Anchorage, Mat-Su, and Kenai, and targeted mental health resources to the following alternative schools in those districts: Burchell High School, Valley Pathways, Mat-Su Central School, Avail School, Crossroads School, Benson Secondary/S.E.A.R.C.H., S.A.V.E. High School, Kenai Alternative High School, and Homer Flex School.

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The 4th Annual Houston Hawks Football Veterans Appreciation Game

Education and Local School NewsThe 4th Annual Houston Hawks Football Veterans Appreciation Game and 2014 Houston High Homecoming is today. Game time 6:00 p.m. The Houston Hawks vs. The Kenai Kardinals. Ohana Media Group will be hosting halftime activities including Prize Drawings.

As a token of thanks for their service, Veteran's will get into the game for free.

Fireworks presented by Gorilla Fireworks following the game.

Get out and show your support!
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State Board to Meet September 18 and 19 in Anchorage

Education and Local School NewsThe State Board of Education & Early Development will meet on September 18 starting at 8:00 a.m. and September 19 starting at 8:30 a.m. The meeting will be held at the Anchorage School District board room, 5530 E. Northern Lights Blvd., Anchorage. The public is invited to attend. The meeting packet is at

The board will take public comment on agenda and non-agenda items on Thursday, September 18. Comment at this oral hearing is limited to three minutes per person and five minutes per group. Public comment can be made for this meeting, during this time only, by calling 1-855-463-5009 if you are outside of Juneau. For participation from Juneau, call 463-5009. This meeting will be streamed through the Legislative Information Office over beginning at 8:00 a.m. on September 18, and 8:30 a.m. on September 19 (audio only). Click on the meeting name to listen to the meeting proceedings. When public comment is over, the meeting will continue to be broadcast at the above web site.

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Statewide student video contest kicks off with start of Healthy Futures Challenge

Education and Local School NewsANCHORAGE — A statewide video PSA contest to promote physical activity will kick off this week with the start of the fall Healthy Futures Challenge. A record 185 Alaska elementary schools, over 60 of them in Anchorage, will participate in the Challenge, which motivates students to get physically active for prizes.

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services’ Play Every Day campaign, a partner of Healthy Futures, decided to run a PSA contest after seeing and sharing a video made by Gladys Wood Elementary students last fall. The PSA shows kids getting active and doing the Challenge.

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State Releases 2014 School Ratings

Education and Local School NewsJUNEAU – The Alaska Department of Education & Early Development has released this year’s school ratings under the Alaska School Performance Index (ASPI). The ratings are based on student performance in school year 2013-2014. This is the second year for the Alaska-developed ASPI accountability and support system, which replaced the federal Adequate Yearly Progress system under No Child Left Behind.

Seventy-five of 501 rated schools earned five stars, the highest rating; 198 schools are four-star schools; 149 schools are three-star schools; 52 schools are two-star schools; and 27 schools are one-star schools. Collectively, nearly 93 percent of students attended schools in 2013-2014 that earned three stars or above.

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State Releases Alaska School Performance Index (ASPI)

Education and Local School NewsWant to know how well your child’s school is performing? The results for 2013-2014 are posted here: then search for your school district and find your child’s school.
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State to Award Middle School STEM Grants

Education and Local School NewsJUNEAU – The Alaska Department of Education & Early Development will award grants to two nonprofit organizations for pilot projects to expand science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education for underserved and unrepresented middle school students with limited opportunities who are enrolled in a public school in the state.

The grants to expand middle school STEM education were proposed in Governor Parnell’s comprehensive education legislation, Alaska’s Education Opportunity Act (HB 278), and enacted into law following the 2014 legislative session. The grants will provide funding for three years beginning in fiscal year 2015.
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State Board Approves UAS Superintendent Program

Education and Local School NewsJUNEAU – The State Board of Education & Early Development, meeting by teleconference on July 30, approved a superintendent endorsement program at the University of Alaska Southeast. The program will be offered online across the state. It will be the state’s only operating superintendent endorsement program.

Alaska regulations do not require school district superintendents to have a superintendent endorsement on their administrator’s certificate. However, an endorsement program allows current and aspiring superintendents to study the elements of educational finance; district operations; use of technology; district governance; program planning, implementation, and evaluation; and communication with constituencies; and to participate in a leadership internship.

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Education and Local School NewsGo here: for all the forms and info to iEnroll register your students online.
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Students May Be Eligible for a Retroactive High School Diploma

Education and Local School NewsJUNEAU -- Following the signing of House Bill 278 into state law by Governor Parnell, former Alaskan public high school students that failed to pass the High School Graduation Qualifying Exam and received a certificate of achievement are eligible for a retroactive high school diploma on or after July 1, 2014.

To obtain a diploma, eligible students should contact the school district in which their high school was located. School districts are required to mail a notice to any student who qualifies for a diploma under the new state law. Districts will mail to the student’s last
known mailing address.
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State Board Approves Changes to School Accountability System

Education and Local School NewsJUNEAU – The State Board of Education & Early Development, meeting June 5 and 6 in Anchorage, adopted regulations to adjust Alaska’s school accountability system to account for the special circumstances of alternative high schools and small schools.

A major element in the state’s school accountability system is called the Alaska School Performance Index, which awards points to schools based on student achievement, student improvement, attendance, scores and participation in career-readiness assessments, and graduation rates.

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2014 Alaska Farm to School grant winners chosen

Education and Local School News(Palmer, AK) – This year, the Alaska Division of Agriculture received a record number of applications for Alaska Farm to School Program mini-grants. Twenty-three projects from all over the state – involving schools, pre-schools, home school programs and non-profit organizations – were selected to receive funding. This year’s grant recipients are:
• Academy Charter School, Palmer
• Airport Heights Elementary, Anchorage
• Alaska Botanical Garden and 21st Century Learning Center, Anchorage
• Alaska Gateway School District, Tok
• Aurora Elementary School, Anchorage
• Chugiak High School
• College Gate Elementary School, Anchorage
• Effie Kokrine Charter School, Fairbanks
• Fish to Preschools, Emmonak
• Fairbanks Native Association Head Start
• Hydaburg School
• Houston High School
• Louise’s Farm School, Palmer
• McGrath School
• Montessori Borealis, Juneau
• South Anchorage High School
• Susitna Elementary School, Anchorage
• Thorne Bay School
• Tyonek Educational Garden
• Valley Pathways School, Palmer
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Governor Signs Education Opportunity Act

Education and Local School NewsMay 13, 2014, Wasilla, Alaska – Surrounded by more than 100 students, teachers, principals, parents and school board members at Mat-Su Central School, Governor Sean Parnell today signed his comprehensive education legislation, House Bill 278, Alaska’s Education Opportunity Act into law. The governor’s bill creates more educational opportunities for Alaska’s children including charter, correspondence, home and residential schools, and vocational training, while also providing a substantial increase in funding to classrooms across the state.

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