Incoming Administrator at Susan B. English School

| January 5, 2024 | 0 Comments

Clean up and repair of SBE’s school shop after November fire

| December 16, 2014 | 0 Comments

by Jenny Chissus

SBE School ShopToday, Julie Cisco, Risk Manager from the Kenai Peninsula Borough was accompanied by Tim Vlasak from the Kenai Peninsula School District and Kevin Lyons with the Kenai Peninsula Borough to update the community about the process ahead regarding the clean up and repairs to our school shop after the fire on November 24th.  I appreciate Julie taking a moment to visit with me to share with the community the plan for our shop’s renovations.  There has been concern over the future of the structure, and the good news is that it is a sound building, and though there is a lot of clean up to do – we will have our shop back!

I also had an opportunity to visit with our principal, Alan Haskins after the meeting to go over a few more details and to gain his insight – which we wanted to share with the community.

Jenny:  Who reported the smoke that was visible at the site that morning?  How long was from the time it was reported to the time of the fire department on the scene? How much time did it take to contain the fire?

Alan Haskins:  Tyler Tucker from the city noticed and reported the fire to 911.  The fire call came in at 5:45 am, and the fire department was on scene at about 6:00am. Fire was contained in about 1/2 an hour. 

Jenny:  Please give us a brief description of the damage that was caused?

Alan Haskins: The majority of the damage is cosmetic, but there is some roof damage and damage to the old gym floor from the water. With lots of asbestos exposure.

Jenny:  Realizing that we don’t know the timing, but we’re thankful that the process has begun, and that the borough will start cleaning up shortly, what are your hopes for the completion of this project?

Alan Haskins:  Here is my analogy there are a 100 steps to the process and we are on step 3.   I hope to see that the building would be open at the start of next school year.

Jenny:  Julie mentioned that there will be more public input and participation and up coming meetings, what do you feel the community can do to support this project?

Alan Haskins:  I will keep the community informed about the project as I receive information. I will request meetings with all parties as we reach major steps in the process.

Jenny:  I’m sure you want to give a big thanks to Tyler and to the fire department for a job well done!

Alan Haskins:  Yes I want to thank the volunteer fire department and Tyler for making great decisions on the morning of the fire.  Their quick response kept the damage to a minimum.

Jenny:  Do you feel that with the opportunity to make upgrades and improvements on this building, that there will be different spaces created, or classroom changes to enhance opportunities for student learning in Seldovia?

Alan Haskins: I do see this event as a way to make improvements for the students at Susan B English.

Jenny:   It appears that there’s a lot of involvement between the borough, school district and the city, can you elaborate on that any further?

Alan Haskins:  The district, borough and city are working together to move the process along smoothly. I want to thank everyone who came to the meeting, it really shows that everyone cares about the education of our young people.

Superintendent Atwater Announces his Resignation

| August 4, 2014 | 0 Comments

by Pegge Erkeneff | Communications Specialist, Kenai Peninsula Borough School District

Dr. Steve Atwater, KPBSD Superintendent

Dr. Steve Atwater, KPBSD Superintendent

Soldotna, August 4, 2014—During an executive session with the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education, Dr. Steve Atwater, KPBSD superintendent, tendered his resignation, effective December 1, 2014. His resignation was formally announced and accepted during the public school board meeting. Dr. Atwater will leave KPBSD to become the new University of Alaska Associate Vice President for K-12 Outreach.

“Deciding to resign as KPBSD’s superintendent was a difficult decision for me,” said Dr. Atwater. “Because my work leading our school district for the past five years has been so rewarding, it is hard to step down. However, I am excited to become the University of Alaska’s Associate Vice President for K-12 Outreach, a newly created position. I am appreciative of working for a supportive school board that places our students’ needs as their number one priority and am proud that our district made so many improvements while I was here. I know the district has a clear vision for what is next and is well positioned with a strong team to continue to meet its goals. I thank all of the employees of KPBSD, families, and community members of our borough for their commitment to our school district. It is an honor to serve our students; I look forward to continuing to do so in my new position.”

The school board met in executive session on Monday evening, and will determine the next step for a new KPBSD superintendent. Three options are possibilities: a national search and new hire; appoint a new superintendent from qualified internal or external candidates; or hire an interim superintendent for the remainder of the school year. When a decision about the next step is made, KPBSD will communicate with our staff, schools, families, and the public.

“It is with sincere regret that the board will accept the resignation of our superintendent, Dr. Steve Atwater,” said Joe Arness, school board president. “At the same time, we feel sincere pride and happiness in his accomplishments and his movement towards a new challenge. His tenure here has been entirely productive and successful and he can take justified pride in the organization that he has been instrumental in creating and continuing. The district will continue in its current directions. As a school board, we will make a determination as to how to proceed in the process of filling the very large shoes which Dr. Atwater will leave. However, we know that the internal strength of the district and its employees is such that we will be able to find his replacement, get on a steady track, and move forward without hesitation. We certainly wish Dr. Atwater well and thank him for the contributions he made to our district.”

KPBSD and KPC Announce New Efforts to Make it Easier and Less Expensive to Take College Classes

| April 12, 2014 | 0 Comments

Press Release – by Peggy Erkeneff

KPBSD and KPC BannerSoldotna, April 7, 2014—JumpStart opens to juniors, and includes bus transportation from high schools to KPC. Kenai Peninsula College (KPC) and Kenai Peninsula Borough School District (KPBSD) officials jointly announced two new initiatives will enable more high school students to take KPC courses at reduced tuition rates.

Beginning with the fall 2014 semester, high school juniors will be able to take advantage of the JumpStart program that had previously only been available to high school seniors. Students can enroll for up to six credits each semester starting the fall semester they become juniors. Tuition cost is $55 per credit versus the regular rate of $174.

Funded by a 1/10th mill rate on borough property taxes, JumpStart has been in existence for many years. Opening the program to juniors means that high school students will be able to take up to 30 credits (one full college year) at the reduced rate—by the time they graduate from high school.

Students and their parents can potentially save $3,570 on their first year of college compared to regular University of Alaska rates. [See the attached tuition comparison chart on page three of media release]. These courses are dual credit meaning students taking the KPC courses receive both high school and college credit if they successfully complete the course(s) with a “C” or better. Course credits earned at KPC through the University of Alaska are typically transferable to accredited colleges and universities throughout the United States.

Secondly, KPBSD will transport KPC enrolled students from all central peninsula high schools to KPC’s Kenai River Campus in order to take courses. Buses will arrive at Kenai River Campus (KRC) at 9 a.m. and the last departure will be at 1:30 p.m. Nikiski students would depart their high school and KRC 15 minutes earlier.

The shuttle service will provide continuous service between the schools throughout this period meaning a student could take one or two classes at KRC and return to their high schools to continue their high school classes. Bussing students on the southern peninsula to KPC’s Kachemak Bay Campus is still being discussed with high school administrators and transportation providers.

“I get many requests from parents asking that the JumpStart program be opened to juniors,” said Gary J. Turner, KPC director. “Due to the declining number of high school seniors, we looked closely at our borough budget and the projected number of seniors the district is anticipating, and determined we can afford to do this with the same amount of funds.” The borough budget request sent by KPC to the mayor and assembly has been revised to include juniors.

“Access to KPC courses has always been a challenge to our students without transportation,” said Dr. Steve Atwater, KPBSD superintendent. “We believe that by providing a shuttle, many more of our students will be able to take these dual credit classes and save a considerable amount of money on their college education. I am thrilled to learn that our juniors will now be eligible to use the JumpStart support for taking KPC classes. This is a necessary and positive change to help our graduates prepare for life after high school. I offer thanks to our borough for their continued support of KPBSD and KPC.”

Registration and advising for high school students at the Kenai River Campus (KRC) in Soldotna will be held from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., April 26, and from 3-5 p.m., April 28. Students who do not enroll during these “early bird” sessions will be able to receive advising from 1-4 p.m., August 13, and enroll in classes from noon-5 p.m., August 15 and from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., August 21 and 22.

High school students can receive advising and register at the Kachemak Bay Campus (KBC) in Homer from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., April 21 – August 22.

Gary J. Turner, KPC Director, 907-262-0315gjturner@kpc.alaska.edu
Pegge Erkeneff, KPBSD Communications Specialist, 907-714-8888Pegge@KPBSD.org


Principal/Teacher Interviews Thursday at 5:30pm – Quick Answers from Dr. Atwater

| February 26, 2014 | 0 Comments

by Jenny Chissus

SBE Future PrincipalThis will be the third time we have hosted the KPBSD for Principal/Teacher interviews in the last year.  Our current principal/teacher, Judy Standafer has given her notice, and will be leaving Seldovia at the end of the 2013-2014 school year.  So, we are on the lookout for a new principal for our beloved Susan B English school!

Since our family moved to Seldovia twelve years ago, we have seen 6 principals in our school!  We realize that Seldovia has always been a small school and the testing ground or beginning stop for some.  Our hope as parents has been to find the individual who wants to make Seldovia their home, our community and our students a long-term part of their life!  It is a trick, as most experienced administrators are “moving up” in the career, to bigger schools, larger staff, etc.

To me, I see this as an opportunity that is exceptional!

We have a beautiful school facility and a parent population that is very involved and interested in what is happening at the school.   The physical environment for Continue Reading

KPBSD Ski Teams in Bus Accident

| January 10, 2014 | 0 Comments

Press Release by Pegge Erkeneff 

Soldotna, January 10, 2014—While traveling to the Valdez Invitational, Kenai Central High School and Skyview High School cross-country ski teams were in a bus accident at 11:44 a.m., at mile 55 on the Richardson Highway. Valdez City Schools sent buses to transport students to the elementary school, where a medical triage team assembled to assess every student. Several students were subsequently transported to Providence Valdez Medical Center for further evaluation.

At the accident site cell coverage was minimal, weather conditions were poor. Forty-nine people were on board the bus from KPBSD, in addition to the bus driver. Skyview High School team: 15 students and three adults; from Kenai Central High School: 28 students and three adults. Students and KPBSD staff began arriving in Valdez at approximately 4:00 p.m.

At the time of this media release, students at the hospital were being treated and released, and we are awaiting a full update. All parents and guardians have been contacted.

Due to the circumstances, the two KPBSD teams will not compete in the Valdez Invitational on Saturday; Unique Charters is sending a replacement bus for the teams which plans to leave Valdez and drive back to the central peninsula midday.

“I thank all of the staff from Valdez City Schools, the Valdez Emergency Services, Valdez Police, personnel at the Valdez Hospital, and the Alaska State Troopers for their immediate and professional response to today’s accident,” said Dr. Steve Atwater, superintendent.  “The location of the accident made the response difficult, we are thankful that these agencies are so well trained. In addition, thank you to local families who volunteered to bring food to students, and open their homes to parents.”

This and all KPBSD media releases are online at this web page: http://bit.ly/MediaPublicRelationships
New: Suggest or contribute a story online link: http://bit.ly/SuggestKPBSDstory
Please contact me with questions or connections to be made for your KPBSD district and school stories.

Warm Regards,

Pegge Erkeneff | Communications Specialist
Kenai Peninsula Borough School District
148 N. Binkley Street, Soldotna, AK 99669
907.714.8888 | fax: 907.262.5867
KPBSD Communications
Facebook: Kenai Peninsula Borough School District
twitter: @KPBSD

One district—44 diverse schools: www.KPBSD.org