By Randi Somers
The nine-month plus school season begins again Aug. 20, following the usual lead in activities, registration, teacher inservice, new students orientation and sports practice. This is true nationwide of course, but we are mainly interested in our own communities.
And of course parents and students prepared by purchasing needed supplies and new clothing as the new season requires.
Teacher inservice is being held today at several schools around the district including Homer High from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Freshman orientation and open house is scheduled at Homer High School Aug. 15, 5-8 p.m.
According to the district’s webpage, teachers’ average years of service in this district is 10. All are highly qualified in their fields and 66 percent have advance degrees in their subjects.
This year’s total enrollment for the district’s 44 schools in an area about the size of West Virginia is 9,065 students.
Registration is ongoing for some schools, but most have concluded. Some were only one day registrations.
Chapman, Cooper Landing, Fireweed, Homer High School and Homer Middle School and more finished their registration Aug. 12.
Hope’s registration is Aug. 15 and 16 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nikolaevsk’s is also this Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Ninilchik schools register tomorrow from 1-3 p.m. Port Graham registers tomorrow from 10 a.m. to noon.
Homer Middle School is having a Back to School Event 5-6:30 p.m. today for seventh and eighth grade orientation. An informal event to pick up schedules and locker information as well as to tour the school. Refreshments will be provided.
Also, Meet and Greet your teacher at West Homer Elementary on Friday, August 16 at 2-3 p.m.
Prior to starting school, a child must be immunized as required by Alaska state law against the following diseases: diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, varicella, hepatitis A and B and any other immunizations required by law. Specific booster doses for some immunizations are required for some students during the school year. The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District will comply with state law in all matters involving immunization compliance.
A student who does not provide evidence of each required immunization, or a religious or medical exemption as allowed within Alaska State Law, will be excluded from school until such time as the appropriate documentation has been received by the school.
Provisional Admission – Where regular weekly medical services are not available, the superintendent or designee may grant provisional admission to students in exceptional circumstances for up to 90 days.
Health Services provides program management in a variety of aspects for both student and staff health. School nurses strengthen and facilitate the educational process. They work to remove and/or modify health related barriers to learning. One focus of school health services is early detection and correction of student health problems. Children who have undiagnosed medical barriers often do not ask for help because they do not recognize these as barriers. The school nurse is uniquely qualified in pediatric health assessment, referral procedures, community health and health promotion.
Last year’s flu shot won’t protect people this season so they should be renewed.
To express concerns or praise for your school, survey forms are available on the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District web page for parents to tell teachers and principals what they appreciate and don’t like about the school their children attend.
Bussing to and from school is provided for students beyond easy walking distance. School district officials say that safety will always take precedence over other criteria when the district router establishes pickup and delivery stops. Access to a stop must be over roads having at least a gravel surface with all-weather, regular maintenance by a city, borough or state agency. The road must be wide enough for two vehicles to pass one another and there must be adequate turn-around space for the bus.
Each student will be picked up and delivered at the same address every day. Morning and afternoon addresses may be different but must be consistent each day.
The stated mission of the district is to develop productive responsible citizens who are prepared to be successful in a dynamic world. “We envision students who engage in their learning, participate in their community, reach high levels of achievement and graduate prepared for their future.”
Unspoken but obvious by the variety of offerings, schools are equipped to produce people who also totally enjoy their time on this planet.
In keeping with their mission to turn out well-rounded citizens, the schools, in addition to academics, provide music, arts, acting and physical activities including a complete sports agenda. Homer High is lucky to have a large performance auditorium and a swimming pool, both of which are used by the community. Many outstanding plays are held in the auditorium year round including the Christmas season performance of the Nutcracker Suite. The sports area includes a tennis court, new track and extensive arenas for such sports as baseball and football. The sports area is available for community use and sees action year round. A trail through the woods behind the school is used for track training and by community members who enjoy the walk.
Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Superintendent Steve Atwater welcomed the students to their new year in a greeting sent to families and available on the district’s website. “…After 10 weeks of summer break it is time for our students to resume their education journey,” he opens. “Generally, the vast majority of our students continue to make good progress toward graduation and perform well above average on our state’s standardized tests.’
“We invite parents and community members to join by volunteering in the schools and becoming involved in partnerships to support students. It is critical for our students to know that their parents, guardians, relatives and friends are supportive of their schooling process. A student without this support may at times feel at a loss to find the necessary focus to excel in his her studies.
Atwater was appointed to the board of directors of Education Northwest in Portland Oregon. The five states in this organization are Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. He said he is thrilled to help with their mission “to improve learning by building capacity in schools, families and communities through applied research and development.”
He is responsible for nearly 9,000 students in 21 communities.
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