Elementary Administrivia and Start of Year Information

The following is a summary of the information provided during the start of year administrator meeting from the Department of Elementary Education.  Please contact me if you have questions or need assistance.


  • The 2014-15 ElemEdCurricPD Org Chart of the departments and folks I work with is attached for reference.
  • Use of the district’s Standards Referenced Report Card is required for elementary schools.  View the 2014 Standards Referenced Reporting K-6 memo for important information and an action item (it’s also posted on the deadlines list).  Training tools and resources are available in the ‘S’ folder of your computer, and communication tools are available on the Elementary Education department website at http://www.kpbsd.k12.ak.us/departments.aspx?id=28323.
  • The 2014-15 Calibration Visit Guide docs are posted on the Instructional Blog and in the Admin/Director file.
  • Contact me by 8/20 regarding which teacher you would like to involve in the Student Growth Map Pilot project.  Contact Natalie Kohler if you need information about which day (8/25 or 8/26) you should attend.
  • Early Entrance screening kits were provided to all principals with Kindergarteners at their site.  Please review the 2014 Early Entrance memo with information about the timelines for reporting on Early Entrance to this office (it’s also posted on the deadlines list).
  • AS 14.03.072 (enacted in 2013) requires parents be notified annually of their school’s grade retention standards and policies, and that parents also receive their child’s early literacy assessment information.  AS 14.03.072 Communication will meet the annual notification requirement and is also available online at http://www.kpbsd.k12.ak.us/Workarea/Downloadasset.aspx?id=31270. You are absolutely welcome to provide parents with additional information, if you wish.  Your school must also provide parents/guardians with the early literacy assessment data- and you may either do this with the October/March/May report cards, or you may send the report home after each testing window.  Whichever you choose, please be consistent throughout the school so your parents know when to expect the information.
  • A PD series on Early Childhood has been scheduled for Sept. 23, Jan. 22, Apr. 30th in Soldotna.  This series of PD is targeted for elementary principals, Title I Pre-K teachers and Self-Contained Special Education Pre-K teachers, plus a kindergarten teacher-leader from each site and (if applicable) the school’s interventionist.  It is particularly important that the involved teachers be a positive leader in your school community who will be able to support your site’s effective practices related to early childhood education.  A willingness to learn and consider recent research, and contribute to an examination of school practices in a positive light is essential.  Subs and mileage will be provided.  Please register in Generation Ready by Sept. 5th and contact me if you have questions about who could/should participate.
  • Please make sure you have and wear your district ID badge to all PD activities, and help your staff remember to do the same.  The PD Department is no longer printing name tags for every event and the handwritten ones don’t reflect the professional image we seek to reinforce.
  • Avatar is now called Generation Ready.
  • Effective Instruction Coaches have been assigned as the primary point of contact for PD Site Facilitators and principals.  Sites are not limited to support from just that individual, the ‘assignment’ is meant to put a name and face on who can help gain access to the PD information or resources needed. The list of coaches and site assignments will be provided by Michelle Thomason.
  • I will continue to offer the quarterly “Coffee” or “Tea” sessions via Lync.  Watch for an electronic invitation in your email later this month or in early September.

Federal Programs Organizational Chart

Fed Programs Flow Chart is being provided as an awareness of the “who does what” for Federal Programs, and to visualize the overlap that occurs. This team can provide support, or direct you to the correct support, for any of the activities listed on the page.

The mission of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Federal Programs Department is to provide quality, timely, and collaborative academic support to enhance the success of targeted students, schools and parents in an ethical manner and in compliance with KPBSD policies, federal regulations and state statutes.

Dollar figures are provided for the Federal funding sources. This should reinforce the importance of school staff efforts to have students/parents complete paperwork. The funds listed are generated through the completion of qualifying forms of students and families. These are federal dollars available to supplement district efforts to support qualifying students because a couple of forms were completed.

Funds are allocated to schools through prioritizing academic need according to specifics of the individual funding sources. KPBSD Federal funds are used in a variety of ways and a few are:

  •  10—Pre-K programs
  • Supplemental Teachers, Interventionists, & Tutors
  • Intervention Supplies and Materials
  • Professional Development
  • Family/Parent Involvement Activities
  • Extended School (before or after school tutoring)
  • Incorporating Native Culture and Language
  • Provide Native Youth Leadership opportunities
  • Support of Homeless students
  • Supports of incarcerated students
  • Support of Migrant students
  • Support of students who’s primary language is not English

Please help us maximize the Federal dollars the KPBSD receives. For more information, visit the district’s webpage http://www.kpbsd.k12.ak.us/departments.aspx?id=44.

Secondary Education & Student Activities Start Up Information

-New Secretary: As mentioned by Mr. Dusek, my former secretary Natalie Bates is now working as the Asst. Superintendents secretary.  My new Administrative Asst./Secretary is Tiffany Eck (extension #8884)

-Digital learning Grant: KPBSD applied for and received a three year (3) roughly $821,000.00 grant entitled, the “Kenai Quality Blended Learning Initiative.”  We will be recruiting a cohort of 12 teachers each the next three years (total of 36) who are interested in learning how to create blended learning environments within their classrooms and beyond the classroom walls.  The grant covers some infrastructure upgrades, professional development, and is intended to eventually increase blended teaching/learning capacity throughout the district.

KPC JumpStart now includes Juniors:  Additional focus on counseling will need to occur for those Juniors who wish to take advantage of college courses available to them.  We want to encourage as many students as possible who are ready for “early college” opportunities but ensure proper screening so we do not set some students up for failure. We will be working with counselors early this year on this message.

Advanced Placement: The new School Board Policy is now  live that requires AP students to take the exam in order for the bump in GPA to occur.  Please make sure your AP instructors include this information in their course syllabi and PowerSchool course info. and at every opportunity they get to communicate with students and parents.  Weighting of gpa will not be occur until after verification of having taken the exam.  You may waive the fee through your fee waiver process if there is a financial hardship.  You will need to consider an alternative  funding source to cover the fee.

-Weighted Grades: Additional quality points will be assigned for College Board Advanced Placement (AP) courses for the purpose of calculating grade point average (GPA). For each passing semester grade in an Advanced Placement course, 0.021 will be added to the student’s cumulative GPA. Effective for SY 2015, in order to receive a weighted grade, students must also complete the National Advanced Placement course examination.

-SST/Cross fit training: Be aware that you PE staff is likely enrolled in the August 13th PE training for SST/Cross fit and will not be attending the Opening Regional In-service.  Melissa is going to ensure that they attend the evaluation training by Sean and that there is an AVATAR component for the Opening Address by Dr. Atwater and Mr. Arness.  You will need to ensure they complete the remainder of trainings you have scheduled for that day at another time.

-Challenge Tests:  New State regulation allows high school students to receive high school credit by requesting and passing a “challenge test” for Lang. Arts, Math, Social Studies, Science, and World Language courses.  We do not have these ready yet and will need to revise our current school board policy on challenging tests.  Please refer any inquires you may receive on this matter to my office.

-Activity Travel:  Please see Admin. Directors folder for my previous communication on this issue.  Changes have been made.

Professional Development August Administrivia

Contact Michelle Thomason with any questions.


Leadership Academy – Day 2, Effective Feedback MS and HS Breakout Presentation

Below are the links to the PowerPoint Presentation and handouts Mr. O’Brien and Melissa Linton presented on day two of the Leadership Academy.


Distortionof Grading through 0 Handout – 100 point and 4 point scale

Modified Tuning Protocol

Secondary Education 4-30-14 Admin. Meeting Presentations

Here is the inforgraphic and the powerpoints  that were presented at the 4-30-14 Admin. meeting:


CTE Presentation

KPBSD College Readiness Indicators Spring 2014