Superintendent Message

Good afternoon parents and greetings from Skagway School! As we begin the 2015-2016 school year, I’d like to share with you some exciting news regarding the school and some resources that will help you better understand how we intend to provide the best education possible for your child and keep up with events at the school.

 

Technology Enhancements

One of the focal point of staff training over the past eight months has been an emphasis on technology integration into the classroom. We have an outstanding 1:1 I-Pad & laptop program for all students K-12, and are now beginning to leverage that infrastructure towards tangible tools for students and teachers. Our staff has received extensive training in the Google Apps for Education suite and has begun to use these tools to facilitate instruction. Later this year you will receive a link to a website hosted by each of your child’s teachers where you can find information related to curriculum, instruction, calendar, and educational philosophies.  Further, you can now keep up with events at the school, including sports and activity related information, through our enhanced Google calendar on the front page of the website. The goal in this is to enhance our communication with parents and the community at large as well as producing digitally literate students. Any suggestions you have to make our program even better are welcomed and encouraged.

Capital Improvements

You may have noticed some heavy equipment at the school over the course of the summer and into the fall. We are making efforts to improve the functionality and aesthetics of our facility by creating a safer playground and re-designing our entry sidewalks. With the help of the Public Works staff at the municipality, we have removed the blacktop on the playground and plan to replace it with grass. This open green space will afford students more room on the playground, and prevent injuries associated with loose gravel on asphalt.  Next week our front walkways will become a construction zone and when they are replaced, both sidewalks will include a design that is culturally relevant to the Native people of Skagway. We worked in concert with Skagway Village who provided guidance in terms of design as well as financial assistance. Finally, we were able to solve our issues related to the transporting of students in district vehicles. Over the past year we have been made aware of safety issues related to transporting children in 15 passenger vans. Through the benevolence of the municipality and the foresight of the school board, we were able to purchase 2 Ford Excursions capable of transporting 16 people collectively. The dedication of both our local government and school board to the safety of our children is remarkable; please thank a borough assembly member or school board representative for placing a premium on the safety of this community’s children. The vehicles are being built next week and are scheduled to be in Skagway in October.

 

Enrollment Boom

We begin this school year with more students than we have seen in nearly a decade! Our high point of enrollment is anticipated to be 110 students, which is up by 23 as compared to last year. It is exciting to be in an era of increasing enrollment and all of the advantages that come with it. Based on a cursory look at next year and our current preschool population, if the trend holds we could see the number of students rise to 120 and beyond. Later this year parents and community members will have an opportunity to weigh in on how we can expand our resources to better serve and keep a robust student body.

 

Character Education Resources

We are in the third year of implementation of our character education and Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) programs. The program is founded on the principle of positive reinforcement of character traits we value as a school and a community. To that end, we have instituted a character trait of the month that serves as the catalyst for the ‘student of the month program’. Each month I provide staff with the quotes to be used during morning announcements and resources they can use in the classroom to stimulate meaningful conversations about the character trait. In order for parents to further the conversation and reinforce what we are doing in the school building, we will be posting all of the resources I give to teachers on our website. If you have any ideas that might enhance our character education program or a character trait you would like to see emphasized, please let me know.