From Your District Leadership
May 18, 2020
Hello School District Family,
Happy Last Week of School! We all made it through a 4th quarter we could never have imagined would happen. I’m so proud of our entire district for meeting head on the challenges of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Our staff have been amazing in their ability to completely change how they work. Our students have shown resilience in a time of lost connections with friends and school. And our families have partnered with us to create the best possible remote teaching and learning environment we could with the resources available. These past nine weeks will live in our memories for decades--another defining moment in each of our personal histories.
A special thank you to the 2020 graduates and your families. I was so touched by the graduations as I watched them each night last week. They were so personal and heartfelt. Although we couldn’t experience the big crowds in the Carlson Center or the Hering Auditorium or the Ben Eielson gymnasium, I felt like I was able to connect with each graduate, and I thoroughly enjoyed the unique ceremony each high school created. A special thank you to the principals who worked with your seniors and your school communities to create a memorable event.
Even though we have not been physically at school, it feels like we all need a break! I hope each of you are able to enjoy Alaska this summer as the health mandates relax and Governor Dunleavy re-opens Alaska. I especially hope that as we can begin to mingle with family and close friends again that you will all be able to spend quality time with those you care about most.
Have a wonderful summer, and I look forward to seeing you in August!
Facebook Live-Tuesday, May 19th at 12:15 pm
Superintendent Dr. Karen Gaborik will be on Facebook Live at 12:15 pm Tuesday, May 19th the last day of the 2019-2020 school year. She will share the Alaska Smart Start 2020 for K-12 schools from the Department of Education and review the latest CDC guidelines for schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Missed a graduation ceremony? Watch here as the Class of 2020 finishes their high school careers with the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District.
Class of 2020, we are so proud of you for adjusting to all the challenges of COVID-19, for staying committed to the end of the school year, and for being part of an experience that none of us will ever forget. Thank you for your resilience, your creativity and your determination.
OPENING SCHOOLS IN AUGUST
While students and families are enjoying a much needed summer vacation, many district staff will be working hard to prepare for re-school in August. The Commissioner of Education has created a framework titled Alaska’s Smart Start For 2020 for K-12 Schools. He has directed school districts to be prepared for an entire school year of some level of COVID-19 response. DHSS will define and establish the parameters for how schools can safely operate in a low, medium, and high risk environment. We anticipate that DHSS will utilize the CDCs decision-making tree titled Schools During the COVID-19 Pandemic as a resource.
Our goal is to be fully prepared for all three risk environments and to be able to move seamlessly between the zones as mandated by DHSS over the course of next school year. This means we will plan for 100% remote learning in the event that we find ourselves in the Red Zone; a blended learning model where we may need to divide students into different shifts in order to meet social distancing requirements in the Yellow Zone; and a more traditional approach in the Green Zone. We will want teachers, staff and students to be able to move with ease between the zones so learning time is not lost. Teachers will have a wide variety of professional development opportunities available this summer to take their learnings from 4th quarter and plan for a full year of remote and blended learning.
School starts August 17, and beginning early in August we will communicate with our district community the latest updates and directives from DHSS and the plans for opening.
Ready Raven and Other Summer Programs
We have 1000 kits ready for our new 2020-2021 kindergarteners that join our Ready Raven summer literacy program! There are ipads and hotspots available for checkout for the first 60 applicants. Register your kindergartener, then apply for Ready Raven and get ready for some summer reading fun!
Visit the counseling webpage for a list of other summer opportunities
Nutrition Services and Meals for Kids
What an amazing last quarter, we have had delivering approximately 164,195 meals! We have been providing free breakfast and lunch during this COVID-19 crisis since March 18th. Meals provided through this federally-funded program will continue until through May 19th. We would like to thank our First Student partners. Everyone we have worked with has been fantastic.
Local community agencies will have some resources available for families during the summer.
Has your household income changed? Did you know that the 2019-2020 free/reduced meal status extends for up to the first 30 school days in 2020-2021? If you answered yes and no, please complete a meals application to see if your children qualify for benefits.
Social Emotional Learning and Resources
Heading into summer, it's my hope that everyone will take time to focus on self care. Self Care is at the heart of strong social emotional skills, which in turn helps all of us succeed in school, work and life.
When your mind starts to turn toward preparing yourself and your students for next school year, consider reading this e-book from the Committee for Children: How Social-Emotional Learning Helps Children Succeed in School, the Workplace, and Life.
Looking to talk to our Social Emotional Learning (SEL) staff with your student this summer? Don't forget that Second Step is currently sharing COVID-19 support resources.
And staff, don't forget that as part of the CASEL CARES initiative, the Collaborative for Academic and Social Emotional Learning is is offering free webinars every Friday to address how SEL can be most helpful in response to today’s circumstances. These webinars are excellent as we prepare for welcoming our students back this fall.
We look forward to the start of 2020-21 school and hope everyone has a restful and rejuvenating break over the summer. Please check our Special Education website over the break for updated information and training opportunities for parents and staff.
Remote Learning Survey
Thank you for taking time to complete the district's survey. Your feedback is invaluable to helping us provide an excellent education to your student(s).
May 18 FNSBSD School Board (Work Session-Budget)
May 19 Last day of School and FNSBSD School Board (Regular Meeting)Jun 2 FNSBSD School Board (Regular Meeting)