From Your District Leadership
March 20, 2020
Hello School District Family,
It’s Friday of the first week of school closure. I can honestly say I’ve never experienced a week quite like this one, and I can only imagine that all of you are having a similar end-of-week exhale moment.
Please know that my heart is with each and every one of you. I think about all of you, and all of us, everyday. I hope you are safe and healthy and are connecting with one another as we navigate this very challenging moment in our history. It is my honor to serve our community always, and especially at this time.
Thank you to our entire district for rallying around the needs of students, families and staff. We miss our students and are doing everything possible to create a positive, productive learning environment during this school closure. And we are thinking ahead to the unimaginable.....extended closure and what that might mean to all those we serve.
District staff at every level are working hard to plan how to meet the needs of students and families, as well as our own workforce. Very creative, dedicated people are developing remote learning opportunities, gathering resources to address social-emotional needs, packing and delivering food, and building solutions to bridge technology and connectivity gaps. We are thinking about the needs of every single student, from our graduating seniors to our youngest pre-K children, and all those in between. And we are supporting one another so we can stay healthy.
One thing I’ve been reflecting on as new information and health mandates come in a never-ending stream, is how often the only answer is, “We don’t have an answer right now. But we’re working on it!” My goal is to facilitate and support a district culture where we are flexible and learning and growing, and not limited by the defensive posture of always needing to know.
The truth is we don’t know what’s next. What we do know is that we always have two choices: Fear or Love.
I choose Love.
With much gratitude for all of you,
Below is information from various departments with links to resources for students, parents and guardians, and staff. Each day we are adding new information to the district website. Visit k12northstar.org for updates.
Nutrition Services and Transportation
The school district is making every effort to facilitate the community effort to ensure that all students are fed while schools are closed.
Beginning Wednesday, March 18, free breakfast and lunch has been available for pick up Monday through Friday for any student, through a federally-funded program. This project involves 23 busses and more than 40 locations. The first day approximately 200 meals were distributed and the second day 2300.
This program is for children only, so we cannot serve adults. See the Nutrition Services page on our school closure website for more information.
Teaching and Learning
Teaching and Learning has gathered numerous resources for students at all grade levels. See our website for Engagement Activities in a wide variety of areas including:
Pre-K (coming soon)
There will be no PEAKS testing this year. AIMSWeb and MAP testing have also been suspended.
Free social emotional learning activities families can participate in to build soft skills like resiliency, communication, empathy, impulse control and more.
The Parent Guide to Resilience offers ten activities to help increase resilience in yourself and your children.
School district Special Education Department Parent Resources and Family Engagement.
Staff, The Council for Exceptional Children, is offering FREE membership to any non-member educator, now through May 31st. In these unprecedented times, CEC feels that they have resources to share, and want to make them as widely available as possible.
Help Desk remains online and available, even from off-site!
Technicians will be dispatched to specific sites (schools) on an as-needed basis.
Wi-Fi: Our goal is to provide a map and listing of free public access Wi-Fi in the Fairbanks and North Pole communities. Right now the following actions are happening to support this goal:
Network Services is currently mapping the connectivity of our district buildings and parking lot availability.
Teaching & Learning and library staff are contacting businesses and organizations to see if they’re willing to be included on our list.
The district team continues to meet daily with union leadership and identify ways to collaboratively support staff and students during the closure.
Teachers are in the process of signing a telecommuting agreement to formalize the work specifications of continuing to support students and families remotely.
Updated communication is forthcoming from human resources with regards to Teledoc fees, Coalition Health Center support, CVS/Caremark provisions, and out-of-pocket costs associated with COVID-19 testing.
Each school currently only has core staffing, including the administrator, administrative secretary, and 1-2 custodians.
Login to Staff Resources for frequent HR updates.
Schools are closed. Please contact your principal if you need access for a specific reason.
CDC Resource Page: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Manage Anxiety and Stress
CDC Resource Page: Emergency Preparedness and Response: Taking Care of Your Emotional Health
Use ComPsych and remind other staff it’s there for them and their families, too.
Here’s a Compsych Flyer you can share.
Community Resources: Fairbank Community Resources PFD