North Star News - April 2023
Photo: Band students from Ladd Elementary prepare for Music In Our Schools Month
- Message from Chief School Administrator
- Black History Month Contest Winners
- Alaska Reads Act - Frequently Asked Questions
- Kindergarten Roundup Dates
- District Recommended Budget
- and more!
For me, this is the time of year I long for the green grass of summer and have to remind myself, spring will come. The snow will melt, the flowers will bloom, and we will see the change in season. This is also the time in the school year that we do spring assessments, celebrate our military-connected students and families, and eagerly await graduation.
This month, the District will continue to administer the state summative assessment, AK STAR, for students in grades 3–9. This assessment is a requirement by state statute and gives our children an opportunity to showcase what they know and can do. Most of our middle and high school students have completed the test and our elementary students are getting started. If your child has not already completed the assessment, please check with your school on when they will get the chance to participate.
April is the month of the Military Child. On Saturday, April 15, the District will be joining our partners across the Borough to celebrate our children and families connected to the military. There will be fun activities for the children and door prizes. Everyone is welcome to come on April 15, between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. at Pioneer Park Centennial Center.
Finally, graduation is just around the corner and we always look forward to launching our senior classes into their future. The schedule for graduation dates and times can be found on our website or check with your local school for details.
As we head into the final stretch of the 2022-23 school year and anxiously await the full arrival of spring, I encourage you to stay connected with your school and take advantage of all of the wonderful spring happenings.
All the best,
Karen Melin, Chief School Administrator
Student Scientists Featured at Interior Alaska Science Fair
The annual Interior Alaska Science Fair showcased 300+ student science exhibits from over 40 schools!
Elementary and middle school students across the Interior brought their science projects and presented them to judges, local community partners and district staff, for evaluation. Over 50 judges took time at each display to interview students and learn more about the project and findings. Awards were based on the student's research, scientific method, observations, data, and conclusions.
Congratulations to all the student scientists who placed! Thank you also to all the staff, community partners, and volunteers who invested their time and energy into coordinating this opportunity!
Contest Winners - Black History Month 2023
In celebration of Black History Month, the local National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the FNSBSD proudly sponsored a Black History Month Contest for students.
Congratulations to the following contest winners!
- Grace Harrell, Category: K-1st Grade, Arctic Light Elementary School
- Denali Marsikova, Category: 2nd-3rd Grade, Pearl Creek Elementary School
- Cordelia Hibbs, Category: 4th-6th Grade, Weller Elementary School
- Olivia Donner, Category: 7th-8th Grade - Art, Ben Eielson Junior-Senior High School
- Proynapat Mae Conover, Category: 9th-12th Grade - Essay, Ben Eielson Junior-Senior High School
- Mary Ballard, Category: 9th-12th Grade - Art, North Pole High School
Stewart Erhart - Alaska Boys Basketball Gatorade Player of the Year
Congratulations to Stewart Erhart, West Valley High Senior, for receiving his second Gatorade Player of The Year (GPOTY) award. Stewart earned the title as a junior and again in March 2023. Stewart Erhart became the first boys basketball player to win GPOTY from West Valley.
“It feels good to win it twice,” said Stewart Erhart. “I know how hard I’ve worked and how much I’ve sacrificed. I’ve given up summers. Waking up at 5:00 or 6:00 a.m. before school, getting shots in before school starts, and working out after school.”
The GPOTY award recognizes both on-court skills and statistics as well as off-court academics and leadership.
Milo Griffin - Alaska High School Hall of Fame
The Alaska School Activities Association (ASAA) recently announced the selection of Milo Griffin into the Alaska High School Hall of Fame! Griffin is being inducted into the Athletic Coach category. Griffin has been a teacher and coach for over 30 years. Congratulations Coach! The ASAA is the regulating body for Alaska high school interscholastic activities.
AK STAR & Science Assessments | Teaching & Learning
From March 27–April 28, the District is administering AK STAR assessments to students in grades 3-9, and the Alaska Science Assessment to grades 5, 8, and 10.
AK STAR connects fall and winter MAP interim tests with the spring state assessment, and assesses students' understanding of the Alaska Standards.
No electronic devices, besides those used for testing, will be allowed in the testing room. This includes, but is not limited to cell phones, laptops, e-readers, smart watches, fitness trackers, etc. Please be mindful of this and ask your child to leave personal electronic devices home on the days they are scheduled to test. If an electronic device is medically necessary, please contact the school principal.
Alaska Reads Act FAQ | Teaching & Learning
The Alaska Reads Act was passed in June, 2022 and has several components to it including a requirement for a district reading intervention program. The goal of the AK Reads Act is to support all students reading on grade level by the end of third grade. This applies to all Alaskan students in public, private, and homeschool settings. For additional information see the Alaska Reads Act website.
When does the Alaska Reads Act take effect?
The AK Reads Act will be in effect for the 2023-24 school year.
How does the Alaska Reads Act impact my elementary student?
The AK Reads Act includes a requirement for a district reading intervention program. That means K-3 students will be assessed with a literacy screener three times per year to determine areas of proficiency. Review all of the FAQ online.
Recommended Budget Available | Operations
The Recommended Budget was approved by the Board of Education on March 22, 2023. Items restored that were previously cut in the Proposed Budget include current year Elementary PTR (25), Elementary ELP Teachers, Kindergarten Aides, Secondary Library Assistants, High School Secretaries, SMART staff, and support staff work days.
The Recommended Budget will be presented to the Borough Assembly on April 20, 2023.
Late Bus Routes | Transportation Services
Late bus text notifications are currently not working. Check the status of your student's bus routes online here. Families will continue to receive email notifications regarding late buses.
Ready Raven Pre-K Program | Teaching & Learning
Our Ready Raven Program team is offering TWO in-person summer programs and one online version. Registration is FREE! Ready Raven is a 22-day intensive, literacy-focused, fun opportunity for 4 and 5-year-old children who will enroll in kindergarten this coming fall.
Immunizations Available in North Pole | Nursing Services
The North Pole Fire Department, in coordination with the Fairbanks Public Health Center, offers all childhood vaccinations the third Thursday of every month at the following address;
- North Pole Fire Department, 110 Lewis Street, North Pole, AK
For more information, please call the Fairbanks Public Health Center, 907-452-1776.
North Star College Update | Middle College
After School Program (ASP) | Student Support Services
April 24–April 28th is Afterschool Professionals Week!
Our 21st Century Community Learning Centers programs offer thanks and appreciation for all the amazing coordinators, staff, and volunteers who support and enrich our programs throughout the FNSBSD. Without these incredible educators, we could not offer the quality programs we sustain every year!
Our last day of 21st CCLC Grant-Funded Afterschool Programs will be Thursday, April 27, for this school year however we are busy planning for our two exciting summer sessions: EAST Camp and STREAM Academy!
Social Emotional Learning (SEL) | Student Support Services
On March 24, Amy Cross, Prevention Specialist, and Gretchen Czekaj, Prevention Specialist, put together a Sources of Strength (SOS) peer leader meet and greet at Hutchison High School. SOS peer leaders from Barnette and Hutch met to discuss the SOS programs at their schools. They completed an activity focusing on the different strengths they have and collaborated on campaign ideas. Photo: Barnette Magnet-SOS Peer Leaders
April is the Month of the Military Child
FNSBSD takes this opportunity to recognize the contributions, sacrifices, and unique struggles children of military service members selflessly make in support of the United States Armed Forces.
Remember, April 14, is Purple Up! For Military Kids–wear purple! Learn more about the district's appreciation for military-connected families.
'Day in the Life' of Military Child | Pioneer Park
Celebrate the month of the military child with 'A Day in The Life' family event! This free event will be held on Saturday, April 15, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Pioneer Park Centennial Center.
For more information, please contact 907-452-2000 ext. 11340 or email@example.com
APR 7 | 6:00 p.m. First Friday Denali Art Show, Denali Elementary
APR 11–12 | Tanana Chiefs Conference Education Summit, Wedgewood Resort
APR 15 | 11 a.m. Month of Military Child “Day in Life,” Pioneer Park
APR 21 | 10:30 a.m. North Star Ballet “The Firebird and Other Works,” Salisbury Theatre
APR 22 | 2:00 p.m. North Star Ballet “The Firebird and Other Works,” Salisbury Theatre
Board of Education Meetings
APR 10 | 5:30 p.m. Board Policy Committee Meeting
APR 17 | 6:00 p.m. School board Work Session: Charter Schools
APR 18 | 6:00 p.m. Board Regular Meeting
APR 20 | 5:30 p.m. Budget Presentation to the FNSB Finance Committee, Juanita Helms Admin Center
APR 20 | 5:30 p.m. Board Curriculum Committee Meeting
THE FAIRBANKS NORTH STAR BOROUGH SCHOOL DISTRICT IS AN EQUAL EMPLOYMENT AND EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY INSTITUTION, AS WELL AS A TOBACCO AND NICOTINE-FREE LEARNING AND WORK ENVIRONMENT.