North Star News - March 2023
North Star News–a monthly newsletter provided to keep families and staff informed and engaged with their district.
- Supporting Student Success
- Calendar and School Start Time Feedback
- Love A School Food Drive
- Interior Alaska Spelling Bee Winners
- and more!
Chief School Administrator Karen Melin shares district updates about legislative advocacy for public education, calendar and start time feedback, spring break, and a welcome to the incoming superintendent.
Supporting Student Success
We believe part of what makes a successful school district is one that offers diverse educational opportunities for individual success. In Fairbanks, our schools work hard to provide an excellent education for all students while facing limited resources and insufficient funding.
How can you show support for public education in your community?
Share a public opinion message with all legislators: www.akleg.gov/poms
Email the governor and legislators: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact your area’s elected representatives: akleg.gov
Interior Alaska Spelling Bee Winners
Congratulations to Sydney Seavey, sixth-grader from Barnette Magnet School, on winning the Interior Alaska Spelling Bee! Sydney will represent Interior Alaska in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., later this year. Big kudos to the following students who placed and all who participated!
Sydney Seavey, 6th grade, Barnette Magnet School
Naomi Gray, 8th grade, Nenana Cyberlynx Homeschool
3rd Place (Tie)
Liam Smurda, 8th grade, FOCUS Homeschool
Phoebe Wooller, 7th grade, Randy Smith Middle School
Keighson Cullen, 4th grade, Anne Wien Elementary School
Discovery Peak Students Win State Finals
Discovery Peak students won first place in the State Finals Science Olympiad hosted by the University of Alaska Fairbanks. A team of 12 students, 6th-8th graders, competed against middle schools all over Alaska in the high-level STEM competition. The team will be headed to the Science Olympiad National Tournament in Kansas to represent Interior Alaska. If interested in supporting the team, contact Magnard Maglaya, middle school teacher at Discovery Peak: email@example.com.
Sources of Strength Suicide Prevention Training
Last month, 18 school district staff attended the Sources of Strength (SOS) Adult Advisor Meeting. Gretchen Czekaj, Cory Carlo, and Amy Cross (Prevention Specialists) provided crucial training on how to start and maintain a SOS group at their schools with the focus on "hope led" suicide prevention. The following Friday they trained a group of Hutchison students as SOS Peer Leaders with the intention of effectively increasing the SOS influence throughout the school and across multiple peer groups. If you are interested in starting a SOS group at your school, please email the SEL & Prevention Specialist at firstname.lastname@example.org
2024-25 School Calendar and Start Time Feedback
We need your feedback! Please provide your input on the 2024-25 school calendar and let us know how school start times are working for your student and your family. Click here to provide Calendar and Start Times Feedback. The survey will close on Sunday, March 19 at 11:59pm.
Thank you for taking a few minutes to provide feedback!
Spring Break Activity Guide
Check out this guide and enjoy spring break with these fun community activities! Spring Break is March 13–17, 2023.
2023-24 Academic Calendar
Wanting to do some planning for the upcoming 2023-24 school year? The new design of the 2023-24 academic calendar is available! (Don't worry, the vintage design is still available as well.)
School Climate Surveys are OPEN!
You are invited to participate in the annual School Climate Parent Survey! The survey is anonymous, takes about 10 minutes, and results are used to understand and improve the educational climate of our schools. The parent survey closes on Friday, March 17.
Alaska Immunization Records - Docket
The State of Alaska has introduced a new app called Docket, that allows users to find immunization records for themselves and their children. This is a handy way for parents to find out if their kids are on track and what vaccinations may be needed in the future. Learn more about state vaccination records.
Updates to Bus Routes | Transportation Services
The District and Durham, our bussing partner, strive to continually improve our transportation services for families. On February 27, 12 new routes were added, bringing service back to many areas where the routes were pulled. As a result, many existing routes were adjusted, including route numbers and stop times. View updated route information and how to update your late bus notifications.
FY24 Budget Calendar | Operations
School Board Budget Work
March 6 | 5:30 p.m. Budget Work Session
March 7 | 6:00 p.m. Board Regular Meeting
March 20 | 6:00 p.m. Budget Work Session
April 1 - Recommended Budget due to Borough
The FY24 Proposed Budget document is available here. The FY24 Recommended Budget will be available April 1, with the FY24 Approved Budget in May-June. Learn more about the budget process.
Child Find Screening Schedule | Special Education
The final Child Find screening, children ages 3-5 (pre-kindergarten), for the 2022-23 school year will take place on March 24, 2023. Child Find screenings will start for the 2023-24 school year in August. Referrals can be made by calling the Special Education Department at (907) 452-2000 ext. 11448.
Preschool transition meetings are starting to take place at schools for students transitioning from the preschool program to kindergarten next year. Please reach out to your child’s case manager for more information.
Project SEARCH Application Deadline EXTENDED | Special Education
Attention senior students with an IEP! The Project SEARCH internship application deadline has been extended to Friday, March 24, 2023, apply online here.
As part of FNSBSD Special Education programs, Project SEARCH is a school-to-work transition program for students with disabilities between the ages of 18 and 22. This program has had wonderful outcomes for students with a nearly 100% job placement rate after graduation from Project SEARCH.
School and District Report Cards Available
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires schools and the district to prepare a report card to the public on an annual basis. Report cards include information on attendance rates, graduation rates, assessment information, and other statistics regarding the school's population.
2021-2022 School and District Report Cards here.
Data dashboards have been created to further provide flexible, transparent, and longitudinal data for the community (enrollment, graduation rates, school climate, assessment, discipline, etc).
ACCESS for ELLs | Teaching & Learning
K-12 English Language Learners will take the English language proficiency test, ACCESS for ELLs, February 1–March 31, which consists of four parts: Listening, Reading, Speaking, and Writing.
Alaska Native Education Program (ANE) | Student Support Services
Board Resolution 2023-19: Honoring Traditional Chiefs Week during the third week of March and encourages schools, students, staff, and community members to honor the historic contribution and legacy of Traditional Chiefs by studying their lives and leadership of the Indigenous People of Interior Alaska through interactive research, classroom lesson plans, guest speakers, displays, lectures, practical activities, and cultural celebrations throughout the year.
Watch "Legacy of Our Elders" stories from two Tanana Chief Conference Traditional Chiefs, Trimble Gilbert and Don Honea.
Social Emotional Learning (SEL) | Student Support Services
If you or a family you know is in need of district/community resources during Spring Break, please contact Monica Bell, Director of SEL at email@example.com or (907) 452-2000 ext. 11451
National School Social Work Week | Student Support Services
The theme for National School Social Work Week 2023, March 5–11, is “We Rise.” School Social Workers rise up - supporting their students, families, and school communities. School Social Workers rise to share hope. They rise to listen and understand. They rise to challenge inequities. They rise to support all students.
School Athletic Calendars
In celebration of Black History Month, the local National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the FNSBSD are proud to sponsor the Black History Month Contest. We invite all K-12 students to participate in this annual contest. View the contest details here.
Entry submission deadline is 4:00 p.m., Tuesday, March 7, 2023.
"Love A School Food Drive" | Bright Futures Fairbanks
Bright Futures Fairbanks is pleased to announce the "Love a School Food Drive" on Valentine's Day! Please consider donating food and funds for the February Love a School campaign beginning February 14. Donate online
The goal of Love a School Food Drive is to gather food and monetary donations to distribute to local schools. Food insecurity has been a growing concern in Fairbanks and school pantries need replenishment. Food donations can be dropped off at the The Center located at the district building: 520 5th Ave, 1st floor Suite C. Thank you for supporting our students in need!
MAR 10 | End of 3rd Quarter (early dismissal)
MAR 13-17 | Spring Break (no school)
MAR 16-17 | District Offices Closed
MAR 27-31 | Testing Window
Board of Education Meetings
MAR 2 | 5:30 p.m. Board Curriculum Committee Meeting
MAR 6 | 5:30 p.m. Board Work Session
MAR 7 | 6:00 p.m. Board Regular Meeting
MAR 20 | 5:30 p.m. Board Special Meeting
MAR 20 | 6:00 p.m. Board Work Session
MAR 21 | 6:00 p.m. Board Regular Meeting
Fairbanks North Star Borough School District
Location: 520 5th Avenue, Fairbanks, AK, USA
Phone: (907) 452-2000
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.