CRSD Snippets – General Updates Edition

This is a “General Updates” version of the weekly CRSD Snippets:

ACTIVITIES TRANSPORTATION

The Board of Education Activities Committee, school administrators and parent representatives from Kenny Lake and Glennallen met on January 19th to discuss transportation solutions for student activities and 2015-2016 planning.   Federal law now prohibits school districts from purchasing new vans for activities transportation.   Insurance companies are now pressuring districts to remove regular passenger vans from their vehicle inventory.   In order to replace our aging fleet of vans, we will need to purchase “multifunction school activities buses” MFSAB.   These types of buses meet the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration guidelines.   We are researching options with the help of state officials and dealers.   Other items discussed at the meeting included planning for 2015-2016.   Parents and school administrators considered the pros and cons of combining activities for Kenny Lake and Glennallen students.   Based on a commitment to work together for the best interest of student athletes, the group agreed that each principal would lead community meetings to discuss 2015-2016 teams after the current season is over.

KENNY LAKE BIO-MASS BOILER

It broke.   In early December the auger for the Kenny Lake biomass boiler snapped.   Rick Oatman has been working with the engineers and Alaska Energy Authority to get the unit repaired and operational.   The staff at AEA has committed to repair the auger. Unfortunately, while it is not working the biomass system must be heated using our regular boiler.

BUDGET PROCESS

Given what has and hasn’t transpired in Juneau during the first few weeks of the 29th Alaska Legislature and the cuts that Governor Walker has proposed, developing a FY16 CRSD budget is going to be challenging.   Our elected officials in Juneau, including Governor Walker, also have a very difficult chore of crafting a sustainable statewide budget.   Based on the current situation, we do not expect to know funding levels for education until the very end of the legislative session, scheduled to end on April 19th.   The CRSD Board of Education will vote on the first reading of the FY16 budget at the May 2015 regular board meeting. Previous to the May board meeting, public meetings will be held in each school community for discussion and input.   For those interested in following media reports from Juneau, particularly those relevant to education, sign up to receive an email notification of blog posts at https://crsdsnippets.wordpress.com, and find “Follow Blog via Email” on the bottom right.

RETIREMENTS

After 18 years serving students in the CRSD, Lanette Phillips has retired.   Lanette worked in a number of different roles, but spent most of her time assisting students in the correspondence program.

On January 22, Byron Rice formally notified me of his intention to retire at the end of this school year.   Mr. Rice has been an administrator in the district for twenty years.   He has been a principal and Director of Special Education and Federal Programs.   Mr. Rice has promised to continue visiting classrooms to tell hunting stories (which like his garden stories, seem to get bigger every year). The legacy of support Mr. Rice leaves will continue to encourage students to work hard and have strong character.

Both Mrs. Phillips and Mr. Rice will be missed.

CHOSEN FROZENScreen Shot 2015-02-02 at 3.02.33 PM

For the second year, Glenn Hart, our junior-high teachers, the Wrangell Institute for Science & the Environment, Marne Graham from BLM, and a cadre of helpers too big to list, are planning the Chosen Frozen for our junior-high students.   Glenn will be taking our students out to Meiers Lake for a winter camping trip March 23rd-25th.   Students will learn about the environment and winter survival skills through activities such as, snowshoeing, ice-fishing, shelter building, cooking and snow surveying. The program was a great success last year and is shaping up to be another wonderful opportunity for our students.