McKinley Terrell – Meet the CRSD Class of 2016

Terrell McKinleyName: McKinley Terrell

Hometown Community: Glennallen

Grades Attended in the CRSD: Kindergarten through 12th Grade

CRSD School Currently Attending: Glennallen School

Favorite Grade Level or Class:  Music – Freshman Year

Most Influential Educator(s): Toa Finau , Gene Crow, Debbie Lorence, Gini Sumerall and Elizabeth Yahr

Most Enjoyable Aspect of Living in the Copper Valley: It gives me the opportunity to live the Alaskan lifestyle. 

Advice for Younger CRSD Students: Don’t procrastinate, work hard, and high school may seem like it takes forever, but it goes by fast.   You need to do the best you can do because it is truly an important part of your life. 

Plans After Graduation: I am joining the United States Navy

Thank You: I would like to thank my sister, Michealla Terrell, for all the help and support she has given me.

The Class of 2016 will be graduating in less than one month!   This edition of the Snippets is an invitation to join us in celebrating each individual graduate and their accomplishments. 

Please plan to attend one of the graduation ceremonies to honor the Class of 2016: 

Kenny Lake School Graduation Ceremony – May 18

Slana School (K, 6th and 8th Grade Promotion) – May 19

Glennallen School Graduation Ceremony – May 20


Parent/Teacher Conferences – Snippets 4-14-16

This is a “General Update” edition of the CRSD Snippets.   Please visit for more district news and information.  

Parent/Teacher Conferences

Parent-teacher conferences are scheduled for Monday, April 18, 2016. Thankfully, many parents talk to teachers on a weekly or even daily basis throughout the year as they monitor and support their child’s learning.   Even though parent-teacher conferences are not the only time parents can talk with their child’s teacher, it is a pre-scheduled opportunity for a longer visit to discuss the progress of each individual student.

Students are best served when their home and school work together. Learning and behavior expectations are more likely to be achieved when parents and teachers communicate frequently.   The benefits flow both ways. Parents and/or guardians should be fully informed of the school’s expectations.   Teachers can better serve students when parents and guardians are partners in the learning process.

Here are some suggestions to help you prepare for, participate in, and follow-up your parent-teacher conference(s).


  • Ask your child what is going well for them and what isn’t going well for them at school.   Share details of your conversation with the teachers;
  • Tell your child that you will be attending a parent-teacher conference.   Students benefit from knowing that home and school are working together for them;
  • Ask your child if they want you to ask anything specific or bring up any issues during the conference.


  • What does my child need to know and do?
  • How is my child learning what she/he needs to know and do?
  • How do I know if my child has learned what she/he needs to know and do?
  • What will we do if my child hasn’t learned what she/he needs to know and do?
  • What will we do if my child already knows what she/he needs to know and do?
  • Ask what you can do at home to support your child’s learning;
  • How is my child doing socially at school?
  • Does my child put forth appropriate effort in his learning?
  • Share your own thoughts about your child, including his experiences in school and academic progress.


  • Report on the conference to your child;
  • Note any areas that need improvement;
  • Note areas that desire special recognizing and praise;
  • Make a plan for any at-home suggestions you and the teacher agreed upon;
  • Schedule a phone call or visit to follow-up with the teacher on any ongoing concerns or goals.

Teachers in the Copper River School District invest a lot of time and energy preparing for parent-teacher conferences because they are committed to the success of every individual student.   Finding the answers to the above essential questions is not always easy.

The answers to the above questions will be most effective for student success when home and school are working together and communicating regularly.   If you have not received an invitation to your April 18th parent-teacher conference, please contact the school as soon as possible.   Please respond promptly to the invitation and reschedule if necessary.   Your attendance at parent-teacher conferences can make a huge difference in your child’s success.   We greatly value your partnership.


At a work session and regular meeting on April 5th, the Board of Education adopted the CRSD Student Handbook for the 2016-2017 school year.   Principals provide the Board crsd logoPolicy Committee with suggested revisions from each school community.   The new student handbook will be available on the district’s web page this summer.

2016-2017 and 2017-2018 SCHOOL CALENDARS

The Board of Education adopted school calendars for the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 school years at their March 1st meeting.   Both calendars are currently available at


Most of the remaining Snippets for this school year will focus on each of our graduating seniors.   We look forward to shining the spotlight on them so you can see their accomplishments and plans for the future. We are very proud of them all.   Be sure and check out the Snippets article in the Copper River Record. You can also view the articles and pictures at with a button for easy sharing with family and friends.

General Update – Snippets April 7

This is a “General Update” edition of the CRSD Snippets.   Please visit for more district news and information.  


It comes as no surprise to anyone who follows the Alaska news that budgets for almost every entity that relies on state funding will be stretched very thin in fiscal year 2017.   The CRSD’s budget is no exception.   It is likely that there will be a reduction in the number of employees and transfers will be required.   A reduction in revenue and significant increase of expenses must be addressed in this year’s budget development.

For the past several years, the CRSD’s budget has been subsidized by a provision that spreads the financial impact of declining enrollment over several years.   CRSD will not qualify for that provision next year (unless enrollment drops 5% or greater) resulting in a $256,000 reduction in revenue.

This past week a bill was introduced in the Alaska Senate that will increase the amount school districts must contribute to the public employees and teacher retirement systems.   The proposed legislation would increase CRSD payroll expenses approximately $165,000. Additional increases of approximately $30,000 each year for retirement will continue through FY19.

In another untimely blow, we were recently notified that the premium for CRSD health insurance will increase 25% for the 2016-2017 school year.   This correlates with the increase experienced by other employers and Alaskan school districts.   The increase for insurance benefits will add approximately $240,000 to district’s expenses for the 2016-2017 school year. The premium will total $22,968 per year per insured employee (90% paid by CRSD, 10% paid by employee).

Other factors that may impact the budget are ongoing collective bargaining between the Board of Education and its certified and classified associations.   The CRSD will also be asking for request-for-proposals and negotiating a new pupil transportation contract.

CRSD is only one local entity facing the brutal facts of low oil prices.   Other valuable agencies in our community will struggle for funding and/or cease operations all together.   This further impacts the local economy, CRSD, and local business.   Unemployment impacts school enrollment.

Almost daily the business office staff is working on the budget.   We have spent the last weeks going through the CRSD budget line by line to identify potential savings.

In a previous Snippets, I outlined the opportunities for public input on the FY17 budget.   A flow-chart outlining that process remains on the homepage.   Please watch the district calendar and call your local school office for dates and times of upcoming meetings related to the budget.   Depending on the timing of final funding bills approved by the Legislature and signed by Governor Walker, I expect that I will be presenting budget recommendations to each school’s ASB in early May.   The CRSD must submit a budget to the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development no later than July 15th.

If you can’t attend one of the budget related meetings, and/or would rather provide input individually, please contact me or one of your elected Board members at the district office, by email or phone.


Due to issues with their test vendor, the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development notified school districts on Friday, April 1st that all Alaska Measures of Progress (AMP) assessments have been canceled. Students will not be participating in statewide testing this school year.   DEED is currently in the process of issuing a request for proposals for a new testing vendor.   Despite the lack of a statewide assessment, students in the Copper River School District and over thirty-five other districts take MAP assessments to measure student academic achievement.   To learn more about your students(’s) standardized MAP test scores, please contact their teacher.


Students at Slana School have been participating in the National Archery in Schools
Program (NASP) since the beginning of the school year.   Volunteer Coaches Ole Bates and Lyle Beauchamp have donated hours of their time to teach the students how to safely and accurately handle a bow and arrow.   Mr. Bates and Mr. Beauchamp bought all the students blue team shirts, which are also being sold to help raise money for the program.   Seven students competed in a State of Alaska NASP tournament, with three scoring high enough to qualify for the national tournament in Louisville, Kentucky.   The students are raising money to attend the May 12th-14th, 2016 competition, including airfare and hotel expenses.   Congratulations and be20160308_182142st wishes to Avery Hart, Thomas Abraham, Linnea Beauchamp and their coaches. If you would like to make a donation toward their trip, please contact Coach Bates or Coach Beauchamp at 822-5868.   Please visit the Slana School Facebook page or call the school to find out about other fundraisers, including a raffle, and community barbecue dinner.


April 15th – Early Release

April 18th – Inservice / Parent-Teacher Conferences

May 13th – Inservice Day

May 18th – Kenny Lake Graduation Ceremony

May 19th – Slana Promotion Ceremony

May 20th – Glennallen Graduation Ceremony

Ben Dolgner – Meet the CRSD

Each month the CRSD Snippets will highlight one of our dedicated employees.   We will randomly draw a name so that every employee in the district has the opportunity to be recognized for his or her unique and essential role in providing a quality education in our rural environment.   This month, we are pleased to present Ben Dolgner.

Name: Ben Dolgner


Birthday: March 14th

Role in the CRSD: Teacher

 Primary Campus: Glennallen Junior High School

Where else have you taught? Little Diomede for 2 years and Stebbins for 5 years

Where are you originally from? Dalton, WisconsinB Dolgner

Favorite Book/Author/TV Show: Burn Notice

Favorite Music Genre: Country

Favorite Place in Alaska: 54 mile, if you haven’t been there, it is way too hard to explain. Get out and buy a mountain sled.

Favorite Place Outside of Alaska: On a lake in Wisconsin, because it is relaxing.

Hobbies: Outdoor activities

Favorite Aspect of Teaching: I get to do my job and work with great kids.

One Interesting Thing About You That Might Be Surprising: I was the second grade checker champion in my school.

Favorite Beverage: Ice cold milk

Favorite Snack: Cheese curds

In One Sentence, What Advice Do You Have for Students? Come ready to work, learn, and grow.

Mr. Dolgner started working in the Copper River School District in 2012.   He also serves as the athletic director for the Glennallen Schools, putting in many hours throughout the school year to support our student athletes and coaches. Send Ben an email, buy him a cold milk, and congratulate him on his recent marriage! Please take a moment to let Mr. Dolgner know how much we appreciate him serving students and families in the CRSD.



Internet problems in Kansas stop student testing in Alaska | Alaska News |

SITKA, Alaska (AP) — Standardized testing at some Sitka schools has been pushed back after the first day of testing was cut short because of Internet connectivity problems in Kansas.

Source: Internet problems in Kansas stop student testing in Alaska | Alaska News |

School district leaders say Senate plan would cause layoffs, bigger classes | Local News – Anchorage

Superintendents of two of Alaska’s largest school districts say a Senate Finance Committee plan to shift teacher retirement costs away from the state and to local governments would prompt layoffs and larger class sizes.

Source: School district leaders say Senate plan would cause layoffs, bigger classes | Local News – Anchorage

New Senate bills end scholarships, shift pension obligations to cities and schools | Alaska Dispatch News

Alaska Senate leaders proposed Monday to roll back a signature college scholarship program of former Gov. Sean Parnell’s and pass pension costs to cities and school districts as lawmakers continue to hunt for cuts to fix the state’s budget crisis.

Source: New Senate bills end scholarships, shift pension obligations to cities and schools | Alaska Dispatch News