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New Principal for Riverbend Elementary School
New Principal for Riverbend Elementary School
The Juneau School District is pleased to announce that Scott Nelson of Palmer will be the next principal of Riverbend Elementary School. Nelson is currently a middle school reading instructor in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District. He was a principal at Iditarod Elementary School in Wasilla, Alaska for seven years and spent five years as an elementary principal in Wisconsin. Nelson has taught 3rd, 4th and 5th grades, and has experience as a reading specialist for 4th through 8th grade.

The school district interviewed candidates on Tuesday, May 1, in open sessions at Riverbend Elementary School. An interview panel of representatives from the school’s certificated staff and classified staff, district administration, parents and the Site Council, conducted the interviews. 

Riverbend Elementary School has about 300 students in preschool through 5th grade. Nelson is looking forward to the new position. " I am honored to be named principal of Riverbend Elementary.  I am impressed with the dedicated staff, supportive community, and great school spirit and feel fortunate to have the opportunity to join the Juneau School District. I am excited to work together with the students, staff, and parents in the continued development of an exceptional school,” he says.

Nelson holds an Education Specialist degree in Educational Leadership from University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, a Master of Science in Reading Education from University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. He has a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with a Minor in Speech Communications from University of Wisconsin River Falls.

Nelson succeeds current principal, Michelle Byer, who is retiring. Byer has been at Riverbend since 2014. He officially joins the district in August for the 2018-19 school year. 
Director of Administrative Services Selected
Director of Administrative Services Selected
The Juneau School District is pleased to announce that Sarah Jahn has been chosen as the next Director of Administrative Services. In this role, she will be responsible for managing the nearly $90 million school district budget and overseeing the finance and payroll departments. The position also directs a diverse collection of programs such as pupil transportation, food service, information technology, RALLY, Community Schools, maintenance and facilities.

Jahn joined the Juneau School District in 2008, as payroll and benefits specialist. She quickly moved to payroll supervisor and then was promoted again to finance officer. Jahn has a strong background in accounting and business and is well respected by her colleagues.

An interview committee of representatives from the Juneau Education Association, Juneau Education Support Staff, Juneau School Administrators Association, Board of Education, City and Borough of Juneau and central office held public interviews on April 23.

Superintendent Mark Miller is happy with the selection. “Sarah has been doing an excellent job as our finance officer and payroll supervisor for the past nine years. We are excited to support Sarah in her continued professional growth as she begins her new position of Director of Administrative Services,” he says.

Jahn says, “I am honored to accept the director position and look forward to continued service with the district."

Jahn holds a Bachelor of Business Administration – Accounting from the University of Alaska Southeast, as well as Associate of Applied Science in Accounting and Associate of Applied Science in Business Management from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Jahn starts the new job July 1, 2018, following the retirement of longtime director, David Means. Means is retiring after 13 years in the Juneau School District, and 36 years as a school business official in Alaska.
Camp Invention
Camp Invention
Camp Invention is one week in the summer where your child’s creativity, innovation, and problem-solving skills are challenged and developed in fun and exciting ways. Our top priority is to inspire future innovators and build their confidence in the natural ability to dream and create.

Your local Camp Invention site information:
Price $225 (before discount) | For children entering grades K–6
Thunder Mountain High School | 3101 Riverside Drive, Juneau, AK 99801

June 4 - 8, 2018 from 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM
Directed by Adriana Northcutt

adriana.northcutt@juneauschools.org | (907) 463-1801
Information about National School Walkout
The Juneau School District is aware that some students are planning school walkouts at 10:00 am on March 14, 2018 as part of an upcoming National School Walkout. The principals at our secondary schools are communicating with their staff and student leaders regarding this planned walkout. Schools are not promoting this activity and it is important for parents to know that these are not school sponsored or school sanctioned events.

The Juneau School District respects students’ First Amendment right to peacefully assemble.  We will not discipline students for the act of peaceful protest. As a district, we want to acknowledge and support students in their advocacy for safe schools.

The best way for us to ensure student safety during the school day is to know where our students are—that’s simply not possible once they leave school grounds. If students choose to participate in the walkout, the school’s rules and policies regarding student attendance will apply.  Schools and classes will continue on their normal schedule. If you want to excuse your child from class to allow them to participate, please contact your school’s attendance office. Absences that are not excused by a parent will be treated as unexcused and normal consequences will apply.

The Juneau School District also respects the right of school employees to engage in political activities on their own time. Staff members will not participate in walk outs or protests in the course of their work, and will remain neutral on issues that are political in nature in the presence of students.  

As always, the safety of our students is our priority. We are proud that our students want to exercise their First Amendment rights to express their views on this important topic. We will work together to find ways of doing this within our existing school rules and in a manner that works for each school community and maintains a safe learning environment. When students advocate for an issue they feel passionate about, it can be a powerful learning experience. We also recognize that some students may not want to participate in a walk out and would prefer to stay in class. We want to ensure that all students feel safe and respected, no matter what they choose to do.
Students Decide to Revisit Use of Thunder Bears as District Mascot
Superintendent Mark Miller, Representative Sam Kito III and Representative Justin Parish hosted a Juneau School District Mascot Review discussion on Saturday, March 10, 2018, from 10:00 am to noon in Room 519 of the Alaska State Capitol Building. 

In February, Juneau high school students selected the mascot “Thunder Bears” for new Juneau School District combined teams. Shortly after the student vote, an offensive definition of the term was discovered online in the Urban Dictionary, raising concerns with students, staff and community members. 

Student representatives from all high schools attended this special Saturday joint session to offer testimony and help decide whether to keep the mascot name Thunder Bears for combined Juneau School District activities.

Representative Kito and Representative Parish co-chaired the meeting of the Mascot Review Board consisting of ten high school students representing Juneau-Douglas, Thunder Mountain and Yaakoosge Daakahidi High Schools.

There were six invited speakers: original committee member Kristy Germain, KINY Radio Host Pete Carran, JDHS Principal Paula Casperson, Juneau Board of Education Member Emil Mackey, Alaska Native Brotherhood President Marcelo Quinto, and Phyllis Carlson from Sealaska Heritage Institute.

Another four individuals provided public testimony. 

Nine students participated in voting:  four from each JDHS and TMHS and one student from YDHS. On the motion "I move to keep the name Thunder Bears." the vote failed with 4 yeas, 5 nays and the Mascot Review Board referred the issue back to the original naming committee.

Ultimately, Juneau students say they want a district mascot that commands respect and that all students, as well as the community, can be proud of both now and in the future. The Juneau School District is proud of the thoughtful consideration that these high school students gave to a sensitive and emotional issue. They represented all three schools and our community well.

Riverbend Elementary School Celebrates 20th Anniversary!
Riverbend Elementary School is celebrating 20 years of educating students in Juneau. The community is invited to join the festivities.

There will be special displays, art activities, photo booths and more! People are encouraged to come and take part, and mingle with current students, their families, and alumni.

Friday, March 9, 2018

1-2:30pm – Presentation of S’igeidi’ Xh’een (a Tlingit house panel) by Goldbelt Heritage Foundation, dancing and songs performed by Riverbend’s Indian Studies Program Culture Club, and a 20th year commemoration song written and performed by Riverbend JAMM students.

5-7pm – Bring your favorite school lunch item to share as part of our potluck dinner. Games and activities!

For more information, please visit the Riverbend Elementary School Facebook page or call the school at 796-5700.
Artist chosen for Sayéik Gastineau Community School Monument
Artist chosen for Sayéik Gastineau Community School Monument
By Katherine Rose, KCAW-Sitka - Sitka artist Nick Galanin has been chosen by the City and Borough of Juneau create an original work for a Native burial ground monument at an elementary school.

The monument will be located outside the front entrance of Sayéik Gastineau Community School in Douglas, Alaska. During renovations in 2012, five graves were uncovered there. It became clear the facility was built atop a Native burial ground. In the wake of this event, the City and Borough of Juneau said the goal of the monument is to help the community “find forgiveness, restore peace, and to evoke spiritual help.” The monument is being designed in consultation with the Douglas Indian Association.

For his part of the monument, Galanin will create a ceremonial fire dish that will hold an eternal flame. The dish symbolizes the Tlingit practice of feeding and comforting ancestors by placing food into the fire. Galanin will carve the dish out of wood and then cast it in bronze, following customary Tlingit design. “I think it’s important not just to be involved but for communities to recognize the histories,” he said. “So much of it that’s not spoken about or taught or passed on through the retelling of history.”

Galanin was busy at work on another piece when KCAW called. “The totem pole that we’re carving right now that you hear in the background is also another project I’m going up over on Douglas Island in Juneau,” he said. “Same sort of history, the Taku village that was burnt down purposefully to make way for a boat harbor. They’re both healing projects for the indigenous community, and even the community as a whole.”

Galanin was chosen to create the fire dish by a three-member Art Selection Panel through the city’s call for artist process.
Mumps Cases in Juneau
Mumps Cases in Juneau
February 12, 2018 - Dear parents, guardians, and staff members:

We are reaching out to let you know there have been several recent cases of mumps in Juneau. Mumps is a contagious illness caused by a virus. In order to protect yourself and your family, it’s important to know how you can be infected, what the symptoms are, and what to do if you suspect someone has mumps.

Mumps can be spread from person to person by:
• Coughing
• Sneezing
• Talking
• Sharing cups and utensils
• Touching contaminated surfaces

Common symptoms of mumps:
• Swollen cheeks, face, and/or jaw
• Headache
• Tiredness
• Muscle aches
• Loss of appetite
• Respiratory symptoms
• Fever that lasts longer than three days

The most effective way to prevent mumps is the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine. Make sure your vaccines and your children’s vaccines are up to date. Good hand hygiene is important. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Show your children how to wash their hands properly too. If you, your child, or family member has mumps symptoms, please contact your healthcare provider to get tested.

Because mumps is contagious your provider may not want you to sit in the waiting room so please call ahead. If you do not have a healthcare provider, please call the Juneau Public Health Center at 907-465-3353 and ask to speak with a Public Health Nurse for assistance.

People with mumps should stay home and away from others (no daycare, school, work, family events, church, or public places) for five days after the start of puffy cheeks. These steps will help prevent mumps from spreading to others.

If you have additional questions, please call the Juneau Public Health Center at 907-465-3353 and ask to speak with a Public Health Nurse.

Sincerely,
Alison Gaines, RN, BSN Nurse Manager Juneau Public Health Center
Juneau Fred Meyer Donates Warm Winter Boots
Juneau Fred Meyer Donates Warm Winter Boots
The Juneau School District appreciates the generous donation of winter boots from Juneau Fred Meyer. Our Juneau Fred Meyer store donated nearly 250 pair of warm, weatherproof boots for children in need. Thank you to Fred Meyer Apparel Manager Char Cross and Store Manager Anthony Gurule for supporting our students with this act of kindness.

The Office of Student Services Department was busy last week distributing warm, winter boots to Juneau elementary schools just in time for the return of cold and snow. “We've had a terrific response from our counselors and nurses and they are happily placing new boots in the hands of those who can use them the most,” says Mollie Eppers of the Students and Families in Transition program. “We are so grateful to Fred Meyers for supporting our most vulnerable students during their time of need.”  

Thank you!
School Board seeks budget input
School Board seeks budget input
The Juneau School District Board of Education is developing the budget for the 2018-19 school year. The public is invited to participate in two Public Forums on the Budget:

Tuesday, February 6th - 6:00 pm in the THMS Library, and
Wednesday, February 7th - 6:00 pm in the JDHS Library.

The Board of Education uses a zero-based budget building system intended to prioritize spending so that items with higher priorities are funded first as revenue is available. The Board of Education is seeking input from employees, families, students and the community. The public is asked to voice their opinion about what works in Juneau's schools and what should be priority items for funding.

Budget information, documents and reports can be found on www.juneauschools.org in the Links block.

To make suggestions, comments or ask questions about the budget, please email budgetinput@juneauschools.org. All comments and suggestions are considered by the district administration and the Board of Education as part of the process of building a budget for FY 2019.
High School Choice Time!
As an eighth grader in Juneau, you can choose the high school that best matches your interests, no matter where you live. Bus transportation is provided across the district to both comprehensive high schools.

Incoming freshmen are free to choose either Juneau-Douglas High School (JDHS) or Thunder Mountain High School (TMHS). The Juneau School District offers other high school options including Yaakoosge Daakahidi High School (YDHS) and HomeBRIDGE correspondence, both of which require an application and interview. Those programs have additional requirements and may not be available to all freshmen. No matter which school you attend, all students can participate in competitive sports and activities. All three high schools are accredited and issue a full diploma.

How do students choose a high school?

Plan to attend High School Information Nights to find out about the unique programs of the different schools. Presentations will be held at each high school and students can attend one or both sessions. Staff from all schools will be at both evenings so you can learn about all high school programs.

Tuesday, January 23th at 5:30 pm @TMHS
Wednesday, January 24th at 5:30 pm @JDHS

Complete a High School Choice Card to select the school you want to attend. Cards will be available at the information nights, at middle schools, and by clicking on this box.

High School Choice Cards are due to middle school offices by February 9, 2018. Make sure your parent or guardian signs the card before returning it to your middle school. Students not returning cards are assigned a high school based on where they live.

For more information about high schools in Juneau visit the High School Choice page in the Departments menu above.
Kristy Germain named Assistant Principal of the Year
Kristy Germain named Assistant Principal of the Year
The Alaska Association of Secondary School Principals (AASSP) has chosen Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School’s Kristy Germain as the Region V Assistant Principal of the Year. Ms. Germain is recognized for her success in providing high quality learning opportunities for her students and for her exemplary contributions made to the profession.

Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School Principal Molly Yerkes shared that Ms. Germain is an exemplary Assistant Principal at Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School, where she oversees almost 500 students. She continually has a positive attitude and works to improve school climate. In addition to overseeing all discipline, Ms. Germain fills the role of activities & athletic director. During her tenure, the school has seen a marked increase in the number of activities offered to students and a dramatic increase in participation.  Ms. Germain demonstrates respect for the diversity of the student population and the individuality of each student. She regularly observes in classrooms and provides feedback to teachers on effective teaching strategies. She is an asset to the school and the community. 
 
The Juneau School District joins AASSP in congratulating Ms. Germain. Thank you for your dedication to your students and staff!
JSD hires coach to lead new Juneau football team
Following approval from the Alaska School Activities Association (ASAA), the Juneau School District is moving forward to consolidate its Juneau-Douglas High School (JDHS) and Thunder Mountain High School (TMHS) football and cheer teams.

This week, the district selected TMHS Teacher Randy Quinto to be the head coach of the new consolidated high school football team. Quinto has been the head coach of the TMHS Falcons team for the past three years, leading his team to the playoffs the past two seasons. He was named Southeast Conference Football Coach of the Year from 2015-17 and Medium Schools State Coach of the Year in 2016.

A committee of head coaches, boosters, activities directors, administrators and football players from both JDHS and TMHS conducted interviews on December 18, 2017.

The merger has been two years in the making, taking into consideration issues such as player safety and development, season cost, program debt, continued shortage of activities funding, realignment of Southeast Conference, and ASAA’s willingness to consider a consolidation request. The goal is to find a safe and affordable way to continue to provide football opportunities to the broadest number of students in Juneau.

The district is now working through a long list of decisions that need to be made before the beginning of the next football season. Another committee is establishing guidelines for making recommendations on a mascot and colors for the new teams. That committee includes parents from Site Council and Booster Clubs; student representatives from high school football teams and cheer squads; student council members from JDHS, TMHS and Yaakoosge Daakahidi High School (YDHS); and, staff members from JDHS and TMHS.

The group will present two or three choices for mascot and color scheme.  These options will go to JDHS, TMHS, and YDHS for an all student vote to determine the final choice.

A top priority is to create a program that is as fiscally prudent as possible.  All equipment, uniform, helmet, and schedule decisions will be made with minimizing cost in mind. Juneau is also waiting to hear from ASAA which conference the new team will compete in next season.
Budget Process Begins
The Juneau School District will begin its budget process for the upcoming school year by holding two information meetings this week. The meetings will be held from 6:00 - 8:00 pm on Tuesday, November 28 and Wednesday, November 29 in the Juneau-Douglas High School Library.

The agenda for Tuesday includes understanding the budgeting process and strategic plan as well as looking at revenue streams and expenditures.

Wednesday topics are: an overview of Administrative Services and Departments, Talent Enrichment and Development, English Learners, Curriculum, Health Services, and Special Education. The Wednesday meeting will conclude with a Question and Answer session with school principals.

The public is invited to attend both meetings to learn more about the Juneau School District budget.
Winter Weather Procedures
The City and Borough of Juneau and the Alaska Department of Transportation work hard each winter to clear and remove snow around our community. The Juneau School District appreciates the extra effort these agencies take in prioritizing the areas surrounding our schools. School maintenance and custodial staff shovel sidewalks and clear parking lots early each day. As homeowners, we can help by making sure that our sidewalks and driveways are clear for students on walking routes to school. Working together we can create a safe environment for our children.

Despite these best efforts, sometimes weather conditions make it necessary to close school. It is important for families to know how the school district communicates school closures or schedule changes. These same procedures are followed for other emergencies.

Remember - during inclement weather, even though school may be in session, you know the conditions in your immediate neighborhood and are the best judge of whether or not to send your child to school.

The decision to close schools is generally made by 5:00 a.m. by the Superintendent in consultation with the First Student Bus Company Manager, City and Borough of Juneau City Manager and the National Weather Service Juneau Forecast Office.

School closures or schedule changes are posted by 6:00 a.m. at www.juneauschools.org. An alert block with emergency information will appear in the upper right corner of the page. School-related announcements are also sent to local radio stations.

In the event of a school closure, automated phone calls, emails and text messages are sent to families at 6:30 a.m. The notification system uploads data from PowerSchool each night, so please make sure your phone numbers are current at your child’s school.

Families can help too. If you have knowledge of unsafe conditions in your neighborhood due to weather, please contact your school’s principal. Be prepared by dressing your child for the conditions each day. Please talk to your child about safe walking routes to school and staying a safe distance from the road while waiting at the bus stop. Reflective tape on clothing and flashlights help drivers see children on dark days.

Make an emergency plan with your children in the event that schools are closed, start late, or are dismissed early. Talk about where to go or what to do if a parent is not at home. Check with your school or www.juneauschools.org on the Parents page to find “snow routes” for your child’s school bus.

The Juneau School District appreciates your support in keeping children safe in times of severe weather conditions and emergencies.
JSD to Consolidate JDHS & TMHS Teams
UPDATE: ASAA has approved the request to consolidate high school football and football cheer teams for the 2018-19 school year.

By November 1, 2017, the Juneau School District will send a formal request to the Alaska School Activities Association (ASAA) to consolidate its football and cheer teams at Juneau-Douglas High School (JDHS) and allow Thunder Mountain High School (TMHS) students to participate in football and football cheer at JDHS.

The decision has been two years in the making, taking into consideration important issues such as player safety and development, season cost, program debt and repayment progress, continued shortage of activities funding, realignment of Southeast Conference, and ASAA’s willingness to consider a consolidation request. A number of informational meetings to solicit input from stakeholders and administrators have taken place with the goal of finding a way to continue to provide athletic opportunities to the broadest number of students.

Over the past three years, football programs at JDHS and TMHS have faced deficits in activities accounts despite significant fundraising efforts and generous community support. At the beginning of the 2017 football season, accounts for both teams were in the red. JDHS had a negative balance of $5,689 and TMHS a negative balance of $100,821. Both schools fielded only Varsity teams and travel schedules were reduced to three out of town games for each school to reduce costs. Estimated annual budgets for each team are about $70,000. The district established procedures for budgeting, planning fundraising activities and tracking account balances and teams have shown good faith efforts at fundraising, but the school district and community have been unable to financially support two football programs.

During this same time period, participation in football has declined, following a nationwide trend. This has led to underclassmen playing Varsity football against upperclassmen, raising safety concerns for players and reducing the opportunity for player development through a Junior Varsity program.

If the request is approved by ASAA for football and football cheer, the district will begin the process of consolidation and work through a long list of decisions that will need to be made by the beginning of the next football season. A consolidation of football teams in Juneau would likely move the district back into Division I as part of the Railbelt Conference.
SCHOOL BOARD COMPLETES SUPERINTENDENT’S EVALUATION
The Board of Education has completed its annual evaluation of Juneau’s Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Mark Miller. Dr. Miller is under contract through June 30, 2019.

The Board of Education evaluates the superintendent’s performance annually in an effort to provide the district with the best possible leadership. As part of the process, the school board invites and reviews written feedback from staff and the community. The board members review performance measures, meet personally with the Superintendent and complete a formal evaluation.

This year’s evaluation was done during executive sessions held in July and August 2017. The Board of Education is positive in its assessment of the district leadership and is extending its agreement with Miller for a fifth year, or until June 30, 2019. As part of the process, the parties agreed to a 2% pay raise effective July 1, 2018, the first raise since he began in July 2014. The parties agreed to a reduction in the maximum allowable severance pay for dismissal without cause and to include a 3% retention bonus payable on or after June 30, 2019.

According to a statement by the board, the members are pleased with Miller’s performance and with the direction of the school district. Board President Brian Holst reports, “Under Mark’s leadership and the work of his management team and staff, the Juneau School District continues to make progress in building a safe, place-based, culturally relevant and effective education system in Juneau, despite limited resources. The board appreciates the progress the district teachers, staff and other personnel have made in meeting student needs in the past year as well as the community partnerships that add tremendous value to the education of our students.”

In the past year, the district experienced several accomplishments, including successful introduction and roll-out of first round of the Project Cart (Content Access and Results through Technology) initiative; improvement upon the zero-based budget process implemented in FY16 by augmenting the role of site councils in the process; collaboration with UAS to develop a substitute teacher curriculum; complete policy review and transition to AASB (Alaska Association of School Boards) policies; and increased overall district-wide five-year graduation rate to 85% (June 2016).

“I am honored and humbled to lead such a dynamic and successful district,” says Dr. Miller, “I truly appreciate the community’s support and the board’s vote of confidence that will allow me to continue to lead the district as we improve outcomes for all students.”

Miller heads one of Juneau’s largest employers and the fifth largest school district in Alaska. The Juneau School District has about 4,700 students from preschool through 12th grade and a staff of 684 employees. Miller has held the office since July 2014.
Welcome back for the 2017-18 school year!
It is hard for me to believe that I am starting my fourth year as Superintendent of the Juneau School District. I truly appreciate the manner in which I have been encouraged to become a part of this great community. Last year I said that educating students for the Innovation Age required four “C’s” consistency, community, cooperation and collaboration. This year, I feel like I need to modify my list. Instead of consistency, the new “C”, will be the ability to adapt to change.

Change. The world in which our children are growing up is changing at a rate we couldn’t even imagine thirty years ago. It is our job to prepare our graduates to enter a world in which they are only limited by their imagination. It is likely that within the next few years the taxi you take to the airport won’t need a driver, and the package you get from Amazon will be delivered by a drone instead of a delivery person. Teaching our children how to find and evaluate information is becoming more important as many can access the Library of Congress from their smartphone. They need to be able, on their own, to determine what is “fake news” or real! Encouraging students to use the information they find to solve problems in new ways to benefit others requires us to teach empathetic thinking. Reading, writing and arithmetic are still important, and they are not, in and of themselves, enough to guarantee success. These changes create an unprecedented challenge for schools and here in Juneau, we accept and embrace it.

A few more changes. Last spring the district conducted a nationwide search to fill the position of Director of Human Resources, left open when Ted VanBronkhorst retired. We were fortunate to find Darryl Smith, who had a similar position in an Oregon district. We were doubly fortunate when his wife Caron Smith was selected as the first principal of Juneau Community Charter School. Also new to our administrative staff this year is Nancy Peel who replaces retired principal Lori Hoover at Auke Bay Elementary School. Ted Wilson, Director of Teaching and Learning Support; Bridget Weiss, Director of Student Services; Kristin Bartlett, Chief of Staff; and, David Means, Director of Administrative Services will continue in their positions. Please feel free to contact these talented leaders with questions about personnel, budget, curriculum, athletics, activities or special needs programs.

Community. The Juneau School District is one of the finest school districts in the state - if not the entire nation. Last year we were the only school in Alaska to be named to the AP Honor roll for increasing the number of disadvantaged students taking exams AND simultaneously increase our AP Exam pass rate. We have committed partners, important instructional grants and unique programs that allow us to meet the needs of all students from pre-school through high school. Our schools offer educational opportunities that celebrate the cultural diversity, geographic location and the spirit of this special place we call home. We couldn’t do this without the wonderful people of our community and the hard work of our students and staff. Once again this year the City and Borough of Juneau has funded the Juneau School District to the “Cap” and is also funding coaches and officials for activities. Support like this is not common in other parts of Alaska! Thank you.

Cooperation. Last year I said that the 2016-17 school year was shaping up to be one of the most challenging in the history of the State of Alaska. I was right. The 2017-18 year will be even more challenging as the state works toward a sustainable budget, flat funds education, and in the process asks individuals and local government to give more while getting by with less. To this end the City and Borough of Juneau has committed $5 million to maintain our school facilities as the state no longer funds their 70%/30% split for school facility bonds. Again, thank you!

Collaboration. The nearly 700 employees in the Juneau School District work with each other, parents and members of the community to create excellent schools. We all know that families have entrusted their children to our care and expect us to give them our best every day.

This year we will face challenges, overcome obstacles, celebrate successes and learn from failures. Through it all we will stick together to incubate a better world in the minds and hearts of our children.

Dr. Mark Miller, Superintendent

Registration & Back to School Information

8 months ago


School starts August 16, 2017


The first day of school for grades 1-12 is Wednesday August 16, 2017. Kindergarteners start Monday, August 21 and first day for PreK is Wednesday, August 23. 

Have a great year!  

REGISTRATION

New students please register at your neighborhood school on Friday, August 4. 

New high school students can register now at Juneau-Douglas and Thunder Mountain high schools.

ORIENTATION

JDHS ORIENTATION - By last name

August 8:    9-11 AM & 12-2 PM (P-Z)
August 9:  9-11 AM & 12-2 PM (A-G)
August 10:  9-11 AM & 12-2 PM (H-O)
August 11: 10-1 Freshman First & Welcome BBQ
August 23:  Open House 5-6:30 PM

TMHS ORIENTATION 

August 8:
8-10:30 AM (I-L)
12-2:30 PM (Q-S)
August 9:
8-10:30 AM (A-C)
12-2:30 PM (T-Z)
August 10
8-10:30 AM (D-H)
12-2:30 PM (M-P)
August 11: 12-3:45 PM Freshman First (lunch will be provided)
August 18: 5-7 PM Kick-Off Celebration

OPEN HOUSE DATES

August 10:  Juneau Community Charter School, 6-7 PM

August 18:  Yaakoosge Daakahidi High School, 12-1 PM

August 18:  Thunder Mountain High School, 5-7 PM

August 23:  Juneau-Douglas High School, 5-6:30 PM

August 30:  Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School, 5-6 PM

August 30:  Floyd Dryden Middle School, 5-6 PM

September 6:  Auke Bay, Gastineau, Mendenhall River and Riverbend Elementary Schools, 5 PM

September 13:  Glacier Valley and Harborview Elementary Schools, 5 PM

September 20:  Montessori Borealis Public School, 5-6:30 PM


Optional Programs

8 months ago

The Juneau School District offers tuition-free educational options for students.

For an application go to Parents menu and then Registration - Optional Programs. Applications can be:

  • Delivered to JSD District Office, 1208 Glacier Avenue, Juneau
  • Mailed to Administrative Services, 10014 Crazy Horse Drive, Juneau, AK 99801 
  • E-mailed to sally.hand@juneauschools.org, or
  • Dropped off at any optional program or school location.
Applications are due by April 28, 2017. 

 Juneau Community Charter School

JCCS is a K-8th grade tuition-free public school open to all students in Juneau. It is a small school where teachers, parents, and students get to know each other well and work together for every child’s educational success. We build a strong learning community through small, multi-grade classes, daily/weekly opportunities for all children to interact with each other through music/play/learning, and a shared approach between parents and teachers to governing the school. We focus in experiential, project-based, collaborative learning; have rich, varied art and music programs; and take frequent field trips. Bus transportation is available.

 JCCS is located at 430 4th Street. For more info or visits call 796-5699.

Montessori Borealis Public School

Montessori is an approach to learning that accommodates each child’s unique learning style and pace through specialized manipulative materials. The preschool through eighth grade program provides extended, uninterrupted work periods in which each child has the time needed for learning and mastery. Classrooms are multi-grade, allowing students and teachers to develop a strong sense of community. We follow the guidelines of the Association Montessori Internationale. Bus transportation is available for K-8th graders.

Montessori Borealis is located in Marie Drake, 1415 Glacier Ave. For more information or visits call 523-1848.

Tlingit Culture Language and Literacy Program

The TCLL program is a unique, tuition-free optional program open to students of all races, nationalities, and abilities. The program has three multi-age classrooms where students gain knowledge and confidence in their cultural identity. Lessons incorporate Tlingit elders, cultural knowledge, Tlingit language, respect, and traditional values. There are regularly scheduled family nights and program-wide field trips. Students have daily Tlingit language lessons from a language teacher and fluent elder. Academic achievement is supported through literacy activities and oral language development.

TCLL program is located in Harborview Elementary School at 1255 Glacier Ave. For more information or visits call 523-1850.

HR Director Announcement
The Juneau School District is pleased to announce that Darryl Smith will join the district as the next Human Resources Director. Smith starts the job in July, following the retirement of our current director, Ted VanBronkhorst.

Smith is an experienced administrator who has worked in elementary, middle and high schools as well as in central office positions during his career. He is currently the Director of Human Resources and Operations for Jefferson County School District in Madras, Oregon, where he has served for nine years. In that role he facilitates collective bargaining, oversees construction and maintenance projects, supports community relations and is involved in employee evaluations.

An interview committee of staff members from the Juneau Education Association, Juneau Education Support Staff, Juneau School Administrators Association, Board of Education, City and Borough of Juneau and central office held public interviews on April 12. Written feedback was accepted from staff members and the public for consideration by the committee.

Superintendent Mark Miller is happy with the selection. “Darryl’s nearly decade long experience in Human Resources and 20-year career in Education and Educational Leadership has prepared him well to become an integral part of our leadership team, responsible for all aspects of Human Resources,” he explains.

Smith is looking forward to coming to Juneau and to the school district. "I'm honored and excited about becoming the newest member of the educational team in Juneau," he says.

Smith holds a Master of Arts in teaching from Willamette University and a Bachelor of Science in History from Oregon State University. His Administrative Licensure work was done at Lewis and Clark College and the University of Oregon.

To view Darryl Smith's resume please click on this block.
Principal chosen to lead Auke Bay School!
The Juneau School District has selected Nancy Peel as the new principal for Auke Bay Elementary School. Peel is currently an Instructional Coach in the Juneau School District. She serves both Auke Bay Elementary School and Gastineau Elementary School by facilitating professional development, implementing curriculum, and leading professional learning communities. Peel joined the Juneau School District as an elementary classroom teacher in 2003, and became an instructional coach in 2013.

The school district interviewed five candidates on Wednesday, March 15 in open sessions at Auke Bay Elementary School. An interview panel of representatives from the school’s certificated staff and classified staff, district administration, parents and the Site Council, conducted the interviews. Written comment cards were collected from the public during open house and during the interviews. The panel then made a recommendation to Dr. Mark Miller, Superintendent of the Juneau School District.

Superintendent Miller says, “We are excited to welcome Nancy as the next principal at Auke Bay. Nancy is an experienced JSD employee who has effectively served in an instructional leader role at Auke Bay for the past four years. We look forward to building on the improvement that Auke Bay is showing in meeting the needs of all students.”

In addition to the Juneau School District, Peel’s background in teaching includes work with Alaska Discovery, Eaglecrest Ski Area and Alaska Paddle Sports. She taught students of all ages as well as instructors of all levels during her time as the Ski School Director and Ski School Training Director for Eaglecrest. She also provided training for guides and clients as part of her past work as a recreational manager and instructor.

Peel is looking forward to the new position. "I’m excited and humbled to continue working with Auke Bay parents, students and staff to engage all of our children in continued learning and growth," she says.

Peel holds a Masters of Arts in Teaching from the University of Alaska Southeast and is completing her Endorsement in Educational Leadership from Western Governor’s University in Salt Lake City. She has a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. 

Peel succeeds current principal, Lori Hoover, who is retiring after 10 years in the position. Peel takes over the job in August for the 2017-18 school year. 
JUNEAU PRINCIPAL NAMED 2017 ALASKA ARTS EDUCATION CONSORTIUM CHAMPION OF THE ARTS!
JUNEAU PRINCIPAL NAMED 2017 ALASKA ARTS EDUCATION CONSORTIUM CHAMPION OF THE ARTS!
The Juneau School District is pleased to announce that Auke Bay Elementary School Principal Lori Hoover has earned the title “2017 Champion of the Arts” from the Alaska Arts Education Consortium (AAEC) Champions of the Arts recognition program. Hoover was chosen to be honored in the category of Arts Leader.

AAEC recognizes individuals and organizations from across the state who champion the arts in education. AAEC believes these Champions carry the torch for arts education through high-caliber instruction, arts support, and ongoing arts promotion. A core belief of the AAEC is that higher academic achievement will occur in and through the arts and the organization is committed to preparing and supporting educators so that they can teach the arts in and across the curriculum.
Principal Lori Hoover has worked behind the scenes as an avid advocate for the arts, supporting the integration of the arts in all things to make a difference for all Juneau’s children.

Hoover is a core member of the group that has worked to bring access to arts education and arts integration to Juneau part of Ensuring the Arts for Any Given Child. This Kennedy Center program focuses on expanding arts education in schools in an equitable manner across grade levels. It requires a community-wide effort, and she has helped to spearhead the work over a number of years.

As an educator, when Hoover presents to a group, no matter the content, she finds a way to integrate the arts, knowing and believing that when we learn through the arts we are more likely to remember and understand, connect and extend on a deeper level. She exudes art and has continually made efforts to bring community organizations together to expand the access for ALL students to not only learn the arts, but to also learn other educational content through arts integration.

When Auke Bay Elementary School was remodeled, Hoover made great effort to make sure the building itself was an architectural work of art, and the added arts elements were enhanced. She worked with a community committee to plan and implement a grand opening of the new building with a traditional Tlingit ku.éex', working with elders and various community groups. She worked with staff and students to create artistic gifts for the giving of thanks. Students and teachers gathered
in the gymnasium to play drums, dance and present handmade gifts to guests, including many Tlingit
elders. Each grade level made a different gift, including devil’s club salve, button blanket pins and greeting cards. Two dance groups performed at the celebration. Through the arts, Hoover thanked the Aak’w Kwaan Tlingit people native to the Auke Bay area for allowing the school to exist and grow on the land.

Thank you Lori Hoover for your lasting contribution to the education of all Juneau students and for your steady commitment to the arts in our community.

The efforts of champions, like Hoover, in teaching and supporting arts across the curriculum reflects the mission of AAEC, which is “to promote learning in and through the arts for all Alaska students.” Each Champion was nominated by Alaskans who—like the AAEC—believe in the work of these Champions of the Arts to positively impact the lives of students and communities through arts in education. Complete information about the 2017 AAEC Champions of the Arts is available on the AAEC website at http://akartsed.org/.
FY19 Budget Message from the Superintendent
As the Superintendent of schools I am happy to report that the FY19 budgeting process for the Juneau School District, which started back in August, has at least for now, been finalized. In order to build a budget, the district had to make some assumptions. One of these assumptions was that the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly would continue their phenomenal financial support of our schools. On Tuesday, May 14, 2018, the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly adopted an ordinance approving $85,799,900 for school district operations for FY19.

The Juneau School District (JSD) sincerely appreciates the continued support of the City and Borough of Juneau (CBJ). In addition to local funding of $26,412,600 for general operations, the Assembly approved $1,376,500 for programs and activities outside of the CAP, including $1,181,500 for student activities, $50,000 for pupil transportation, $50,000 for food service and $95,000 for Community Schools. Overall, the FY19 budget includes an increase of $1.1 million in local support from our Assembly.

As the school district developed its budget for the 2018-2019 school year, we anticipated that state and local funding would not provide sufficient revenue to fund our current level of operations. In addition to the continued support from CBJ to fund us to the maximum level permitted by law for general school operations as well as additional CBJ funding as permitted outside the CAP, the budget projected a decrease in enrollment of 54 students to 4,625 and an increase in the Base Student Allocation by the Alaska Legislature.

Although the Alaska Legislature did not increase the Base Student Allocation, it did boost education funding by $20 million as a one-time separate item. This timely allocation will provide about $670,000 to JSD and allow the district to fund schools as planned within the budget approved by the Board of Education.

I will not propose any additional cuts at this time, but the budget approved in March already included $2 million in reductions. The impact of those cuts next school year will be seen in the elimination of elementary instructional coaches, larger classes at middle school due to an increase in the Pupil Teacher Ratio, elimination of high school core class support, a longer phase in of the new science curriculum, as well as the elimination of other programs and services. We are working to retain our teachers and absorb staff reductions through attrition.

JSD is grateful for the active participation from community members, students, staff and the school board as it went through the difficult budget process this year. The district received valuable input from the public through committee meetings, board meetings and written comments. I would like to personally thank all of those who came together in a collaborative way, during a very difficult time, to do what is best for our students.

Dr. Mark Miller, Superintendent