Changing times for schools in Southern Peninsula

Plan ahead

In August, 2017,  with the start of the new school year, ten schools in the southern peninsula will begin with new school start and end times. This change is taking place to accommodate a switch from single-tier to double-tier bus transportation, which is already in effect for other schools throughout the KPBSD. No changes will take place in the 2016-2017 school year.


Bus transportation

Important transportation clarifications taking effect with the change to two-tier busing in the southern peninsula include:

  • KPBSD transportation routing will only be from home-to-school, and school-to-home.
  • Some situations in which out-of-area transportation is provided for students to attend a school outside their attendance area currently exist, and will not be available beginning with the 2017-2018 school year.
  • Parents may continue to have a child attend an out of area school through the Out-of-Area Attendance Request process (see E 5116(a)) but KPBSD will no longer provide bus transportation if a bus serving another school was available.
  • Bus routing and schedules will be updated in the summer of 2017, and available on the KPBSD website.

A series of community meetings took place throughout 2016, with parents, KPBSD staff, students, and community members in attendance. School administrators met, and worked together to create the new school start and end times. If you have questions about specific schools, please contact the school principal with your questions.



You’re invited: winter musicfest at KPBSD schools #delight


KPBSD Winter Concerts & Music Programs
Please treat yourself and attend a
music concert or school play in December!


  • Aurora Borealis Charter School – November 22, 7:00 p.m., Winter Program, KCHS
  • Chapman School – December 15, 7:00 p.m.
  • Homer High School – December 19, 7:00 p.m., Winter Concert; December 21, 7:00 p.m., Candlelight, Carols and Desserts
  • Homer Middle School – December 15, 7:00 p.m., Winter Concert, Mariner Theater
  • K-Beach Elementary – December 15, 6:00 p.m., Grades K-2, SoHi Auditorium; De cember 20, 6:30 p.m., 4-6 Bands, K-Beach
  • Kaleidoscope School of Arts & Science Charter School – December 6, 7:00 p.m., Holiday Concert grades 1-5, KCHS
  • Kenai Central High School – December 18, 3:00 p.m. KCHS Choir Holiday Concert, KCHS Auditorium; December 13, 7:00 p.m. KCHS Band Holiday Concert, KCHS Auditorium
  • Kenai Middle School – December 8, 7:00p.m., KMS Choir Holiday Concert, KCHS auditorium; December 13, 7:00 p.m., Dessert Auction and Holiday Concert with the KMS Concert Band, Intermediate Band, KCHS Concert Band & Jazz Band, KCHS auditorium
  • McNeil Canyon Elementary – December 8, 6:30 p.m., Winter Program
  • Moose Pass School – December 5, 7:00 p.m., Holiday Play
  • Mountain View Elementary – November 15, 6:00 p.m., Grades 4-5 Concert & Band Concert, KCHS Auditorium; December 15, 6:00 p.m., Grades 1-3 Concert, KCHS Auditorium
  • Nikiski Middle-High School – December 12, 7:00 p.m., Winter Band and Choir Concert
  • Nikiski North Star Elementary – December 6, 6:00 p.m., Grades 1-2 Winter Concert, NMHS Auditorium; December 13, 6:00 p.m., Grades PreK-K, modern and concert band Winter Concert, NNS Gym
  • Ninilchik School – December 19, 7:00 p.m., Winter Concert, Rootbeer Float Fundraiser
  • Paul Banks Elementary – December 6, 1:00 p.m., Winter Program, Mariner Theatre
  • Redoubt Elementary – December 8, 6:00 p.m., Grades 1-3 Winter Concert, Soldotna High School; December 13, 6:00 p.m., Band Concert, Gym
  • Seward Elementary – December 15, 6:00 p.m., South Wing Winter Concert, Gym
  • Seward Middle School – December 12, 1:40 p.m., Holiday Drama; December 14, 6:30 p.m., Holiday Music Show, Hotel 360
  • Skyview Middle School – December 15, 7:00 p.m., Band and Choir Winter Concert, Skyview Commons
  • Soldotna Elementary – December 6, 6:30 p.m., Primary Winter Concert (SOEL and SMCS); December 20, 6:00 p.m., Band and Choir Concert (SOEL and SMCS)
  • Soldotna High School – December 13, 7:00 p.m., Band and Choir Concert (with Soldotna Prep)
  • Soldotna Prep – December 13, 7:00 p.m., Band and Choir Concert (with Soldotna High School)
  • Soldotna Montessori Charter School – December 6, 6:30 p.m., Primary Winter Concert (SOEL and SMCS); December 20, 6:00 p.m., Band and Choir Concert (SOEL and SMCS)
  • Sterling Elementary – December 13, 6:00 p.m., Winter Concert, Grades Pre K-3; December 15, Winter Concert, Grades 4-6
  • Susan B. English School – December 13, 6:30 p.m., K-12 Christmas Program
  • Tebughna School – December 21, 6:00 p.m.
  • Tustumena Elementary – December 13, 6:00 p.m.
  • West Homer Elementary – December 13, 1:00 p.m., Mariner Theater

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, 148 N. Binkley Street, Soldotna, Alaska 99669   907.714.8888

PDF: KPBSD Winter Concert schedule

Preludes: Paul Banks Elementary music makers

After a month of paper violins, Paul Banks Elementary “Preludes” graduated to real violins. They are learning how to play the open strings as an ensemble group, how to keep beat in unison, as well as how to hold a bow and develop fingering techniques. While much of the instruction still focuses on building physical stamina, frequently students can be heard calling out notes and plucking strings.


Parent perspective
“I recently moved to Homer and enrolled my first grade son in Paul Banks Elementary. I was surprised to hear of the violin program starting this year. Admittedly, my first reaction was one of doubt whether it would work with such young children.

I became involved in helping out with classroom management for the violin lessons. I am so impressed with what I have witnessed. Not only are the kids really enthusiastic about their program, but they are quickly improving. I have read the research about the positive impact on cognitive development when children learn to play a string instrument so young. What impresses me more is what I have seen. The team of program developers, talented violin instructor, violin players who are volunteering and the elementary music and classroom teachers are really giving a lot of energy and “heart” into this program.

I have observed the kids working happily on posture, stamina to focus, endurance for sustaining physical postures, new patterning coordination, eye-hand isolated coordination tasks, following multi-step directions, retaining previous lessons by memory, spinal and upper body strength, developing rhythm, learning where their own bodies go in space (proprioceptive training) and showing respect for the violin.

It is my opinion that only a team of dedicated and driven adults could pull this off successfully. I am writing this to bring awareness to what I have witnessed. Paul Banks Elementary violin “Preludes” program with its team of charismatic musicians is teaching far more than just violins. I am so pleased that my son gets to be a part of this. It is impressive that ALL kids in the first grade are a part of this, as it would be my guess that a number of these children would not otherwise be included.

I now know that my son is learning a lot more than just music while having a great time. I frequently get reports on violin class without even asking him.” –Ginnie Oliver, MOMT, Physical Therapist

In the news: Beautiful music begins at Paul Banks 


Mr. Perry and students lead the class in a song

“This program has been a positive addition to Paul Banks. The community has generously donated money and volunteer hours to get the program up and running. Daniel Perry, Linda Reinhart, and Lyn Maslow have teamed with our teaching staff to create an incredible program.” – Eric Pederson, principal.


Mrs. Reinhart’s first graders playing a song that teaches them the names of the notes on the four open strings of the violin, E, A, D, and G.

Soldotna High Making a Difference


“Every day I speak to students at Soldotna High School about respect, treating people right, kindness, and dreams. I tell them that the choice is theirs: they can choose to make a difference in their lives as well as the lives of others.

Actions speak louder than words, and this year they broke the sound barrier!

With the help of the students, staff, and the community, we were able to fill 25 baskets for families in need at Soldotna High School, give 30 turkeys and all the meal fixings to Love Inc., and still donate over 900 pounds of food to the Food Bank. All-in-all, we had enough food to feed 75 families this Thanksgiving year.

I am so proud and extremely thankful to call this my community and be a part of the Soldotna High School family. Make it a great Thanksgiving. Remember, the choice is yours!”


–Tony Graham, Principal, Soldotna High School




Donated to the Food Bank … 908 pounds!


Love, Inc food baskets donations



KPBSD students connect with Syrian refugee crisis #videoconference

KPBSD students across the Kenai listen and learn firsthand about the Syrian refugee crisis, via a videoconferencing presentation from Seward, Alaska, USA.

Teresa Gray, a retired paramedic, spent several weeks volunteering in Lesvos, Greece, greeting and serving refugees from Syria, offering medical aid, hugs, and suckers, alongside volunteers from other countries.

At a camp on the beach, where she spent three weeks, she said, “The whole point is to get them at least fed, and dry, and warm, and a smile on their face. They didn’t spend long at this temporary camp. … In the 21 days I was on Lesvos, 60,000 people came in those 21 days. Four hundred people drowned, trying to make it.”

That’s only the beginning of a powerful hour, with Gray’s photos, recounting of facts, and her sobering, heart-wrenching experience.

Students from Kenai Central High School, Kenai Middle School, Seward Middle School, Soldotna High School, Soldotna Prep, and countless others logged in to watch live through the videoconference (VTC) link. KPBSD students in the Polycom Certification Practicum helped facilitate the VTC.

Watch the same presentation through our KPBSD Polycom channel via this link:


Thousands of lifejackets, among millions, in Lesvos, Greece


Tsalteshi Trails Story Mapping and App Project 

Skyview Middle School eighth grade students in Sheilah-Margaret Pothast’s classes took to the Tsalteshi Trails to learn about GIS (Geographic Information Systems), use GPS to map a new trail, build a mobile app, and provide research for a story map now posted on the Kenai Peninsula Borough website.

Mrs. Pothast explains, “My first and second hour eighth grade American History classes participated in much of the research “grunt work” guided by our outstanding adult volunteers.  Many of the ideas for direct links, etc. that you’ll see in the product are ideas the kids recommended. Our adult volunteers contributed the expertise in their respective fields as well as the actual technical construction of the map. Students worked with adults to add attributes to the app and worked in teams led by the adults to develop the basic content ideas for each tab. Students are seeing the work for the first time and loving it! They are also already thinking of ways to improve it. This has been a wonderful learning experience for all of us, and one I look forward to continuing in the future. Many thanks to our adult volunteers without whom this would not have been possible.”

Thank you to the SMS staff, and amazing community partners and volunteers who did so much with our students, including: Bobbi Lay and Celina Robinson – KPB GIS Department; Nancy Carver – KPB Kenai River Center; Austin Johnson, City of Soldotna; Stephanie Queen – City of Soldotna Economic Development & Planning; Branden Bornemann – Kenai Watershed Forum GIS Specialist; Mark Laker – Kenai Wildlife Refuge Ecologist; and Bill Holt, Tsalteshi Trails Maintenance Manager extraordinaire.

Link: Tsalteshi Trail System


storymap storymap2 storymap3 storymap4

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#iAmKPBSD Outstanding Students | Distance Learning


Meet #iAmKPBSD outstanding Distance Learning education students, Fall 2016

Annie Quinn, Soldotna High School

Annie Quinn
Soldotna High School
Distance Class: Computer Applications
Distance Teacher: Darren Jones
“Annie Quinn completed all three computer applications courses this year earning her six college credits from Kenai Peninsula College. Annie has a great work ethic, time management skills and has demonstrated outstanding computer skills.”

David Weisser

David Weisser
Connections Homeschool
Distance Class: Biology A
Distance Teacher: Kim Leslie
“David’s creativity and enthusiasm for learning shine through on all of David’s work in Biology. He moves through this rigorous course on pace, showing strong understanding and bringing a level of curiosity that honors the wonders of science.”

Caleb Rauch, Homer High School

Caleb Rauch
Homer High School
Distance Class: World History
Distance Teacher: Steve Cothran
“Caleb finished the whole semester of World History by the quarter mark, and more importantly, did so while maintaining the highest quality of work.  His assignments were always comprehensive and he looked for meaningful insights between the course material and his contemporary world.”


Gage Charlesworth, Connections Homeschool

Gage Charlesworth
Connections Homeschool
Distance Class: Health
Distance Teacher: Amanda Adams
“Gage has demonstrated true diligence in his first online course! Working continually to understand the material and remove roadblocks along the way. He responds to feedback by thinking deeper about the topics, and furthering his understandings.”

Kaitlyn Johnson, Nikiski Middle-High School

Kaitlyn Johnson, Nikiski Middle-High School

Kaitlyn Johnson
Nikiski Middle-High School
Distance Class: Language Arts 10
Distance Teacher: Amanda Adams
“Kaitlyn continually demonstrates diligence in her efforts to become a better reader and writer. Her work ethic is unwavering, always reworking assignments, clarifying with questions, and applying feedback. Kaitlyn allows her creativity to shine through into her writing, and she isn’t afraid to take risks in trying new things with the goal of expanding her ability.”

Olivia Delgado, Ninilchik School

Olivia Delgado, Ninilchik School

Olivia Delgado
Ninilchik High School
Distance Class: Pre-Calculus
Distance Teacher: Gabe Evins
“Olivia is doing outstanding in Pre-Calculus online and is seven assignments ahead of schedule.  Olivia continues to be one of my best students and shows exemplary work.  She is very respectful with her communications and is not afraid to ask for help if help is needed.”

Marissa Geissler, Homer High School

Marissa Geissler, Homer High School

Marissa Geissler
Homer High School
Distance Class: Italian 1
Distance Teacher: Emanuela Pokryfi
“Marissa has been a remarkable student with her positive and proactive attitude throughout the first quarter. She was very helpful by letting me know of errors or issues with the course and its content whenever she found one, suggesting possible solutions. Marissa also agreed to meeting with another student in her school who is enrolled in the same online course to help her in getting more grounded in the course.”

Learn more: KPBSD Distance Learning Department

The mission of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is to develop productive, responsible citizens who are prepared to be successful in a dynamic world.

Commit to Respond to Conflict in a Positive Manner

Mountain View Elementary Celebrates School-Wide Commitment to Responding to Conflict in A Positive Manner


Nobody likes to get their feelings hurt!  While most of us mask the hurt pretty well, it negatively effects affects us in a variety of ways. Most certainly it affects students who may have a hard time learning if they remain focused on a negative interaction with a peer or teacher.

With that realization in mind Mountain View Elementary developed and implemented a Positive Responses to Conflict Curriculum for students Kindergarten through 5th grade. All adults in the school have also been trained to model these basic practices in their conflicts with students and each other. At a recent assembly the school celebrated the completion of the annual seven week rotation of teaching grade level appropriate lessons on kindness and the six basic positive responses to conflict.

Staff members entertained students and provided reinforcement for the following positive responses to conflict:

  1. Assume positive intent by asking clarifying questions in a positive manner, these questions often begin with “Did you know….”
  2. Politely ask someone to stop a behavior and tell them why.
  3. Wait and cool off followed by using another strategy.
  4. Simply let it go.
  5. Compromise and share.
  6. Talk it out using a structured process including: calming strategies, positive body language, and script prompts.


“The Conflict Wheel” is a graphic designed by Mountain View staff to promote the use of these strategies. The conflict wheel can be found on posters in all all rooms of the building, on a large sign on the playground and on lanyards carried by teachers while on recess duty.

A smaller version of the conflict wheel, with a description of the 6 strategies is discussed with and given to families at open house and conferences to promote its use at home. In April 2016, 87% of the 189 Mountain View Elementary families who returned a survey stated they utilized the 6 positive responses to strategies to resolve conflicts at home.



News Release: KPBSD Indian Education Meeting, 11/9/16


Title VI Indian Education Committee Meeting

Do you know that over 114 Alaska Native Tribal affiliations are represented in nearly 1,200 identified Native students in the KPBSD Title VI program?

The KPBSD Title VI Indian Education Program supports Alaska Native and American Indian students for a successful experience throughout their K-12 schooling years, and invites everyone to a public meeting on Wednesday, November 9, 2016.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

3:00—5:00 p.m.
Borough Assembly Chambers, Borough Administration Building
144 North Binkley Street, Soldotna, Alaska 99669

The Title VI Committee is comprised of parents and guardians of Title VI students who have been appointed by school site councils. Interested tribal elders, community members, students and parents are encouraged to participate. The Title VII Program is designed to assist and support students’ academic achievements, social and emotional development, and cultural awareness in the classroom. KPBSD Title VI students will be supported and enabled to receive an educational foundation, and given the skills to respond successfully with adults, situations, circumstances, activities and opportunities in school and life.

Agenda includes:

•    Title VI Election Results
•    Nominations for Chair and Vice Chair
•    Update on identified students
•    Native Youth Project Grant
•    Title VI Program Updates
•    Partnership updates

Please RSVP to Deanna Leslie,

Questions?  Contact Conrad Woodhead, KPBSD Native Education Program Coordinator,, 907.235.8671 or Tim Vlasak, Director of Federal Programs and Assessments, 907.714.8892


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Thoughts please: KPBSD #StrategicPlan survey is open

News Releasestrategic-plan-logo-kpbsd

KPBSD Five Year Strategic Plan Revision


Soldotna, November 7, 2016—Do you have an opinion about how to improve KPBSD schools?


Community members, families, students, and staff are invited to offer thoughts for the KPBSD 2017 – 2022 strategic plan revision through an online survey open through November 21, 2016.

KPBSD is refreshing and revising our five year strategic plan. Each of you has a unique perspective that will help guide our planning. Community members, families, students, and staff can have a voice in this process by completing the Survey. Your opinion will assist KPBSD to determine long term goals. Brief survey questions designed for our diverse schools include these topics:

  • Evidence of Education Quality
  • Challenge and Issues Impacting Education Quality
  • Educational Priorities
  • Student Skills and Abilities
  • Financial Priorities
  • Your Suggestions to Improve Quality of Education

The Survey is online, through this link:
The KPBSD webpage also includes a link to the survey,

Superintendent Sean Dusek said, “In an effort to improve our school district, we need a good plan to guide that effort. As a stakeholder in our community, you have a unique perspective that will help in the development of our new strategic plan. Your opinion will help develop areas the school district should focus on and guide which goals we should set. Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey as we chart the direction of our schools for the next several years.”

Survey results will be essential in the process of refreshing and developing our long-term KPBSD strategic plan. A synthesis of the responses will be shared with the Board of Education, and available online. Thank you for making time to complete this valuable survey. Your feedback is important.



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