KPBSD inspiration: Steven Hunter Smith, River City Academy, #ClassOf2019

Steven Hunter Smith

River City Academy (RCA)
Steven Hunter Smith, Class of 2019

“Don’t underestimate the determination of a quiet man.” This speaks volumes to the character and quiet leadership displayed by River City Academy’s valedictorian, Steven Hunter Smith.

Steven first joined RCA as a middle school student. He worked consistently and diligently throughout the years to reach his goals today. Academically, Steven has an excellent GPA of 3.89, and has worked beyond his high school graduation requirements to lay the foundation for his post high school world. Steven completed multiple courses at Kenai Peninsula College. He recently completed an Alaska Fisheries course through the University of Alaska, Southeast. These courses will be the foundation for his major in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Alaska, Anchorage, where Steven will utilize his University of Alaska Scholars award.

More important than academics, Steven showed his strong–yet quiet–leadership abilities. Throughout the school, he was always willing to help other students. His positive attitude and calm demeanor followed him from class to class. Principal Dawn Edwards-Smith said, “On our annual field trip to Caines Head, Steven showed his leadership capabilities by ensuring that the whole group worked together, without losing his sense of humor.”

When not working on his schoolwork or fishing, Steven works as a deck hand for his family business. He recently completed the coursework for his Captain’s license.

RCA is grateful for Steven’s leadership and looks forward to seeing amazing things as he works to improve our community in the future!

 

Students earn Microsoft Office certifications #DistanceLearning

Preparing students for college and careers:
MOS certification program positively validates in-demand technology skills

Where do you want your learning to take you and how can KPBSD help you get there?

2019-06-13 MS Office certifications

The KPBSD Distance Learning Program awarded 243 Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certifications—an industry recognized, standards-based credential for validating Microsoft Office skills.

“As we reach this milestone of certifying 243 students and teachers so far in the two years since becoming a Microsoft Certification Testing Center, we have seen the immediate benefits of helping our students earn the Microsoft Office Specialist certification,” said Darren Jones, Distance Learning Technology Teacher for the KPBSD. “Many students and teachers discovered an interest in technology, and took advantage of the opportunity to increase their competence, productivity, and credibility with their expertise in the Microsoft Office products. We look forward to helping many more students and teachers earn this valuable industry credential in the coming years.” Every high school student in the district can enroll and take the necessary trainings to earn the coveted Microsoft Certifications through KPBSD’s Distance Learning Program.

Celebrate elite MOS status

Sarina Wilkinson, a Soldotna Prep ninth grader will attend Soldotna High School in August, and in her ninth grade year earned five of the six certifications offered during her first year of high school! She earned certifications in MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, MS Outlook, and MS Word Expert.

She earned two high school credits in her ninth grade year, and she will earn as many as 12 concurrent college credits from UAA. When she completes her final exam (she said it’s really tough!) she will earn the distinction of being the second and youngest KPBSD student to earn the elite status of Microsoft Office Specialist Master!

Emerald Miller, a Homer Connections Homeschool student graduated with the Class of 2019, and is the first student in the KPBSD to earn the elite status of Microsoft Office Specialist Master! She took Distance Computer Applications 1 and 2 during her junior year and Computer Applications 3 and 4 in her senior year earning her certifications in all six MS Office courses to the highest elite status. She will also have to opportunity to earn as many as 12 college credits from UAA for the successful completion of these KPBSD classes.

“We are pleased KPBSD’s Distance Learning Program has successfully implemented the MOS certification and is awarding these valuable credentials to help so many students prepare for a further education and build their resume,” said Aaron Osmond, General Manager, Certiport. “As more students realize the value of certification, their program will continue to grow and these individuals will begin to proliferate and improve the local workforce.”

The Microsoft Office Specialist certification is delivered by Certiport, a Pearson VUE business, and recognized globally as the premier credential for individuals seeking to validate their knowledge, skills and abilities relating to the Microsoft Office applications. With more than two million exams taken annually in 148 countries, MOS is the leading IT certification in the world.

About Distance Learning

The KPBSD Distance Learning Program offers a wide range of classes through an online format. The Distance Learning Program uses a variety of instructional material including teacher created materials and materials purchased from vendors such as Florida Virtual School and Aventa Learning. Online courses are delivered through the district’s Canvas learning management system (LMS). Canvas is a popular learning management system used by many secondary and post-secondary educational institutions around the world. The Distance Learning Program also utilizes multiple methods of communication including desktop conferencing tools such as Skype for Business, Google Hangouts, and others. The Distance Learning staff is also available via appointment, telephone, and email.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District will inspire all learners to pursue their dreams in a rigorous, relevant, and responsive environment.

KPBSD Inspiration: Nikiski Middle High Trio, Class of 2019

Bethany Carstens, Kelsey Clark, and Emma Wik Nikiski Class of 2019

Nikiski Middle-High School

Bethany Carstens, Kelsey Clark, and Emma Wik
Class of 2019

Bethany Carstens, Kelsey Clark, and Emma Wik have been friends for what seems like forever. “They grew up together in our small community of Nikiski and did everything together for the last 14 years,” said Principal Dan Carstens. “Not only are they at or near the top of their class academically, but they all compete at the highest level in volleyball, basketball, and track and soccer, racking up multiple all-conference, all-state and MVP honors during their high school careers while helping their teams raise three state banners during their time at Nikiski. All this while showing kindness and respect to teammates, coaches, and opposing players.”

Nikiski Class of 2019 Carstens-Clark-Wik-2

Now they move on to the next phase of their lives:

Bethany Carstens will attend Chicago State University where she has a full ride scholarship to play Division I basketball and pursue a nursing degree.

Kelsey Clark will attend Wenatchee Valley College to play volleyball and enter the radiological technician program.

Emma Wik is staying close to home where she will attend Kenai Peninsula College and pursue a nursing degree.

These three will continue to carry the torch and blaze new trails for successful Nikiski alumni!

Nikiski Class of 2019 Carstens-Clark-Wik (2)-2-2

 

KPBSD Inspiration: Caleb Napier Connections Homeschool, Class of 2019

Connections Caleb Napier Class of 2019

Caleb Napier
Connections Homeschool, Class of 2019

Caleb Napier is a goal-oriented young man always on the move. The past four years in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Connections Homeschool has given him the flexibility to pursue his many personal goals, while following his passions of music, exploring other cultures, aviation and serving others.

Musically, Caleb is an avid violin and mandolin player, serving on his church and youth group music teams. His longing to explore other cultures has taken him to 27 countries, with a few years even living in East Africa. Caleb’s fascination with aviation began as a toddler and continues to this day. He has worked every summer during his high school years at a floatplane charter service in Homer, Alaska.

Serving others has always been a part of his life; he has served in famine zones and refugee camps across the Middle East and Africa, and is constantly engaged in activities at Glacierview Baptist Church in Homer, Alaska.

In May, Caleb graduated from KPBSD Connections Homeschool, and five weeks later he graduates with his Associate Arts Degree from Liberty University, both with a 4.0 GPA! With this phase of education completed, Caleb will continue his service to God, others, and his country through the United States Marine Corps. He is scheduled to leave for boot camp in August, with a 5-year commitment to serve in the field of aviation mechanics.

Connections Homeschool offers flexible, personalized K-12 education options to more than 800 Kenai Peninsula learners.

www.KPBSD.org

Retirements: thank you for 15+ years with KPBSD

COVER 2019-06 Retiring Employees Best Wishes

KPBSD appreciates dedicated staff who will depart this year

“I wish everyone who is leaving our district all the best. I am so thankful for their contributions and commitment to KPBSD over the years and they will be missed. Best of luck and enjoy your next adventure!” –Sean Dusek, Superintendent

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District appreciates the commitment and service these retiring employees contributed, each with fifteen or more years in the school district. Each of you has made a difference, THANK YOU!

2019-05-20-HL KPBSD retirees and reignations 15 plus years

May 16, 2019: District Proposal to KPEA and KPESA

KPBSD_2017-2022_StrategicPlan_SealKenai Peninsula Borough School District (KPBSD) proposal to Kenai Peninsula Education Support Association (KPESA) for three years: 2018-2019; 2019-2020; 2020-2021

This proposal is based on the Arbitrator’s recommendations, with applicability to everyone who is employed on the date of ratification. The May 16, 2019, proposal includes an additional modification beyond the Arbitrator’s Report recommendations.
Terms and conditions: the current negotiated agreement, items already TA’d in bargaining, and these changes:

What is the length of the contract?
Three years: July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2021

 

What are the changes to the Health Care plan?
High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) or Traditional Plan (TP)

  • A revised health insurance Article 27 for KPESA that sets forth the 70%/30% split over the cap, as recommended by the Advisory Arbitrator.
    The District portion of the current 50%/50% split above the cap increases by 20% to 70%. The employee 50% portion decreases to 30%, which is a 20% decrease to the employee.
  • 2018-2019 Traditional Plan retroactive overpayment refund of $920:
    For FY19, KPESA employees on the TP as of December 31, 2018, will receive a refund of health care contribution overpayment as a result of the new 70%/30% split in the amount of $920. FY19 retro payment will be made as soon as possible, but no later than Friday, June 28, 2019.
  • 2018-2019 HDHP retroactive overpayment refund of $600:
    For FY19, KPESA employees on the HDHP as of December 31, 2018, will receive a refund of health care contribution overpayment as a result of the new 70%/30% split in the amount of $600. The FY19 retro payment will be made as soon as possible, but no later than Friday, June 28, 2019.
  • District contribution to the healthcare cap increases by $50 per month
    This proposal is more favorable to KPESA employees than the Arbitrator’s Recommendation. Beginning in the 2019-2020 school year, the district will increase its portion of the monthly cap by $50 for each plan. Therefore, the District’s contribution for the TP shall increase to $1781.45/month, and the District’s contribution to the HDHP will increase to $1695.61/month.
  • The Traditional Plan will no longer be an option for employees with an initial date of hire after May 31, 2019.

What are the changes to wages and working conditions?

Retroactive salary payments for 2018-2019 will be made as soon as possible, but no later than Friday, June 28, 2019.

  • Salary schedule increases in the amounts of:
    • .5 % in 2018-2019
    • 1 % in 2019-2020
    • 2 % in 2020-2021
  • If you are a KPESA employee eligible to receive an annual step increase which averages 4.98%, the district’s offer reflects an 18.44% average salary increase over the three-year duration.
  • KPESA employees not receiving a step increase will receive an additional .5 % in 2018-2019; 1 % in 2019-2020; and 2 % in 2020-2021, off the base salary in that year’s Column H.
  • Swing Shift and Graveyard Shift hourly pay increase
    A new shift differential for KPESA, for Article 17, Section A in the amounts of 40 cents per hour for swing shift and 60 cents per hour for graveyard shift.
  • KPESA support employees would now be eligible to receive extra curricular stipends.

KPESA rejected this proposal to settle the contract on May 16, 2019.

This proposal expires May 31, 2019.

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KPBSD_2017-2022_StrategicPlan_SealKenai Peninsula Borough School District (KPBSD) proposal to Kenai Peninsula Education Association (KPEA) for three years: 2018-2019; 2019-2020; 2020-2021

This proposal is based on the Arbitrator’s recommendations, with applicability to everyone who is employed on the date of ratification. The May 16, 2019, proposal includes an additional modification beyond the Arbitrator’s Report recommendations. Terms and conditions: the current negotiated agreement, items already TA’d in bargaining, and these changes:

What is the length of the contract?
Three years: July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2021

 

What are the changes to the Health Care plan?
High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) or Traditional Plan (TP)

  • District contribution to the healthcare cap increases by $50 per month
    This proposal is more favorable to KPEA employees than the Arbitrator’s Recommendation. Beginning in the 2019-2020 school year, the district will increase its portion of the monthly cap by $50 for each plan. Therefore, the District’s contribution for the TP shall increase to $1781.45/month, and the District’s contribution to the HDHP will increase to $1695.61/month.
  • The Traditional Plan will no longer be an option for employees with an initial date of hire after May 31, 2019.

What are the changes to wages and working conditions?
Retroactive salary payments for 2018-2019 will be made as soon as possible, but no later than Friday, June 28, 2019.

  • Salary schedule increases in the amounts of:
    • .5 % in 2018-2019
    • 1 % in 2019-2020
    • 2 % in 2020-2021
  • If you are a KPEA employee eligible to receive an annual step increase which averages 2.67%, the district’s offer reflects an 11.51% average salary increase over the three-year duration.
  • KPEA employees not receiving a step increase at C+90/M-T will receive an additional .5 % in 2018-2019; 1 % in 2019-2020; and 2 % in 2020-2021, off the base salary at C+90/M-T.

KPEA rejected this proposal to settle the contract on May 16, 2019.

This proposal expires May 31, 2019.

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Links

Collective Bargaining Update: May 16, 2019

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Collective Bargaining Update: May 16, 2019

Soldotna, May 16, 2019—The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District (KPBSD) met with the Kenai Peninsula Education Support Association (KPESA) and Kenai Peninsula Education Association (KPEA) for collective bargaining on May 16, 2019.

The District did not accept the KPEA and KPESA May 13, 2019, last best offer, and proposed separate counter offers to each Association.

Each Association rejected the District’s May 16, 2019, counter offer.

No further bargaining has been scheduled.

Following bargaining this morning, the Associations distributed a quote to members and on social media attributed to the District’s bargaining team spokesperson. This is the accurate context of the quote, “…put up or shut up…” transcribed from the May 16, 2019, recording during bargaining.

Listen to the May 16, 2019 audio clip from collective bargaining:

“We have listened to Mr. Fischer and others talk about how the broker has been overly, well I don’t want to say excessive, in its recommendations to or analysis as to what the costs are going to be in the next school year. We think the broker has accurately, to the best of the information available to it, considered all of the factors that go in to a health care program. We believe that the request by the association that somehow, the district should accept your proposals and not have a cap, is not accurate.

We do not believe that what you’ve told us, that in your opinion the costs are going to go down next year to such an extent that even though the district may be giving up its cap, it’s not going to be impacted by that. We don’t believe that. We don’t agree with that.

But we do know, that if you agree with that, then your health care committee on the HDHP has the ability to set your members rates at whatever it wants. If you think the $367 rate that the hundred percent migration comes out to per month for the high deductible plan comes out to, and will not be what it’s going to be shown when it comes to June 30, 2020, or whenever, March of next year, set it at $200. Have every one of your members pay $200 per month. Have your health care committee going crazy for the first nine months of next year to see how it can reduce the cost. But if you believe the broker is not right, then put up and shut up or shut up on that. Do what you want the district to do. You want us to pay the higher cost if the broker is accurate–but why don’t you pay the lower cost while you think the broker is wrong, and you’ve solved the problem of your memberships costs next year.

So based upon our analysis, our review, we have a proposal for you. For each of the Associations. We have told you that we will not remove a cap, and we’re not removing a cap. We’ve told you that we respect KPESA’s determination that it wants to stick with KPEA, but our proposals remain separate.”

Links

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Posted in News Release by Pegge. 2 Comments

KPBSD Inspiration, Annaleah Karron, Seward High School #ClassOf2003

KPBSD Inspiration, Annaleah Karron, Seward High School, Class of 2003

Annaleah Karron

Annaleah Karron teaches 7th to 12th grade social studies at River City Academy, a KPBSD performance based school in Soldotna, Alaska, and in her spare time runs a fun, small business teaching Paint & Sip art classes in the community called “Easy As D.I.Y – Custom Paint Events.”

She grew up in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, attending K-Beach Elementary, Nikiski Elementary, Sears Elementary, Seward Elementary, Seward Middle School, and graduated from Seward High School in 2003. She followed the footprints of her mother and grandmother to become an educator, after earning her degree at the University of Northern Colorado in Secondary Education and History.

Annaleah says, “My grandmother and mom were both amazing educators. My grandmother was a single mom who put herself through college and taught special education at a time when behavior modification and positive encouragement were ‘new’ ideas in behavior classrooms. She had amazing stories about the kids she worked with, the college classes she was able to teach as a professor at the University of Montana School of Education, all of which had a huge impact on my desire to become a teacher. I used to sit in my mom’s classroom and put fake grades in a blank grade book! As a teacher’s kid I spent countless hours at school, on sports trips with the teams my mom was coaching, or watching her grade papers or prep projects at the dining room table. My oldest daughter already has that teacher mindset … if you spend enough time in that environment it cannot help but shape and mold you.”

Work life as a teacher!

“If you have not had the opportunity to visit River City Academy (RCA) where I teach, I highly encourage everyone to visit and step inside our building. Just walking through the front door has an inviting feel and a climate that is different from any other school in our district. My favorite part of the day is when my Learning Team greets me every morning—they literally race down the hallway as I come into the building to be the first ones into my classroom. With a school of only 85 students in 7th-12th grade, I know every kid I teach, but my Learning Team is my mentorship group. We sit and set goals, talk about their interests, problem solve struggles, and I get to know each kid on a personal level. One student told me this week that I was the ‘mom’ of the school, and I truly feel like each kid at my school is my own! We celebrate each success (high fives and silly pictures!) and dig deep to overcome some really challenging hurdles (often with tears and a cup of tea on my big comfy sofa).”

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I believe…

“As we see unprecedented changes in education, I feel my role is to continue to support all our kids and all schools. It is important to be a stable, constant in this otherwise chaotic culture. Our students rely on their schools and teachers to equip them for an unknown future. We must teach kids critical thinking and problem solving. Allow them opportunities for community involvement and advocacy for the things that are important to them and provide them meaningful feedback to practice revision and improvement. I am excited that River City Academy has become a Summit Partner School and we are specifically teaching skills that are transferrable to any path our students choose to take. This summer I accepted the opportunity to be a Summit Fellow! I will travel to Chicago and Spokane to help facilitate training for new teachers on the performance based, standards based model. This is something I would have never dreamed of had KPBSD not provided me with opportunities to share my voice and passion for personalized learning and innovative practices. I am excited to see the new opportunities that sharing my voice with other teachers and our community will spark.”

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Guidance to teens

“Be confident in who you are, what you believe and what you are capable of! I was one of those kids who worked hard, got good grades, participated in all the activities but still struggled to find my voice among the crowd. I had dozens of successful, talented adults encouraging me, but I continued to struggle to ‘fit in’ with my peers. I am so thankful for the community of Seward and the many, many opportunities I was given (summer jobs, internships, exchange programs, etc.) and the incredible educators who showed never failing faith in the adult I would become. It was not until I got to college that I found a mishmash group of likeminded individuals who helped me build the best version of myself. I now know how important it is to share the positives, support the successes, and I strive to do that in my role as a teacher. I encourage all my students to find the best opportunity and what works for you! Especially in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District where our teachers, schools, and administrators are supporting personalized learning—if you do not have what you need or have an idea that can help you be successful, use your voice and advocate for yourself!”

 

Connect with Annaleah at her “Easy As D.I.Y – Custom Paint Events”

Facebook: facebook.com/easyasdiypaintandsip
Instagram: @easyasdiy_ak
Online: www.squareup.com/store/easyasdiy

Facebook: River City Academy School

Do you have a story tip about a KPBSD graduate to profile in our Wednesday Inspiration? Kindly email Pegge Erkeneff, KPBSD communications liaison, Pegge@KPBSD.org.

 

Collective Bargaining Update: May 13, 2019

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Collective Bargaining Update: May 13, 2019

Soldotna, May 13, 2019—Proposals were exchanged between The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District (KPBSD), and the Kenai Peninsula Education Support Association (KPESA) and Kenai Peninsula Education Association (KPEA) during collective bargaining on May 13, 2019. The Associations rejected the District proposals.

Collective Bargaining will continue on Thursday, May 16, 2019, beginning at 9:00 AM.

Link

School district Collective Bargaining webpage, includes Advisory Arbitration April 2019 report to KPBSD, KPEA, KPESA documents, and most recent proposals.

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Collective Bargaining: May 8, 2019 KPBSD proposals to KPESA and KPEA

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Soldotna, May 8, 2019—The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District (KPBSD) proposals to Kenai Peninsula Education Support Association (KPESA) and Kenai Peninsula Education Association (KPEA)

KPBSD proposal to KPESA*
Attached is the District proposal to KPESA that accepts the recommendations in the Arbitrator’s report.
The proposal was rejected by KPESA at bargaining on May 8, 2019.

KPBSD proposal to KPEA**
Attached is the District proposal to KPEA that accepts the recommendations in the Arbitrator’s report.
The proposal was rejected by KPEA at bargaining on May 8, 2019.

Link
School district Collective Bargaining webpage, includes Advisory Arbitration April 2019 report to KPBSD, KPEA, KPESA documents.

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*KPBSD proposal to KPESA

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District (KPBSD) proposal to
Kenai Peninsula Education Support Association (KPESA)
to settle the FY19, FY20, FY21 bargaining

The current agreement continues for FY 19-21 except for all previous TAs that modify existing language.  The Advisory Arbitrator’s Report is accepted as follows, with applicability to those employed on the date of ratification.

  • A change to the duration for July 1, 2018-June 30, 2021.
  • A new shift differential for KPESA, for Article 17, Section A in the amounts of 40 cents per hour for split shift and 60 cents per hour for graveyard shift.
  • A revised health insurance Article 27 for KPESA that sets forth the 70/30 split over the cap, as recommended by the Advisory Arbitrator.
  • For FY19, KPESA employees on the traditional plan as of December 31, 2018, will receive a refund of health care contribution overpayment as a result of the new 70/30 in the amount of $920. FY19 retro payment will be made as soon as possible, but no later than Friday, June 28, 2019.
  • For FY19, KPESA employees on the high deductible health plan as of December 31, 2018, will receive a refund of health care contribution overpayment as a result of the new 70/30 in the amount of $600. FY19 retro payment will be made as soon as possible, but no later than Friday, June 28, 2019.
  • The Traditional Plan will no longer be an option for employees with an initial date of hire after May 31, 2019.
  • Salary schedule increases in the amounts of .5 percent in FY19, 1 percent in FY20, and 2 percent in FY21.
  • KPESA employees not receiving a step increase will receive an additional .5 percent in FY19, 1 percent in FY20, and 2 percent in FY21, off base salary in that year’s Column H.
  • FY19 retro salary payments will be made as soon as possible, but no later than Friday, June 28, 2019.
  • Addition of Article 37 Extracurricular Programs, attached.

This proposal expires May 31, 2019.

**KPBSD proposal to KPEA

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District (KPBSD) proposal to
Kenai Peninsula Education Association (KPEA)
to settle the FY19, FY20, FY21 bargaining

The current agreement continues for FY 19-21 except for all previous TAs that modify existing language.  The Advisory Arbitrator’s Report is accepted as follows, with applicability to those employed on the date of ratification.

  • A change to the duration for July 1, 2018-June 30, 2021.
  • Salary schedule increases in the amounts of .5 percent in FY19, 1 percent in FY20 and 2 percent in FY21.
  • KPEA employees at C+90/M-T not receiving a step increase will receive an additional .5 percent in FY19, 1 percent in FY20, and 2 percent in FY21 based on the same year’s salary in the C+90/M-T.
  • The Traditional Plan will no longer be an option for employees with an initial date of hire after May 31, 2019.
  • FY19 retro salary payments will be made as soon as possible, but no later than Friday, June 28, 2019.