How federal funds benefit KPBSD in FY19

In 1965, federal funds were KPBSD_2017-2022_StrategicPlan_Seal circle no edgesestablished through the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to ensure that all children have a fair and equal opportunity to education.

KPBSD has developed programs to support struggling learners all around the district, and various forms are included in school registration packets each year to help identify qualifying students and families. Your voluntary participation to complete these forms–even if you don’t think you qualify-could assist the entire school district. In the 2018-2019 school year, $5.6 million* in federal funds will provide supports for some of the most vulnerable youth in our communities. 

*The annual  federal tax dollars that KPBSD receives are based on identifying and documenting qualified students and families. Additional federal funds are allocated to Pupil Services (special education) and through the Carl Perkins grant, which supports career and technical education.

  • Title 1 purpose is to provide fair and equitable educational opportunities to students identified as economically disadvantaged. KPBSD’s targeted assistance provides support to identified pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, first, and second graders in those schools with more than 35% of enrolled students identified as economically disadvantaged. The ten Title I prekindergarten programs currently serve 217 students. Title I has also provided reading support to 350 kindergarten, first and second grade students in nineteen Title I schools.
  • Title 1C Migrant supports the needs of migratory students across the district. In order to be identified as migratory, students must have traveled away from home a minimum of seven nights and eight days due to economic necessity. KPBSD has 400 migrant students enrolled in the district.
  • McKinney Vento provides clothing, school supplies and transitional services for homeless youth so that they experience consistent, uninterrupted learning opportunities.
  • Title ID Delinquent/Neglected and Youth in Detention provide staffing, professional development, and academic activities to Marathon School, Kenai’s youth detention facility.
  • Title IIA Professional Development funds support the improvement of teacher and principal quality including training on curriculum resources, teacher collaboration opportunities, administrative effective instruction training, new teacher induction, and other professional development events.
  • Title IIIA English Learners provides teacher and tutor training in differentiation strategies to support identified EL students. KPBSD has 332 EL students representing 23 languages.
  • Title IVA Student Support and Academic Enrichment supports activities directed at well-rounded educational opportunities, safe and healthy students, and the effective use of technology.
  • Title VI Indian Education supports tutoring to Native youth in KPBSD middle and high schools. Last year, 68% of students receiving tutoring services through Title VI demonstrated academic improvement.
  • E-Rate funds are used to support telecommunication infrastructure within and between schools. These funds are based on a tiered system of the district’s economically disadvantaged eligibility rate.

To learn more about KPBSD federal programs,
go to

Download the FY19 Federal Allocations PDF to see amounts and number of students in various categories.

Golden Apple Award Recognition

Golden Apple nomination

Who do you believe goes above and beyond in our schools to meet our KPBSD mission? Kindly nominate a staff member, volunteer, student, business or community partnership to be recognized for outstanding service and contributions to educating our students.

How-To make your nomination:
Read the Golden Apple recognition rubric below.
Complete the nomination; make sure to include details and specific stories that demonstrate above and beyond service or contributions.

The recognition committee reviews nominations on a monthly basis; you will be contacted when your nomination is received, and when the process is complete. Thank you for your #golden story about someone who goes above and beyond in or for our schools.

Kindly return your nomination to the Communication department office by email, mail, or fax. Contacts are located at the bottom of the nomination form.

Recognition takes place during the monthly Board of Education meeting.

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Volunteer in a KPBSD school


Thank you FY18 volunteers

3,787 people volunteered in a Kenai Peninsula Borough School District school in the 2016-2017 school year!

Will you volunteer in the new year beginning August, 2018? Kindly complete your new or returning online volunteer application, it only takes a few minutes. 

KPBSD safeguards students while they are in our care. Therefore, every school volunteer must complete the online volunteer application on an annual basis. Thank you for helping students, staff, and schools be vibrant centers for learning.

link: Online volunteer application for KPBSD schools

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2017 – 2018 Kenai School District Annual Report

Coming in August…

The KPBSD Annual Report, a condensed recap of the 2017 -2018 school year!



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Nurse Tracy Silta awarded Golden Apple

      Kenai Peninsula Borough School District
Golden Apple Award | July 9, 2018
Mrs. Tracy SiltaGolden Apple FY18 Tracy Silta 1

“Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Nurse Tracy Silta demonstrates on a daily basis all of the personal and professional qualities of an efficacious school nurse for students,” wrote nominator James Knoebel, Special Education Department Chair, Soldotna High School. “She embodies what a school nurse and role model should be.” Since 2002, Nurse Tracy Silta has been optimizing students’ health. She is in a critical role that makes certain Soldotna High School students are safe, healthy, and ready to learn. Her open door policy and the judgement-free space she creates exemplifies her commitment to students. Tracy makes her office a place where any student or staff member can go to for words of encouragement, a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen, or even a cup of tea.

Passionate about her job, every day she strives to be the best school nurse within Alaska. Mr. Knobel explains,

“Her commitment to her job shows through what she does on a daily basis with students along with the additional responsibilities she takes on outside of the daily nursing duties. She has led first aid trainings for several years, creating a collaborative environment in which staff members obtain the tools needed to be competent and prepared first responders. Our readiness to be able to act appropriately in emergencies is a true credit to Tracy’s teaching style and innovative approach to this training. Even with a large group of adults, she finds ways to allow us to connect with the material, while also providing us time to feel comfortable activating emergency protocols and providing care in various scenarios.”

Focus On Learning (FOL)
Two years ago, she spearheaded the creation of yoga FOL time. Noticing that Soldotna High School had a need for enrichment opportunities during the last 30 minutes of the school day, Tracy was able to respond to this need by coordinating with Lisa Wells, a support staff and certified yoga instructor, and James Knobel to run a yoga group four days a week. This FOL provided students with a perfect way to find relief from their stressful day, reduce anxiety, increase flexibility, boost their emotional health, and promote personal vitality.

Intensive Needs Special Education
Soldotna High School houses the largest secondary Intensive Needs Special Education department in the district, and the success in meeting all of the students’ medical needs is in good hands with Nurse Tracy. Her compassion comes through in every interaction she has with students. Preserving student dignity is at the forefront of everything Tracy does for our medically fragile population. She is one of the strongest advocates these students have within the school. “I have been fortunate to collaborate with her on various medical protocols, and the knowledge she imparts in these plans allows parents to feel comfortable and assured that at Soldotna High School their child has access to a responsive nurse and a prepared support team,” said Mr. Knobel. “The appreciation parents have for these detailed plans is frequently communicated to the Individual Education Program (IEP) team and case managers.”

Cinderella’s Closet
Over the last three years, during her own time, Tracy has been a member of a small group that run Cinderella’s Closet. This program provides all students within the district a chance to find a dress that will allow them to experience the magic of a memorable homecoming or prom. Through Cinderella’s Closet, Nurse Tracy’s scope of contribution has been seen as north as Nikiski to as far south as Homer. Megan Murphy, a counselor at Soldotna High said, “Tracy is able to make every student that is seeking out a dress feel beautiful, special, and important. As they seek out that dress, Tracy always makes sure they leave with a smile on their face.”

The connections Nurse Silta creates are often the catalyst that lead to students being able to overcome the obstacles to obtain a diploma that often feels unattainable. Her responsiveness, innovation, and scope of contribution is commendable. Principal Tony Graham said,

“I made Tracy part of our intervention team. She has keen insight and acute awareness of what students go through. The bottom line is that kids know how much she cares by her actions. They want more of what she is giving: love.”

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education is proud to recognize Mrs. Tracy Silta for her dedication to the students of the school district, past, present, and future.

Mrs. Tracy Silta Golden Apple certificate

Golden Apple FY18 Tracy Silta 2

School district budget awareness reductions and savings useage

KPBSD fiscal reality, budget 101, and FY19 budget

2018 Spring KPBSD Budget Awareness for schools PDF flyer

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2018 Spring KPBSD Budget Awareness for schools p3

Download the 2018 Spring KPBSD Budget Awareness for schools flyer

Action ideas

  1. Attend a Facebook Live Q & A; community budget forum; KPBSD school site council meeting, school board meetingBorough Assembly meeting; Alaska legislative opportunities with elected officials
  2. Communicate with your school, friends, neighbors, legislators, and elected officials
  3. View any of the other short videos that explain aspects of funding and budgets, and review handouts. Links:

Webpage: KPBSD Finance Department

If the future success for our KPBSD K-12 students is dependent on a quality education so graduates will be prepared for college or a career, funding public education is crucial. KPBSD asks everyone to attend a public budget meeting, and become involved in the financial solutions for our school district and state.

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Special education student grade rate on the rise!


Students receiving special education services in the KPBSD continue to find success!

In the most recent reporting year (2016-2017), 73 percent of students receiving special education services in the KPBSD graduated within four years! The State of Alaska graduation rate is 58.7 percent.

“A graduation rate this high is not something seen in the state of Alaska, and is high for anywhere in the United States. The reported graduation rate includes the three to five percent of students receiving special education services who stay past four years of school due to the significance of their disability, participation in secondary work transition program such as Project Search, or as part of a plan to develop more independent living skills prior to leaving school.” –Clayton Holland, KPBSD Director of Pupil Services

Statistically, students receiving special education services in the United States are significantly more likely to be at risk of receiving a long-term suspension (three to five times as likely for some subgroups). However, according to the most recent disproportionality in special education report, in comparison to other students, KPBSD students receiving special education services are less than half as likely to receive long-term suspensions.

Mr. Holland attributes both the high graduation rate and low student discipline rate to targeted and ongoing professional development and training, staff collaboration, and the development of a positive district culture that take responsibility for every student. Most importantly, Holland says, “we have teachers, paraprofessionals, related services providers, families, and community partners who believe our students can achieve and find success in school and in life, and then they take the steps to help that happen.”

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District and has been able to show that the steps we take to provide positive outcomes for our most at risk learners also equates to increased success for all students, and for our community.

KPBSD Pupil Services


Understanding Disabilities and Celebrating Kindness

Individuals with disabilities, as well as experts in the field of disabilities, came to Mountain View Elementary to set up eight different stations for presentations on a wide variety of physical and cognitive disabilities. These experts presented information about disabilities to our students and staff and provided engaging activities that facilitated the understanding of challenges that individuals with disabilities face and overcome on a daily basis. Among other activities, students had hands on experience with creating and reading Braille, using alternative communication devices and manipulating artificial limbs. Art was the focus at one station where students worked with illustrator Maggie Winston to paint without using their hands. Her artwork, done holding the paintbrush in her teeth, was yet another example of focusing on abilities as opposed to disabilities.

7 Special Education Disability Awareness Day

As KPBSDs largest open enrollment elementary school, Mountain View provides a number of programs designed to meet the needs of students with disabilities. All of our students benefit from their daily interactions within this diverse student body. It was our hope that this year’s Diversity Day would broaden this natural development of empathy and further prepare our students to participate in an inclusive society.

Kindness was the focus of a school wide assembly. A variety of short skits, songs and other presentations focused on all aspects of kindness. Teachers and students from across the school teamed up to celebrate the conclusion of our annual start of the year, and eight weeks focus on Positive Responses to Conflict and Kindness. During these eight weeks, age appropriate lessons for our teaching kindness, empathy and our six positive responses to conflict happen at all grade levels.

Combined, these two events provided a powerful message to our students of what we value here at Mountain View Elementary, Kenai’s Neighborhood School.

KPBSD celebrates the #ClassOf2018

KPBSD celebrates our diverse schools and students! Be inspired by #Classof2018 graduates.

Class of 2018 Graduation

“Congratulations to the class of 2018! I am very proud to send another high caliber group of young people into their future. I wish all of our graduates the best and look forward to seeing the positive difference they will make in the world!” Superintendent Sean Dusek

How does KPBSD understand #ready for life beyond graduation?

Ready is one of the 4 R’s in KPBSD – in 2018 how is being ready for life defined for students, and in K-12 education? Superintendent Dusek shares his vision, and what happens in KPBSD schools and classes.

Suicide prevention and resiliency


KPBSD takes a comprehensive approach to suicide prevention and resiliency training for both staff and students. This school year, KPBSD received two grant awards, a Suicide Awareness Pre and Postvention grant from the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development (DEED) and the GCI Alaska Community Foundation Suicide Prevention grant. Combined, these awards allowed our schools to begin implementation of an evidence based, upstream suicide awareness program for our middle and high school students.

Sources of Strength is a strength-based comprehensive wellness program that focuses on suicide prevention but impacts other issues such as substance abuse and violence. The program is based on a relational connections model that uses teams of peer leaders mentored by adult advisors to change peer social norms about help seeking and encourages students to individually assess and develop strengths in their life.

In addition, these student programs, staff, and outside partners received training in Youth Mental Health First Aid, which is designed to teach parents, family, teachers, school staff, and the community at large to help adolescents who are experiencing a mental health crisis.

Students from Homer Flex School, Kenai Alternative School, River City Academy, Seward High School, Skyview Middle School, Soldotna High School, Soldotna Prep School have received training from Sources of Strength. Kenai Central High School will bring SOS to the school in fall, 2018.

Thank you to the individuals and companies who provide grant funding and donations to make these opportunities possible.

Link: Sources of Strength suicide prevention efforts in KPBSD video and story

Sources of Strength frisbee KPBSD