Superintendent O’Brien Letter to KPBSD Parents and Guardians about Potential Strike

August 30, 2019KPBSD logo

Dear Parents and Guardians in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District:

It is with a heavy heart that I must compose this letter to you today. Union leadership continues to threaten this community with a strike that they state could occur “as early as September 16.” I believe that the serious action of a strike initiated by union leadership is preventable and unnecessary. Please know that I have directed the school district’s negotiation team to work tirelessly to engage the unions to find a fiscally responsible compromise to reach a tentative agreement. However, in the unfortunate event that a few union leaders call for a strike, you as parents must be prepared and ready.

Now is the time for you to prepare contingency plans for your children. If union leaders call a strike, I will receive a 72-hour notice, and then be forced to place all of our schools into an EMERGENCY SCHOOLS CLOSURE (see attached document, “What Will Happen If There Is A Strike in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District?”).  An EMERGENCY SCHOOLS CLOSURE consists of all 42 KPBSD schools, and includes all before and after school activities, sports, Connections Homeschool, charter and alternative schools, distance delivery programs, community school activities, pools, and any rentals or usage of school facilities. The emergency closure includes Boys and Girls Club activities in any KPBSD school or facility.

Specific to sports and activities, the unions are trying to assert that it is “the district’s choice to cancel sports.” This is not true. If there is a strike, the members of those unions will no longer be providing the educational and supporting services that they agreed to provide in their respective negotiated agreements. In addition, the teachers’ negotiated agreement includes the terms and conditions of employment for coaches and activity sponsors. The strike will cripple the school district’s ability to continue its critical and core reason for existence—the education of our students. As a result, I will have no option except to initiate a closure of all schools and all school activities.

Union leaders cannot dictate which contractual obligations of their negotiated agreement they will or will not perform. Therefore, a strike is a union leadership decision that requires a school district plan and response. If union leadership calls the strike, this will deny the educational community of its right to a public education and will result in the closure of all schools and all activities that occur in or on school facilities.

My efforts are intently focused on reaching an agreement. Any decision to strike is solely the decision of union leaders. The school district remains willing to meet as often and as long as necessary to find a fiscally responsible compromise to reach a tentative agreement and avoid an unnecessary strike.

With hopefulness,

John O’Brien
Superintendent of Schools,
Kenai Peninsula Borough School District

PDF: 8.30.19 Superintendent O’Brien Letter to KPBSD Parents and Guardians about Potential Strike

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What will happen if there is a strike in the KPBSD?

 

What will happen if there is a strike in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District?KPBSD logo

 

  • If the unions decide to call a strike, they are required to provide the Superintendent of Schools with 72-hour notice prior to a work stoppage. The Superintendent of Schools will immediately notify all staff, parents, community partners, contractors, etc. of the start date of the strike. A media release will be issued.

 

  • EMERGENCY SCHOOLS CLOSURE: During a strike, every KPBSD school will be closed, including Connections Homeschool, charter and alternative schools, and distance delivery programs.

 

  • An EMERGENCY SCHOOLS CLOSURE encompasses all before and after school activities, sports, community school activities, pools, and any rentals or usage of school facilities. The emergency closure includes Boys and Girls Club activities in every KPBSD school or facility. Only individuals approved by the Superintendent of Schools will have access to KPBSD schools and facilities.

 

  • Make up of any cancelled high school sports and extracurricular activities are subject to the rules of KPSAA, affiliate region boards, and ASAA. Some may or may not be able to be made up.

 

  • School session days and staff work days that are missed due to a strike must be made up. The number of days that schools are closed due to a strike will be added to the end of the 2019-2020 school year calendar in May.

 

  • If a strike were to occur, daily updates will be issued about the EMERGENCY SCHOOLS CLOSURE. Official KPBSD communications will be posted on the KPBSD website and digital media platforms.

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School in Cooper Landing is cancelled until 9.3.19 at the earliest

2019-08-29 Cooper Landing is closed

K-12 school in Cooper Landing is CANCELLED until Tuesday, September 3, 2019, at the earliest
This closure is caused by a wildfire in the area and evacuation level at #2 “SET”

SET means that you must be ready and prepared to leave at any time.

Learn about 1-2-3 Ready-Set-Go at www.kpbOEM.com

www.KPBSD.org

Collective Bargaining 8-27-19 between KPBSD and KPEA-KPESA

Bargaining on August 27, 2019 will be streamed via Facebook Live on the @KPBSD page. It’s also open to the public to attend beginning at 4:30 PM in the Soldotna High School library.

During collective bargaining on August 24, 2019, KPEA and KPESA requested information about the health care cost estimate for 2020-2021 (FY21). This document contains the requested information.

August 24, 2019 Collective Bargaining post:
Kenai Peninsula Borough School District (KPBSD) package proposal to the Kenai Peninsula Education Association (KPEA) and Kenai Peninsula Education Support Association (KPESA) to settle FY19-FY20-FY21 bargaining, provided during negotiations on Saturday, August 24, 2019.

PDF: 8.24.19 KPBSD Package Proposal to KPEA and KPESA to settle FY19-FY20-FY21 bargaining

This KPBSD Collective Bargaining webpage contains links to all past proposals and additional facts. (Updates will be made to this webpage on 8.26.19)

Facebook Live videos of bargaining (videos may be viewed through @KPBSD Facebook links):

Additional PDF handouts during bargaining:

KPBSD logo

8.26.19 – KPBSD school closure, activity travel, air quality update

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District wildfires and air quality alert:
outdoor activity, sports, travel cancellations & restrictions, school closure

“KPBSD places the safety and wellbeing of our students, staff, and parents before any other consideration. Since the resurgence of the Swan Lake Fire after the wind event on Saturday, August 17, 2019, and two new fire starts, our community has been challenged by smoke, fire, road closures, and is on edge. Depending on wind direction, every region of our district has also contended with unhealthy air quality. Thank you for your patience and cooperation during this ongoing event.” –Superintendent John O’Brien

2019-08-26 sports and activity travel restrictions

School is cancelled at Cooper Landing School on Tuesday, August 27, 2019.*

Effective August 26, 2019, until further notice: Activity related travel between Sterling and Cooper Landing on Sterling Highway between MP 45-71 is cancelled until further notice.

Local air quality and predictions will determine if OUTDOOR activities and athletics at or hosted by KPBSD schools are restricted.

School administrators will determine if recess, outdoor classroom activities, and sports practice will take place based on Air Quality conditions in their immediate area. Cancellations or restrictions may happen if conditions change rapidly.

Daily evaluations and consultation with the Borough Office of Emergency Management (OEM), fire officials, and state air quality resources will inform changes.

*At 7:45 PM on 8/26/19, The Cooper Landing evacuation alert moved to Level 2, SET. A Level 2 (SET) Evacuation is NOT a notice to leave. At Level 2 SET, load your 6 P’s: People, Pets, Pills, Photos, Personal (computer back-up info), and important Papers. Read the full Level 2 SET evacuation alert for Cooper Landing: http://bit.ly/2ZgWrwV

Follow KPB Alerts on Facebook, and for additional information on the Ready-Set-Go! Evacuation Guidelines and up-to-date fire information, visit www.kpboem.com or call 907-262-INFO.

 

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KPBSD 8.26.19 outdoor activity and student travel update

KPBSD anticipates all 42 schools will open on a normal schedule on on Monday, August 26, 2019.KPBSD logo

Air quality is a top concern for schools and the health of our students, staff, and athletes. Your KPBSD school district is working closely with the Borough Office of Emergency Management, the Great Basin National Type 1 Incident Management Team, agency cooperators, and onsite information from school principals to make the best decisions for the safety of all of our students, staff, and the team of teams fighting wildfires burning on the peninsula.

Superintendent O’Brien will make a decision on Monday about outdoor recess and class activities, and outdoor athletic practices and events. A full update about activities, sports, and travel will post by Monday afternoon. A significant weather change is not expected this week, and so this will likely continue to cause delays and closures on the Sterling Highway between MP 53-71 due to smoke and active fire or fire operations.

Parents and guardians: based on what is best for your child, if you keep your child at home due to air quality or fire activity near you, the absence will be excused. The website Purpleair.com now has four sensors on the peninsula and is a helpful resource to check air quality in your general region.

Follow KPB Alerts on Facebook, and for additional information on the Ready-Set-Go! Evacuation Guidelines and up-to-date fire information, visit www.kpboem.com or call 907-262-INFO.

KPBSD Package Proposal to KPEA and KPESA to settle FY19-FY20-FY21 bargaining

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District (KPBSD) package proposal to the Kenai Peninsula Education Association (KPEA) and Kenai Peninsula Education Support Association (KPESA) to settle FY19-FY20-FY21 bargaining, provided during negotiations on Saturday, August 24, 2019.

 

PDF: 8.24.19 KPBSD Package Proposal to KPEA and KPESA to settle FY19-FY20-FY21 bargaining

 

This KPBSD Collective Bargaining webpage contains links to all past proposals and additional facts. (Updates will be made to this webpage on 8.26.19)

Facebook Live videos of bargaining (videos may be viewed through @KPBSD Facebook links):

Additional PDF handouts during bargaining:

 

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Cooper Landing School will OPEN at 11:00 a.m. on 8/22/19

8/22/19, 8:30 AM: KPBSD logo 4c no tag SMALL

Cooper Landing School will OPEN at 11:00 AM with a two-hour delay start on Thursday, August 22, 2019. The school day will end at the normal time, 3:15 PM.

Absences will be excused if parents choose to keep children at home due to air quality, road closures, or wildfire activity in their area.

Outdoor recess and physical activity at all school locations are modified based on Air Quality Levels.

A Swan Lake Fire community meeting will take place at the Sterling Community Center at 6:00 PM, Thursday evening.

Follow KPB Alerts on Facebook, and for additional information on the Ready-Set-Go! Evacuation Guidelines and up-to-date fire information, visit www.kpboem.com or call 907-262-INFO.

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KPBSD and Swan Lake Fire information, 8/21/19

8/21/19, 9:00 PM Kenai Peninsula Borough School DistrictKPBSD logo 4c no tag SMALL

Absences will be excused if parents choose to keep children at home due to air quality, road closures, or wildfire activity in their area.

On Thursday, August 22, 2019, Cooper Landing School will start the day with a two-hour delay start. The final determination about a full day closure will be made no later than 9:00 AM. A two-hour delay start allows the KPBSD to work with multiple agencies to determine the safety of opening or closing a school. If a full day closure is warranted, an announcement is made through the district website, social media, mobile app, school communications, and media partners.

All other KPBSD schools will open on Thursday, August 22, 2019, on a normal schedule.

Bus transportation route change for on Thursday, August 22, 2019, and until further notice:

  • River City Academy, Skyview Middle School, Soldotna High School, and Sterling Elementary Route 108 will not travel further than the Feuding Lane stop, and will be there approximately 6:30 a.m. – 6:45 a.m.
  • Sterling Elementary Route 110 will not travel further than the Feuding Lane stop, and will be there approximately 8:20 – 8:30 a.m.
  • If you have questions contact Apple Bus at 907.262.4900

Swan Lake Fire community meeting is Thursday, 8/22/19, at the Sterling Community Center, 6:00 p.m.

Read the separate 8.21.19 news release about KPBSD sports and travel cancellations

Any additional and unnecessary traffic on the highway impacts fire traffic. Follow KPB Alerts on Facebook, and for additional information on the Ready-Set-Go! Evacuation Guidelines and up-to-date fire information, visit www.kpboem.com or call 907-262-INFO.

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Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Sports and Travel CANCELLATIONS

August 21, 2019
News Release

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Sports and Travel CANCELLATIONS

All OUTDOOR athletics at or hosted by Kenai Peninsula Borough School District schools are cancelled until further notice.

All activity related travel between Sterling and Cooper Landing on Sterling Highway is cancelled until further notice.

Due to the unpredictable nature of multiple wildfires and concerns about air quality, all school district OUTDOOR athletic activities are cancelled throughout the Kenai Peninsula until further notice. Additionally, effective August 21, 2019, at 8:00 PM, all activity travel between Sterling and Cooper Landing is prohibited until further notice due to air quality, visibility, emergency vehicles on the road, and the unpredictable waits and closures that are needed for safety and firefighting personnel in the area.

This cancellation affects the 2019 Tsalteshi Invite in Soldotna, and the Kenai Central High School vs. Eielson High School football game hosted by KCHS. Indoor events at schools throughout the Peninsula may still take place.

“This decision places a priority on the safety, health, and well-being of our athletes, coaches, families, and hundreds of students and their families from across the state who planned to travel to compete in sporting events on the Kenai Peninsula,” said Superintendent John O’Brien. “We thank all the emergency responders, firefighters, and agencies who are working together in adverse conditions to keep everyone safe.”

Helpful alerts:

2019-08-21 sports and activity travel cancellations

 

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