KPBSD School alert: two-hour delay start on Monday, February 18, 2019

2019_02_18_Two Hour Delay

►ALERT: All KPBSD schools will open with a TWO HOUR DELAY START on MONDAY, February 18, 2019, due to weather conditions throughout the Peninsula.

If weather and road conditions warrant a full closure for any schools that announcement will be made about 7:00 AM.

All morning Pre-K class sessions are cancelled during a two-hour delay start.

Parents and guardians, if you decide, based on conditions near you to keep your child at home, absences will be excused.

*A two hour delay means that morning buses run two hours later than normal, school begins two hours later than normal, staff arrives at school two hours later than normal, and Pre-K morning sessions are cancelled. The school day ends at the normal time.

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Community Survey: Superintendent of Schools Search

News Release

Public Involvement in Superintendent of Schools Selection

Soldotna, February 15, 2019— The KPBSD Board of Education seeks public input into its process to select a superintendent of schools. The school board has sole responsibility for the selection of candidates, final interviews, and selection of the superintendent, but would like to consider the views and interests of the public to help guide those decisions.

A Community Input Survey is open until March 4, 2019

A brief, anonymous survey invites public comments and the opportunity to rank which attributes and demonstrated skills in a KPBSD superintendent of schools are most valuable. The school board requests everyone interested in schools, including parents, students, KPBSD staff, site councils, PTAs, volunteers, business and community organizations that partner with schools, community groups, and the public to contribute.

QR_code_BJGDLGV Community Interest survey

A link to the community survey and important dates is located on the home page in the “Community Interest” section.

Superintendent of Schools Search
The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education seeks an educational leader who has strong communication skills, is committed to high student achievement, and has a proven track record in teaching and administration. The position begins July 1, 2019. The online application period is open until midnight, March 15, 2019. Selection of finalists is March 21, 2019, and candidate interviews will be April 4, 2019, or April 11, 2019 if needed. The public may attend and offer written comments.
Online Community Survey open through March 4, 2019

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News Release: Attend a KPBSD Budget Forum

KPBSD responds to an unprecedented budget challenge.
Attend a community forum to get facts.

Soldotna, February 14, 2019—Do you understand how the KPBSD school district budget will affect what KPBSD can offer in schools to educate our youth? With drastic state budget cuts to education proposed by the Governor, attend a budget forum in your community.

2019 February Budget development forums

Learn: KPBSD faces an unprecedented deficit of over $20 million dollars or more if the Governor’s proposed FY20 state budget is passed.


Get Facts: The district is building its FY20 budget, and needs your help. Participate online, or in person, to ask questions about revenue, expenses, funding, and cuts that potentially impact the classroom, teachers and support staff, sports and programs, and class sizes. Become involved so as a community we can make informed decisions that will affect our schools. Parents, staff, students, business partners, community members, and elected officials—it’s time to participate:


Community Budget Forums


  • Wednesday, February 20, 6:00 PM: Soldotna High School Library
    Videoconference from Soldotna High School forum to: Cooper Landing; Homer Flex; Hope School; Moose Pass; Nanwalek; Ninilchik; Port Graham; Sterling Elementary; Susan B. English; Tebughna; and Tustumena schools



Be informed so you can advocate for the 2019-2020 school district budget which will define opportunities and offerings in August, 2019.

“Our annual budget is one of the most important things we do each year, and it’s more important than ever with the potential funding cuts we face,” said Dave Jones, assistant superintendent of instructional support. “We want to give our parents, staff, students, and community members a chance to learn about our budget, participate in the process, and ask questions.”


“Over the past several years the district has been able to gather valuable feedback and input through the budget development process,” said Sean Dusek, superindent. “This year will be especially important as we work to become more efficient while maintaining our priority of small class sizes. We look forward to community participation in the process, especially as the State and Borough deal with economic issues that directly impact school funding.”


Action ideas

  1. Attend a community budget forum; KPBSD school site council meeting, school board meeting; Borough Assembly meeting; Alaska legislative opportunities with elected officials
  2. Communicate with your school, friends, neighbors, legislators, and elected officials
  3. View short videos and documents located on the KPBSD Finance Department webpage


If the future success for our KPBSD K-12 students depends 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.

2019_02_14_State Budget cut 20.5 million


KPBSD Graduate Inspiration: Joel Isaak, Skyview High School #ClassOf2007

Joel Isaak Skyview 2007

Joel Isaak, Skyview High School, Class of 2007, is a practicing artist, currently enrolled in an Indigenous Studies doctorate degree program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and the Tribal Liaison for the State of Alaska Department of Education and Early Learning. Isaak says,

“I want to keep growing in learning my Dena’ina people’s language. I love spending time with elders learning language and material culture and passing it on to future generations.”

When he reflects on a message to younger students, or his younger self, he offers:


“Find quality people and focus your energy on working with them. Don’t let negativity or people who are trying to bring you down stop you from working hard towards your goals. Never put an age limit on friendship.”


Following his 2007 graduation from the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, he was awarded a Bachelors of Fine Arts Sculpture from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and Masters of Fine Arts in Sculpture from Alfred University in New York.

A man with exceptional talents and kind insightful eyes, Joel said, “I would spend hours of time in the art studio after school when I was in high school. This was a safe space for me to learn, do homework, and develop my artistic skill. I had fantastic art teachers. I began my undergraduate studies pursuing a chemistry degree. After several car accidents, I was no longer able to do lab work. I had a friend mentor who encouraged me to pursue art. I still have to be careful with the physical repercussions of my injuries but I am able to work prolifically in sculpture.” His art is truly fantastic; view the video featuring Joel: Fins of Fashion: The Alaskan Artist Creating Salmon Skin Stilettos, and visit his website at

Shout-out to special teachers
“Teachers inspired me to follow my career path. I now work in education and I had some amazing teachers in my K-12 and university studies. These teachers became mentors to me and encouraged me to learn and explore a diverse range of studies. I would like to thank several of my teachers from my high school years—they provided safe classroom space for me in school when I was going through a lot. Thank you to David Schmidt and Clark Fair for letting me eat lunch in their classrooms on a regular basis, Teri Zoph-Schoessler, and all of my art teachers at Skyview.”

“I am passionate about developing an educational model that addresses the clashing of European colonialism with indigenous peoples. Fundamental to healing this rift is stemming the loss indigenous languages and treating all people with respect. This need is evidence by the staggering history of abuse of women that needs to stop. I hope that my art and working to educate can help bring awareness and change in a positive direction.”

–Joel Isaak, Skyview High School Class of 2007

Today his home is back on the Kenai Peninsula, he works with DEED, creates meaningful art, and continues to pursue life with purpose and passion.

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

info: Governor Michael J. Dunleavy’s FY20 amended budget

February 13, 2019 Communication to KPBSD staff and Key Communicators:

Today Governor Michael J. Dunleavy released an amended FY20 budget with a significant reduction to education funding. The budget documentation made available to this point does not give us the detail we need to determine the amounts specific to our district.

We are communicating with the Department of Education, and are hearing the cut will come from under-funding K-12 Education Foundation Formula, not reducing the Base Student Allocation (BSA) value as some media is reporting. This is significant to us because of the way the BSA corresponds to the minimum and maximum range the Borough can contribute to K-12 education. In contrast, under-funding the foundation formula and keeping the BSA intact would not reduce the range the Borough can fund to education.

In the next two days, we expect to provide you accurate information for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District. It is important to remember that this is the start of a process that will also proceed through the Senate and House. We ask the public to focus on the future they value and want to build in Alaska, and communicate that to family, friends, coworkers, and especially our elected officials in local, state, and national government.

As soon as we have details, we will share accurate facts about the Governor’s FY20 amended budget and the potential reduction in revenue impact to KPBSD’s FY20 budget.

link: The Legislature and KPBSD

8 KPBSD schools MAP 2016

*How-to understand funding

  • PDF and  Video: FY19 KPB Revenue
  • PDF and  Video: FY19 Foundation Formula

The Foundation Formula is the funding mechanism for K-12 education and has many steps in it. Included in the Foundation Formula is the BSA – Base Student Allocation that is a fixed amount every year. A tricky part to understand school funding and a cut is that two ways exist for reductions or increases, and one impacts the local required minimum and maximum allowable amount the Borough can contribute, the other does not.

The legislature can under-fund the Foundation Formula, or change the BSA amount. When only the Foundation Formula is under-funded, it doesn’t affect a borough or municipality contribution to K-12 education. The local (Borough) contribution is tied to the BSA fixed amount to determine the required minimum contribution and maximum allowable contribution to schools, and so if the BSA changes (decrease or increase) it also creates an adjustment percentage to the required minimum contribution and maximum range the Borough can contribute to education funding.

Posted in Key Communicators by Pegge. No Comments

KPBSD hiring Superintendent of Schools

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Soldotna, February 13, 2019–The Board of Education of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District (KPBSD) is searching for a superintendent; applications are open until March 15, 2019. The Board of Education accepted Superintendent Dusek’s retirement in January, and approved the search for a new superintendent to open during their February 11, 2019, board meeting. The detailed position description and application details are online at


The successful candidate will have outstanding educational leadership and advocacy skills. They will possess and demonstrate a strong background in improving student learning in a culturally responsive and student-centered approach. The board is especially interested in a leader with high integrity who has proven experience as an effective educational administrator and school system leader. The preferred candidate should have demonstrated expertise in school district finance and budget management, human resources and effective curriculum and instruction implementation. The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is perhaps one of the most diverse districts in the state regarding community size, ethnicity, and religious composition.


Application and Timetable

The Association of Alaska School Boards (AASB) is facilitating the search. The following is the timetable the Board has established for the superintendent search:


Application deadline:                           March 15, 2019 (midnight)

Selection of Finalists:                            March 21, 2019
Onsite Interviews with the Board:          April 4 (Alternate date is April 11th if needed)

Employment begins:                              July 1, 2019

Application Materials should be sent to:

[Digital submission of materials is highly desired, preferably as PDF files.]

Association of Alaska School Boards
1111 W. 9th St., Juneau, Alaska 99801
Phone: (907) 586-1083


The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is one of the top performing districts in the state of Alaska encompassing 21 communities within 25,600 square miles and serves nearly 9,000 students. Four of the district’s schools are accessible only by water or air; one by hiking or all-terrain vehicle. Each school day, more than 2,700 students are transported a total of 7,200 miles on school buses throughout the District.



8 KPBSD schools MAP 2016

KPBSD Inspiration, Stephanie Queen, Kenai Central High School #ClassOf2000

KPBSD Inspiration, Stephanie (Arbelovsky) Queen, Kenai Central High School Class of 2000, Soldotna City Manager

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“Use your energy and talents to make our community better. One of the best things about living in a small community is the chance to make a real difference, and to be supported by a close-knit community around you. Take advantage of that support: find a mentor, ask someone you look up to if you can learn from them or help out on a project. I think you’ll be surprised by the response you get. We’re all rooting for you to succeed, and will help where we can.”
–Stephanie Queen, KCHS graduate, Soldotna City Manager

An athlete at Kenai Central High School, Stephanie (Arbelovsky) Queen started her early learning at Kenai Co-op preschool, followed by Sears Elementary, Mountain View Elementary, Kenai Middle School, and she graduated from Kenai Central High School in 2000. Then she earned both a Bachelor and Master degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. Returning to Alaska and the Kenai Peninsula, she is now the Soldotna City Manager.

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Favorite spots in Soldotna growing up
Although she was a Kenai resident and graduate, Queen has a few early Soldotna memories which include birthday parties at the roller rink (with the giant fuzzy dice and the limbo stick), and going to the Soldotna Airport for dog sled races and to watch the model airplane club fly their planes.


Fast forward 20+ years
Now serving as Soldotna City Manager, Queen explains, “Part of the City’s economic development strategy over the past several years has been incremental investment in our downtown, and this is a priority I would like to continue to pursue into the future. We started with ‘low-hanging fruit’ such as new highway banners, park signs, and landscaping improvements. And we supported and encouraged events that bring people to Soldotna Creek Park and commercial core.

One of the things I really appreciate about Soldotna, is how engaged our residents are. We’ve figured out how to work together across public, private, and non-profit lines, to move big projects forward. This has allowed us to accomplish several of the community’s long-standing goals; something we would not have been able to do without strong partnerships.

I really value our community’s entrepreneurial spirit. It is true in the traditional sense, of people investing in and starting new businesses. However, it is also true in the many events, races, festivals, markets, and concerts that people are creating, which provide more opportunities and new things to do in our area. It’s great to be part of a community that rewards creativity, and supports people who are willing to invest their time and talents to build something new.

We now have an opportunity to explore more significant–although complex–redevelopment concepts, particularly along the portions of our downtown that border the Kenai River.”

“My goal is to work closely with private land owners to plan for future infrastructure and developments, which not only add value to their property and benefit surrounding businesses, but also provide a more attractive downtown that is well-connected to the rest of the community.”


Everyday celebrations
“I get to work with great people, who are dedicated and skilled at what they do. We share a sense of pride in serving the public, and enjoy working together to make decisions that improve people’s lives. Our City is very fortunate in the quality of employees and leaders who have chosen to work here, and that is my favorite part of this job.”


  • Stephanie (Arbelovsky) Queen, Kenai Central High School Class of 2000 Part 4 of 4
    City Manager, City of Soldotna

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

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Stephanie Queen KCHS Class of 2000

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KPBSD Health Care Plan Information

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District (KPBSD) provides health insurance to its employees through a self-insured model with two options: Traditional Plan or a High Deductible Plan (HDHP).

Each plan’s total costs for medical, dental, and vision claims, along with administrative and stop loss expenses, are split between the District and the plan participants according to a formula set forth in the negotiated agreement between KPBSD and employee bargaining groups.

School Districts 2018-2019 health care plan contribution per participating teacher, per year in
Kenai, Juneau, Fairbanks, Anchorage, and Mat-Su
The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District (KPBSD) contributions to provide health insurance to KPEA members (teachers) is compared to Juneau Education Association (teachers), Fairbanks North Star Borough School District (teachers), Anchorage Education Association (AEA) members, and Matanuska-Susitna Education Association (MSEA) members as paid by their respective districts.
2019_01_11_School District Annual Health Care Contributions per Teacher flyer FINAL
The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District (KPBSD) contributions to provide health insurance to KPESA members (support staff) is compared to support staff (classified employees) in Juneau School District; Fairbanks North Star Borough School District; Matanuska-Susitna School District; and four groups of employees in Anchorage School District as paid annually by their respective districts.
2019_02_School District Annual Health Care Contributions per SUPPORT STAFF flyer


Health Care and Bargaining in KPBSD

Public Education Health Trust (PEHT) cost for KPBSD

During 2018 bargaining, at the request of the KPEA and KPESA, premium quotes were obtained from the PEHT (formerly known as the NEA-Alaska Health Trust.)

  • KPBSD provided PEHT with requested health care claims and other data. The PEHT consultant, AON Risk Services, provided premium quotes to KPBSD on October 25, 2018. The proposed PEHT rates included “a load of 45% to the medical rates.” This reflects the high utilization of medical services by current KPBSD plan participants.


  • To switch to PEHT, the only option for KPBSD participation would have been a 4-tier rate structure. Instead of the same monthly premium (composite rate) for each employee, the monthly premium would be differentiated: single employee; employee + spouse; employee + child(ren); and employee + spouse + child(ren).

After receiving this quote and 4-tier rate information from AON Risk Services, neither the District, KPEA, or KPESA proposed health insurance through the PEHT.

Public Education Health Trust (PEHT) Proposal:

Two-Hour Delay start, central peninsula schools only


in order to allow crews additional time to clear roads from heavy snowfall and to ensure safe travel.

A full closure is not anticipated, however, if it is determined a full closure is needed, that announcement will be made by about  7:00 AM. If nothing is posted, proceed with the two-hour delay start.

Central Peninsula Schools
• Aurora Borealis Charter School
• Kaleidoscope Charter School
• K-Beach Elementary School
• Kenai Alternative School
• Kenai Central High School
• Kenai Middle School
• Mountain View Elementary School
• Nikiski Middle-High School
• Nikiski North Star Elementary School
• Redoubt Elementary School
• River City Academy
• Skyview Middle School
• Soldotna Elementary School
• Soldotna High School
• Soldotna Montessori School
• Soldotna Prep
• Sterling Elementary School
• Tustumena Elementary School

All other KPBSD schools, including Ninilchik School, will start on a normal schedule Monday, February 4, 2019.

Parents and guardians, if you decide, based on conditions near you, that you will keep your child at home, absences will be excused.

*A two hour delay means that buses run two hours later than normal, school begins two hours later than normal, and staff arrives at school two hours later than normal.


2019_02_04 Two Hour Delay starrt


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KPBSD Inspiration: Paul Ostrander, Soldotna High School #ClassOf1986

KPBSD Inspiration, Paul Ostrander, Soldotna High School Class of 1986, Kenai City Manager

“Fight against the part of you that questions your potential. Your self-doubt is the single biggest hurdle to your success in life. Belief in yourself will lead to others believing in you.” –Paul Ostrander, Soldotna High School Class of 1986


Paul Ostrander Soldotna High Class of 1986 s

Ostrander is a familiar name in Kenai and Soldotna—Paul is now the city manager—and the entire state roots for his daughter Allie, a long-distance runner and graduate from Kenai Central High School. However, about his childhood, Paul explains, “I grew up in Kenai, Alaska, but my mom taught at Soldotna Elementary so I always rode to school with her during my days at Soldotna Elementary where I established friendships that continued in the Soldotna schools through graduation.” After attending Soldotna Elementary, Soldotna Junior High, and Soldotna High School, he earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Montana State University and a Teaching Certificate from University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA). Now you will find Paul at the helm of the city of Kenai, working as the city manager. Here’s an inspiration: three of the largest cities on the Kenai Peninsula all have KPBSD graduates working everyday as their respective city managers now!

In his words…

The Great Outdoors
As a kid, I rode my bike all over town every summer growing up, hanging out at the mall, on the beach, or off-roading on the trails north of town, but my favorite spot was on the Kenai River. I spent hundreds, if not thousands of hours fishing the Kenai River, mostly in the slough directly above Eagle Rock boat launch. It was a short walk from the house I grew up in, giving me the freedom to get there as a kid without help from mom and dad.

Early learning
I had the same teacher for both first and third grade at Soldotna Elementary—Mrs. Doris Brewer. She was an amazing educator, but beyond that, she helped shape the character of her students in impressive ways. She taught me that every day you should strive to meet your very highest standard. She was consistent, fair, and had high expectations. Traits she helped instill in me at a young age and that I aspire to meet and emulate to this day.
I still love to fish and hike. Doing just about anything with my wife, Teri, and daughters, Taylor and Allie, qualifies as my favorite things. We all love the outdoors and our fondest memories are from time spent enjoying many of the amazing opportunities that Alaska has to offer.”

Paul Ostrander-2What separates Kenai is its heart.
I never know what challenges I might face on any given workday. A city manager has a unique opportunity to learn more about what makes a city unique, and working to engage residents and employees toward what matters most to the community we live in is a challenge that is both exciting and rewarding.

Kenai has a diverse history and residents are ardent in their support of their hometown. When people talk about living in Kenai, whether talking about fishing the river or family time on the beach, you can sense the pride they have in our natural resources and community.

The statement that, it’s the best place to live in the world, is heard often, and meant wholeheartedly.

Project Top Priority

The City of Kenai has been pursuing the Bluff Stabilization Project for the better part of 40 years, and for the first time in our history, the project is ready to become a reality. It will stabilize approximately one mile of river bluff fronting Old Town Kenai. A stable bluff will protect the original part of Kenai–the heart of our City. I am excited to see this project begin and stimulate other projects that explore Kenai’s tremendous potential.

What advice would you give to young people today? “Fight against the part of you that questions your potential. Your self-doubt is the single biggest hurdle to your success in life. Belief in yourself will lead to others believing in you.”


  • Stephanie (Arbelovsky) Queen, Kenai Central High School Class of 2000
    City Manager, City of Soldotna

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

City Manager Profile