Winter Music Programs

Celebrate what is right in the world, and treat yourself—attend or watch a school music concert or play!

Programs are at school location unless otherwise noted, and some will be prerecorded and shared with families via school websites or social media. Some schools have more than one program, and so the location may vary by date.

Music Lineup

  • Aurora Borealis Charter School – December 14, 6:00 p.m., Soldotna Creek Park
  • Chapman School – December 10, 1:45 p.m., Grades K-4; December 14, 7:00 p.m., Grades 5-8
  • Cooper Landing School – Virtual Event (Recorded) – Available by December 17
  • Homer High School – December 13, 7:00 p.m., Winter Concert, Mariner Theater
  • Homer High School – December 16, 7:00 p.m., Candlelight Carols & Desserts, Mariner Theater
  • Homer Middle School – December 9, 7:00 p.m., Winter Concert, Homer High School Mariner Theater
  • K-Beach Elementary School – Winter Program Virtual Event (Recorded)
  • Kaleidoscope School of Arts & Science Charter School – Winter Program Virtual Event (Recorded)
  • Kaleidoscope School of Arts & Science Charter School – n/a for band this year.
  • Kenai Central High School – December 2, 7:00 p.m., Dessert Auction and Holiday Concert featuring the KMS and KCHS Bands
  • Kenai Central High School – December 12, 3:00 p.m., Holiday Choir Concert
  • Kenai Middle School – December 2, 7:00 p.m., Dessert Auction and Holiday Concert featuring the KMS and KCHS Bands
  • Kenai Middle School – December 14, 7:00 p.m.. Holiday Choir Concert, KCHS auditorium
  • McNeil Canyon Elementary School – December 8, 6:30 p.m., Grades 4-6 Band and Winter Program; December 9, 6:30 p.m., K-3 Winter Program
  • Mountain View Elementary School – December 16, 6:30 p.m., Livestream Sing-Along (online)
  • Nanwalek School – December 22, 1:00 p.m., Nanwalek Christmas Program
  • Nikiski Middle-High School – December 14, 7:00 p.m., Winter Concert, school auditorium
  • Nikiski North Star Elementary School – Winter Program Virtual Event (Recorded)
  • Port Graham School – December 22, 6:00 p.m., Winter Program
  • Redoubt Elementary School – Winter Program Virtual Event (Recorded)
  • Seward Middle School – Winter Program Virtual Event (Recorded) available by December 14
  • Soldotna Elementary School – December 7, 6:00 p.m., Choir Concert (SOEL and SMCS), Soldotna Elementary gym
  • Soldotna High School – December 9, 7:00 p.m., Holiday Band & Choir Concert, Soldotna High auditorium
  • Soldotna Montessori Charter School – December 16, 6:00 p.m., Winter Concert Grades K-6, Soldotna High auditorium
  • Soldotna Montessori Charter School – December 7, 6:00 p.m., Choir Concert (SOEL and SMCS), Soldotna Elementary gym
  • Susan B. English School – December 9, 3:00 p.m., Grades K-2 Open Air Holiday Concert, Main Entrance Parking Lot
  • Tebughna School – Winter Program (recorded) available by December 14, and shared on school social media
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KPBSD Migrant Education Program youth trip to Washington D.C.

The KPBSD Migrant Education Program went on a long-awaited trip to Washington D.C. through the Close Up program. The trip was sponsored by Title I-C (Migrant Education), and gave 14 migrant students from the Kenai Peninsula an opportunity to have an academic experience, while learning life skills and forming new relationships. Our migrant specialists chaperoned the trip and noted incredible personal growth from each student as the week progressed. In fact, the group of students is eagerly planning a get together in December to continue developing their relationships that were formed through the trip.

Close Up

Originally scheduled for the spring of 2020 but postponed due to pandemic travel restrictions, the students were finally able to attend in November of 2021. Close Up is an incredible student travel experience that allows students to visit our nation’s capital, meet congressional representatives, and see numerous historical sites. From the moment they landed in Washington D.C., their days and evenings were packed full of learning and new experiences. Highlights from the trip include: meeting Congressman Don Young, Senator Dan Sullivan, and one of Senator Lisa Murkowski’s aides—Brian Dusek—who talked a lot with the participants, and is a Soldotna High School Class of 2017 graduate!

History

Experiencing history through a new perspective, the focus for Washington D.C. trips has been the inclusion of women and people of color in American History. Sitting on the steps of Capital Building and learning about our government in action, and visiting historical landmarks like the Washington Monument, Mount Vernon, Historic Williamsburg, along with the Lincoln Memorial and many others.

Curiosity and Inquiry

Students were overheard wondering why certain people and wars get memorials, asking critical thinking questions about who has access to our countries history, along with the exclamation of awe when they were actually standing next to the Washington Monument. Many students wanted more time in the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and enjoyed learning in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

Students came back to Alaska eager for new opportunities and excited to continue learning. This type of experience that weaves academic, life skills, and engagement together is incredible for student success. We are so happy that we could make this experience possible!

From Senator Dan Sullivan’s November 29, 2021, social media post:

“It’s always the highlight of my day when I get to meet with young Alaskans. I welcomed a group of students from the Kenai Peninsula visiting our nation’s capital with the Close Up Program. It was great to take some questions and hear about their goals and plans for the future.”

Student Voice

“After high school, I still don’t know what I’ll be doing, but after DC, I know there are so many opportunities I can do. I’ve always loved meeting new people and trying new things, But Washington D.C is something I could have never imagined.” –Clavdia Kulikov

Story contributed by Jessica Scogin, KPBSD Federal Programs Coordinator

Photos provided by Jessica Scogin, and Senator Dan Sullivan’s Facebook page post

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Homer High School student earns perfect score on AP computer science test

Spencer Kuan Co, now a sophomore at Homer High School, is one of only a couple hundred people worldwide to receive not just a score of 5 on the AP Computer Science exam, but also received every point possible on the test, putting him in the top .29% of people who took the test!

A long time KPBSD student, Spencer attended Fireweed Academy, and Homer Middle School. He is definitely on track to graduate from Homer High School with the Class of 2024.

What sparked an interest in [computer] science?

I’ve been interested in mathematics and engineering for a large portion of my life. I used to tinker a considerable amount with small motors and wires, and try to create little cars and machines. To me, creating something that can move or do something of its own volition is instantly rewarding. Computer science, and coding specifically, seemed like a natural extension of that. I became especially engrossed in coding after taking the programming courses on Khan Academy a few years ago. Once the pandemic hit, I found I had a large amount of time to myself, and I decided to use some of that time to further my programming abilities.

“It’s really rewarding to know that the time and commitment I put into studying computer science was recognized in some regard. Still, my perfect score was in a way simply a matter of chance. I’m sure that other students could have achieved the same, but had only missed a few questions.”

To me, creating something that can move or do something of its own volition is instantly rewarding. Computer science, and coding specifically, seemed like a natural extension of that.

-Spencer Co

Thank you…

I would like to thank Mr. Spurkland, who was my Computer Science teacher at the time, for a large part of this honor. I went into his class with prior knowledge that covered many of the actual computing topics that were taught in the class. He understood this, and challenged me to go beyond the assignments, which forced me to continue to grow and develop. I could have left a similar class with little more than I knew beforehand, but instead the class served as a great opportunity to learn many new things.

Play and fun


I am an avid programmer. 3D graphics are particularly satisfying to research and create, and I enjoy making interesting programs that expand my understanding of mathematics. Aside from that, when I’m not doing schoolwork, I like to read, play with my dog, and of course hang out with friends. Additionally, I debate on the school’s Drama, Debate, and Forensics (DDF) team, which takes up a fair portion of time. I hope to be able to get out and do some skiing this winter. My favorite book is The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin, which is a really thought-provoking science fiction novel, and the first of a wonderful trilogy.

My advice to others is to simply stick with and study the topics that really interest them, because it often pays off in the end.

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Close Contact: Monitor, Test, and Stay

Monitor, Test, and Stay Protocol

Staff and students who are identified as a close contact have an option to continue attending school or work in a KPBSD school if they are symptom free from illness, and follow the new KPBSD Monitor, Test, and Stay Protocols.

Beginning Monday, November 29, 2021, staff and students who choose this option to stay at work or school need to wear a face covering for 14 days, test and have two negative COVID-19 test results (first day and day 5-7), and remain symptom free from illness.

MONITOR
Be symptom free from illness (asymptomatic) through Day 14, and isolate at home if symptoms develop

TEST
Two negative COVID-19 tests: Get an approved Covid-19 test on Day 1 or the first day of return to school, and a second test during Day 5-7. Covid-19 tests can be administered by KPBSD but will require parental consent

STAY
Wear a face covering in school at all times through Day 14. When close contacts cannot wear a face covering (i.e., when eating or drinking) they should maintain a minimum of 3 feet of distance from other individuals to every extent possible

Athletes: In addition to the above three protocols, to continue to participate in school sponsored co-curricular activities athletes must also continue Daily Symptom Check Protocols.

Unvaccinated close contacts should quarantine when not attending school or KPBSD sponsored activities.

When a student or staff member is identified as a close contact in a KPBSD setting, the school nurse, principal, or person who calls will explain the Monitor, Test, and Stay option. Staff and students who choose this option must do all three things—Monitor, Test, and Stay with face covering.

Close contacts with no symptoms of illness may also choose to follow CDC and State of Alaska reduced quarantine guidance:

  • Stay home and test Day 5-7, return to school on Day 8, and wear a mask at school through Day 14
  • Stay home through Day 10, return to school on Day 11, and wear a mask at school through Day 14

Message from Superintendent Clayton Holland

November 24, 2021

Dear KPBSD staff, students, and families,

The KPBSD has revised its protocols for close contact tracing and quarantine in response to the needs of our staff, students, families and communities. Students and staff who are identified as close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 positive individuals and who remain asymptomatic will not be required to quarantine and can attend school and school sponsored activities by following the new KPBSD Monitor, Test, and Stay Protocol.

Beginning Monday, November 29, 2021, staff and students will now have the option to stay in school if they wear a face covering for 14 days, test and have two negative COVID-19 test results (first day and day 5-7), and remain symptom free.

This change in protocol was developed after conversations and review of what other school districts in the state and nation are beginning to implement. In KPBSD, data shows close contacts at school led to very few additional cases within 14 days (less than 6%), and the determination that the existing plan put an undue burden on staff and parents, and led to too many students missing school. Additionally, we know that quarantining from school has not kept children from participating together in other non-KPBSD activities. We have had good success in the past two weeks piloting this process with nearly 100 students and staff in three schools. It will be important that we maintain integrity with our existing layered mitigation plans so that we limit the number of students and staff going through a close contact process.

In addition to free testing at schools, KPBSD is making available at-home COVID-19 tests that will be free for staff and families. At this time, any staff member who is concerned they may have been exposed to COVID-19, or who has symptoms, will be able to take home a test kit. These tests are available now for staff, and we hope to have enough supplies to offer these to any family that would like them by the time winter break begins. We are working with Soldotna Professional Pharmacy to provide free off campus testing by appointment for our staff and families, and have reached out to other providers to see if we can partner to offer free off campus testing in other locations across the Kenai Peninsula.

Clayton Holland,
Superintendent of Schools
Kenai Peninsula Borough School District

LINKS

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Kenai leader named Alaska 2022 Assistant Principal of the Year

The Alaska Association of Secondary School Principals (AASSP) named Kenai Central High School Assistant Principal Will Chervenak the 2022 State of Alaska Assistant Principal of the Year!

Previously on November 8, 2021, a KPBSD story featured Mr. Chervenak’s recognition as the 2022 Region III Assistant Principal of the Year. Read the KPBSD story and learn more about Mr. Chervenak and that honor.

From the AASSP, November 15, 2021, news release announcing the 2022 Alaska Assistant Principal of the Year:

AASSP President and 2021 Alaska Principal of Year, Robin Jones said, “Will Chervenak is an extraordinary leader who has moved mountains to create a school culture where students and staff thrive, and it is our distinct privilege to announce him as the 2022 Alaska Assistant Principal of Year!”

Chervenak has been with the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District (KPBSD) for six years and Assistant Principal at Kenai Central High School for the last three years.

“Mr. Chervenak has a continual growth mindset. He always seeks to find ways to improve and thereby become even more effective at positively impacting students. He is supportive of staff, and he seeks to include their voice on decisions made at the site level.” 

Clayton Holland, KPBSD Superintendent of Schools

Sharing how he has continued to grow as a leader despite a pandemic, Chervenak said, “I have pushed myself to improve my professional practice and have taken a new approach to student discipline, focusing on restorative justice and building positive relationships.” This year Chervenak has facilitated the N.O.T. (Not On Tobacco) youth cessation program as part of this new approach. N.O.T focuses on tobacco product education and cessation, providing an alternative to out-of-school suspension for students found using tobacco products at school. He shared that he will continue to learn and advocate for response to intervention best practices techniques to bring back to his school. 

Kenai Central High School Principal Dan Beck shared his excitement about Chervenak’s recognition saying, “It has been a pleasure to join Will Chervenak on the administrative team at Kenai Central High School this year. He is a true advocate for our community and school.”

Chervenak said the success of Kenai Central High School comes from the dedication and leadership of everyone on staff, “I am very proud of the culture that exists at my school. We are focused on student voice and providing a student-centered curriculum that is further supported by the personalized learning framework.”

“Will is motivated to serve the community, specifically students, which makes him an effective educator,” said Peter Gundunas, Resource Teacher at Kenai Central High School. He taught with Chervenak for four years. 

Links

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Will Chervenak is Alaska Region III AP of the Year

Celebrate! Kenai Central High School Assistant Principal Will Chevernak is recognized as the 2022 Alaska Association of Secondary School Principals Region III Assistant Principal of the Year!

“Working with such an amazing staff is a true blessing and I feel very fortunate to have such strong support from my school and fellow administrators,” said Will Chervenak. “Going into work each day, knowing that I have the opportunity to be a positive influence in the lives of our kids, is more than I could ever ask for in a career. Recognition was never my motivation for making education my life’s work, and I am so appreciative that my efforts have had a positive impact on the Kenai community.”

Mr. Chervenak has a continual growth mindset. He always seeks to find ways to improve, and thereby become even more effective at having a positive impact on students.

-Superintendent Clayton Holland

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Superintendent Clayton Holland said, “Mr. Chervenak is an outstanding assistant principal and we are all thrilled that he has been named Region III Principal of the Year. Mr. Chervenak has a continual growth mindset. He always seeks to find ways to improve, and thereby become even more effective at having a positive impact on students. He is supportive of staff, and he seeks to include their voice on decisions made at the site level. Mr. Chervenak, along with Principal Dan Beck, have created a great culture that is supportive of students, staff, and families.”

Thoughts from Alaska Region III 2022 Assistant Principal of the Year, Mr. Will Chervenak, Kenai Central High School

In 2021…

“This year I have pushed myself to improve my professional practice and have taken a new approach to student discipline, focusing on restorative justice and building positive relationships. This is a shift from the more traditional disciplinary model of correcting student behavior punitively. Another skill set that I am building upon is facilitating the N.O.T. (Not On Tobacco) youth cessation program. This program focuses on tobacco product education, cessation, providing an alternative to out-of-school suspension for a student found to be using tobacco products at school. Further, my work on the school intervention team has allowed me the opportunity to advocate for response to intervention (RTI) best practices, and I look forward to the RTI Summit later this year in which I hope to improve my RTI acumen and bring those techniques back to my school.”  

School culture

“I am very proud of the culture that exists at Kenai Central High School. We are focused on student voice and providing a student-centered curriculum that is further supported by the personalized learning framework. I formed a committee to enhance our student-centered focus to fill the monthly calendar with positive activities for student. For example, during October we had Halloween-themed spirit days, a pumpkin carving contest, a Halloween hallway decorating class competition, hallway trick-or-treating, and an outdoor scary movie drive-in. I also had the opportunity to facilitate our annual community job shadow event. Current 11th graders are paired with local industries, participating in a quarter-long workshop that focuses on employability skills, resume building, interview protocols, and culminates in a full day job shadow experience in their identified career field.”

Education during a pandemic

“The global pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges for staff and students. These challenges were further compounded when my head principal was forced to leave for immediate and urgent health concerns. This led to an administrative restructuring in which I fulfilled the role of head principal for the entirety of second semester and was afforded the opportunity to bolster in-building capacity to promote another member of our certified administrative staff to assistant principal. During this challenging year, my assistant and I focused to provide staff a voice that they had not experienced before. This was made possible through the formation of a collaborative leadership team involving administration and department heads. The results were increased staff voice in the master schedule, building-level interventions, in-services, and addressing the immediate needs of both remote and in-person student learning. The distributed leadership model led to the formation of school-wide homerooms that focused on building trusting relationships with staff and students, as well as providing scaffolding for immediate academic and behavior interventions.”

Dr. Lisa S. Parady, Executive Director of ACSA/AASP said, “Congratulations—you are one of the best of the best in Alaska! We thank you for your continued commitment to Alaska’s students and congratulate you on being named your region’s Assistant Principal of the Year!” 

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Veterans Day 2021

Thursday, November 11, 2021
Veterans Day is a KPBSD school holiday*.

*calendar variance: Kachemak-Selo, Nanwalek, Port Graham, Razdolna, and Voznesenka schools are in session on November 11, 2021.

Many KPBSD schools make time near Veterans Day for celebrations, assemblies, and learning this week about the importance of Veterans Day.

Please offer thanksgiving and make time or remember a meaningful story about the people in your life who have served, or are serving in active duty.

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Let’s Get In GEAR

Let’s get in GEAR and celebrate KPBSD school psychologists every day, and especially during National School Psychology Week

Eleven school psychologists working in the KPBSD provide a range of services to support students’ academic achievement and social–emotional well-being. They collaborate with staff and students, provide suicide prevention classroom presentations, respond to critical incidents, provide feedback on district policies, assess individual students, participate in meetings with parents, and grow as professionals.

During the week of November 8–12, 2021, schools throughout the country will celebrate National School Psychology Week to highlight the important work school psychologists do to help students thrive. 

The 2021 theme is “Let’s Get in GEAR.” (Grow, Engage, Advocate, Rise). The theme’s acronym provides a challenge to grow personally and professionally. It encourages school psychologists to engage in best practices and advocate for children’s access to mental health and learning supports. To rise implies resilience and renewal despite the challenges of the past.

This has a particular resonance this year as we work to help students, families, and school staff emerge from the challenges of the past year and a half. When we get in gear, we move together. When one gear moves, the gears connected to it move as well. When we move together there is a positive synergy that builds and becomes greater than any single effort.

“As with all school-based professionals, we are most effective in our work through collaboration with other school staff, families, and members of the community. National School Psychology Week is part of an ongoing effort to improve collaboration and foster the common elements of a thriving school community in KPBSD to help all students grow and succeed. We are fully committed to working with you and the rest of the KPBSD’s staff to continue to energize and empower our students on a daily basis.” –Angie Nelson, KPBSD School Psychologist

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Kenai Peninsula Middle College School is up and running

Kenai Peninsula Middle College School

In the 2020-2021 school year, the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, through River City Academy (RCA), launched a middle college pilot program! The Kenai Peninsula Middle College School (KPMCS) is a partnership with Kenai Peninsula College (KPC) and creates a bridge between high school and college by providing eligible students the opportunity to exceed their high school academics through classes at KPC.

Tuition, books and fees are paid by KPBSD and students receive both high school and college credit while working toward their Associate of Arts degree and meeting their high school graduation requirements. Hosted through RCA, students benefit from the support of a collaborative learning environment, a cohort of middle college peers, and a structured mentoring program.

Twenty-one students from River City Academy, Soldotna High School, Kenai Central High School, and Nikolaevsk School joined the pilot in 2020, and earned more than 200 college credits. One family said that middle college, “provides access to more advanced classes for high school students. Additionally, it serves as an introduction into the college framework with extra support both at the college and at a local school.”

Class of 2021 Graduate plans

In the 2021-2022 school year, 35 students enrolled for the fall semester, and there is capacity for an additional 15 students to enroll in the second semester beginning in January 2022.

Fall 2021 Orientation at KPC

Learn more about the Kenai Peninsula Middle College School, https://kpbsd.org/schools/river-city-academy/kenai-peninsula-middle-college-school/

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Great Alaska Shakeout 10.21.21

Forty-two diverse schools in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District will participate in the Great Alaska ShakeOut “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” earthquake drill on October 21, 2021, at 10:21 a.m.
In addition, schools will conduct a radio check in conjunction with this drill.

To learn more, go to https://www.shakeout.org/alaska/

Read about safety protocols in the KPBSD

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