Message from our Superintendent
Dear ASD Community,

There are many great things happening across the District and much to celebrate this month.  It’s why I wanted February’s edition of ASD Connect to start off featuring some of those stories. 

One incredible story is a powerful one-on-one interview with Andrea Davis-Antoine, the daughter of Dr. Etheldra Davis, the first Black principal at ASD, in honor of Black History Month. This edition also highlights Career and Technical Education (CTE) Awareness Month, School Board Appreciation Month, National School Counseling Week, and School Resource Officer (SRO) Appreciation Day. Each of these provide crucial support to students, teachers, and families, with a common theme of helping students reach their full potential. 

All month we'll be sharing stories highlighting these amazing people making a difference in our schools and community. 

I feel energized and ready to double down on academic goals. In the coming months you’ll hear more on the District’s plan to shift all sixth graders to middle school. I’m working with my team to think through ways of providing time and additional support to our teachers, who are critical players in ensuring a successful transition. Teacher collaboration time looks different at each level. At the high school level we offer teacher collaboration time with a late start. At the middle school level we offer teacher collaboration time with a middle school model. I want to think through ways for elementary teachers to have opportunities to collaborate with their peers. In my view, that would be part of the strategy to meet our reading and math goals. 

Later this month I’m looking forward to presenting a balanced budget to the School Board. It was truly a team effort over the past six months to get to this point. The School Board must approve the FY24 budget by February 21st. That also means FY25 planning is right around the corner. It remains to be seen what will happen in Juneau, but in the absence of some sort of structural reform, such as a Base Student Allocation (BSA) increase, our deficit will grow from what it was this past year. Even if the legislature provided generous one-time funds it would be difficult to restore services that have been cut over the years, as the bulk of the District’s expenditures are recurring costs- our people. As I begin my own advocacy work for ASD, I hear over and over again from some that this session is about school districts “asking for more money.” I want to be clear- the districts around the state are not asking for more money. We are asking that systematic flat funding, which are cuts, are finally addressed after seven years, in the wake of chronically declining academic performance across the state.

I love living in our great 49th state, but frankly it’s time to ascend from being ranked 49th on so many academic outcomes and start becoming the leader in the country for educating students. Cuts to education aren’t working, and this is a window of opportunity to make it right. In partnership with State leaders we can set Alaska up for success by doubling down on a commitment to ensure that our schools are great. 

We have a busy and exciting month ahead. Be sure to reference the Snow Days Makeup plan hot topics page for information on the instructional days that have been added back to the school calendar in February. With snow-pocalypse behind us- let us forge ahead in achieving academic success for all students. 

Jharrett Bryantt, Ed.D.
Anchorage School District
School Counselors: Helping Students Dream Big
February sixth through the tenth is National School Counseling Week. During this week we would like to share with our community the unique contribution of ASD school counselors and how students are different as a result of what school counselors do.

National School Counseling Week highlights the tremendous impact school counselors can have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career.
ASD Celebrates SRO Appreciation Day
ASD recognizes the valuable work of our School Resource Officers (SROs) every day and during National School Resource Officer Appreciation Day on February 15. These officers fill a three-part role, serving as informal mentors or counselors, law educators, and law enforcement officers to support the students and communities they serve.
Career and Technical Education is something to celebrate!
February is College and Technical Education (CTE) Awareness Month. ASD offers CTE industry clusters and career pathways at each comprehensive high school and at King Tech High School.  

CTE offers rigorous, cutting edge and relevant courses preparing youth for a variety of high-wage, high-skill and high-demand careers. Students enrolling in CTE courses can choose from a variety of pathway options.
CTE strives to continuously improve and grow programs to meet the changing needs of our community, our state and our nation.
ASD Recognizes School Board Appreciation Month
The Association of Alaska School Boards Board of Directors has declared February to be School Board Appreciation Month. The goal is to build awareness and understanding in our community and schools of the crucial function an elected school board plays in a representative democracy.

As citizen advocates, individual board members face a complex, and often a demanding job, yet few people fully understand the scope and far-reaching implications of board members' responsibilities.
ASD recognizes the important contributions of our school board members.
Eagle River High School student selected for United States Senate Youth Program
The United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) announced last month that Eagle River High School student Jasmine Elizabeth Trotter will join Senator Lisa Murkowski and Senator Daniel Sullivan in representing Alaska during the 61st annual USSYP Washington Week, to be held March 4 — 11.

Trotter was selected from among the state’s top student leaders to be part of the 104 national student delegation. Each delegate will also receive a $10,000 college scholarship for undergraduate study.

Each year this extremely competitive merit-based program provides the most outstanding high school students - two from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity - with an intensive week-long study of the federal government and the people who lead it.

Congratulations, Jasmine!
Congrats Battle of the Books participants!
ASD students grades 3rd through 6th gathered at West High School the week of January 30 to compete in the District-level of the Battle of the Books competition. Hundreds of students, coaches, parents, and coordinators came together to make this event happen that promotes reading and reading comprehension. This year's competition had the students reading 12 books chosen by librarians from across the state.
Keeping the glasses on: A Black history month conversation
Dr. Etheldra Davis was the first Black teacher and principal in Alaska and the Anchorage School District (ASD), taking the helm at Fairview Elementary School in 1969. Dr. Davis passed away at the age of 89 in 2020. Two years later, Fairview Elementary School was renamed Dr. Etheldra Davis Fairview Elementary School in her honor.
To celebrate Black History Month, Team ASD sat down for a conversation with Andrea Davis-Antoine, the daughter of the late Dr. Davis. She joined us around a table in the ASD Education Center with a binder full of family photos and newspaper clippings. Andrea was ready to share stories of her mother’s legacy from her own perspective, and also through stories her mother passed down to her.
Team ASD: Where should we begin?
Andrea: This picture was from when she got her master’s in education. She graduated from The University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). She lived in Anchorage, so she had to travel to Fairbanks for the ceremony. She had problems finding a hotel. She said that there were a lot of racial undertones- actually it wasn’t even undertones, it was blatant. A hotel would have a vacancy and then it didn’t have a vacancy. She ended up staying with a friend. When she got to the graduation, she said she felt isolated. This picture depicts how she was feeling because she was standing out from the crowd. That picture has a deep meaning to our family.
That was before she was appointed to principal.
Team ASD: When did she become a principal?
Andrea: She was the assistant principal at Willow Crest and then became principal at Fairview. She was technically the first Black assistant principal and that was at Willow Crest in 1968 and then she was appointed as principal at Fairview in 1969.
Team ASD: What brought your family to Alaska?
Andrea: We have always been a family of entrepreneurs. My grandfather had a hardware store, other family members started a restaurant, and painting and construction businesses, which is how my uncles came to Alaska. My uncles and my mom’s first cousin came here in the early 50s. Then my mom came to visit and basically never left. She transferred her teaching credentials to Alaska and was hired by ASD. She was going to go back to California but after the Watts Riots, she ended up staying in Alaska. She loved Alaska.
Team ASD: How old was your mom when she first came to Alaska?
Andrea: She was in her mid 20’s when she first came to Alaska in 1957. What she liked about Anchorage it was calmer and less crime and people. A better way of life. The clean air. She loved the outdoors. She loved fishing, boating, and camping; we were in the middle of the wilderness all summer. 
Team ASD: Where did she live?

Andrea: In Mountain View and later moved to Nelchina Street in Fairview. At that time, we couldn’t live everywhere in Anchorage. You couldn’t just get a house or move into any apartment. There are still covenants on the books that prevented people of color from purchasing land or living in certain areas of Anchorage. She told me that she would knock on the door with a for rent sign only to have it slammed in her face by the landlord. There was a lot of racism during that time especially when it came to housing.
Team ASD: Where did she teach in Anchorage?
Andrea: She taught school at Government Hill, Wonder Park, Mountain View, and Denali and was appointed assistant principal at Willow Crest, and later principal at Fairview, Ptarmigan and John F. Kennedy.
Team ASD: What do you remember about your mother’s time as an educator?
Andrea: She was a strong advocate for education and mentored children and young adults. I remember there was always someone at our house. A lot of them later became teachers, principals and prominent in the community. Everyone knew her as “Thel.” She had a great sense of community.
You’ll notice every picture of my mother she had different glasses on! She loved fashion and glasses were her trademark. I remember an incident at Fairview Elementary in the principal’s office when a parent came in demanding to speak to the principal. When my mom stated that she was the principal could she help her, she became angry and was yelling at her, she then slapped her and her glasses fell onto the floor and broke the frames. I remember it like it was yesterday! The racial undertones were very real in Anchorage during that time, not everyone in Anchorage was accepting of a black woman principal, this was in the 1960’s.
Thus the importance of “glasses” has a profound meaning to her; not a lot of people knew this.
Team ASD: What was she like outside of school?
Andrea: My mom was a hard worker, very strong willed and spoke her mind. She was a great advocate for those that she felt were mistreated and often accompanied youth and adults to various meetings to try and resolve any disputes amicably. She was a “problem solver”. 
She desired to travel and took a trip around the world after she received her Masters’ degree. As a little girl I remember we had globes in every room! She went to 50 different countries in 30 some days. I stayed with my grandparents in Los Angeles and I remember she brought me a doll from every country she visited. This was a big deal at that time as she was on a group tour with 20+ other women, and was the only black on the tour; the Anchorage Times did a story about it.
After she got her masters’ degree and traveled, she started working with youth in the community. She created an organization called the United League of Girls and took a group of over 15 girls of all nationalities to Hawaii for two weeks. We’d have meetings at my house, birthday parties, and slumber parties. Our house was the community gathering place.
That brings me to why we created the Dr. Etheldra Davis Scholarship Foundation/Fund. That was always her dream to have a scholarship for youth. Not just those with a 4.0 GP, who had the resources to attend a prestigious college. She wanted it for youth who may or may have not graduated from high school; may have gotten their GED later or were still undecided what they wanted to do in life. That’s why the creation of the scholarship was so important. We used to talk about it every day before she passed away.
She worked with the NAACP and was integral in starting the youth programs. We traveled across the country from Seattle to St. Louis in 1978 for the first Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) competition. We traveled on a greyhound bus and you might think it would be a great experience, but it turned into a learning experience instead about how racial disparity was still very prevalent! We were not served at the restaurant stops and would have other people bring us food onto the bus because they wouldn’t serve us.
Left: Dr. Etheldra Davis at her desk at Fairview Elementary School, next to her mother on the right, Fannie Beatrice Sampson.
Team ASD: She seemed so driven. What motivated her?
Andrea: My grandparents were a great influence on her. My grandfather was a go-getter. He drove his 8 kids across the country from Mississippi to California in the 1940’s for a better life.
Team ASD: Tell us about her days after retirement.
Andrea: When she retired in 1980, we held a big retirement dinner with over 300 people from the community at the Elmendorf Officers Club. 
She loved Alaska and traveled extensively in her RV. She was interested in crime prevention. She worked hard and helped to co-found the Anchorage Neighborhood Watch. She was involved in community service with APD and volunteered in many other organizations.
She and my dad founded the Alaska coalition to prevent shoplifting and had offices in Anchorage and the Mat-Su valley. My dad was “McGruff the crime dog”. They would go around to the schools and had a great passion for helping youth in the community. Their goal was low recidivism and the program was very successful!
She served on a lot of different non-profit boards and was on the naming council for the Performing Arts Center.
She continued traveling all over including the Lower 48 and Europe. She visited Arizona and became a snowbird. She loved camping and was a member of the Good Sam and Black RV’ers association.
Dr. Davis paved the way for educators, students, and community members in Anchorage through her lifelong commitment to education, the wellbeing of children, and thriving communities. Follow ASD on social media at @ASDSchool as we highlight how our schools are learning and celebrating the history, culture, and achievements of Black Americans.
Above: Andrea Davis-Antoine, the daughter of Dr. Etheldra Davis, speaks at the podium at the renaming ceremony of Fairview Elementary School to Dr. Etheldra Davis Fairview Elementary School on May 11, 2022.
A reminder to families the snow days makeup days schedule will add 30 minutes to each school day through March 9. Other dates to note:

  • February 22nd and 23rd: Full instructional days in lieu of the scheduled parent-teacher conferences (Restores 1 day of instruction)
  • February 24th: Full instructional day. That would be in lieu of the professional development day (Restores 1 day of instruction)
Remote learning will play a central role in the District’s inclement weather strategy in the future.
For additional questions, please contact your school administrators.
Fiscal Year 2024 balanced budget to be presented this month
After months of surveys, town halls, public testimony, and discussions, the Anchorage School District Administration will present a FY23-24 budget based on guidance and recommendations from the School Board to balance the $48 million deficit.

The FY23-24 proposed budget will be presented during the Feb. 7 School Board meeting for the first reading, and it will then be an action item during the Feb. 21 School Board meeting.

Since 2017, ASD has received an increase of .5% from the State of Alaska (SOA) through the Base Student Allocation (BSA) formula. For more than seven years, inflation has reduced purchasing power to a level of approximately $80 million less than what the District could afford in 2017 in real dollars. This, coupled with a declining student enrollment in our city, continues to negatively impact ASD’s ability to maintain smaller class sizes to better address student learning.
Lottery opening rescheduled to Feb. 15
ASD offers additional schools or programs outside of the typical neighborhood school. The District utilizes a randomized lottery system to provide equal opportunity for all students who would like to participate in one of these alternative schools or programs. To participate in a school or program outside your child’s neighborhood school, a lottery application must be submitted during the following application windows:
  • February 15, 2023 – Lottery System will begin accepting applications for the 2023-24 school year
  • April 6, 2023 – Lottery closes for Applications at 5 p.m.
  • April 7, 2023 – Lottery Runs
  • April 14, 2023 – Parent Notifications of lottery results go out at 5 p.m.
King Tech High School teacher named Junior Achievement Alaska's educator of the year
Congratulations to King Tech High School Career & College Resources Coordinator Sean Schubert for being recognized by Junior Achievement of Alaska as their educator of the year.

Junior Achievement of Alaska is an organization that inspires and prepares young people to succeed. The inspiration piece comes from community volunteers who not only deliver our lessons, but share their experience.
Alaska’s News Source Meteorologist Melissa Frey recently visited the following schools to discuss the science of weather with ASD students:

Chinook Elementary School

Russian Jack Elementary School

Rogers Park Elementary School

Homestead Elementary
Browse ASD classroom projects currently in need of funding
The ASD Development and Grants Department is grateful for generous community members who support teachers, schools, and students. Did you know teachers promote new classroom projects that need funding online through Check out Anchorage School Districts personalized landing page. The Development and Grants office supports these funding opportunities by ensuring compliance with all ASD policies, helping spread the word about the ease of using the site, and by celebrating the projects that get fully funded and the resources they bring to our students. Contact [email protected] to learn more about how we can support you!
UA Day of Giving Feb. 22 – 23
We are proud supporters of the University of Alaska and all our ASD alumni! ASD invites all University of Alaska friends, alumni, and advocates to join us in celebrating the third annual UA Giving Day - 49 Hours for Alaska starting on February 22, 2023!  For 49 Hours, Alaskans near and far gather online to ensure a vibrant future for Alaska and its universities. It is an easy, high-impact way to provide vital support to a program or area at UAA, UAF, or UAS and help unlock additional funding through challenges throughout the event. Learn more, here.
Join our team! Make a difference in Student Nutrition
You can be a cafeteria hero by joining the team that energizes students for active engagement in learning at ASD schools by providing nutritious and satiating meals.

School nutrition professionals serve a vital role in our community and enjoy great benefits, convenient work schedules, and career advancement opportunities.

ASD is hiring:
  • Cafeteria managers
  • Assistant managers
  • School cafeteria assistants
  • Central kitchen assistants

Benefits include:

  • Competitive salaries
  • No nights, weekends, or holidays
  • Full-time employee benefits include health, dental, and vision
  • All permanent employees are eligible for
  • Paid holidays
  • Leave (PTO) accrual
  • PERS Retirement (Public Employee Retirement System)
  • Opportunities to advance professionally
  • Many of our mid and senior management team members started as front-line managers
Shine Bright: ASD senior gets real world experience in the aerospace industry through District Gifted Mentorship program
#ASDShineBright ASD Gifted Mentorship students are wrapping up their time with professional mentors with a final presentation to display the unique skills they learned.

Alaska Middle College School Senior Aymen Eltahir was mentored under the team at Alaska Launch Company, an aerospace company in Anchorage. Eltahir gave a final presentation at Robert Service High School focused on the Jet Fuel Component PACAF, designed to ease refueling of jets.

The Gifted Mentorship application window for the 2022-2023 school year opens next week on February 1 at 3 p.m. Take a look here:

The program gives each student the opportunity to spend 45 hours with a professional mentor and complete a series of assignments. Upon successful completion, each student earns .5 elective credit and an experience they will never forget!
5530 E Northern Lights Blvd.
Anchorage, AK 99504