Lon Garrison

Reflections and Looking Ahead


Tiffany Jackson

Running Effective Meetings


Jenni Lefing

End of Year Conferences Recap


Claudia Plesa

2022 Youth Leadership Institute Highlights



Commentary Newsletter Archive

AASB will award up to fifteen $1,500 scholarships for post-secondary education!

Apply Early during Winter Break!

Guidelines and Application

Whether you’re just getting started on your board, or want to brush up on the basics, AASB’s First Term Board Member Webinar Series is for you! Starts in January.

Information & Registration

During their four days together at the AASB Youth Leadership Instutute (YLI), students created a video about their experience.

Hear what they had to say about YLI 2022!

Watch the Video



Reflections and Looking Ahead

Lon Garrison, Executive Director

I thought I would take a few moments to reflect on the past year and then look forward to 2023. I promise I will make it brief!


The past year all seems to be a bit of a blur. It has been filled with great accomplishments and incredibly sad, disappointing, and even devastating events.


Where We Stand 2023

The resolutions and belief statements of the Association of Alaska School Boards. Based on the actions of the AASB Delegate Assembly on November 6, 2022 during AASB's 69th Annual Conference. The PDF is organized by subject areas for convenient reference.




Running Effective Meetings

Tiffany Jackson, Director of Membership Services

When you first signed up to become a school board member, what did you imagine the time commitment would be? Did you realize how much time it would take for you to prepare for meetings, attend meetings, and then do all the follow-up after the meeting was held? If you're anything like me, you probably didn't realize the time commitment needed the first time you ran for the board.

Board members dedicate a lot of their time to meetings, which means board members end up spending a lot of time planning, problem-solving, decision-making, and evaluating, as these are all key elements of meetings. Here are a few tips to help your board improve the time you spend together as a board, accomplishing the district's business, attending meetings.



End of Year Conferences Recap

Jenni Lefing, Membership Services Manager

Over 80 Executive Administrative Assistants, School Board Members, Superintendents and students attended this month’s Winter Boardsmanship Academy (School Law/ Policy Day & Equity Day), Executive Administrative Assistants Conference, or AASB’s first Youth on Boards Training at the Hilton Anchorage. Each training offered two days of learning and networking opportunities.



AASB 2022 Youth Leadership Institute Highlights

Claudia Plesa, AASB Conditions for Learning / Community Engagement Manager

AASB’s 2022 Annual Conference and Youth Leadership Institute were held on November 3-6 in Anchorage. The Annual Conference and YLI are opportunities for school board members and student leaders to come together and discuss issues impacting schools in Alaska. 

This year, 23 school districts had student leaders participate in YLI. A total of 89 students and chaperones participated in workshops meant to help develop their leadership and advocacy skills, as well as gain a deeper understanding of issues impacting schools and students in Alaska. It was an incredible group of students and AASB would like to thank the chaperones and school boards whose support made their participation possible. 


2023 School Climate & Connectedness Survey (SCCS)

There's still time to register!

2023 Statewide SCCS Window:

January 16 – March 31

Districts select 1 five-week window for students & staff


We invite your district to participate in the 2023 School Climate & Connectedness Survey (SCCS). Each year, the majority of Alaska school districts collect and use school climate data to improve and strengthen school environments, relationships, and connections between students, staff and families.

Notice to Principals:

Trauma-Engaged Survey Extended,

Incentive Added

The survey of schools regarding their use of Alaska’s trauma-engaged resources has been extended until December 23, 2022.

The Association of Alaska School Boards with funding from the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority are offering all schools who have or will complete this important survey a monetary incentive. This survey developed in conjunction with the Regional Education Lab Northwest is part of an important project to assess and enhance the resources available to Alaska schools. 

Each school that completes the survey will receive approximately $70-$100 depending on the final number of schools participating. Statewide results will be available, and districts can request their results as well.


June Nelson Memorial

Scholarship Competition


Apply Early during Winter Break!


5:00 pm April 1, 2023

This 2023-2024 school year, AASB will award up to fifteen $1,500 scholarships to apply toward post-secondary education!

Click the button to access the Application, Guidelines, and Essay Prompt.


First Term Board Member

Webinar Series

Whether you’re just getting started on your board, or want to brush up on the basics, AASB’s First Term Board Member Webinar Series is for you! Series begins in January. Register Now!

Click the button to register and see

webinar topics and descriptions:



AASB's Leadership Academy: Legislative Fly-In &

Youth Advocacy Institute

February 4-7, 2023


Plan to attend this year’s Legislative Fly-In in Juneau to be briefed on key legislative issues, meet in like-size district forums to identify legislation that can be supported by AASB, develop talking points for legislative priorities, and meet with legislators and other decision makers.

  • Saturday: Learning how to be effective advocates and being educational advocacy leaders in your district and community. 
  • Sunday: Focus on the make-up of the next legislature, Bills that have been introduced, and working on crafting your advocacy message for meetings with legislators, both in-person and remotely.
  • Monday & Tuesday: Reserved for school board members and superintendents to meet with their legislators and others. 

And, plan to register students for this year’s Youth Advocacy Institute, which is designed for high school students who want to be immersed in the Alaska legislative process.

Participants will learn:

  • How a bill becomes a law, 
  • Discuss key legislative issues influencing education this year, 
  • Participate in mock testimony, and
  • Advocate for legislation (alongside their school board) that affects them and their communities, all for public education.

Agenda and more details coming soon!

STEPS Regional Gathering

Please join us on January 26, 2023, from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. as we all move forward with the final year of the STEPS grant.

Register Below to Attend



Click the Resources buttons below to access slideshows, handouts, and other information from AASB's December Conferences:

  • Executive Administrative Assistants Training
  • Winter Boardsmanship Academy
  • Youth On Boards.

Executive Administrative Assistants Training

AASB’s annual Executive Administrative Assistants Training was an opportunity for Executive Admins from around the state to connect, learn and engage with each other. 


Thanks to our sponsor!

Winter Boardsmanship Academy

School Law & Policy Day

John Sedor and negotiations professionals provided multiple perspectives on collective bargaining.

Equity Day

Presenters focused on Equity within the Science of Reading. Attendees connected with students participating in the Youth on Boards workshop to discuss planning and ways to work together.


Youth on Boards

AASB's new two-day training for current and aspiring student school board representatives on how to serve on a school board.



Teacher Layoffs – You need a plan!

“Fine Tuning” Episode 5 (Now with Practice Pointers!)

Allen Clendaniel, Sedor, Wendlandt, Evans & Filippi, LLC

Many Alaskan school districts are facing daunting budget deficits as they prepare next year’s budget. Unfortunately, some Alaska school districts may be forced to lay off teachers to make ends meet. 

In our fifth installment of our 2022-23 school year theme of “fine tuning,” we tackle the thorny issue of reductions in force.


Time limits create productive meetings

Ann Macfarlane, Professional Parliamentarian

The mayor of Alexandria, Virginia began council meetings by responding to each person giving public comment, sometimes delaying the start of regular business three hours or more. Was this reasonable? No. We need time limits to establish structure and create productive meetings. Robert’s Rules says that members have the right to an efficient meeting. It takes effort to do this, and for the chair to maintain the limits, but the effort will pay off big time.


Can an item be removed from a meeting agenda once the agenda has been published?

Answer: Yes, items can be removed from the agenda. Best practice recommends NOT ADDING to the agenda after it’s been published, but removing items from the agenda is okay.

Got a question? Email Timi Tullis, Tiffany Jackson, or Jenni Lefing



Nominate a youth for 

Spirit of Youth recognition!

Do you know a teen or youth group doing something positive in your community? Nominate them for Spirit of Youth Recognition!

Nominations help create opportunities for youth leadership and allow teens to share their voices and get recognized for their contributions.

All Alaskan youth ages 12-19 are eligible. 

Nomination deadline: December 31

Nomination Form

Registration Open Now for 2023

Alaska Science of Reading Symposium

The second annual Science of Reading Symposium is aimed at empowering Alaska educators to connect reading science to classroom and leadership practices, resulting in increased reading proficiency for students.

  • Day 1: Celebrating Success
  • Day 2: Connecting Knowledge to Application
  • Day 3: Empowering Educators

Registration is free and will be capped at 1,000 attendees.

Register Here

FAFSA Time Alaska - Free FAFSA Completion Assistance Event

Millions of students who are eligible for aid fail to file the FAFSA form each year, leaving "money on the table" that could be supporting their postsecondary education.

FAFSA Time Alaska provides on-site and distance-delivered FAFSA completion assistance.

Financial aid professionals from Alaska's postsecondary institutions together with the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education specialists join volunteers in key locations across the state to help students fill out the FAFSA.

Information & Registration

Alaska Society for Technology in Education Conference

February 18-21, 2023

Hotel Captain Cook Anchorage

Promoting access to technology, connectivity to information resources, and technology integration for all Alaskan learners.

Your district can fund your teachers’ Professional Development through ASTE using grants or federal funding. We would like to help you consider using federal program money to support ASTE 2023, such as Quality Schools Grants, Title II-A, Title II, and Title IV-A: Area 3, 410.

Information & Registration

Click image for larger size webinar schedule.

Alaska Reads Act Implementation Webinars Scheduled for Early 2023

DEED has scheduled a series of hour-long weekly virtual webinars to take a deeper dive into each of the four programmatic parts of the Alaska Reads Act. Each week a different topic will be covered.

The webinar series is intended for those who will lead implementation efforts in each district and/or school.

The series begins January 12, 2023


State Board of Education Votes to Send Teacher Certification Regulations Out for Public Comment

At its recent meeting, the State Board of Education and Early Development voted to send two sets of regulations out for public comment. The regulations are the result of two bills passed during the last legislative session addressing teacher certification.

The first set of regulations is part of the implementation of HB 19, and allows for more flexibility in certifying world language teachers for immersion programs.

The second set of regulations is part of the implementation of SB 20, and facilitates out of state teacher licensing reciprocity. Read More


Anchorage – Now facing a $48 million deficit, Anchorage district and school board officials look at cuts and closures ahead – Morgan Krakow, AD

Ketchikan – School board members from Metlakatla and Ketchikan plan to meet to discuss racism at February basketball game – KRBD, Ketchikan

Lower Kuskokwim – As Y-K Delta students recoup after remote school, vast majority still not proficient in English and math – Nina Kravinsky, KYUK

North Slope Borough – Construction of a temporary gym in Kaktovik is underway – Alena Naiden, Arctic Sounder

Unalaska – Unalaska school district in search of new superintendent … again – Maggie Nelson, KUCB

Wrangell – Wrangell students score higher than state average on assessment tests – Marc Lutz, Wrangell Sentinel

More Alaska School District News


Alaska Reads Act: This childless champion of preschools planted the seeds for a new Alaska – Charles Wohlforth, Anchorage Daily News

9 Democrats and 8 Republicans form bipartisan majority in Alaska Senate – Iris Samuels, Anchorage Daily News

‘Stalemate’: Prepare to wait weeks, or even months, before a majority forms in Alaska House – Nathaniel Herz, Northern Journal

USDA expands local foods in school meals through cooperative agreement with Alaska – KINY, Juneau

What’s stopping more Native Americans from graduating college? The cost, a landmark study finds – Nadra Nittle, The 19th

With student loan relief tied up in court, Biden extends repayment pause into 2023 – Dustin Jones, NPR News

Final regular-season high school esports rankings for Alaska USA Today

More State and Federal News

Association of Alaska School Boards  |

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