Newsletter of the Association of Alaska School Boards
Our Mission: To advocate for children and youth by assisting school boards in providing
quality public education, focused on student achievement, through effective local governance.

Pete Hoepfner,
AASB Board of Directors
Dr. Bob Whicker
Director, AASB
Consortium for Digital Learning
Michael Johnson,
Commissioner, Alaska Department of Education
4th R: Reducing Youth Risk Behaviors
The Fourth R Healthy Relationships and
Healthy Relationships Plus curricula have been recommended by the Alaska Safe Children's Act Task Force as models for dating violence and abuse prevention. Read More 
A Network of Innovative Districts Can Move Alaska Forward  
In recent testimony before the Senate Education Committee, Dr. Whicker outlined four strategies that can help to modernize and transform teaching and learning in Alaska schools.
Read More
Climbing the Well-Worn Trail to a Sustainable Fiscal Plan 
Creating an Alaska budget in 1987 wasn't easy, and it won't be easy in 2017. As we face today's financial challenges, we can look back for reminders that our future is full of opportunity. Read More
Anchorage Data Dashboard Brings Progress and Transparency to District  
Dr. Deena Bishop, Superintendent, Anchorage School District
Progress and transparency. Those are two words used constantly in public education. The Anchorage School District took a big step in that direction by creating a public dashboard featuring data on student academic status, attendance, on track for graduation, behavior and discipline. The Data Dashboard, created at the request of the Anchorage School Board to help guide progress toward our Destination 2020 goals, shows we are working toward transparency and providing the tools necessary for educators to make data-driven decisions in order to continuously improve instruction for students. Read More
Learning Anytime, Anywhere Through Personalized Learning 
Sean Dusek, Superintendent, Kenai Peninsula Borough
School District
The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District (KPBSD) is updating its five-year strategic plan. We have learned many valuable lessons from our Digital Teaching Initiative grant about how to transform our current instructional model. The primary grant goal was to expand digital learning opportunities for KPBSD students, and students in our partner districts of Cordova and Bristol Bay. The Kenai Quality Blended Learning Initiative focused on three primary strategies.  Read More
Mat-Su Students Have Many Dual Credit Options
Dr. Monica Goyette, Interim Superintendent, Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District
The guiding principles for the MSBSD, the new Three R's - Responsive, Resourceful, Relevant - are the District's commitment to students, employees, and families. Mat-Su students and parents have many choices: which school to attend, which programs to access, choices of activities in which to participate, and how they would like to earn their high school diploma, including participating in MSBSD dual-credit options. Read More 
Galena Interior Learning Academy: A 20-Year History of CTE Instruction Leadership
By Jim Merriner, Assistant Superintendent, Galena City School District
GILA Students Team Building
The Galena City School District, headquartered in Galena, Alaska, has operated the Galena Interior Learning Academy (GILA) since 1997. GILA is the second-largest and second-longest operating boarding school open to any Alaskan high school student. GILA uses buildings on the former Galena Air Force Base, the northernmost Air Force intercept site during the Cold War. Read More
Alaska Students Benefit from New Physical Activity in Schools La w
Wendy Hamilton 
School Health Program Manager Alaska Division of Public Health
Increasing physical activity is an important factor in health promotion and disease prevention for all ages. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Physical Activity Guidelines recommend that children ages 6-17 get 60 minutes a day of physical activity. Schools are where children spend most of their time and learn healthy behaviors that can become lifelong habits.
  What Story Can Your District Share?  
Submit a Guest Column to Commentary
Board Briefs
2017 Policy Updates Now Available!
An instruction sheet that accompanies the updates helps subscribers to Policy Update or Policy Online navigate revised policies. 
Read More
How do districts use "Consent Agenda"?   
What do you include in it? How do you show it on your agenda? How do you assure that it goes well at the board meeting? 
Read More
Has your board conducted an annual self evaluation?   
If so, was the evaluation process led by AASB, no facilitator, or by another outside facilitator? 
Take 30 Second Poll
Last Month's Snap Shot Poll Results
Rate Your Tech Director
Q 1. Supports and empowers teachers. 2.5
Q 2. Cost effective 2.5
Q 3. Solves problems 2.7
Q 4. Drives innovations that move teaching and 
        learning forward 2.7
Q 5. Encouraging and helpful 3.0
Q 6. Enables new technologies. 3.2

Have you considered contracting with AASB to provide your district's IT services? We offer lower cost & improved responsiveness with an enabled classroom focus.
Vol. 1, No.1
July, 1972
From the Archive: AASB's First Issue of Commentary 
While cleaning out a desk drawer in our office, we ran across a dusty copy of the very first issue of AASB's Commentary newsletter, published in 1972. On the front page, the editor solicits board members from around the state to submit articles about local district programs they're proud of, in the hope that sharing these stories will be interesting, instructional, and inspirational to other boards.

In the 45 years since that first issue rolled off the mimeograph machine, our philosophy remains unchanged. Today's digitally-delivered Commentary continues to share with readers how Alaska districts are embracing innovation and finding new ways to deliver instruction more efficiently and effectively.
Read More 
2017 DTi Network Conference Set for June 5-7
Noelle H. Lowery, Communications Coordinator, KIBSD 

The 2017 DTi Network Conference will be presented by the Digital Teaching Initiative Network, a partnership between Kodiak Island Borough School District, Kenai Peninsula Borough School District and Copper River School District. The theme for this summer's three-day conference is "Inspiration, Innovation, Personalization." The conference will be hosted by the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District in Soldotna and the list of presenters includes state and national leaders in their respective fields. Read More
  What's Happening In Your District? 
Include Your News in Commentary
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