Lon Garrison

Investing in Your Board is Investing in

Your Students


Claudia Plesa

Creating the Conditions for Family Partnerships


Jenni Lefing

AASB Fall Boardsmanship Academy

Focused on Teacher Recruitment, Postsecondary Opportunities



Commentary Newsletter Archive



(Click on photos to see larger sizes)

Fall Boardsmanship attendees from school districts across Alaska came together in Fairbanks to network & share experiences.

Dr. Amy Vinlove presented on UAF’s Teacher Recruitment & Retention efforts.

Lake and Peninsula Superintendent Kasie Luke shared her group's key takeaways from the Roles & Responsibilities for Board Members and Superintendents handbook.


Investing in Your Board is Investing in Your Students

Lon Garrison, Executive Director

While the thought of investing in the stock market today feels extremely risky, there is one investment that will return handsomely and provide benefits that can change lives! It is investing in yourselves as school board members.


Supporting Our Neighbors in Hurricane-affected Alaska School Districts

Students, families and staff in AASB member districts have been severely impacted by recent flooding from Typhoon Merbok.

The Western Alaska Disaster Recovery Fund has been created to address the immediate needs and support the recovery and restoration of communities in Kashunamiut, Lower Yukon, Lower Kuskokwim, Nome, Bering Strait, and Northwest Arctic school districts.

The fund has so far raised over $850,000 from corporate and individual donations.

If you wish to help provide support to Alaskans in the communities this natural disaster has impacted, click the button below. 100% of your gift will go directly to support the relief and recovery efforts.



Creating the Conditions for Family Partnerships

Claudia Plesa, AASB Conditions for Learning / Community Engagement Manager

The Association of Alaska School Boards and more than 20 partners across the state are working together to create the conditions for family partnership.

Most recently, AASB was awarded the Alaska Statewide Family Engagement Center grant that supports three key areas of work: 1) statewide coordination for school and family partnership; 2) family partnership district support and professional learning for 14 school districts; 3) intensive family partnership strategies for select schools.


Length 58:00

The Current Challenges of Staff Recruitment and Retention

AASB Executive Director Lon Garrison, ASA/ACSA Executive Director Lisa Parady, and former Ketchikan Superintendent Bob Boyle hosted this September 8th webinar.

They discussed the high number of certified and classified staff vacancies this year, and presented strategies for how districts can navigate the most challenging recruitment and retention period Alaska has ever experienced.


2023 School Climate & Connectedness Survey (SCCS)

2023 Statewide SCCS Window:

January 16 – March 31

Districts select 1 two-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.


AASB Fall Boardsmanship Academy Focused on Teacher Recruitment, Postsecondary Opportunities. Coming Soon: Annual Conference!

Jenni Lefing, Membership Services Manager

AASB held its Fall Boardsmanship Academy on September 17-18 in Fairbanks. School board members came together to increase their knowledge around issues impacting students, improve boardsmanship skills, and connect with members from across the state.




Maintenance Employees Conference

AASB and Alaska Public Entities Insurance (APEI) have teamed up to bring you the 9th annual Maintenance Employees Conference, October 5-6 at the Clarion Suites Downtown Anchorage. 

This 2-day conference will focus on providing content centered on school district maintenance issues and safety. It’s a great way to learn from experts and your peers, and network with other maintenance folks from across the state.



AASB 69th Annual Conference

Registration Now Open!

Join us November 3-6, 2022 at the Hotel Captain Cook in Anchorage for AASB’s 69th Annual Conference! This year’s in-person Annual Conference will include two general sessions, over 15 breakout sessions, roundtables, snapshot sessions, networking opportunities, June Nelson Memorial Scholarship Fundraiser, Delegate Assembly, and more!



Joel Isaak

Director, Tribal Affairs, Alaska Department of Education and Early Development

Joel Isaak is Dena’ina from Kenai Alaska. He uses the unique way the arts uncover understanding for working in an educational environment that combines a formal Western education model with customary traditional Native Alaskan life ways. 


Dr. Janelle Vanasse, Ed.D.

President, Alaska Pacific University

Throughout her career, Dr. Vanasse has elevated the educational experience for Alaska Native students. She believes that scholarship and leadership are enhanced when influenced by our authentic selves and delights in recognizing past students in emerging leadership roles.


Call for Resolutions

AASB is seeking resolutions, resolution amendments and comments from local school boards for consideration at the 2022 Annual Conference on November 3-6, 2022.

These resolutions guide our association for the coming year, clarify advocacy positions for the next legislative session, and address issues facing Alaska boards and public education.

AASB asks each school board to carefully review the resolutions packet.



AASB Awards Nominations

Member school districts, submit your nominations for:

- Carl Rose Governance Award Recognizes an outstanding school board member.

- Outstanding School Board Award Honors a school board that effectively serves students.

- AASB Board of Directors 5 three-year seats and 1 one-year seat open.

Please Note: All nominations require official board action. Winners will be announced during Annual Conference.


Annual Conference Opportunities

How you can be involved!

November 7

Now for Next Workshop

Turning the curve on Alaska's

postsecondary outcomes


AASB is co-hosting the Now for Next workshop on Monday, November 7 at the Hotel Captain Cook. It's free to attend for those who attended Annual Conference, but space is limited.

This day-long workshop will follow on the heels of AASB's Annual Conference and give school board members, families, educators, employers, and policymakers time to explore how we can work together to ensure that each student has a plan for their future, communities have the leaders they need, and employers have the Alaskan workforce they desire. Contact Emily Ferry with questions.


Student Allotments to Private Schools Remain as “Clear as Mud”

“Fine Tuning” Episode 2

Clint Campion, Sedor, Wendlandt, Evans & Filippi, LLC

On July 25, 2022, the Alaska Attorney General’s Office issued an opinion intended to “fine tune” the rules on the use of student allotment funds for student instruction from private and religious educational institutions. Use of Correspondence School Allotments (

The opinion provides guidance on what it describes as “low risk” use of student allotment funds but acknowledged a continuing “gray area.” This gray area creates potential legal risk for school districts that operate correspondence study programs.


Consent agenda: great tool for speedier meetings

Ann Macfarlane, Professional Parliamentarian

One of the most useful tools for efficient meetings is a “consent agenda.” This is a single item of business on a regular agenda that includes several items bundled together. The items cannot be discussed or debated. They are approved with a single vote.


When do new board members have to be seated following the certification of the election?

Answer: State statute says reorganization of the board should occur within seven days after certification. New board members should be seated in time to participate in the reorganization of the board. That can be very difficult in some communities, so we recommend you do it as soon as you possibly can after the certified results are published. Many boards have a special meeting just for this purpose.

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



Complete the FAFSA Now!

Did you know that last year Alaskan students missed out on $15 million in free federal student aid? The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) opens October 1st. Applying early puts students first in line for needs-based scholarships like the Alaska Education Grant.

The Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education (ACPE) provides FREE classroom resources and events to help students plan for life after high school. Learn more about how your district can use ACPE’s K-8 ProgramsAKCIS (Alaska’s Career information system) and the FAFSA Completion Initiative.

The Alaska Reads Act webpage is live

HB 114 was passed by the 32nd Alaska State Legislature to create a comprehensive K-3 reading policy designed to improve reading outcomes. Learn about the four new Alaska Reads Act programs:

1. Early Education, Parents as Teachers

2. District Reading Intervention

3. Department Reading Program

4. Virtual Education

Visit Page

Save the Date: Science of Reading Symposium II

The next Alaska Science of Reading Symposium will be held April 28-30 at the Anchorage Egan Center No registration fee, 1000 participant cap.

Goal for this year’s symposium: Empower Alaskan educators to connect understanding of reading science to classroom and leadership practices, resulting in increased reading proficiency for students.

Alaska Suicide Prevention Survey

The Statewide Suicide Prevention Council is updating the 5-year Statewide Suicide Prevention Plan and they want to hear Alaskans' thoughts and suggestions on statewide suicide prevention efforts. Scan the QR code below to take a short survey.



Anchorage - Cuts and closures loom for Anchorage School District - Shannon Cole & Lex Yelverton, Alaska's News Source

Fairbanks - School district earns major accreditation -

Jack Barnwell, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

LKSD - Lower Kuskokwim students return to classrooms that served as weekend storm shelters

- Will McCarthy, KYUK

North Slope - Tikiġaq educator named 2023 Alaska Teacher of the Year

- KINY, Juneau

Northwest Arctic -
To address teacher shortages in Northwest Alaska, district hires international teachers and long-term substitutes

- Alena Naiden, Arctic Sounder

Yupiit - Southwest Alaska school district adopts subsistence calendar in effort to center Yup’ik culture

- Will McCarthy, KYUK

More Alaska School District News


President Biden Approves Alaska Disaster Declaration - White House

Oil price drop endangers plan to fund Alaska schools a year early

- James Brooks, Alaska Beacon

$63 Million in Broadband Investments Announced for Alaska, Improving High-Speed Internet Affordably in Rural Alaska - Senator Lisa Murkowski

The nation’s second-largest school system was just hit by a cyberattack. Why do attackers target schools?

- Al Tompkins, Poynter

Two Alaska elementary schools named National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2022 - Katie Anastas, Alaska Public Media

USDOE Grants Aim to Support Alaska Native Students’ Education, Well-Being - Libby Stanford, Education Week

Dunleavy among 22 governors asking Biden to withdraw plan for student loan forgiveness - Morgan Krakow, Anchorage Daily News

More State and Federal News

Association of Alaska School Boards  |

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  YouTube