STEPS Alaska Updates
Stepping Up for Alaska's Youth!
Previous Newsletters
Supporting Alaskan Families through COVID-19
Shelter-in-place with a smile on your face! Please read this month's newsletter to learn more about how to make the most of your time at home. Credit: Emily Ferry
Like many families across Alaska and the country, we at AASB are following the guidance of public health officials and are staying at home to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

For those of us who are able to work from home, this sudden transition to remote work and disruption to our daily routines is a time of uncertainty. However, we as Alaskans are all in this together, and we want to use this newsletter to share resources and best practices to help educators and families get through these challenging times.

AASB has compiled a list of resources to help school districts, educators, and parents navigate the Coronavirus while keeping kids engaged and learning.
Save the Date!
STEPS Annual Partner Meeting

Apr. 27 - Apr. 28

An in-person STEPS meeting was scheduled for April 27-28, but due to the current health guidelines, we have decided to transition to an online meeting format.
Keep an eye out for registration, and please contact us if there is a topic that you are interested in providing training or a speaker (in-state or out of state) that you would like to include on the agenda.

In the meantime, save those dates and take advantage of a variety of peer learning and training options using interactive virtual learning strategies. 

Distance-Facilitation Resources
Learning from a Distance!
Staying at home does not mean that your professional development, work meetings, or teaching needs to stop, but it may require some new technology and adjustments in delivery style. Here are a few of our favorite tools (with even more available on AASB’s website ).
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Still Figuring Out Connection Issues?

Free/Discounted Internet through GCI and ACS

GCI and ACS are both offering discounted, and in some cases, free internet service to students and families. If access to the internet or devices is a barrier for your students and families, please get in touch with Emily Ferry, eferry@aasb.org or Lisa Worl, lworl@aasb.org so we can help strategize about how to help ensure equitable access to education opportunities for all students.

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Free Zoom for K-12 Educators

Zoom, the distance-facilitation and distance-learning platform used by many organizations around the world, is temporarily lifting the 40-minute cap on free Basic accounts during the COVID-19 crisis. In order for your school to take advantage of this opportunity, please read more and sign up for a Zoom account in the link below.

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Teaching from a Distance Workshop

Apr. 3 at 11:00 AM

Megan Gahl, a Juneau-based Professor at Minerva Schools at KGI and Director of Curriculum Development at Minerva Project, has been developing curriculum and teaching students all over the world for the past seven year using distance technology. Join Megan and the Association of Alaska School Board’s Heather Coulehan, Lisa Worl, and Emily Ferry on to learn about - and experience - some best teaching practices using Zoom.

Please reserve your spot and share any questions you have ahead of time by emailing lworl@aasb.org .

We also have resources from Megan's previous Zoom workshop, which was recorded on March 24th. You can access the recording and supplemental materials in the link below.

AASB Best Practices Survey
How can we support students and families at home?
Due to coronavirus, boards, educators, and parents across Alaska are rapidly developing effective ways of delivering instruction and providing support to home-bound students. We at AASB would love to get your input about methods and strategies that are working well for your schools! Please click the button below to access our survey, and we will compile and share out these helpful tips and share them out across the state.

Additionally, if there are any resource files that you would like to share, AASB has created a shared folder that anyone can add to and access here .
Taking Care of Yourself During COVID-19
Credit: Adobe Stock
Sheltering in place during this uncertain time can have negative health consequences, as we are all aware. Many parents are having to home-school their children for the first time, and those of us who recharge our energy by meeting with others are having to do without human interaction for public safety.

Therefore, it is more important than ever to make sure that we are on top of our mental health and practice diligent self-care while the "hunker down" order is in effect. Please read this amazing article by AASB's Konrad Frank, which not only provides valuable self-care tips, but also a wealth of self-care resources that he has collected to help us stay resilient during these trying times.
Send us your stories by the 8th to get your work featured in the STEPS Newsletter!
Celebrations!
Lisa Worl receives Carla Timpone Award for Activism
Alaska Women's Lobby

AASB's very own Lisa Worl is one of this year's recipients of the Carla Timpone Award for Activism, which is presented annually by the Alaska Women's Lobby. Congratulations to Lisa! The celebration event will be rescheduled to a later date.

Mary Folletti Daalijini and Heidi Johnson receive AEYC-SEA Educator of the Year Awards!


Congratulations to Mary Folletti and Heidi Johnson for receiving the AEYC-SEA Educator of the Year Awards!

Mary Folletti is the lead teacher and Lingit language instructor at Haa Yoo X ’atángi Kúdi, and has been awarded AEYC's Educator of the Year award for her dedication towards language revitalization in Southeast Alaska.

Heidi Johnson is a teacher in the Juneau School District's integrated pre-school program and has worked for years locally and across the state to promote year childhood mental health and well-being.
Mary Folletti receiving her Educator of the Year Award!
Supporting Transitions and Educational Promise is a Collective Impact effort between regional partners and partners in Angoon, Hoonah, Hydaburg, Juneau, Klukwan, Sitka, and Yakutat which strives to improve outcomes for Southeast Alaska’s youth. We aim to do that by:
  • Ensuring that all kids - from womb to world - are safe and supported in their schools, homes, and communities
  • Partnering to smooth transitions, fill gaps, and align existing resources
  • Collaborating to move the needle on key measures

STEPS Alaska is made possible by the US Department of Education Promise Neighborhoods funding award to the Association of Alaska School Boards
The US Department of Education Promise Neighborhood Grant U215N170038 supports cradle to career solutions for the STEPS AK partners. This publication is the sole responsibility of the Association of Alaska School Boards and its contributors.