STEPS Alaska Updates
Stepping Up for Alaska's Youth!
STEPS Partners Offer High-Engagement Learning and Leadership Opportunities
Through school-based learning, after school activities, and youth leadership opportunities, STEPS’ partners have created student-centered, highly-engaged learning and leadership opportunities that are relevant to their students’ lives. 

The learning and leadership opportunities offered by STEPS partners and featured below incorporate some of the best practices for highly-engaged, student-centered learning and leadership. Some characteristics include:

  • Relationships are built between students and caring adults
  • Students can take a leadership role in setting goals
  • Programs are culturally responsive and relevant to their lived experience and community
  • Students have a leadership role in learning
  • Students gain confidence and practice concrete skills 
  • Student learning and practice is supported by community adults, mentors, and families
The Youth Perspective
AASB staff, Konrad “Shak’shaani éesh” Frank and Lisa Worl, led the students through an icebreaker prior to student dialogue.
Angoon High School Students Share Their Priorities for Learning
During student dialogues hosted in Angoon in September high school students answered two questions:

“What do you want to teach the next generation?” 
“What do we want, or want more of in the school?”  

The high school students’ responses echoed Chatham’s recent strategic planning survey. Students expressed their interest in more opportunities to learn life skills such as marine safety and driving a boat, as well as integrating culturally responsive arts and subsistence life into school-based learning. 

Students are interested in how to skin a deer, build a smokehouse, and how to cut and jar salmon.  

These harvests from the youth dialogues and survey responses were used by the Chatham School Board during their school district strategic planning. 

Reach out to if you are interested in hosting a dialogue in your district.
Student Leaders
Indigenous College & Career Fair
Sealaska Heritage Institute worked with partners across the state to put on an Indigenous College & Career Fair, which included youth dialogues, a visit to the UAS campus and technical skills like resume writing and FAFSA completion. Perhaps more importantly, the event allowed students to explore how Indigenous values and identity are a strength for students as they plan for life after high school. Here, prospective students hear from recent Alaska Native grads about their experiences.
UAS professors working with CERCLE students in Angoon and Yakutat - Photos courtesy of Sanjay Pyare.
Community Engagement and Resources Challenges in the Local Environment (CERCLE)
Professors at UAS worked with students in Angoon and Yakutat as part of Community Engagement and Resources Challenges in the Local Environment (CERCLE). They used local knowledge including interviews with elders and earth observation technology like drones to address resource challenges in their communities. In Yakutat, students chose to look at changes in snowfall while in Angoon students explored changes to the town beach, which elders reported used to be more colorful.
Sitka Youth Leadership Committee
In the spring of 2022, members of the Sitka Youth Leadership Committee (SYLC) launched their Mold Your Masculinity campaign. The campaign aims to raise awareness about harmful masculinity norms and redefine what it means to be a man in today's society. Students did the research, developed the messages, and produced posters, stickers, and presentations.
SYLC students presenting on the Mold Your Masculinity Campaign.
Upcoming Events & Opportunities
For Students, Families, and Staff
Family Dialogue in Juneau
When: Monday, October 24, 5:30 pm
Who: Families (parents are welcome with or without their student)
Where: Thunder Mountain High School Library
Lingít Class Fall 2022
When: Friday mornings, 10-11 am, October 28 - December 16
Who: Anyone who wants to brush up on their Lingít skills
Where: Zoom, Register online here or contact Thomasina Andersen at
Youth on Boards
When: December 9-10, 2022
Who: Current or potential youth who are on school boards
Where: Hilton, Anchorage
This year AASB is proud to offer student school board representatives, and aspiring student representatives, training on how to serve on a school board. Workshop topics include how to advocate for peers, and how to make effective decisions with your school board, and other leadership skills. Fill out this form if your school district has a Youth Representative, and they may benefit from this training. Click here for more information on best practices for supporting Student Board Members. ***Scholarships are available!!!***
Parents as Teachers
When: On-going
Who: Adults who are parenting kids ages 3 and under
Where: Online
AEYC’s Parents as Teachers program continues to offer in-home AND virtual home visits. If you know of a family with young children who could use some extra support, please have them connect with Emily Thompson,
For STEPS Partners
School Climate and Connectedness Registration: Now Open!
Each year, our STEPS school districts collect and use school climate data to improve and strengthen school environments, relationships, and connections between students, staff and families. Register by October 30th, 2022. Contact the School Climate team at with any questions.
Now for Next: Turning the Curve on Alaska Postsecondary Outcomes Workshop
When: Monday, November 7th
Who: Families, school board members & staff, higher ed leaders, and employers 
Where: Captain Cook, Anchorage, Register here (free!)

Register for this statewide conversation examining how schools, families, higher ed, employers, and others to look at what we can do now to help students prepare for what’s next. The workshop is free and AASB has some travel funding for STEPS partners. If you’re interested in attending, please reach out to Emily,
Kaa Tukaxsaké Héende:
Towards the River That Untangles a Person’s Mind

When: November 3-4, 2022
Restorative Practices Training

When: November 11-12, 9 am - 4 pm
Who: School staff and partners from across the region are very welcome to join.
Where: Yaaḵoosgé Daakahídi High School, Juneau

Email for registration info.
Juneau Mental Healthcare Survey

Who: Anyone in Juneau
JSPC (Juneau Suicide Prevention Coalition) and NAMI Juneau are conducting a Mental Healthcare Access survey for Juneau residents to better understand the strengths and gaps in our healthcare system. We are hoping you will partner with us to reach 10% of Juneau’s community; we are seeking input from all demographics. The survey is brief and confidential.
AASB is Hiring a Family Partnership Coordinator!

The Association of Alaska School Boards is looking for a Family Engagement Coordinator that is committed to improving student outcomes through family-school partnerships. This position will work with partners across the state to develop structures, tools, and resources that elevate family voice, link families to learning, and build strong relationships between families and schools. Click here to read more about the position.
Looking for additional ideas? Check out the STEPS Resources page for past newsletters and other STEPS-related resources.