Around the District

School board to meet

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education meets at 6 p.m. in the borough building at 148 N. Binkley Street in Soldotna (unless otherwise noted). For more information, call 907-714-8888 or visit The agenda and packet items are posted on Wednesday afternoon prior to the date of the Board meeting. Persons with disabilities who need accommodations to participate at the School Board meetings should contact Debbie Tressler at 907-714-8836 or email no later than three business days before the meeting date. The board will meet:

■ April 4;

■ April 5 (Worksession);

■ May 2 (Seward High School);

■ June 6;

■ June 7 (Planning Session);

Scholarships for students

■ KBEA Scholarships for year 2016

The Kenai Borough Employees Association (KBEA) Scholarship Committee is currently accepting applications for four scholarships of $500 each. The scholarships are available to all 2016 graduates of the Kenai Peninsula Borough (including public, private, and home-schooled).

Applications and instructions are available from any Kenai Peninsula Borough High School counselors’ office or on the Borough’s web site at under “Hot Topics.”

Applications must be delivered, or postmarked by March 31.

Applications can be mailed, or dropped off at the Kenai Peninsula Borough, KBEA Scholarship Committee, 144 North Binkley Street, Soldotna, Alaska 99669.

■ Kenai Historical Society to award Scholarship

Kenai Historical Society will award a $1,000 scholarship to a 2016 graduating Senior in the KCHS attendance area,including home schooled students. The funding for the scholarship is a bequest from a member who was especially interested in education as well as the History of Kenai.

Requirements for the scholarship include enrollment in an accredited post-secondary industrial, technical or academic program for 2016-17, community service activities, evidence of leadership and maturity, and an essay about how living in Kenai influenced future goals.

An interview will also be conducted. More information and the application form are available at the KPBSD website. Click the Onestop logo at the top of the page and scroll to Kenai Historical Society Scholarship. The deadline for applications is April 15.

Connections Home School Program

■ March 29 – Kenai Rec Center Gym Time

■ March 31 – Last day to place orders

■ April 14-15 – Peterson Bay Field Trip

■ April 19 – Connections Talent and Art Show at Soldotna High School at 5-6:30 p.m.

■ April 29 – Last day to submit reimbursement

■ May 3 – Kenai Fjords Trip in Seward, AK

■ May 5 – Middle School Math Meet at Homer Middle School at 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (more info below).

Also check out our Connections website:

( for numerous student activities, contests and more.

Peterson Bay Field Trip:

Come experience unforgettable, interactive programs where students discover the ecology of Kachemak Bay.

Don’t watch a movie about the fabulous four marine phyla, find them and observe their amazing adaptations to life in the intertidal zone.

Don’t miss this amazing learning opportunity.

■ Open to all Connections students in grades 6th through 10th.

■ Departure by boat from Homer Spit on April 14 at 8:30 a.m. and return late morning on April 15.

■ Cost for the trip is $120 per person Space is limited (the maximum is 30 students) so call now.

For the trip the school needs a 6:1 student to adult ratio, so parents are welcome to attend by paying their way out of pocket while the student fee can be deducted from the student allotment if the student has a class on their ILP related to this activity.

There is also a $10 per person fee for food that will be prepared and served on site – this fee needs to be paid out of pocket for all and is non-refundable.

All fees are due by March 25. Please notify an advisor of any interest in this trip as soon as possible.

In the event that there are more than 30 people interested in participating, students will have priority once we have enough chaperones.

For more info please contact:

■ Homer Area — Derek Bynagle – 226-1880

■ Central Pen Area—Mark Wackler – 714-8888

Connections Talent and Art Show:

The Connections Talent Show has become an event the school looks forward to each school year.

This year the school has added an art exhibition to accommodate the many artistic students in our program. Staff enjoy seeing the work and success astudents are finding outside of the academic realm, and love giving them an opportunity to show those talents each spring.

If a student has a talent or art piece they wish to share, please register with show coordinator, Mark Wackler, at

The show is held at Soldotna High School in the auditorium on April 19 from 5-6:30 p.m.

School staff look forward to seeing all families at the 2016 Connections Talent Show.


Middle School Math Meet:

The Middle School Math Meet will be held at Homer Middle School on Thursday, May 5, and will run from around 10 a.m until 2 p.m. All advanced math students in 6th through 8th grade are welcome.

Participants will compete in two individual rounds, a team round, and a gameshow style countdown round with a chance to win competition and door prizes.

Please contact Derek at 226-1880 or for more information and example questions. If there is interest Derek will also hold practice sessions leading up to the meet in Homer; for Central Peninsula inquires please contact Wendi Dutcher

Connections Talent & Art Show:

Kaleidoscope School of Arts and Science

■ March 28 – New Parent Information Meeting in the library 6:00 p.m.

■ March 29 – 5th graders visit KMS 11 a.m.

■ March 30 – State wide Tsunami Drill 10:15 a.m.

■ Kindergarten is walking to the Creek 1:30 p.m.

■ Lottery in the library 4 p.m.

■ March 31 – 5th grade will be participating in D.A.R.E.

■ APC Ballots due to Coghill Group

■ April 1 – 3rd, 4th, 5th grade attending a concert at KCHS 9:15 a.m.

■ 5th grade are touring KCHS’s shop classes

■ Early release – School ends at 2:10 p.m. Six days throughout the academic year, students will meet the minimum day requirement, leaving teachers with approximately ninety minutes of additional time for planning/training.

The length of the school day will be reduced by ninety minutes, for a total of nine hours during the 2015-2016 school year.

On these early release dates, school will end ninety minutes (1.5 hours) earlier.

Bus transportation will be adjusted by ninety minutes.


The Life Skill staff and students are focusing on this week is Personal Best; To do one’s best given the circumstances and available resources.

■ If a child arrives after 9:10 a.m., please come in and sign him or her in at the office.

■ If a parent would like to be a volunteer, be sure to complete a background check and volunteer training. Go to and click the link to the background check.

Please allow up to two weeks for this to clear.

The next link on the page will take parents to the Online Volunteer Training.

These two steps must be completed in order to volunteer at Kaleidoscope. Completed Volunteer Indemnification forms are needed 48 hours before all field trips.

Interior Distance Education of Alaska

IDEA Homeschool is now enrolling for the 2016-2017 school year! Check out the website ‘Click enroll’ now. Families are always welcome to come visit the staff at the office in the Red Diamond Center.

Come check out the library, Resource Room, used curriculum, and speak with a certified teacher. IDEA staff is here to serve families in their homeschooling journey. IDEA’s 18th Annual Curriculum Fair is on May 4 at Kalifonsky Christian Center. There will be a buffet breakfast and Keynote Speaker – Carol Simpson, presenting, “How to Make the Most of This Season of Life”.

Life consists of many seasons. One of the most difficult – and most rewarding – is the child-rearing and homeschooling season.

How do people get through the days when they feel over-whelmed?

How do they take the long view when their days are filled with seemingly meaningless tasks that will have to be done again tomorrow? How do they make the most of this season before these days are gone?

Carol has raised seven children and homeschooled for the last thirty years.

Humorous and encouraging, she has practical tips to help families get the most out of this special season in life. Tickets are $12 at the IDEA office for the keynote breakfast.

The IDEA Curriculum Fair is open to the public. Tickets are $15 pre-paid or $20 at the door. Tickets may be purchased at the IDEA office in the Red Diamond Center. All currently enrolled IDEA families are free of charge.

The fair provides a time for local educators to advertise a product, lessons or services.

Each year, IDEA provides hand-out sacks to attendees. Advertisements could be included in these sacks. The small fee to include an advertisement goes directly to youth groups for their activities. Send 200 flyers and a check for $15 to the address at the bottom, following these guidelines:

■ Weight – only catalogs or flyers that weigh less than two ounces each may be sent to be included in these sacks.

■ Content – Materials for the hand-out sacks must be homeschool-related! If families are not sure if an item would qualify, please get it pre-approved before printing multiple copies.

■ Note to vendors for activities or instruction; no vendor flyer may claim that the vendor is “approved by IDEA.” They may state that they are willing to bill IDEA directly if that is the case.

■ Payment – Enclose a $15 check in the box with 200 flyers.

Shipping – Please mail or deliver flyers to the office below so that they arrive by April 15. Please specify “Hand-Out Sacks” on a box.

Mail or deliver to: IDEA, Attn: Hand-Out Sacks

43335 Kalifornsky Beach Rd., Suite 31

Soldotna, AK 99669

■ First time advertising in hand-out sacks and have questions? Contact Suzanne Alioto at 260-3158 or visit our website and click on “Curriculum Fair” in the left navigation pane.

■ Graduation ordering – it’s time to order that cap and gown. This is available online or by phone with Jostens. Jostens in located in Anchorage, but they do not have a walk-in store. Their phone number is 907-562-2001.

Emails may be sent to

In preparation of the Curriculum Fair, there will be two orientations at the IDEA office. Families may sign up for orientations on the Region K Blog.

The Introduction to High School Workshop is for any IDEA family who has already attended a new family orientation in the years past and have or will have a high school student next year. Students will be prepared to meet their futures with a great foundation. It is advised that parents and students both attend if possible.

■ Create a four-year plan to develop a strong academic profile.

■ Learn to select a rigorous high school curriculum.

■ Gain required credits to graduate through a variety of options.

The Curriculum Fair Prep Workshop will help families learn how to make the most of their time at the fair.

Parents will have time to pencil out a rough draft of their ILP, plan a budget, and more.

Remember to check out for more details on all the activities sponsored by IDEA. Check under the Region K Family Blog and Region K Community Blog as events are updated multiple times a week.

Kenai Central High

■ March 28 – Borough Mass Band at 6 p.m. in Auditorium

■ March 29 – Borough Mass Band at 6 p.m. in Auditorium

■ March 31 – National Honor Society induction at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium

State Skills USA competition in Anchorage

■ April 1 – Early Release Day at 12:45 p.m.

■ Varsity Track at Big Cs in Anchorage

■ State Skills USA competition in Anchorage

■ April 2 – Varsity Track at Big Cs in Anchorage

■ State Skills USA competition in Anchorage

Kenai Middle

Congratulations to Character Counts winners Brandon Olsen and James Sparks!

■ March 29 – KMS will welcome K-Beach and Kaleidoscope students to Kenai Middle School. Visiting students will learn all about the amazing things that happen here at Kenai Middle every day.

Don’t be alarmed:

On Wednesday KMS will participate in the community wide Tsunami Drill taking place at 10:15 a.m.

If families have an incoming 6th grader or a new to KMS 7th or 8th grader, make plans to visit KMS from 5:30 – 7:30 on Thursday, March 31, for the annual Open House and BBQ. Students will enjoy a plethora of fun activities while parents learn about everything Kenai Middle has to offer.

Basketball for 6th graders also ends on March 31.

■ April 1 – Spring Picture Day — No Foolin’. Students should have brought home a picture packet however additional copies are available at the office.

■ April 1 – Early Release day. Students will be released at 12:57 p.m. Buses will accommodate the early release schedule.

Also on Friday, the KCHS Girls Soccer team will host a “Lock-In” for KMS 7th and 8th grade students from 6 p.m. to midnight. Cost is $25, food, drinks, and tons of fun will be provided. This event is limited to the first 100 students so pick up a form at the office and return it quickly.

Save the Date: April 4 Track begins for 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. Students must have a completed sports packets turned in to participate.

Mountain View Elementary

Friday, April 1, is an early release day. Those students being picked up will be dismissed at 1:50 p.m. and all other students will be dismissed at 1:55 p.m.

Applications are available for the 2016-2017 Mountain View Pre-K Program.

Screenings for this program will be held on Thursday, April 21.

In order to be considered, a child must be 4-years-old by Sept. 1, 2016, live in the Mountain View attendance area, and have a completed application returned to Mountain View Elementary.

Screenings will be scheduled after applications are brought back to the school.

For information please call 283-8600.

Nikiski Middle-High

■ March 10–12 – During spring break basketball teams competed at the conference tournament in Anchorage. Both teams competed well. The boys placed third and won a berth to the state tournament in Anchorage by qualifying with their WPI.

The State Tournament is March 24–26 in Achorage. Congratulations to the first team all-conference team players Hallie Riddall, Arianne Parrish, Cade Anderson, Nathan Carstens and Hunter Holloway.

Voted for the second team all-conference were Ayla Pitt, Kelsey Clark, and Luke Johnson. Boys Coach, Reid Kornstad was also selected as the conference and 3A State Coach of the Year. Great job to both basketball programs and coaches.

■ March 28 – Graduation Planning Meeting at 5:30 p.m. in the library

■ High School Honors Band performance

■ March 29 – High School Mass Band Concert at 6 p.m. at Kenai High School

■ March 30 – SST (Speed Strength Training) Competition at 6 p.m. at Nikiski

■ Friday, April 1 – Early Release day, students will be released at 12:45 p.m.

■ High School Track at Big C Relays in Anchorage

■ April 2 – High School Track at Big C Relays in Anchorage

■ PTSA Evening at the Arts at 7 p.m.

Coming up:

■ April 4 – MS Track Begins

■ April 9 – Prom

Nikiski North Star Elementary

Early release day will be on Friday, April 1st. NNS will dismiss at 2 p.m.

Nikiski North Star students in grades 3rd through 5th will be taking AMP (Alaska Measures of Progress) testing starting March 29. AMP is the statewide test that has replaced SBA testing. A major difference between SBA and AMP is that AMP is entirely a computer based test. Third graders will take AMP tests the week of March 30, fourth graders will test the week of April 6 and 5th graders will test the week of April 13.

Please make sure that a student is rested and well fed as that will allow them to be most successful in testing. The school says “A big thank you to the NNS PTA volunteers who have offered to assist with providing snacks for testing.” If families need further information, please call the school at 776-2600.

Redoubt Elementary

Box Top winners last week were Hunter Bras, Cassius Miller, Caiden Hershberger & Michael Davidson.

Keep those Box Tops for education and Labels for education coming, weekly drawings are held so don’t forget to have a child put their name on the back of each Box Top and turn them in at school. Help earn money for Redoubt.

Support Redoubt Elementary while you shop at Fred Meyer.

Every time families shop with their linked Rewards Card at Fred Meyer, they are helping Redoubt Elementary earn a donation.

And the more families who link their Rewards Cards to Redoubt Elementary the more Redoubt can earn. To link a Rewards account go to:

Registration is now open for the 2016-2017 preschool program. Children must be 4-years-old by Sept. 1, 2016, and live in Redoubt’s attendance area.

Admission will be based on student need.

Complete information and applications are available at the school office.

Yearbook order forms have been sent home. Please pre-order by March 31. Please make checks payable to: Redoubt Elementary. Yearbooks will arrive in early May.

Cost for yearbook is $15.

Pre-registration forms for next year have been sent home. Parents please make sure to complete the form and return it to Redoubt Elementary as soon as possible.

Registration for students who will be living in Redoubt’s attendance area next fall will be held April 4-6 at the school office.

Parents are encouraged to complete the online survey regarding Early Release Days that was sent to all parents and guardians on March 22, 2016.

■ March 30 – Tsunami drill at 10:15 a.m.

■ April 1 – Early Release Day at 1:45 p.m.

AMP Testing Dates:

■ March 29 to April 5 – 3rd grade AMP Testing

■ April 6-13 – 6th grade AMP Testing

■ April 14-20 – 4th grade AMP Testing

■ April 21-27 – 5th grade AMP Testing

■ April 28-29 – Make-up Testing Dates

Soldotna Elementary

Mark calendars for these upcoming events:

■ March 24 – Spring Picture Day

■ April 1 – Early Release Day

School News:

The Reading Counts winners for week four and five are: Alexis Simmons, Troy Dixon, Aimee Goans, Dalton Cullen, Kaden Williams, Ryan Buchanan, Evangelina Espy, Luke McGee, Jeren Nash, Tanner Clyde, Gage Hancock, Eddie Goans, Briley Morton, Carter Cannava, Dezerae Hite and Gannon McMillan-Canfield. Congratulations and keep reading.

Soldotna Elementary is currently taking yearbook orders. Order before April 1 for $17.

The Soldotna High School mass band will be participating in the KPBSD Honor and Mass Band festival at KCHS on Monday and Tuesday, March 28-29. Congratulations to the following students selected to the honor band: Lavender Burns, Kallie Kenner, Emily Pieh, Kellie Arthur, Korie Gilmore, Kiana Steadman, Joel Sisson, Brian Dusek, Cody Quelland, Calvin Mitzel, Jayce Kemp, Natalee Johnson, Elijah Stoll, Meghan Ussing, Rebekah Keener, and Tannen Holland. The concert will be on Tuesday, March 29 at 6 p.m. at KCHS. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for senior citizens, $2 for students, $15 for family.

SoHi Prom tickets will go on sell Monday, April 4.

Tickets are $30 each and available for sale through the front office during the regular school day. Students should buy tickets during lunch or break.

The last day to buy tickets will be Friday, April 15. No tickets will be sold at the door.

This year’s theme is A Night in the Orient.

Parents of Seniors will meet again on Thursday, April 7 at 6 p.m. in the SoHi Staff Lounge. Fundraising help is needed. Please email Sheilah-Margaret Pothast at, for more information with “After Grad” in the subject line. Parent volunteers planning to help chaperone at the event must be PTSA members for insurance purposes.

Membership forms can be picked up at the school office and PTSA dues are $10 annually.

Soldotna High

The Soldotna High School and SoPrep PTSAs will meet at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, April 14, in the SoHi Staff Lounge. Officer nominations for the 2016-2017 school year will be taken and the school hopes all will consider joining. Need more information? Please e-mail Sheilah-Margaret Pothast at with “PTSA” in the subject line.

If SoHi School parents and guardians are interested in taking a brief four question survey about early release days, it will be open March 11-28, 2016.

The direct link is: and a link is also in the community interest section on the KPBSD homepage and in the KPBSD website in section: Students/Parents > Surveys.

Please take a brief online four question survey, open March 11-28, 2016, to share perceptions and thoughts about the six early release days for students.

Each school day, more than 1,200 KPBSD employees do all that they can to provide a quality education to the district’s students. A part of this work is a continuous improvement process that requires the school to regularly evaluate practices so that we can in turn, make the necessary changes to help students find success.

An intricate piece of our improvements is professional development for certified staff.

With the need to do more for staff in this area, for the past two school years the school designated six school days as minimum days—with a 90 minute early release for students, while staff works a maximum day in order to deliberately devote time to collaborate and collectively address the learning needs of students. Now that families are familiar with these shortened student school days, staff want to receive feedback on them.

Please complete these questions, and provide optional comments.

Soldotna Prep

Soldotna High School and SoPrep PTSA will meet at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 14, in the SoHi Staff Lounge. Officer nominations for the 2016-2017 school year will be taken and they hope all will consider joining them.

Need more information? Please e-mail Sheilah-Margaret Pothast at with “PTSA” in the subject line.

Mass Band Concert Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. at KCHS. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for senior citizens, $2 for students, $15 for family.

Early release day is Friday, April 1, 2016.

Check SOPREP school blog for important information and updates

The Study

The Study is already looking forward to a bright, busy summer. If families are worried about a student losing skills and knowledge over the break, bring them to The Study!

Summer Offerings:

■ June-July summer school sessions for kindergarten through 8th graders are Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to noon

■ June-July Mini Kinder Prep sessions for 3-6-year-olds are Monday through Thursday from 12:30-2:30 p.m.

■ June-July Jr. High Math sessions for 6-9th graders are Tuesday through Thursday from 1-3 p.m.

■ July Mastery of Multiplication session for 3-6th graders is Monday and Wednesday from 3-4 p.m.

■ July Excellence in Writing session for 4-7th graders is Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to noon

■ July Study Skills session for 6-12th graders is Tuesday and Thursday from 10:30-11:30 a.m.

■ Piano for 5 year olds and older is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday and Tuesday

School Year:

■ Homework Club on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4-6 p.m.

■ High School Courses for Credit: Algebra 1 & 2, Geometry, Alaska Studies, Government, Art Exploration, Spanish, ASL

■ Private & Group Tutoring in all subjects

■ Piano, Voice, and Guitar Lessons

■ SAT Prep

■ A wide variety of workshops, such as Jr. High Math, Mastery of Multiplication, Excellence in Writing, Ground School, Study Skills, and even Summer School

As an accredited private school and learning center, The Study is committed to meeting the educational needs of the Kenai Peninsula.

Tustumena Elementary

March 28 – Site Council 4 p.m.

March 29 – Report Cards Sent home

March 29 – Alice Drill

March 29 – 3rd Quarter Assembly.

More in News

Drummers perform during a celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Dena’ina Wellness Center in Kenai, Alaska, on Friday, July 12, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenaitze tribe celebrates 10 years of ‘far-fetched dream’ at wellness center

Community members recognized the work done at the Dena’ina Wellness Center over the past decade

The Kenai Safeway is seen on Wednesday, July 20, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai and Soldotna Safeways may be sold under proposed Kroger-Albertsons merger

The local stores will be sold to CS Wholesale Grocers only if the merger overcomes suit from the FTC

Sockeye salmon caught in a set gillnet are dragged up onto the beach at a test site for selective harvest setnet gear in Kenai, Alaska, on Tuesday, July 25, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Draft plan published for disbursement of $11.5 million in 2021 and 2022 ESSN disasters

Public comment will be accepted for the draft spend plan until July 24

The Kasilof River is seen from the Kasilof River Recreation Area, July 30, 2019, in Kasilof, Alaska. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
King salmon fishing closed on Kasilof starting Monday

The emergency order is being issued to protect returning king salmon, citing weak returns

Soldotna City Hall is seen on Wednesday, June 23, 2021, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna’s city council appropriates funds for FY 2025 capital projects

Improvements are described for streets, police facility, Soldotna Creek Park and Soldotna Community Memorial Park

Gina Plank processes sockeye salmon caught on the first day of Kenai River dipnetting with her table set up on the bank of the Kenai River in Kenai, Alaska, on Wednesday, July 10, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai River open for dipnetting

As of Tuesday, a total of 226,000 sockeye had been counted in the Kenai River’s late run

Assembly Vice President Tyson Cox speaks during a meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly in Soldotna, Alaska, on Tuesday, June 18, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Assembly won’t pursue further discussion on tabled bed tax resolution

Members say they’re going to work on a new version of the idea this winter

Gov. Mike Dunleavy pictured with members of the House majority after signing the fiscal year 2025 budget bills, Thursday, June 27, 2024, in Anchorage, Alaska. From left to right: Reps. Stanley Wright, Tom McKay, Thomas Baker, Craig Johnson, Kevin McCabe, Julie Coulombe and Laddie Shaw. (Photo provided by Office of the Governor)
Dunleavy signs capital budget with $3.7M in state funding for Kenai Peninsula, vetoes $3.3M

Roughly $90 million in federal funding also allocated to Kenai Peninsula

Alaska State Troopers logo.
Soldotna man arrested Friday after 30-minute police chase

The man had an outstanding warrant for felony probation violation

Most Read