Kenai Peninsula Borough School District

Resurrection Bay is photographed from Seward, Alaska, in March, 2018. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)

Seward foreign exchange program to be held virtually

In a typical year, a maximum of four students are selected for the program and go to Japan for 10 days.

Resurrection Bay is photographed from Seward, Alaska, in March, 2018. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Krista Schooley (left) testifies before the Kenai Peninsula Borough Board of Education on Monday, June 7, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Screenshot)

A ‘groundswell’: Conservative coalition seeks to expand influence on school policy

The vision of KPCCC is to “restructure and build the foundation of the 7 Mountains of Influence in our society through conservative action.”

Krista Schooley (left) testifies before the Kenai Peninsula Borough Board of Education on Monday, June 7, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Screenshot)
Soldotna assistant football coach Eric Pomerleau checks the temperature of sophomore Joseph Whittom before summer workouts Wednesday, June 17, 2020, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Masks optional for KPBSD staff, students effective next week

The policy change is in response to updated guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Soldotna assistant football coach Eric Pomerleau checks the temperature of sophomore Joseph Whittom before summer workouts Wednesday, June 17, 2020, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Connections Homeschool Principal Rich Bartolowits speaks to graduates during their graduation ceremony at Soldotna High School on Thursday, May 20, 2021. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Connections Homeschool Principal Rich Bartolowits speaks to graduates during their graduation ceremony at Soldotna High School on Thursday, May 20, 2021. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
KPBSD Superintendent John O’Brien sits in his office in the George A. Navarre Administration Building, on Monday, May 24, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

A ‘second act’: O’Brien plans for life after KPBSD

Superintendent John O’Brien spoke with the Clarion about his 16 years of service in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District

KPBSD Superintendent John O’Brien sits in his office in the George A. Navarre Administration Building, on Monday, May 24, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Valedictorians Rosalie Anderson, Lillian Carstens and Samuel Smith give their commencement address at the Nikiski Middle/High School graduation on Wednesday, May 19, 2021 in the gymnasium. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)
Valedictorians Rosalie Anderson, Lillian Carstens and Samuel Smith give their commencement address at the Nikiski Middle/High School graduation on Wednesday, May 19, 2021 in the gymnasium. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna High School students celebrate their graduation on Tuesday, May 18, 2021 at the high school football field. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna High School students celebrate their graduation on Tuesday, May 18, 2021 at the high school football field. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)
Jullian Miller (left) and Alivia Howard speak during Kenai Alternative High School’s 2021 graduation ceremony on Tuesday, May 18, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Jullian Miller (left) and Alivia Howard speak during Kenai Alternative High School’s 2021 graduation ceremony on Tuesday, May 18, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
KCHS valedictorians Abigail Moffett and Owen Rolph speak at KCHS’ graduation ceremony on Monday, May 17 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

‘Through the good times and the bad’

After tumultuous final years, Kenai Central High School seniors receive diplomas

KCHS valedictorians Abigail Moffett and Owen Rolph speak at KCHS’ graduation ceremony on Monday, May 17 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Aidan Katzenberger speaks at the River City Academy graduation in Soldotna, Alaska on Monday, May 17, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)
Aidan Katzenberger speaks at the River City Academy graduation in Soldotna, Alaska on Monday, May 17, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai Peninsula Borough Administration and Assembly meet for a joint work session with the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District on Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021.

KPBSD recruiting new staff at most schools

The district is looking to hire more than 50 new staff members for schools across the borough.

Kenai Peninsula Borough Administration and Assembly meet for a joint work session with the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District on Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021.
Foreground, from left to right: Kenai Middle School seventh grader Cooper Tallent-Darling and eighth grader Gavin Hunt perform as their “Lion King” characters, Simba and Mufasa, while the rest of the cast acts in the background. The school drama department recorded and filmed a rendition of the Disney movie and premiered it in May 2021. (Photo provided by Kenai Middle School drama)
Foreground, from left to right: Kenai Middle School seventh grader Cooper Tallent-Darling and eighth grader Gavin Hunt perform as their “Lion King” characters, Simba and Mufasa, while the rest of the cast acts in the background. The school drama department recorded and filmed a rendition of the Disney movie and premiered it in May 2021. (Photo provided by Kenai Middle School drama)
Senior Elijah Royal-Reyna receives his diploma during Kenai Central High School’s Class of 2020 Graduation Parade in Kenai, Alaska on May 20, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Masks required for adults at KPBSD graduations; other protocols school-specific

Graduation ceremonies will cap the end of a school year that saw tensions rise between the district and parents.

Senior Elijah Royal-Reyna receives his diploma during Kenai Central High School’s Class of 2020 Graduation Parade in Kenai, Alaska on May 20, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
One of the two buildings used to teach elementary school children in Kachemak Selo sits on the outer edge of the village Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018 in the village at the head of Kachemack Bay. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Borough, school district ask lawmakers to move K-Selo money

Efforts to construct a new K-12 school building in the remote village of Kachemak Selo have been in the works for years.

One of the two buildings used to teach elementary school children in Kachemak Selo sits on the outer edge of the village Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018 in the village at the head of Kachemack Bay. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Charlie Pierce, Jesse Bjorkman and Brandi Harbaugh attend a meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly on Tuesday, May 4, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Assembly votes down $48 million school district funding floor

Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce has said that he is committed to funding the school district at the district’s requested $48 million

Charlie Pierce, Jesse Bjorkman and Brandi Harbaugh attend a meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly on Tuesday, May 4, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos arrives for an event in the State Dining room of the White House, Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

School district crafting Title IX policies

The move is aimed at bringing the district into compliance with federal changes governing how instances of sexual harassment and discrimination are handled by administration.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos arrives for an event in the State Dining room of the White House, Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
All 12 finalists of the Caring for the Kenai competition recieve their awards at Kenai Central High School on Wednesday, April 21, 2021.

Caring for the Kenai names finalists

The winning idea proposed using beehives to divert local birds from peninsula landfills.

All 12 finalists of the Caring for the Kenai competition recieve their awards at Kenai Central High School on Wednesday, April 21, 2021.
From left to right: Rhys Cannava, 16, Quinn Cox, 17, and Jolie Widaman, 16, are pictured here in Soldtna, Alaska on Thursday, April 15, 2021. The three Soldotna High School juniors got vaccinated against COVID-19 in March 2021.

‘I didn’t want to be a spreader’

SoHi teens discuss living with pandemic, why they got vaccinated.

From left to right: Rhys Cannava, 16, Quinn Cox, 17, and Jolie Widaman, 16, are pictured here in Soldtna, Alaska on Thursday, April 15, 2021. The three Soldotna High School juniors got vaccinated against COVID-19 in March 2021.
Rhonda Baisden testifies before the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education on March 1 in Kenai. Baisden has been a vocal critic of school board COVID-19 mitigation policies implemented by the school district. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

‘You can’t expect people to live in bubbles forever’

Parents organize proms as tensions continue on school mitigation protocols.

Rhonda Baisden testifies before the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education on March 1 in Kenai. Baisden has been a vocal critic of school board COVID-19 mitigation policies implemented by the school district. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)