Schools

Homer schools gain students at start of year

Homer area schools are seeing an unexpected increase in enrollment from previous years at the start of the 2016-17 school year.

McNeil Canyon Elementary started the first day of school with 127 students enrolled, 20 children more than the 107 projected enrollment for the year, said McNeil Canyon Principal Pete Swanson. This is an uptick for the school which has experienced declining enrollment in the last few years.

School Briefs

School Events

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District

Fireweed Academy

Sept. 8: Fireweed Harvest Festival, 5 p.m., and Meet ‘n Greet Open House, 6 p.m. at Big Fireweed in room 105.

Sept. 12: APC meeting at Big Fireweed in room 104, 4:30 p.m.

Little Fireweed

Sept. 9: Field trip to community build of the Burning Basket

Sept. 15: Anchor Point Beach Trip

Big Fireweed

Sept. 15-16: Anchor Point Campout

Homer High School

Sept. 9: Varsity volleyball leaves for Kotzebue, 8:30 a.m. Games at 7, 8:30 p.m.

School Briefs

School Events

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District

 

Homer Flex

Sept. 5: No school

Sept. 8-9: Bunnell Street Arts Project, 1:30-3 p.m.

Sept. 14: Early release, 1:30 p.m.

 

Homer High School

Sept. 1: Deadline to sign up for SAT

Sept. 2: We Bleed Blue and Gold Night: C-team, JV, and varsity volleyball vs. Nikiski, 3:30, 4:30, and 6 p.m.

Sept. 3: Swim and dive triathlon fundraiser, 8 a.m.

Sept. 3: Cross-country running at Palmer Invite, 10:30 a.m.

KPC makes deep cuts in 2017 budget

Now that the 2016 legislative session is over, Kenai Peninsula College Director Gary Turner has had to implement the budget reductions he had planned for both the 2017 and 2018 fiscal years in 2017.

The current 2016-17 school year at KPC’s Kachemak Bay Campus in Homer has not been significantly impacted, said Kachemak Bay Campus, Kenai Peninsula College Director Carol Swartz. There have been reductions in travel and supply budgets, but all changes to personnel and classes this year have nothing to do with the budget.

On your mark, get set, read!

Each month, this column will feature tips on how to include everyday literacy in your family’s daily routine using five familiar practices: reading, talking, playing, singing, and writing together!

Each article will include book and digital media recommendations as well as activities you can try at home.

Reading with children, even before they can talk, is important. In each family, and with each child, reading aloud may happen differently, but researchers confirm it is essential for growing readers.

School Events

School Events

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District

Homer Flex

Aug. 31: Open house, 5-6:30 p.m.

Registration is ongoing, please call 235-5558 for an appointment.

Homer High School

Aug. 25: JV and varsity football and cheerleaders leave for Whittier Ferry, 4 a.m.

Aug. 25: C-team, JV and varsity volleyball vs. Seward, 3:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 6 p.m.

Aug. 26: Varsity football at Kodiak, 6 p.m.

Aug. 26: Cross-country running leaves for Anchorage, 3:30 p.m.

Aug. 27: JV football at Kodiak, 9 a.m.

KPBSD community can connect through app

2,014 parents, staff, students and community members have been using their phones as another platform to access the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District events and activities.

School district liaison Pegge Erkeneff headed development of the platform, which among other avenues allows users to subscribe to school calendar information, sports scores and schedules, social media sites and communications updates.

School Events

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District

Most KPBSD schools start on Tuesday, Aug. 23. For variance calendar start dates, see homernews.com/schools.

Fireweed Academy

Aug. 22: Academic Policy Committee meeting in room 104 at West Homer Elementary, 4:30 p.m.

Homer High School

Aug. 18: 9th grade orientation, 6-8 p.m.

Aug. 20: JV and varsity volleyball Jamboree, 9 a.m.-4p.m.

Aug. 20: Cross-country runing at Tsalteshi Trails, 12 p.m.

Aug. 20: Varsity football vs. Barrow, 3 p.m.

New Homer school principals eager to connect with community

Two Homer area schools welcome new leadership at the beginning of the 2016-17 school year as Eric Waltenbaugh and Todd Hindman take the helms of Fireweed Academy and West Homer Elementary. The two new principals are long-time Alaska educators, both of whom have dreamt of living in Homer for some time.

Eric Waltenbaugh

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District 2016-17 district-wide and variance calendars

District wide

August 23: First day of school

September 5: Labor Day

September 14: Early release

October 21: Inservice, end of quarter

October 26: Early release

October 27-28: Parent-teacher conferences

November 23: Early release

November 24-25: Thanksgiving holiday

December 22: Inservice, end of quarter

December 23: Vacation

December 26: Legal holiday

December 27-30: Vacation

January 2: Legal holiday

January 3-6: Vacation

January 16: Martin Luther King Day; vacation

School-required vaccinations boost immunity, reduce child disease risk

Children entering public and private schools in Alaska, as well as certified preschools and licensed daycares, must be immunized, unless he or she is given an exemption for medical or religious reasons.

Overall, the state does not see a high percentage of exemptions, said Gerri Yett, program manager for the state immunization program.

New Fireweed Academy principal hired

Fireweed Academy’s academic policy committee offered the position of principal to Todd Hindman, who accepted. Hindman founded and worked as principal in Nome, Alaska’s Anvil City Science Academy.

“We are very excited to welcome Todd to Homer and to our school,” wrote academic policy committee chair Amber Niebuhr in a note to Fireweed Academy parents.

Students look to future, say thanks

Haven House’s Young Women of Distinction award recipient Lilli Johnson graduated from Homer High School in three years. Johnson plans to take a gap year and teach in Uganda. Her advice to Homer High students is to take care of themselves first.

“It’s totally worth it to watch Netflix and not do homework. It’s worth it. It will make you feel better,” Johnson said. “It might stress you out the next day, but your homework is not the most important thing. You are and remember that.”

Homer grads spread their wings

Eighty-six high school seniors graduated from Homer High School and Homer Flex on Wednesday, May 18. Each senior finished high school with unique struggles, triumphs and goals for their future.

Homer Flex held its ceremony, which focused on resiliency and growth, at Land’s End Resort early in the evening. After staff members of Homer Flex gave individual commencement addresses and gifts to the seniors, each graduate had the opportunity to stand up and speak to the audience. 

Homer students use video technology to learn in a classroom without walls

Homer High School social studies teacher Kendra Nelson’s first period world history class includes students from Homer High School and Kenai Central High School, yet neither school has to make tricky travel arrangements. 

Using video-conferencing technology, Nelson’s students connect with Greg Zorbas’ students in Kenai at the click of a button. Video conferencing allows Nelson and Zorbas to deliver lectures to both classes, as well as the students to connect with one another during class time. 

Nikiski seniors win top Caring for Kenai prize

As Caring for the Kenai (CFK) stepped into its second quarter century, it was Evangeline and Margeurite Cox that took one small step for canines and one giant leap for disaster preparedness by claiming the first place prize of $1,600 in the annual environmental and natural disaster preparedness contest. 

“Breath for Pets” was the title of their entry and their project placed pet oxygen masks in the hands of first responders on the Kenai Peninsula.

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