District, associations schedule arbitration

The next time the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District administrators and the support staff and teacher associations meet for negotiations will be in the presence of an advisory arbitrator.

A hearing with Gary Axon, an Oregon-based arbitrator jointly selected by the three teams, is scheduled for June 1-2. On that date it will be nearly 14 months since collective bargaining began for contracts that were supposed to take effect July 1, 2015.

School district faces increase in class sizes

Budget constraints might mean all but two of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District’s 44 schools will have more students and fewer teachers in the classroom next year.

Administrators are recommending the board of education raise the pupil-teacher ratio at all sites other than Kenai Alternative and Homer Flex high schools through the preliminary fiscal year 2017 budget, which Assistant Superintendent Dave Jones presented at the Jan. 11 board meeting. 

Other factors would compound the changes.

Superintendent, principal learn all about pie in eye

Two Chapman School students covered the faces of Chapman School Principal Conrad Woodhead and Kenai Peninsula School District Superintendent Sean Dusek in whipped topping on Tuesday, January 19 — without being reprimanded. 

Fourth-grader Harley Boon and second-grader Lynnzi Stout won the opportunity to stick pies in the educators’ faces in a random drawing during a school-wide celebration of a successful fundraiser.

School Events

Chapman School

Jan. 21: Volleyball at Homer Middle School, 4 p.m.

Jan. 26: Volleyball at Chapman v. Ninilchik, 3:45 p.m.

Jan. 27: 5th and 6th grades field trip, Challenger Center, all day. 

Jan. 28: Volleyball at CIA, 4 p.m.


Parents talk teen sex ed

Parents of Homer teens listened attentively, and some a little anxiously, as three teens and two adults broached the awkward topic of discussing sex with their kids. 

The night’s goal, however, was to make this topic a lot less scary and uncomfortable for everyone.

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Events

Most Kenai Peninsula Borough Schools are not in session in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. day on Jan. 18.

Chapman School

Jan. 14: Quarter 2 awards, 2 p.m.

Jan. 19: Students of the quarter lunch at the Cheeky Moose, 11:30 a.m.

Jan. 19: Third and fourth grade class pie Principal Woodhead and Superintendent Dusek in the face, 2:45 p.m. 

Jan. 15: Wrestling tournament, 4-7 p.m.

Prize pies fly

The students of Chapman School’s third and fourth grade class get to give Chapman Principal Conrad Woodhead and Kenai Borough School District Superintendent Sean Dusek pies in the face as a reward for raising the most money in the district in suppport of the Bethel School. The fundraiser ran Dec. 1-17, 2015.

Brian Dusek, the student representative on the school board who created the project, will be present as well. 

Deadline to apply for board seat extended to Jan. 20

Interested applicants still have time to apply for the open Board of Education District 9-South Peninsula seat that serves some areas of Homer, Nanwalek, Port Graham and Seldovia.

The deadline has been extended until Jan. 20 at 5 p.m., because no one applied prior to the previously set Dec. 29, 2015, cutoff to fill the position vacated in December by 12-year member Sunni Hilts.

Delilah Harris heads to state Geography Bee

Sixth-grade West Homer Elementary School student Delilah Harris beat out 26 fellow students at the school’s Geography Bee on Wednesday, Jan. 6. Theo McDonough, a fifth grader, took the runner-up spot.

Delilah will advance to the state competition on April 1 at the Egan Center in Anchorage, competing for the chance to travel to the National Geographic Bee in Washington, D.C., in May, said West Homer Elementary School Principal Raymond Marshall. If Delilah cannot attend the state bee, Theo will go instead as West Homer Elementary’s representative.

School Events

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District

Most KPBSD schools will have a vacation day on Jan. 18, Martin Luther King Day.
Chapman School

Jan. 14: Quarter 2 awards, 2 p.m.

Jan. 15: Wrestling Tournament, TBA

Jan. 25: Sportsman Banquet, TBA

Fireweed Academy (all grades)

Jan. 15: Link-Up Orchestra at the Mariner Theater, 7 p.m.

Letters to Santa

Editor’s Note: It’s become a Christmas tradition that every year the first-graders in Wendy Todd’s class at Paul Banks Elementary School share their holiday drawings and letters to Santa. We’ve tried to stay true to the kids’ spelling.

School Events

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District

All KPBSD schools will have winter break from Dec. 19 through Jan. 3. School will start again on Jan. 4. Happy holidays!

Chapman School

Dec. 14-18: Information Services Week. Chapman School would like to thank the KPBSD tech folks for all they do for us — every day!

Dec. 17: 5th-8th Grade Dance, 3:30-4:30 p.m.

Dec. 18: No school – in-service day.

Paul Banks kids celebrate Christmas, insect-style

Outside of an entomology conference, you couldn’t find a group of people happier to see several dozen bugs than the packed audience in Mariner Theatre last Thursday afternoon. 

Nearly every seat was filled for Paul Banks Elementary School’s performance of “A Bugz Christmas,” a musical acted out by costumed kindergarteners, first- and second-graders. Parents and grandparents stood to wave and call to their wing-clad children as the stage filled with little bugs — who waved happily back, pipe cleaner antennae wobbling.

Scholarship deadline approaches

The Homer Kachemak Bay Rotary Club sponsors two $1,500 scholarships for the spring 2016 Kachemak Bay Campus semester. Application packages must be received by Dec. 30. 

Applicants must attend the Kachemak Bay Campus and demonstrate the best combination of financial need, academic achievement, career goals and Rotary principles. 

School Events

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District 


All KPBSD schools will have winter break from Dec. 19-Jan. 3. School will resume on Jan. 4. Happy holidays!

Fireweed Academy (all grades)

Dec. 14: APC meeting in Room 103 at West Homer Elementary.

Dec. 18: No school – teacher in service day.

Dec. 19: Craft and cookie decorating table at Procrastinators Faire, Homer High School.

Applicants sought for District 9 board seat

Longtime school board member Sunni Hilts (District 9) retires this month. (See story, page 1.) Thus, the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is seeking applicants to fill this vacant school board position through October 2016. Applications are online at, and will be accepted through noon Dec. 27 for the District 9 (South Peninsula) school board position.

Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, a qualified voter of the State of Alaska and a resident of the Kenai Peninsula and District 9 (South Peninsula) for 180 days.

Flex students get into holiday spirit with after-school crafts

On Thursday, Dec. 3, Homer Flex students and teachers had the option to spend their after-school hours crafting. 

The Flex Craft Fair is “about creating a handmade gift for a loved one or yourself,” said Flex teacher Colette Choate.

All the crafts were holiday oriented or ideal gifts. While there were no restrictions as to what students could make, there were materials laid out to make three kinds of items: jewelry, ornaments and paper arts. 

School Events

Chapman School

Dec. 3: Winter concert by grades K-8, 7 p.m.

Fireweed Academy (all grades)

Dec. 9: Nutcracker performance, 7 p.m. Intermission bake sale fundraiser.

Dec. 14: APC meeting in Room 103 at West Homer Elementary

Big Fireweed Academy

Dec. 4: Guest speaker: Carmen Fields will present on salmon habitat and ecology.


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