The Kodiak Island Borough
School District has seen
a significant decline in enrollment numbers during the 2008/2009 school year. The
Board of Education discussed possible staffing adjustments, based on current
and projected 2009/2010 enrollment for K-through-12 schools at its work session
Monday. The work session was held in an appropriate alternate location for such
a topic, the Port
Superintendent Stewart McDonald
described the process of making enrollment and staffing determinations as a
sort of tour of all the rural schools, having a series of meetings with members
of the various communities.
-- (Rural 1 26 sec. "We're going to each ... any given year.")
pointed to the Akhiok
School as an example of a
one in which enrollment has actually increased. He said that while Akhiok has hovered
at around 10 or 11 students in recent years, they're up to 19 students enrolled
this year. At the beginning of the School Board's meeting students and faculty
at the Karluk School, which recently re-opened, gave a
-- (Rural 2 14 sec. "There is evidence that ... that presentation mode now.")
said that staffing needs have changed over time as the district's assessment of
student needs has changed.
-- (Rural 3 38 sec. "We've been trying to ... what academics can be offered.")
Regardless of staffing decisions from school to
school, McDonald said there will also be greater interaction and sharing of
information and training among Kodiak
High School and rural
teachers, a process that has already been set in motion.
-- (Rural 4 12 sec. "No matter what our ... it's already set up.")
to the meeting, some members of the Port Lions Advisory School Board expressed
their concerns to McDonald regarding the future of the Port Lions School. According to Port Lions
principal Kendra Bartz, 32 students are currently enrolled at the school.
However, with three students graduating this year and only one current
kindergartner, that number may well drop to 29 next year, which could result in
the principal's position being eliminated. One member of the ASB questioned
McDonald about the process of re-opening a rural school once it has been
closed. McDonald said that the district's policy is that if 10 students are
enrolled and there is a school building in a given location, they will run a
school. However, the this can be complicated by funding cycles and the time it
takes to make a building functional again.
-- (Rural 5 38 sec. "The actual funding ... we will
provide the school.")
McDonald plans to
meet with the Port Lions Advisory School Board and other concerned members of
the community to discuss their specific concerns on May 13th in Port Lions. He
also plans to hold a similar meeting in Ouzinkie
shortly thereafter. He said he expects a list of staffing needs and courses to
be offered to be completed by the second week in June.