Author Archives: Steve Atwater

Last Blog

About a month ago, some of the public on the central peninsula were on edge because a district employee was returning to work after being in Africa. With the Ebola scare in full swing, these folks were concerned that the employee might be infectious with the virus. Today, with few confirmed cases of Ebola in […]
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Traditionalists and Expansionists

I read an interesting article this morning on two different approaches to conserve our wilderness that are being taken in response to climate change. The new conservationists are being proactive by moving species to new ranges and using nonnative species as stand-ins for those that have become extinct. The old conservationists who want to protect, […]
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Teaching and learning

During my student teaching in a remote village, I sent videotapes of selected lessons to my university evaluator. I recall that prior to my first taping, in fear that I would appear inept, I advised my students to not pay attention to the camera on the tripod at the back of the room. At the end […]
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Gallup Student Poll

When I first moved to Soldotna I drove past a house that was covered in Tyvek (a high density polyethylene house wrap) and assumed that the owner was getting ready to add siding. Six years later, nothing on the house has changed. I was reminded of this when thinking about how easy it is to […]
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Budget Challenge

The format for last week’s budget meeting was a first for the district when we made an interactive presentation broadcast (via MS Lync) to more than 20 of our schools. The goal of the meeting was to have our site councils, staff and community members gain a sense of our fiscal picture and then begin […]
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Changing face of CTE

When I was in high school, vocational education had two options for boys: woodshop and auto mechanics.  I never took either class.  Soon after moving to Alaska, I discovered that I wish I had when I found myself making repairs to outboards, older vehicles and 4-wheelers and doing most parts of house construction. Although my college […]
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Compared to Finland, Poland and South Korea

Earlier this week I started reading The Smartest Kids in the World, a book that examines why students in Finland, Poland and South Korea perform so much better on the PISA tests than do their peers in the United States.[1] The author uses three American exchange students’ experience in the these countries to contrast the […]
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Not Failing

A recent opinion piece on a local radio station’s website made the oft heard claim that our country’s public school system is failing. The comments were broad, without citation and stated that all improvement attempts have failed. And while there is no doubt that there is room for improvement in all schools both private and public, […]
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School Choice

During the past week I was repeatedly struck by information that confirmed that KPBSD is a district of choice. On Friday afternoon I attended the Connections parent training that included a panel of our homeschool parents and an audience of the same with remarkably well behaved children. The panel fielded questions from the moderator and […]
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Safety Drills

The start of school each August is always a furious time with much of the first few weeks devoted to learning routines and how (for the younger students) to behave in a group setting. It is also a time to ensure that procedures followed in the event of an emergency are reviewed and soundly in […]
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