(711) stories found containing 'wrangell school board'


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  • Schools readvertise counselor job after remote applicant withdraws

    Mark C. Robinson, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 12, 2024

    The school district is readvertising for a full-time, in-person counselor to serve Wrangell’s 260 students starting in August. Amid pushback from faculty and at least one board member at last month’s school board meeting, the previously selected out-of-town applicant withdrew her bid to work as a remote K-12 counselor for the coming school year. The district administration last month proposed a contract for remote services with Lindsay Pinkelman, who runs Find a Way Consulting, based in Delta Junction, 95 miles southeast of Fairbanks. Tho...

  • The Way We Were

    Amber Armstrong-Hillberry, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 5, 2024

    June 5, 1924 Miss Yeteve Taake, field representative for the Pacific Division of the American Red Cross, arrived in Wrangell last Friday for a week’s work with the local chapter of the Red Cross. Miss Taake is very pleased with the work of the Wrangell chapter. She has spent the week looking over various reports, visiting with the recipients of the nurse’s services, talking with board members and many others interested and reached by this splendid service. “Loan closets are much appreciated in the communities having Red Cross chapters, and W...

  • Community needs long-term plan for school funding

    Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 5, 2024

    The assembly’s decision to take away any benefit to the school district of the Legislature’s one-year increase in state education funding for next year makes sense from the perspective of the borough’s own finances. However, there are more perspectives to consider. Long term, the community needs a plan to adequately fund its schools. The school board had asked the borough to contribute $1.75 million — the maximum amount allowed under state law — to the school district’s $6 million spending plan for the 2024-2025 school year. That would have...

  • Ortiz will not seek reelection; three candidates file for seat

    Ketchikan Daily News and Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 5, 2024

    Rep. Dan Ortiz, the Ketchikan independent who has represented southern Southeast communities since January 2015, including Wrangell, has decided to withdraw as a candidate for reelection, citing health and family considerations. Ortiz had filed in July as a candidate for reelection to House District 1, representing Ketchikan, Saxman, Metlakatla, Wrangell, Hyder, Coffman Cove and Whale Pass. However, a “more definitive” health concern caused him to reconsider, he told the Ketchikan Daily News on May 28. “It’s been within the last week that I...

  • School board postpones decision on contract for remote counselor

    Mark C. Robinson, Wrangell Sentinel|May 29, 2024

    The school board has tabled until next month a proposal to contract for remote counseling services for Wrangell students next year, instead of hiring a full-time counselor to work in the schools. The board voted May 20 to table the motion after hearing concerns from faculty and a board member. Schools Superintendent Bill Burr said the decision to contract for a remote K-12 counselor wasn’t an intentional change of direction. “We posted the position and then we looked at the applicants,” he said. “The hiring committee looked at the best all aro...

  • Group continues fundraising to cover student travel costs to state competition

    Mark C. Robinson, Wrangell Sentinel|May 29, 2024

    The Wrangell Athletic Club expects to have raised about $22,000 in donations by the end of June to reimburse the school district, which advanced about $34,000 this past school year to cover the cost of student travel to state competition. Volunteers created the nonprofit organization last year to raise money for state travel after the school board said it could not afford to cover the expenses. Club president Chris Johnson said they will send the district whatever funds it has raised by next month. In her latest financial report to the school...

  • School counselor needs to be in the building

    Wrangell Sentinel|May 29, 2024

    It’s no surprise that the applicant pool was limited when the Wrangell School District advertised for a new counselor to serve elementary, middle and high school students. It’s a big job for one person to work with 260 students. That includes providing career guidance, making health and psychological referrals, helping to manage student testing and assessments, and building relationships with staff, parents and the community. That’s a lot to ask of one person, but that’s the reality of the district’s tight finances. A small pool of applicant...

  • Borough contribution to schools depends on what the state pays

    Becca Clark, Wrangell Sentinel|May 22, 2024

    The borough assembly has approved a local contribution to the school district that could cancel out a pending increase in state funding. The assembly on May 14 approved a local contribution of $1.3 million to the school district for the 2024-2025 school year, down from this year’s level, based on the assumption that the state increases its funding to Wrangell schools by $440,000. The amount of state funding is pending the governor’s decision on the budget passed by legislators last week. The school board had asked for $1.75 million from the bor...

  • Legislature passes budget with one-year school funding increase

    Alaska Beacon|May 22, 2024

    The 33rd Alaska Legislature came to a shuddering but active end early Thursday morning, May 16, as lawmakers passed the state’s annual budget and several high-profile bills. While legislators met their short-term goals, they didn’t hit some lawmakers’ big targets, including a long-term plan to bring state finances into order, significant changes to the state education system or a revival of a pension program for public employees. While the budget includes a one-time increase in K-12 school funding, legislators didn’t permanently raise the per...

  • Annual ceremony recognizes students with awards, scholarships

    Mark C. Robinson, Wrangell Sentinel|May 22, 2024

    Students were recognized for their outstanding achievements at the annual academic and scholarship awards ceremony held the afternoon of May 15 at the high school gym. Faculty, staff, community and business leaders gathered to present ninth through 12th graders with certificates, plaques and checks for their accomplishments at the end of the school year. Awards were presented in the areas of general education, shop class, finance, the arts, student government and others. Scholarships presented...

  • Community Calendar

    May 15, 2024

    SCHOOL BOARD public hearing to collect input on student performance will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, May 20, with the regular board meeting at 6:30 p.m. at the Evergreen Elementary School Room 101. The agenda will be available online four days before the meeting at the school district website. ROLL ON THE ROCK roller skating 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Fridays at the TouchPoint Ministries rink on Bennett Street. Children 9 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Skaters must complete a registration form. NOLAN CENTER THEATER no movie this weekend....

  • Borough assembly, school board discuss local funding

    Becca Clark, Wrangell Sentinel|May 1, 2024

    The borough assembly and school board met April 23 in a joint work session to discuss local funding for the school district for the 2024-2025 school year. The school district has requested $1.75 million from the borough, which is the maximum local contribution allowed under state law and an increase from the $1.6 million that the borough contributed each of the past two years. The minimum local contribution required by the borough is $862,086. The state sets a minimum and a maximum in an effort to reduce budget and school program inequalities...

  • High schoolers will tutor senior citizens

    Wrangell Sentinel|Apr 24, 2024

    Who needs artificial intelligence when you have high school students with real digital intelligence. In a generational reversal of older people tutoring younger people with their writing, math and other subjects in school, Wrangell High School Student Government volunteers will tutor the community’s senior citizens in the digital world — a world that did not exist when the senior citizens were in high school. The school volunteers will be at the Irene Ingle Public Library from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 4, providing free advice, ass...

  • Counselor leaves after two years; tells school board turnover is a problem

    Mark C. Robinson, Wrangell Sentinel|Apr 24, 2024

    Julie Williams will step down as school counselor for the district at the end of the school term, after two years in the job. It's the latest in several recent high-profile turnovers of key school district personnel. Secondary school principal Jackie Hanson announced her decision in February not to renew her contract for the new school year, after one year on the job. She was the district's third middle/high school principal in the past three years. Elementary school principal Ann Hilburn...

  • School district requests increase in borough funding

    Mark C. Robinson, Wrangell Sentinel|Apr 24, 2024

    The school district is requesting $1.75 million from the borough for the 2024-2025 school year budget, an increase from the $1.6 million contribution of the past two years. Even with the increase, the budget will draw down more than half of the school district’s reserves to balance revenues with expenses. The uncertainty of any increase in state funding is adding to the budget stress at Wrangell schools and districts across the state. The state funding formula has increased little more than a few dollars in the past seven years. The annual b...

  • Chamber hands out annual volunteer, business, educator and citizen awards

    Sentinel staff|Apr 17, 2024

    The chamber of commerce at its annual awards dinner last weekend honored several members of the community for their service, including the fire department and emergency medical services crew, municipal electric line crew and borough employees for their response to the deadly Nov. 20 landslide that hit Wrangell. “Nowhere was the ‘I can help’ spirit more evident than in November of last year when a tragic landslide befell our community. For weeks, volunteers and first responders showed just what an amazing place Wrangell is,” said Carolin...

  • High school students statewide protest inadequate state funding

    Annie Berman and Sean Maguire and Alena Naiden, Anchorage Daily News|Apr 10, 2024

    Hundreds of high schoolers across Alaska participated in an organized walkout April 4 in protest of the Legislature’s recent failure to override Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s veto of an education funding bill. The bill would have included a historic increase in state money for public education. Outside Eagle River High School in the Anchorage School District, more than 100 students stood outside in the blustering snow for nearly a whole class period chanting “Fund our education!” and “Save our arts, save our sports!” Similar protests — all organized...

  • Fairbanks educator hired as middle/high school principal

    Mark C. Robinson, Wrangell Sentinel|Apr 3, 2024

    An experienced Fairbanks educator who has dreamed of moving to Southeast for years will finally achieve his goal when he starts work in August as the new secondary school principal in Wrangell. Greg Clark will be the new principal for the high school and middle school. He was among 16 applicants and chosen from three finalists. The school board approved the contract and Schools Superintendent Bill Burr hired Clark on March 18. He will replace Jackie Hanson, who is leaving at the end of the...

  • Crew shortage continues to limit operations at state ferry system

    Larry Persily, Wrangell Sentinel|Mar 27, 2024

    The Alaska Marine Highway System’s ongoing crew shortage has eased up for entry-level steward positions but remains a significant problem in the wheelhouse and for engineers, likely keeping the Kennicott out of service again this summer. As of March 8, the state ferry system was short almost 50 crew of what it would need to put its full operational fleet to sea this summer, which means keeping the Kennicott tied to the dock, Craig Tornga, the system’s marine director, reported to a state Senate budget subcommittee on March 19. That is abo...

  • New club raises over $10,000 for student travel, hopes for more by June

    Mark C. Robinson, Wrangell Sentinel|Mar 27, 2024

    The 6-month-old Wrangell Athletic Club has raised more than $10,000 toward its mission of paying for student travel to state competition, with plans to raise a lot more. Meanwhile, the school district has advanced more than $40,000 for student travel to state competition in the 2023-2024 school year. The school board last year appropriated $46,000 to cover a deficit in the travel account for the 2022-2023 school year, with the cautionary advice that it did not plan to repeat the spending this year — and would look to the new fundraising g...

  • Electric school bus for district hits another roadblock

    Mark C. Robinson, Wrangell Sentinel|Mar 27, 2024

    The district’s electric school bus, originally scheduled to arrive in late spring through the federal Clean School Bus program, has been delayed until March 2025 due to a backlog of orders at the bus manufacturer, which could be too late for the terms of the grant’s fall deadline. Schools Superintendent Bill Burr explained the reasons for the delay at a school board meeting on March 18. The delay could pose a problem, as the grant deadline requires the bus to be on the job by October. Burr doesn’t know yet whether the grant can be salvaged. “We...

  • Almost half of Wrangell school students counted as Alaska Native

    Mark C. Robinson, Wrangell Sentinel|Mar 27, 2024

    Almost half of the students enrolled at the school district are counted as Alaska Native. Schools Superintendent Bill Burr confirmed that out of a total of 270 students enrolled in the district, 122 are registered as Alaska Native, while 13 are American Indian. “We’re 50% or really close,” he said. “Some of those might be mixed, depending on which parent filled it out.” Burr added that while Kim Powell, the district’s administrative assistant, had told him that the ratio has always been around that percentage, statistics from the state and f...

  • Legislature falls short in override of governor's school funding veto

    Larry Persily, Wrangell Sentinel|Mar 20, 2024

    Alaska lawmakers fell one vote short Monday in an attempt to override the governor’s veto of a comprehensive school funding bill, which included a permanent increase in the state funding formula for K-12 education and which could have provided an additional $440,000 for the Wrangell school district. The additional funds would have covered about two-thirds of the deficit in the Wrangell district’s draft budget, reducing the amount of money it will need to pull out of reserves for the 2024-2025 school year. The vote in a joint session of the Hous...

  • Governor spaces out on state responsibility

    Wrangell Sentinel|Mar 20, 2024

    Gov. Mike Dunleavy sank to a new low last week when he vetoed a bipartisan, long-needed comprehensive education funding package that had passed the House and Senate by a combined 56-3 vote. Yet he reached for new heights in explaining his low decision to deny school districts their first meaningful increase in state funding since 2017. More specifically, he boarded the Starship Enterprise, which is as much a stage prop as are his reasons for vetoing the bill. At a March 15 press conference to explain his veto, Dunleavy called the state’s p...

  • Governor believes teacher bonuses, charter schools are the answers

    Claire Stremple, Alaska Beacon|Mar 20, 2024

    South Anchorage high school teacher Logan Pitney said his colleagues are making exit strategies to flee their bad financial prospects in Alaska. He called Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s teacher retention bonus plan a “Band-Aid on an arterial bleed.” Juneau Superintendent Franks Hauser called the governor’s charter school policy change proposal a “statewide solution without a statewide problem.” They were among dozens of teachers and school administrators who rejected Dunleavy’s education policy proposals at recent legislative hearings in Juneau. There’s...

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