Education

Juneau School District administrators and board members listen to a presentation about the district’s multi-million deficit during a Jan. 9 meeting. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)

My Turn: School board recall not a cure for ‘failure to thrive’

Decline happens over time. Kinda like the way we gain weight and let our credit cards get out of control. If we don’t pay attention,… Continue reading

 

Dave Hoffman sells materials for Brigham Young University, a private religious college, at the IDEA Homeschool Curriculum Fair in Anchorage on April 18. (Claire Stremple/Alaska Beacon)

New correspondence school regulations will not come until July — if at all, Alaska officials say

Regulations intended to stabilize Alaska’s correspondence school program are not coming soon, state officials said at a Board of Education and Early Development meeting on… Continue reading

 

Former Thunder Mountain High School JV basketball coach Kylie Ibias, and former TMHS JV basketball and volleyball coach Arnold Ibias sit in the TMHS gymnasium during an interview for a soon-to-be released documentary. (Photo courtesy of Sonny Hunt-Mauricio)
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16 years of Thunder Mountain High School commemorated through two documentaries

Three Falcons alumni release their project before school’s final graduation; another coming in June.

 

The student band performs at Thunder Mountain High School. (Screenshot from student film “Digging a Hole in the School Budget”)

Thunder Mountain High School graduates win film festival award

Documentary by Jade Hicks, Hayden Loggy-Smith portrays human impacts of school consolidation plan.

The student band performs at Thunder Mountain High School. (Screenshot from student film “Digging a Hole in the School Budget”)
Thunder Mountain High School graduates celebrate after moving their tassels to the left, their newly received diplomas in hand, at the end of Sunday’s commencement ceremony. (Jasz Garrett / Juneau Empire)

‘Forever a Falcon’: Thunder Mountain High School celebrates final graduating class

147 seniors get soaring sendoff during 16th annual commencement full of heightened emotions.

Thunder Mountain High School graduates celebrate after moving their tassels to the left, their newly received diplomas in hand, at the end of Sunday’s commencement ceremony. (Jasz Garrett / Juneau Empire)
Seniors at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé enter the gymnasium for their commencement ceremony on Sunday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

JDHS graduates celebrate journey from virtual ‘pajama class’ freshmen to virtuous camaraderie

Resolve in overcoming struggles a lifelong lesson for future, seniors told at commencement ceremony.

Seniors at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé enter the gymnasium for their commencement ceremony on Sunday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Sierra Guerro-Flores (right) listens to her advisor Electra Gardinier after being presented with her diploma at Yaaḵoosgé Daakahídi High School’s graduation ceremony Sunday in the Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé auditorium. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Alternatives are vast for Yaaḵoosgé Daakahídi High School’s graduating class

31 students take center stage during ceremony revisiting their paths at the school and what’s next.

Sierra Guerro-Flores (right) listens to her advisor Electra Gardinier after being presented with her diploma at Yaaḵoosgé Daakahídi High School’s graduation ceremony Sunday in the Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé auditorium. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Juneau high school seniors Edward Hu of Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé (left), Elizabeth Djajalie of Thunder Mountain High School (center) and Kenyon Jordan of Yaaḵoosgé Daakahídi Alternative High School. (Photos of Hu and Jordan by Juneau Empire staff, photo of Djajalie by Victor Djajalie)

Senior Spotlight 2024: Three top students take very different paths to graduation stage

Ceremonies for Juneau’s three high schools take place Sunday.

Juneau high school seniors Edward Hu of Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé (left), Elizabeth Djajalie of Thunder Mountain High School (center) and Kenyon Jordan of Yaaḵoosgé Daakahídi Alternative High School. (Photos of Hu and Jordan by Juneau Empire staff, photo of Djajalie by Victor Djajalie)
Rep. Justin Ruffridge, R-Soldotna, speaks to House Clerk Krys Jones on Wednesday, May 8. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska’s education department does not track homeschool allotment spending, but may have to start

Lawmakers have two days left to stabilizing the state’s correspondence program after court ruling.

Rep. Justin Ruffridge, R-Soldotna, speaks to House Clerk Krys Jones on Wednesday, May 8. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Moving boxes in the Thunder Mountain High School library. (Photo provided by Jenny Thomas)

My Turn: School district should reevaluate hidden costs, rethink consolidation

Imagine that our school district was not being dismantled by a superintendent whose primary residence is listed in Anchorage, that community input was valued, and… Continue reading

Moving boxes in the Thunder Mountain High School library. (Photo provided by Jenny Thomas)
The Boney Courthouse building in Anchorage holds the Alaska Supreme Court chambers. (Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska Supreme Court schedules June 25 hearing for homeschool lawsuit appeal

Arguments to occur five days before the end of a hold on the lower court’s ruling.

The Boney Courthouse building in Anchorage holds the Alaska Supreme Court chambers. (Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)
Members of the Alaska House Finance Committee discuss their first-draft budget on Tuesday, March 12. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska House nears vote on big increase for public school maintenance statewide

House Finance Committee approved the most school maintenance funding since 2011.

Members of the Alaska House Finance Committee discuss their first-draft budget on Tuesday, March 12. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Lisa Pearce (center), newly hired as the chief financial officer for the Juneau School District, discusses the district’s financial crisis in her role as an analyst during a work session Feb. 17 at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé. Seated next to Pearce are Superintendent Frank Hauser (left) and school board member Britteny Cioni-Haywood. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)

Lisa Pearce, analyst who unveiled Juneau School District’s crisis, hired as new chief financial officer

Consultant for numerous districts in recent years begins new job when consolidation starts July 1.

Lisa Pearce (center), newly hired as the chief financial officer for the Juneau School District, discusses the district’s financial crisis in her role as an analyst during a work session Feb. 17 at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé. Seated next to Pearce are Superintendent Frank Hauser (left) and school board member Britteny Cioni-Haywood. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Deputy Attorney General Cori Mills explains the administration’s understanding of a ruling that struck down key components of the state’s correspondence school program, in the Alaska State Capitol on Wednesday. (Claire Stremple/Alaska Beacon)

Gov. Dunleavy says homeschool changes must wait until appeal ruling as lawmakers eye fixes

“Something of this magnitude warrants a special session,” Dunleavy says.

Deputy Attorney General Cori Mills explains the administration’s understanding of a ruling that struck down key components of the state’s correspondence school program, in the Alaska State Capitol on Wednesday. (Claire Stremple/Alaska Beacon)
Juneau School District Superintendent Frank Hauser addresses the Board of Education during a meeting Dec. 12, 2023, at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

My Turn: Juneau School District repositioned for the future

I wrote the following back in January: “This district must make both immediate and long-term financial changes. All our jobs, together, will be to look… Continue reading

Juneau School District Superintendent Frank Hauser addresses the Board of Education during a meeting Dec. 12, 2023, at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Lon Garrison (center), executive director of the Alaska Association of School Boards, presides over a Juneau Board of Education self-assessment retreat Saturday at Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

School board president says she won’t run again at meeting where members assess their response to crisis

Deedie Sorensen says it’s time to retire as board members give themselves tough grades, lofty goals.

Lon Garrison (center), executive director of the Alaska Association of School Boards, presides over a Juneau Board of Education self-assessment retreat Saturday at Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Juneau School District Superintendent Frank Hauser provides an overview of restructuring options being considered during a Community Budget Input Session at Thunder Mountain High School on Jan. 31. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)

My Turn: School district budget revisions raise questions about revising consolidation decisions

I am responding to the Juneau Empire article (April 24, 2024): “The Juneau School District had a $9.5M projected deficit this year. It is now… Continue reading

Juneau School District Superintendent Frank Hauser provides an overview of restructuring options being considered during a Community Budget Input Session at Thunder Mountain High School on Jan. 31. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Senate President Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, and Speaker of the House Cathy Tilton, R-Wasilla, speak to legislators during a break in the March 12 joint session of the Alaska House and Senate. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska Senate plans fast action on correspondence problem, but House is ‘fundamentally divided’

State judge considering delay in ruling striking down program used by more than 22,000 students.

Senate President Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, and Speaker of the House Cathy Tilton, R-Wasilla, speak to legislators during a break in the March 12 joint session of the Alaska House and Senate. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
The Juneau Board of Education debates a school district consolidation plan after midnight Wednesday, March 13, near the end of an eight-hour meeting at the Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé auditorium. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)

My Turn: School district’s problems aren’t on shoulders of two board members targeted for recall

I urge folks not to sign the petition to recall the school board officers. Recalls waste city resources and should be a last resort in… Continue reading

The Juneau Board of Education debates a school district consolidation plan after midnight Wednesday, March 13, near the end of an eight-hour meeting at the Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé auditorium. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Rep. Sara Hannan (right) offers an overview of this year’s legislative session to date as Rep. Andi Story and Sen. Jesse Kiehl listen during a town hall by Juneau’s delegation on Thursday evening at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Multitude of education issues, budget, PFD among top areas of focus at legislative town hall

Juneau’s three Democratic lawmakers reassert support of more school funding, ensuring LGBTQ+ rights.

Rep. Sara Hannan (right) offers an overview of this year’s legislative session to date as Rep. Andi Story and Sen. Jesse Kiehl listen during a town hall by Juneau’s delegation on Thursday evening at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)