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Thread: Parents of Anchorage School District Students

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Exclamation Parents of Anchorage School District Students

    (I felt this was pertinent to Alaska hunting, sorry to the mods if it is in the wrong forum)

    To all parents of children within the Anchorage School District
    Inre: upcoming school calendar, earlier start to school year:

    On monday, August 25th at 6:30 pm the Anchorage School Board will meet and one of the things on the agenda is the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 school calendars.

    Start of school is being pushed up ever-earlier before Labor Day and it is impacting many who traditionally hunt and fish with their families that time of year. Without going into all the details here, if you are a parent of an ASD student and your hunting and fishing activities are being affected, now is an opportunity to make your voice heard.

    Here is a link to a pdf file explaining things more; scroll down to bottom to view comments already sent in, some of which advocate for a later start date for hunting and fishing activities:
    http://www.asdk12.org/School_Board/a...25/G05M037.pdf

    Here is cut and paste of where the meeting is and how to sign up to voice your concerns. You can also provide written comments. Again, the meeting is this next monday August 25th at 6:30pm
    http://www.asdk12.org/school_board/signup.asp

    Persons may notify the Superintendentís Office to sign-up to testify to the School Board at any time before 5:30 p.m., or one hour prior to the start of the meeting, whichever is earlier. Contact may be made in one of the following ways:

    Phone: 907-742-4312
    Fax: 907-742-4318
    E-mail: SchoolBoard@asdk12.org
    Letter: Anchorage School District, 5530 E Northern Lights Blvd, Anchorage, AK 99504-3135 (Letter must be received by the date of the meeting.)
    In person: 5530 E Northern Lights Blvd, Anchorage
    If the person has not called in, or otherwise provided notification before 5:30 p.m. on the day of the meeting, they may sign-up with the School Board secretary in the board room until the president has called the meeting to order. Persons wishing to testify should give the secretary their name, telephone number, and topic of their testimony. Persons may not sign-up other persons to testify.

    A sign will be posed in a prominent place in the board room advising the public of their right to sign-up prior to the beginning of the meeting; this sign will also have a copy of the agenda and a list of those who have previously signed up (without telephone numbers) to testify.

    Persons who wish to sign-up after the president has called the meeting to order will be advised by the president if they will be allowed to testify.

    Sign-up procedures will also be posted on the ASD web site each time the agenda is posted, and in any advertisement relating to a School Board meeting.

    People may testify about items on the agenda when the item is discussed during the meeting.

    If you comment, please do so respectfully and cordially. Thanks to Brian M for keeping us all up to speed on this. Here's a link to comments AK BHA sent in too, outlining what we view as the problems with the earlier start dates:
    http://www.alaskabackcountryhunters....rintendent.pdf


  2. #2

    Default Glad to see that this is addressed

    in Anchorage. They have tried moving ours up here in Tok, but we fight it off. We started on the 19th of August this year and school opens on the 25 of Aug.

    Thanks for posting Mark!

  3. #3

    Default Heck with it! Start at the beginning of August!

    The early semester end is what people want. I think we should push for an Early August Start(Teachers go Aug 1 students August 7 or there abouts. School goes on hiatus from September 1 through 20 and restarts.

    I might miss the beginning of Sheep season but if would work to give us more time to get food for our families. It is getting more and more difficult to be a single income wage earner and to be a teacher.

    I know that that is sour grapes and we get summers off but nearly 95% of the teachers I know work 9-12 hours per day and work on Saturdays or Sundays as well.

    Lets get rid of all teachers and become babysitters.

    Teacher = $38,000 for BA O experience= 188 day contract
    Babysitter=30X$5 per hour X 7 hours per day= 1050 per dayX180=$189,000

    Sincerely,

    Thomas

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Thanks to those who sent in letters during the comment period. I was very pleased to see that a significant percentage of the comments addressed concerns related to hunting, fishing, and other food gathering activities. I will probably be there to testify on Monday night. If anyone else makes it, I would love to say hello.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by northway View Post
    in Anchorage. They have tried moving ours up here in Tok, but we fight it off. We started on the 19th of August this year and school opens on the 25 of Aug.

    Thanks for posting Mark!
    hey northway - i know Anchorage is a whole different landscape than Tok, but are there any tidbits or comments you guys have used down there that have made the most notable impact in preventing the earlier start? Might be good for the Anchorage folks to have in their pocket come Monday.

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    Default School

    I know growing up in Maine, I was always allowed to hunt before and after school, and take a week or two in November to try for a whitetail. My school work would have to be up to date and I had very understanding teachers. I think it taught me a bunch about responsibility. I referred to my after school detentions for being late to school as extra guidance. Schools in northern Maine closed down for two weeks in order to pick potatoes for kids to earn money and help on the farms. Bookwork isn't the only thing you learn in school. My college years proved that.

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    Default Teachers point of view

    I'm a teacher in the Anchorage School District. From a teacher point of view, I don't think you should start school anytime before Labor Day. Between family vacations, fishing/hunting, and the state fair, anytime before Labor Day is a waste. Too many kids miss school because of family events. I want kids to have family events! I don't want to keep track of missing assignments and getting kids caught up on work. There is nothing worse than sitting in a half empty classroom knowing you are going to have to re-teach everything over in two weeks. Not to mention, not being able to take your own kids to the fair during the week, or go silver fishing, or hunting. I would much rather be spending quality time with my own kids. Then after Labor Day, hit the books hard!! That still gets the kids out the first week of June....Just in time for KING season....Perfect!!

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    p.j. - Come testify on Monday, or at the very least send an e-mail to Comeau and the School Board members. Comeau was very appreciative of my comments and replied in a thoughtful manner. The only board member who replied was Jeff Friedman. Anyhow, I think that comments such as yours will be taken more seriously if they come from educators.

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    Default Why not

    go to a year round school year? In sesion for 2.5 months out for 2 weeks or something like that. I kept hearing from teachers all the time how they spend most of the first quarter reteaching the students what they learned last year.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dandeo2003 View Post
    go to a year round school year? In sesion for 2.5 months out for 2 weeks or something like that. I kept hearing from teachers all the time how they spend most of the first quarter reteaching the students what they learned last year.
    Because we live in Alaska. I know that sounds like an oversimplified answer, but part of the reason that many families live in Alaska is precisely because of what it offers in the summer - fishing, hunting, hiking, boating, camping, etc. Furthermore, many families still work together in the summer through commercial fishing, lodges, etc. Going to a year-round school schedule would completely fly in the face of what most families are here for. School is valuable, but some of the most important learning takes place outside of the classroom walls.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by p.j. View Post
    I'm a teacher in the Anchorage School District. From a teacher point of view, I don't think you should start school anytime before Labor Day. Between family vacations, fishing/hunting, and the state fair, anytime before Labor Day is a waste. Too many kids miss school because of family events. I want kids to have family events! I don't want to keep track of missing assignments and getting kids caught up on work. There is nothing worse than sitting in a half empty classroom knowing you are going to have to re-teach everything over in two weeks. Not to mention, not being able to take your own kids to the fair during the week, or go silver fishing, or hunting. I would much rather be spending quality time with my own kids. Then after Labor Day, hit the books hard!! That still gets the kids out the first week of June....Just in time for KING season....Perfect!!
    Dude,

    Not trying to tell you what to do, but based on having given testimony several times out here in Maryland...

    If you go on Monday and stick to the bolded portions, that is POWERFUL testimony! It says that starting before Labor Day is NOT productive, so money isn't being well spent. And it focuses on the fact that MANY kids are absent, so material must be repeated again after Labor Day.

    I'd leave the personal hunting/fishing part out of it, would make it seem like you're lobbying for your hobby. But the bolded stuff is great testimony.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    The change was made last year was my understanding... my kids had as shortened summer.. ( two just moved up from eagle river) the reasoning behind the change is to Align the testing periods for the no child is left behind act... and have the kids all tested in the same time frame... the full understanding of this is beyond my scope as a parent... but Fbks north star has had this schedule for years... and all mu kids teachers know me... and they know my kids go with me on weekends. hence if one docks a grade because i took them away from home work they shouldn't have gotten on friday.... then guess what.. But i have found that most teachers are understanding and helpful when it Correctly explained t them.. MOST... not all some take persuasion

  13. #13

    Default what we've done

    isn't really alot. We just say that we don't want to start as early as the other schools do. We can pretty much end whenever, so not an issue here. I think it is ridiculous that schools are starting as early as they do. We used to even have 2 moose days during moose season to allow for a long weekend during the season. That isn't anymore, but worth fighting for again in my mind. It is harder than heck for me as a teacher to get out and get meat in the freezer. I am very lucky as I am very resourceful and have more one/two day successful hunts than most. I honestly look forward to getting out of teaching just so I can have all of September off. The sad part is is that I love teaching and working with the kids I do. I just also have a passion to be hunting and only having 2 days off per year to do what I like is just not cutting it for me. I know I have summers off, etc, but I would gladly teach during the summer to have September off. JMO

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    I guess I've never really cared when school started. If I wanted to take my kids hunting...I did regardless! I even took my oldest to Africa during the school year for a couple of weeks back on '05. We coordinate with the teachers and make arrangements to get everything done that needs to be done school-wise. I've haven't found a teacher yet that wasn't willing to work with us to ensure my kids were able to complete the work. Heck, one even asked that we "donate" a moose heart to her biology class if we weren't going to eat it!
    The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps! (Eleanor Roosevelt, 1945)

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    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    Spoke to the wife last night about this and she says this will not happen. I asked her why and she said cause of testing.
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

  16. #16

    Default I agree....

    when you have kids and want to take them hunting, work with the school and teachers and take them hunting! I know I will do everything I can for my students that are out in the field living the good life!

  17. #17
    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by northway View Post
    when you have kids and want to take them hunting, work with the school and teachers and take them hunting! I know I will do everything I can for my students that are out in the field living the good life!

    I would have to agree. If you inform the teachers and get work they will miss while hunting most teahers won't have a problem with it.
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Part of the problem lies in the fact that not all teachers are accepting of students taking time off for hunting. Also it can affect the entire class as well when the student returns. I think Josh pointed out that being a shop teacher...the whole first week involves mandatory shop-safety classes, and the student simply can't miss those cuz if he/she does he/she can't use the shop equipment.

    Another part of the problem as I see it (especially in Anchorage) is that hunting in general is becoming less and less a part of the general public's lives and the fact ASD doesn't even recognize it anywhere I can see as "culturally significant," is just very troubling. So regardless of whether or not you parents are having success working with teachers now to get time off for your kids to take them hunting, since this isn't even on the radar of ASD, it may be good to get it firmly on their radar screen now. Same with other districts.

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    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    I think the "real reason" that the ASD calendar was moved up was to end school at Christmas break instead of after the break in January.

    I don't think it has anything to do with the Exam; those kids taking the tests are the ones who failed it in the spring! Oh, and there was a wonderful presentation by a bunch of Gruening 8th graders comparing the weather in May and August.

    Tim

  20. #20
    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    Wow. I am amazed at how many people voiced concerns with the August start. I for one will submit comments and possibly go to the meeting. I would be tickled pink if the calendar was moved back to September. A lot of teachers I talk to in our building love the new schedule, as the semester ends @ Christmas.

    Tim

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