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Superintendent

Bobby Resized
Superintendent Dr. Robert Bolen
907.624.4261  |  bbolen@bssd.org


Admin Assistant, Marty Towarak
907.624.4275    |    martyt@bssd.org

January 19, 2018

School Pictures
We are still working on a schedule for the missed sites during the first semester: DIO, WAA, SHH, SVA, and GAM. We have been assured that they will make it to all the sites, weather permitting. We will provide updates as soon as we have them. Ray Woodbury of Campus Photography is in the process of planning community visits between now and the end of February. Once he has a confirmed itinerary, we will share and post the schedule.

What’s Happening Around the Sound

KTS - ​Brevig Mission School would like to thank the members of the BSSD community who knew Fred Olanna and contributed to the tribute pages. We had a sad week, but came through it grateful for each other.
DIO - ​Diomede School was fortunate to have Associate professor Gay Sheffield visit us this past week. Gay is a Biologist working out of the University of Alaska Fairbanks as part of the Marine Advisory Program and was visiting Diomede for meetings with the city council. Gay has been staying with members of the community and offered to present to our class while here. Students were engaged and delighted to discuss their marine mammal knowledge with Gay while also learning new things about the marine mammals that provide the community with subsistence. Some interesting facts that students learned were how Walruses consume clams by sucking them out of their shells. After hunting and capturing walruses, Diomede community members dive into walruses' stomachs for the clams as they are considered a supreme delicacy. Polar-bear stew is also considered good eats here with the polar bear community doing very well (weight has been steadily increasing) in the Bering Strait due to the abundance of food brought in by the ocean current.
ELI -​ Some great things are happening in Elim. Next week will be having the King Island dancers teaching dances to our students. Kawerak is providing video equipment to record the dances so we can have them in order to continue expanding this important cultural piece.
GAM - ​Gambell is currently working preparing substitutes to work while teachers attend the
upcoming RTI conference. As available funds to attend quality professional development diminish, we used our available grant funds to send all of our current staff who had not attended RTI to this conference. We will be using one of our afternoon inservice days for a mini-RTI conference on site where teachers who have attended in the past will be able to be brought up to date, especially on visible learning.
GLV - ​Theresa Davis is here this week to provide ELA support for the Golovin School staff. We are holding pod meetings to look at program implementation and next steps.
KKA - TEN STUDENTS FROM KOYUK MALIMIUT SCHOOL​ have been invited to attend the Junior National Young Leadership Conference this summer in Washington, D.C. Flora Kavairlook, a seventh-grade teacher of language arts, was motivated to nominate her students to promote leadership training early in school. She selected students based on academic merit and participation in scholastic extracurricular activities. She explains her metric: “Mostly it was their class performance, how they did their work in class, how they behaved, and their attendance, and it also had to do with, most of all, their work ethic... and things they were involved in: sports or Battle of the Books or ANSEP or any other programs.”And in late November, all ten of the nominated students received acceptance letters for the Leadership Conference taking place in July. 
SVA -​ Savoonga is excited for the first basketball games of the season tonight. The staff is also excited for the opportunity to go to the upcoming RTI conference. Students are looking forward to our first ACADECA participation in a long time and student leadership participation in a Nome conference. Savoonga is also hosting the Mangtak Eater’s LD and JH basketball tournament. They still have one or two openings.
SHH - ​The second season cheerleading squad has 4 goals this season. We plan to learn new cheers that we can use next season and we plan to perfect the cheers we already have. We also plan to improve our stunting and dance skills so that we can perform for and the raise the spirits of all the spectators at our home ball games. Go Northern Lights!
SKK​ - The first couple of weeks back have been awesome! The school has been the center for a community potluck, multiple community meetings, and home basketball games. On February 2, and 3 we’re excited to host our Shaktoolik Invitational Tournament. Brevig boys, Noorvik girls/boys, and Unalakleet JV Boys will be joining us! If any high school boys or girls team has an opening in their schedule and is interested in joining us, please contact Principal Marc Jong @ marc.jong@skk.bssd.org or 907-955-3021. This week we’ve had Battle of the Books practices, and am looking forward to the upcoming competition. Go Wolverines!
SMK - ​Anthony A. Andrews scholars are preparing to host their peers from around BSSD in this year's Academic Decathlon at St. Michael in one week. They are into Greek philosophy, world history, and some really cool science material for this week's practice. Kindergarten and First grade scientists are addressing the age old question of "Why is there Air". balloon experiments in the gym continue on this topic. And a high five to intrepid STEM class as they have cracked the Day of Code and plan to program their own robot.
WBB -​ Stebbins is hosting their Invitational Basketball Tournament. We are also continuing with great success with our RIP reading program.
TLA - ​We are working hard to stay on pace with content instruction and everyone is looking forward to a weekend of awesome basketball games.
UNK - ​ Unalakleet held an outstanding career fair that coincided with the Christopher Lockwood Basketball Tournament. Over one hundred student athletes from Selawik, Shishmaref, Buckland, Gambell and Unalakleet attended career sessions provided by seven different presenters. Unalakleet counselor Kristen Rausch worked very hard to organize and present this great event. This was an outstanding opportunity for our area students to learn of post-graduation opportunities available to them. For more information, please feel free to contact Kristen Rausch.
WAA - ​Wales Teachers are finally moving into new housing units. The new duplex is completed and all teachers will have housing in Wales now! 
WMO - ​ ​WINTER IS HERE. Ski trails are packed and being groomed and used daily by PE classes and skiers during ski practice, and community members. Thanks to Irving Ashenfelter for making great trails and Jack Adams for getting kids out on skis. New teacher Amber Klepper is co-coaching skiing this year and we have a new (flatter) HS course.


About Dr. Bolen:

Superintendent Bolen is in his 16th year in public education, having spent the first nine years in Florida, and the last seven with the Bering Strait School District. His teaching career includes classroom experience in high schools, school-to-work programs, and alternative education. Dr. Bolen served two years as the Assistant Principal in Savoonga, one year as the Coordinator of Federal Programs and Professional Development in Unalakleet, and then three years as Principal in Savoonga.  He began this school year as Principal in Saint Michael, before being named Interim Superintendent in November. Dr. Bolen was officially named Superintendent of the Bering Strait School District following the February 10, 2015 Board meeting. Dr. Bolen holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise and Sport Sciences from the University of Florida, and a Masters and Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Central Florida. In addition, Dr. Bolen holds a Superintendent Endorsement from the University of Alaska – Anchorage.

Dr. Bolen leads and manages through collaborative decision-making and facilitative delegation. He relies on dedicated professionals working together to meet the best interests and needs of the students and communities. Dr. Bolen holds individuals accountable for their actions and decisions in keeping the best interests and mission of the district at the forefront of their decision-making process. Dr. Bolen believes in using current data to analyze, plan, and implement curriculums and programs that are most beneficial to the school system. School districts should engage in a cycle of ongoing self-assessment, designed to be used for continuous improvement in teaching and learning.

Dr. Bolen believes that the Bering Strait School District is a special creation of each of its communities.  Its teachers, students, parents, counselors, and administrators should be partners in learning with other members of the school community, and all should be treated with dignity.  All are valued, honored, encouraged, and supported in their development. There is no such thing as a district blueprint or a concrete prescription for a good school or district. Dr. Bolen believes that exemplary districts share powerful guiding principles that are widely accepted even as they take different shapes in practice. With a clear academic focus, teachers choose from a wide range of strategies to promote student learning. A core set of skills and knowledge, for all students, is clear and explicitly stated by teachers, students, parents, and community members.  They should all be able to answer the questions “What are you doing?” and “Why?”

Dr. Bolen believes a district should hold itself accountable for ensuring that all students can demonstrate quality standards in all knowledge areas. It should use appropriate forms of assessment that reflect high, public standards for learning and document student progress and achievement. It should report frequently and publicly to parents and the community on how well the district is meeting its stated outcomes.

Finally, Dr. Bolen believes that it is the responsibility of every educator to meet the unique educational, emotional, social, and physical needs of our students. Never before has the responsibility been greater.  Preparing students for the tasks of a new century and beyond is an awesome mission, and one that is not to be taken lightly.