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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

February 2, 2018

School Picture Schedule (Tentative)
DIO, Monday, February February 12th
WAA-OME, Thursday, February 15th  (Mid-day flight)
OME-GAM, February 15th   (Last flight)
GAM-SVA, February 17th  (First Flight)
SVA-OME, February 19th  (Last Flight)
OME-SHH, February 20th  (Mid-Day flight)
SHH-OME, February 21st  (Mid-Day flight)

Board Meeting
Thank you to the staff, students, and community of Stebbins for hosting our Board Meeting
Thursday. We enjoyed the friendly welcomes and seeing a school operating at a very high level.
Some great things going on in Stebbins and there were plenty of positives shared. The Board had
a lite action item day with a personnel section and the approval of the SY 2019 Calendar. More on that to come. Thank you again to John, Betty and the rest of the staff for your hospitality.

What’s Happening Around the Sound
KTS - ​Brevig Mission is enjoying having 2 UAF interns in the building for the week, and all the other joys that come as a part of February.
DIO -​ It has been another good week on the rock with weather clearing long enough to allow for a box of fresh fruit to arrive safely. With this unique and magical moment, I anticipate we will be changing the name of next week’s Valentine Dance to the Apple Shuffle. Also, we were fortunate to have Joan Martin visit us in order to work with some of our students. Like I have commented before, it is always nice for our staff and students to interact with a new face. We are looking forward to pictures next week.
ELI -​ Teachers received AIMsWeb training and are excited to begin progress monitoring.
GAM - ​Gambell is working on finishing up observations and evaluations and looking forward to
finishing up WIDA Access testing next week. We have found that this year’s WIDA seems to be
taking more bandwidth than last year’s version so we have had to test in smaller groups than before.
GLV -​ Golovin HS Woodshop students are in the final stages of completing a shed. Future plans include interior additions so it can be used as a shelter cabin.
KKA - ​We are very proud of our Academic Decathlon participants - it was the first time we have sent a team in at least four years. They represented our school well - even producing one state competitor! Students are enjoying the review of colors in Inupiaq by playing Caribou Caribou each day using the colors in Inupiaq, both in the elementary assembly and in the high school assembly. We will gradually introduce the translation of the prompt "caribou, caribou, come on to my tundra if you're wearing (color)" to incorporate language usage.
SHH - ​The Northern Lights boys basketball team hosts Shaktoolik Friday and Saturday. The girls basketball team travels to Savoonga.
SKK​ - We would like to thank the following communities for sending student-athletes to our
invitational tournament: Nome, Unalakleet, Brevig Mission, Noorvik, and Selawik. We're also in the midst of testing and starting up our ski program; and genuinely appreciate recent visits from District psychologist Peggy Munten, and EdTech Coordinator Gary Jacobson. February is quickly going by, and we're looking forward to implementing training pieces from the RTI training in Anchorage.
SVA -​ We are Husky Proud of Savoonga senior, Jane Immingan, who earned first place honors in this year’s Poetry Out Loud contest. She will represent our District and Region when she travels to Juneau for the state competition in March. 8th physical grade is connecting the Bering Sea to the energy within waves. Middle School STEM club is learning to build electronic circuits from sirens to super heterodyne receivers. Fourth grade: 1) Little Dribblers played a great game, Friday, January 26th. 2) Fourth graders are learning multi-digit multiplication/division. Savoonga ACADECA is back. Great job this past week. Laura will be leading a large contingence of SVA students to State.
SMK - ​The community of St. Michael was pleased to host one of the largest Academic Decathlon event in recent memory. We thank our district office staff who attended for a well coordinated event. Gummy worms were the student reading reward earned as our Anthony A. Andrews School readers passed the 60,000 minute mark this week.
WBB - ​We just hosted the BSSD School Board Meeting on the Thursday. The students have been busy practicing for WIDA in preparation for next week. We also held the site science fair that included Kindergarten through 12th grade entries.
TLA - ​Teller is engaged in WIDA testing, School Climate surveys and Progress Monitoring for
Aimsweb. We are proud of Hayley Weyiouanna qualifying for State Academic Decathlon.
UNK -​ We were pleased to host two elementary teaching interns from UAF this week. Ms. Rose & Ms. Randi spent the entire week observing in classes, visiting/sharing with our teachers and on Friday were able to co-teach an art lesson in our 3rd grade class. They were wonderful guests and our school was enriched by their presence in our school this week. We wish them the best, as they continue their education, graduate and become certified teachers themselves.
WAA - ​Maligiaq Padilla recently completed a Cultural Teaching Artist residency at the Kingikmiut School in Wales. The community gathered around the construction of a traditional Bering Strait qayaq. Deep learning and sharing of knowledge among youth and elders brought the wood and sinew to life with story and purpose to create a magnificent object of great significance.
WMO - ​More than halfway done with WIDA testing as of Wednesday, thanks to students for
working well to do a good job on these tests. Academic Decathlon team is in SMK, and we'll be
interested to see how they did. Golovin boys here this weekend for basketball, girls to KKA Friday. Next week spelling bee and then skiers to first ski meet in KKA. New ski equipment being waxed and handed out by the tireless Jack Adams. Ski trails well groomed by Irving Ashenfelter.


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.