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

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

December 8, 2017

School Pictures The first week went well, however, mother nature reared its ugly head for week 2.

We will be working with Campus Photography after the holidays to get them out to complete the schools that were not able to be reached: DIO, WAA, SHH, SVA, and GAM.

Board Workshop The Board met in Anchorage ahead of the AASB Winter Boardsmanship to discuss goals and plans for the remainder of this year and start into next. The Board will attend all meetings and communicate on a regular on-going basis with communities. The Board will also familiarize itself on a better understanding assessments and data.

What’s Happening Around the Sound

KTS - Staff are administering aimswebPlus benchmarks for the second time this year and are feeling more successful with administration and seeing some signs of positive growth.

DIO - Diomede is having the five days of Christmas spirit week followed by their Christmas community program Monday.

ELI - During our most recent assembly our Elim Cheerleaders performed the dance routine that they performed in Unalakleet.  If you want to check out the dance, like our Aniguiin School Facebook Page and check it out. GO EAGLES!!!

GAM - Gambell had a community carnival this week and will have a Christmas staff dinner this evening.

GLV - Grade 4 and 5 Golovin students completed a whale project for science. Each student in Sheri Elligsen’s class chose a type of whale and did a full report including a science placard, sound video and a scale model of their whale. The students then hosted 3 classroom presentations for the students, staff and the public. At the end of each presentation they served cookies and juice to those who attended.

KKA -  The community of Koyuk is excited that Koyuk has made its first state state wrestler qualification in quite a while.  Students in Koyuk were outfitted with skiis and are looking forward to skiing.

SVA -  The Savoonga staff are excited about having a White Elephant Gift exchange and they are busy getting ready for their community Christmas program.

SHH - The Shishmaref Volleyball team played hard at the State Competition and represented BSSD well. The team placed 5th overall.  Jeremiah Iyatunguk made the All Tournament Team. Jeremiah Iyatunguk, Eric Nayokpuk, and Sarah Stenek were also selected, "players of the game". We are so proud of our Northern Lights.

SKK - Thursday, folks gathered in the school for a community art night to learn and share Portrait Drawing as a culmination of Robin Child’s itinerant art integration visit this week.

SMK - Operation Santa Claus came off without a hitch this past week. After a 1-day delay for weather, Santa, Mrs. Claus, and the elves made it to SMK and shared lots of holiday cheer to the students and community. Thank you to Jon, Rolinda, and the staff for ensuring a great event for all.

WBB - Stebbins is having a community movie night today.  Part of the community gathering will be a discussion about chronic absenteeism with support from the AEC.  The city is also supporting the school gathering by canceling all other community events for that evening.  One lucky community member will have the opportunity to win fuel oil from a raffle being held.

TLA - Teller staff are excited and preparing for their community’s annual holiday program.

UNK - Mr. Burkhart would like to recognize our MS Leadership Team for originating & facilitating a great spirit week in our school.  Monday - Backwards Day (Clothing worn backwards), Tuesday - Color Day (Classes wore different colors: i.e. ECE - yellow, 3-5 red, 6-8 blue & 9-12 black),

Wednesday - Winter Day (Christmas Sweaters, Blue/Silver combo's), Thursday - Crazy Day (Hair & clothing), and Friday - Unicorn Day. The students developed the daily themes & helped to get the entire school involved.  They did a very nice job.  Ms. Kristen Rausch was the supervisor for the event. It was a very positive event for our school.  

WAA - Teachers have been working with their students (making props, costumes, and practicing singing) for the Christmas program on December 13th. WMO -  Students are getting into the holiday spirit and writing 'Dear Santa' letters.  Next week for science, they will be doing a Reduce Reuse Recycle project where they create something new out of recycled materials.

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.