Kenai Peninsual Borough School District

KPBSD

The members of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Board of Education got a glimpse into the future Monday night. Assistant Superintendent Dave Jones presented projected enrollments through the year 2025.
    And though there are a few upticks projected, they are part of a decades-long decline in student population on the Kenai Peninsula.
    School Board President Penny Vadla asked Jones about the trend.
    “Do we go up in Fiscal Year 20, and then we take another jump up and then a jump up and then a jump down?,” Vadla asked.

Three candidates are vying for the District 1, Kalifornsky Beach seat on the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education.

Incumbent Dan Castimore is trying for his third term on the board. He’s an IT manager for the city of Kenai and a lifelong peninsula resident whose parents taught in the district. He said he’s running again because he thinks there’s more work to be done to shield students from budget cuts.

Patti Truesdell just retired from teaching, with her last placement at Hope School. She was recognized as a BP Teacher of Excellence in 2016. She said she’s running because she promised her students she’d keep fighting for them.

Susan Lockwood taught elementary school in villages across Alaska. She says she’s running because she doesn’t like how education is changing, being influenced by liberal ideas. She says she wants to get back to reading, writing and arithmetic and honoring our nation’s Founding Fathers, the flag and Pledge of Allegiance.

        Everyone is back in school after negotiators avoided a strike by educators in the Kenai Peninsula Borough.

Kenai Peninsula Education Association President David Brighton said the two sides were finally able to overcome issues over health care costs.

“I think it was a very good compromise," he said. "This addresses the rising cost of health care that had employees so nervous and I think that this moves us forward in the right direction.”

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District was issued notice Friday evening that employees plan to strike starting at 7 a.m. Tuesday.
Bargaining teams for the district and associations representing teachers and support staff met Thursday afternoon in a continued effort to reach an agreement on a proposal to split health insurance costs. That sticking point is holding up a contract that has been under negotiation for more than a year and a half.

        While students returned to classes on Tuesday at most Kenai Peninsula public schools, student athletes have been training and practicing for weeks in preparation for the upcoming season. Now, however, the Swan Lake Fire has claimed at least two early-season events, with more cancellations looming.

In an online announcement Wednesday Superintendent John O'Brien cancelled all outdoor athletics hosted by Kenai Peninsula Borough schools until further notice.

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