Kenai Peninsula Borough School District

        Educators on the Kenai Peninsula have approved the new contract their negotiators hammered out with the school district on September 17.

The executive boards of both the Kenai Peninsula Education Association and the Kenai Peninsula Education Support Association certified the results of ratification votes by the rank-and-file.

KPEA and KPESA did not release vote totals for the internal elections, but claim that members of both associations approved the contracts by "overwhelming margins.

Shaylon Cochran/KDLL

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District and its employee unions were back at the bargaining table Tuesday. The two sides have been through several rounds of negotiations since the last contract expired a year and a half ago.

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District

  Monday night was the final board meeting for Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Superintendent Sean Dusek. He took a few minutes to thank his wife and kids, as well as the district staff.

School district employees vote for strike

May 23, 2019


Kenai Peninsula Borough School District employees voted Wednesday to strike next fall over rising healthcare costs. Members of both unions representing teachers and support staff in the school district voted overwhelmingly in support of the strike if both parties can’t agree on terms of a new contract this summer.



The Kenai Peninsula Borough Board of Education met in special session last night with one main issue to deal with, whether to offer contracts to 63 non-tenured teachers.

Shaylon Cochran/KDLL


Now that spring is more or less here, it's time for the annual sprucing up and cleaning rituals. Volunteers across the Peninsula can be found along highways and lakes and rivers, picking up what’s been left under the snow all winter. KDLL’s Shaylon Cochran caught up with a few students from Soldotna who were cleaning up at recently at Centennial Park.



Kenai Peninsula Borough School District

With the school year just about coming to an end, so too does the tenure of one of the members of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education.

Tanis Lorring of Soldotna High School is the student representative on the board, and her term will end with the school year.

Before that happens, though, School Board President Penny Vadla wanted to recognize Lorring at Monday night’s meeting, which was held in Seward. As Vadla pointed out, it was just one of many locales that Lorring traveled on behalf of the district.


John O’Brien has accepted the offer to become interim superintendent of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District. His predecessor, Sean Dusek, announced his retirement in January.

More than 100 people were at the Seward High School auditorium for last night’s Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly meeting. The assembly heard more than three hours of public testimony on two different education funding items.

The first was an ordinance that will appropriate $2.4 million in supplemental funding to allow the district to begin offering contracts to nontenured teachers. The assembly cast a 5-4 vote to approve that funding, but it will be subject to a potential veto by borough Mayor Charlie Pierce. When asked by assembly member Kelly Cooper if he intended to issue a veto, he said he wasn’t ready to speak to it. He was ready to speak to the reasons the borough and the school district find themselves in this situation, pointing to yet-to-be resolved budget drama in Juneau and his predecessor, Mike Navarre.


The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly’s annual meeting in Seward usually has a fairly light, local agenda. But this year, they’ve even switched venues from city hall to the more spacious high school auditorium as education funding measures on the agenda are sure to draw a crowd.



Shaylon Cochran/KDLL


The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is holding meetings across the Peninsula to gauge public opinion on different options to consolidate or close schools in the face of expected budget cuts. At a public meeting this week, district officials discussed the possible consolidation of Soldotna Prep into Soldotna High School, putting freshmen through seniors back in the same building for the first time since 2014.




The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District announced last week it will begin a series of public meetings to talk about various consolidation options around the district. One of those options is to bring 9th graders back into Soldotna High School.


The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education was in executive session for a little more than five hours Thursday night, finally reconvening around 12:30 Friday morning to name the next superintendent for the district. But the name they chose wasn’t either of the candidates who had a public interview with the board earlier in the day.


Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Superintendent Sean Dusek announced his retirement in January. Now, three finalists have been selected to be the next head administrator for the school district.

Personalized learning and conflict resolution were two of the programs highlighted by the Nikolaevsk School principal at last week’s Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education meeting.

Principal Mike Sellers introduced two elementary students — Eli and Nate — who recapped the initiatives for the school board

Education funding, even more than most years, will be a hotly contested topic in the coming weeks. There's one line item in particular the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is lobbying for. On this week's Kenai Conversation, we talk to John O'Brien, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction for KPBSD about mental health care in schools and the district's request for $600,000 to add more counselors, especially at the elementary level.

This week there will likely be an acute focus on education funding in the halls of the capital. School board members from throughout the state are converging in Juneau to lobby for sustained funding. 

This year the districts are facing an even more urgent need — Governor Dunleavy wants back the $20 million that the legislature granted schools last year.

Relentless weekend snow prompted the Kenai Peninsula School District to call for a two-hour delay to school opening in the Central Peninsula.

A two hour delay means that buses run two hours later than normal, school begins two hours later than normal, and staff arrives at school two hours later than normal.

If parents and guardians decide, based on conditions near their homes, that they will keep their child at home, absences will be excused.


As budget negotiations continue between the Kenai Peninsula Borough and the school district, one line item that’s a holdover from last year is the addition of more school counselors. The district requested $600,000 to create four new elementary counselors, and also expand what’s offered in the high schools beyond the two counselors currently working in the district at Kenai Alternative High School and Homer Flex. The district’s Assistant Superintendent of Instruction, John O’Brien, spoke with KDLL’s Shaylon Cochran about what role those counselors will play, if the funding is made available.




The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly and administration from the borough school district held a budget work session Tuesday afternoon. The money struggles the district has been dealing with the past several years don’t look to have much relief coming in the next budget cycle.



There was a disturbing rumor making its way around social media among students at Soldotna High School last (Wed) night that. According to the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District's offical Facebook page, threats of a school shooting were made and students were urging each other to stay home today.

In a late-night update from the District, the rumor was debunked.

Quoting, " Law enforcement confirmed that no verified threat has been substantiated, and the rumors seem to be just that, rumors," unquote.

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District


After four and a half years at the helm of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, Superintendent Sean Dusek has announced his retirement, effective June 30th.


Education funding. It’s the single biggest expense for the Kenai Peninsula Borough, and paying those costs with current levels of revenue is getting more and more difficult. Last year, the school district ran a deficit of about $2 million. That could be the case again this year, with a projected deficit between $1.3 million.




New student assessments have been released based on a new rating system for school. The new system replaces the Alaska State Performance Index and schools on the Peninsula range widely.




Times have been tight in recent years. The district has run through most its savings trying to bridge multi-million dollar budget gaps the past three years. At a budget work session with the school board this week, Assistant Superintendent Dave Jones said despite cutting administration staff through attrition and other means, cuts in the classroom still loom large.