Pegge Erkeneff

        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.”

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.

 With the new governor threatening funding for the current school year, school districts are scrambling to find a solution. Host Jay Barrett talks with Pegge Erkeneff and Dave Jones of the KPBSD about budgeting for the district.

Rumors at Soldotna Prep and then social media posts about Soldotna High School had school administrators, and ultimately law enforcement, on high alert Wednesday and Thursday because of the threat of gun violence.

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Communications Director Pegge Erkeneff said students at Soldotna Preparatory School first alerted their school office of the rumors advising students to stay home on Thursday.

KPBSD

On last week’s “Local Science” Friday during KDLL Spring Membership Drive, we heard about the technology the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District uses to keep everyone connected.

And that’s not an easy job - “everyone” includes not only students and teachers, but parents and administration and support staff, and last but not least, the general public.

The first and second waves of a newly adopted teaching technique that the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is implementing is underway, with the third “wave,” as the teacher training is called, to begin soon.

John Pothast is the director of elementary and secondary education with the district who has ushered in the Personalized Learning program.

“A couple years ago that ‘aha moment’ was the realization it’s not a thing. It’s a verb. It’s how are we conducting business," he said.

KPBSD

Personalized Learning is more than a buzzword for the latest fad in public education. This week on the Kenai Conversation, KPBSD Director of Elementary and Secondary Education John Pothast and district Communications Liaison Pegge Erkeneff, tell us about how Personalized Learning is being rolled out in classrooms across the district and what the expectations are.

  The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District has been embracing high technology and social media wherever it can to connect with parents and residents this year. One way has been through the use of Facebook Live, which, just as it sounds, is a live, interactive conference on Facebook. As school district spokeswoman Pegge Erkeneff tells us, it brings administration together with the public. The next Facebook Live event will be March 22 from 7-7:30-p.m. on the KPBSD Facebook page.

There was another school shooting in America today (Tuesday). Two students in a Maryland high school were injured when their 17-year-old classmate opened fire with a handgun in a school hallway. It's just the latest in an increasing trend that has seen hundreds of thousands protest a lack of gun control nationwide.

Though kids in the Russian Old Believer villages on the Kenai Peninsula began classes last week, school started for most students in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District on Tuesday. KDLL's Jay Barrett spoke with Pegge Erkeneff, district communications liaison, about the upcoming school year.