Yupik Subsistence and School Opening Video
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Writings from our Board President, George Smith
April 19, 2021
Greetings LYSD Communities,
Spring is coming, the winter feels long but we are feeling some relief. The sun has come out, temperatures are above freezing and I am thrilled to hear the laughter of children outside playing. Even more exciting is watching our students thrive as we have reopened schools! We are so grateful for the patience and support you have all shown as our schools were idled by Covid. I continue to hear from communities how good it is to have our schools back in session. As of today not a single case of Covid has been reported in our communities. We remain cautious though and continue to use good practices. Thank you to those that continue to do the same in the community and thank you to all who have been vaccinated.
Our kids are all back in school. They are working hard on their PEAKS tests and squeezing in learning until we end the school year. We are getting ready for graduations and proms. We sent 5 basketball teams to State and they all played their hearts out. Our Hooper Bay Lady Warriors won their first ever State Championship! What an achievement. We will certainly remember this year’s state tournament because in early February it was looking like another cancelled season was looming. Our District, with the encouragement of the Board was optimistic though and asked us to develop an aggressive mitigation plan that would allow us to safely open schools, cast fear aside and get our kids back on track with their education.
School will end May 14th but we have a robust summer learning program that has been developed. Check with your school to find out about summer school and the opportunities it will provide to recover some lost learning and lost time with friends. We look forward to seeing lots of kids in our summer school program!
Typically, I have written something for our website on a monthly basis, sometimes more, but I wanted to share some of the writings of our Board Chair, George Smith. Mr. Smith has a love for writing. I want our students to have a love for writing. The ability to express feelings, ideas, vision, personal thoughts is such a powerful tool. In our LYSD School Board meeting yesterday one of our retired teachers, Maria Greene spoke about the importance for equity and kindness. This was reinforced by several of our Board members in their closing comments yesterday. At last month’s Board meeting, our assistant director for distance learning, Lisa Vrvilo shared a daily activity for developing writing skills for students. Mr. Smith was delighted to see this activity and shared with me some of his writings. He writes as a leader, as a citizen and as father. One of his writings addresses equity and kindness, another addresses his thoughts on school openings and another is a powerful reflection on the way we live our lives and what we leave behind for others to learn and live by. When our kids say they don’t like to read or they don’t like to write, think of a relative, community leader or family friend who writes and ask them to share and engage their writing with your child. Our kids follow our footsteps. Don’t deny them the powerful gift of writing. Share your writing with your children. Personal writings are relevant and relevance is what motivates our children to learn.
Thank you all for supporting our LYSD schools! Thank you Hooper Bay for hosting us at yesterday’s RSB meeting and most importantly thank you all for everything you do to help our schools teach the children of LYSD.
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We are a people of the salmon, of the whitefish, and pike.
Of the moose, bear, fox, beaver, and lynx. Of the berries. Of family.
We believe... All children can learn.
• Students should have skills to remain successful after high school
• All student deserve a quality education based on values, culture, and academics
• Students must know what is expected of them
• The family is the most important teacher in a child’s life
• The community educates the whole child
• All stakeholders must be held to high expectations
• Each of our communities is unique and has different needs
• Decision-making is a shared responsibility
• The people, groups, organizations, and agencies that comprise our community have a responsibility to the education of our children
• Communication should be useful and meaningful
• Students should learn to respect all cultures by having a firm understanding of their own
in western alaska
The ten villages that comprise the Lower Yukon School District are spread across 22,000 square miles. The Yukon River, one of the largest rivers in North America, winds through our yards on its way to the Bering Sea.
The purpose of our District's learning community is to ensure tradition, culture, and a quality education for all of our children.