Yupik Subsistence and School Opening Video
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Writings from our Board President, George Smith
August 31, 2021
LYSD Families, Welcome back to the 2021-2022 school year!
Our kids are back learning. Students started the year with Yupik Culture learning units throughout the district. Providing this opportunity to our students is in accordance to the LYSD strategic plan that was developed 4 years ago by going to all communities and soliciting the priorities of community members. One of the top three priorities identified from surveys and community meetings was the desire for more intensive cultural opportunities for our students. Given the strategic plan that was developed and the safety logistics of bringing teachers back to their sites Covid free so our kids will be safe influenced our decision to begin our year the same way we did last year. We will initially require masking as we monitor this Covid Variant surge.
If you recall we made sure we tested teachers prior to their departures to communities in the LYSD. We provided charters to avoid Bethel and possible contact with Covid and used cultural learning units to provide spacing for teacher arrival should any need quarantining. Janet Johnson our director for Yupik Culture and Learning has done an outstanding job coordinating with sites to provide meaningful learning opportunities for our children. The teachers benefit greatly as well by seeing Yupik students thrive in their home environments while teaching is lead by local experts and supported by new and returning teachers. Research shows that experiences like these assist in developing meaningful relationships between students, families, aides and teachers. Meaningful relationships transfer to a better year long learning experience for students. When a teacher captures a student’s heart, we know they can capture their full attention and commitment to learn.
We will begin developing our next strategic plan this fall. The plan will enlist input from all of our communities and we will focus on input that focuses on how best to facilitate learning recovery. Covid-19 has cost us all a great deal and we look forward to finding ways to recover learning for our youth. We started with a robust summer school to begin that recovery and will be aggressively continuing to find ways to make our kids better and stronger in their academic pursuits. The District is working diligently to connect internet to our students’ homes.
If you have students that are in 11th and 12th grades, encourage them to experience the Kusilvak Career Academy in Anchorage. There are outstanding CTE opportunities waiting there for them. Students only need to commit to 9 weeks.
We hope you are staying safe. Encourage those you love and care about to get vaccinated! The research is clear that those who are vaccinated rarely get extremely sick. Vaccination doesn’t mean you won’t catch Covid but vaccination will almost always keep you from serious illness!
Best wishes to you all for a great start!
Gene Stone and George Smith
ASD-LYSD CTE Partnership
LYSD Informational Video
Alaska Communications & Kusilvak Career Academy
LYSD COVID-19 Commercial
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Mountain Village, AK 99632
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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.