Stewart McDonald, Superintendent
Welcome to the Kodiak Island Borough School District.
I moved to Kodiak in 1992. My wife and I fell in love with this island life. Raising our two children here and seeing my son graduate from Kodiak High School has been a blessing. My daughter is now in Kodiak High School and has benefitted from a KIBSD education. I mention my family because that is the purpose of a school system- to serve families, to educate children.
The student is the first and foremost consideration in all our educational decisions. We are striving to innovate and change our collective behavior to meet student needs as the State of Alaska is seeking to reduce education funding. I am encouraging all of us to face these trying times by answering this question: "Given what we have, in what ways can we make this work for students". It won't be easy, but we can can make the most of this difficult time in our nation, state and local community.
New standards, new assessments, and new evaluation systems are here!
|The Perfect Storm: New Standards, new certificated staff evaluation, new state testing and tighter budgets promise a drop in measured student proficiency results before hopeful increases|
The Association of Alaska School Boards asked for KIBSD's superintendent's understanding of Alaska's new standards and nationally driven school improvement initiatives. In March of 2013 a commentary article was published and circulated throughout Alaska.
In this article Superintendent Stewart McDonald wrote, "I am preparing our local community to brace for the extreme measures that must be taken to prepare our students and staff to face these new challenges".
|Download the PDF|
There has been much talk about what the new national school improvement measures mean to KIBSD. The District Vision has been temporarily clouded by the tempest blast. There is more hope than despair on the horizon.
KIBSD does have a local student focused vision about the future of our schools. However, we have been adjusting to the new ESEA Waiver requirements that have been mandated by the United States Department of Education and the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development. There was hope that the deadlines to implement this waiver would have been delayed long enough to plan, prepare, and practice the new school improvement measures in order to have a reasoned and calculated implementation. As of April 2013 we learned that the deadlines were not to be delayed and time would not be on our side. Further we learned that there would be no additional funds for appropriate implementation of the State's new efforts. In the course of the 2013-14 school year KIBSD will make necessary adjustments and give our teachers and students the most time possible to practice these national measures before the deadlines of accountability are due. Please attend the variety of local school board meetings, workshops and community forums to learn about these new national and state driven changes.
I have heard interesting talk about the new Alaska Standards, which are about 27 words different than the Common Core School Standards. Please view our new standards on our curriculum page to learn more.
Follow this link: http://www.kibsd.org/subsite/dist/page/curriculum-1386
In August the back-to-school address to the teachers and principals was about focusing on one thing-- the "desired effect" of our instruction.
We first celebrated our individual school students' performance on the new growth model. The new standards are best measured on growth model scales. This practice is the national trend. Five point scales of 1-5 or 0-4 are being used to measure school and district performance with a five star rating rubric. Principals and teachers are being evaluated on the same scales. Colleges across the nation are beginning to use the same standards-based scales to grade students. Our elementary students have been graded on standard-scales for a decade. Secondary students are now being graded on the same scales.
Learn more about this grading by following this link: Standards Based Instruction and Grading