Local News

School Board to discuss boarding schools

An interesting discussion item is on the Ketchikan School Board agenda for Wednesday: new public boarding schools in Alaska.

The state Department of Education and Early Development is taking applications from public school districts that want to operate boarding schools. Those schools can take students from anywhere in Alaska. Through a state program, school districts receive money to help pay for room and board.

For the current application period, a qualifying district must be ready to offer a residential high school program by this coming fall.

There are three approved public boarding schools already operating in Alaska: Sitka’s Mount Edgecumbe High School; Bethel Alternative Boarding School; and the Nenana Student Living Center.

The board also will vote Wednesday on whether to approve tenured-teacher contracts.

Also on the agenda is a motion to approve recommendations from the Indian Policy and Procedures Committee. The recommendations call for the superintendent to meet quarterly with local Native officials. They also call for an increase in the amount of Alaska Native culture taught in the schools; cultural training for school staff; regular discussion of Native education by the School Board; and research into different instruction methods for Native children.

The School Board meeting starts at 6 p.m. Wednesday in Borough Assembly chambers at the White Cliff building. Public comment will be heard at the start and end of the meeting.

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