The Ketchikan School District seal on display at the superintendent’s office. (KRBD file photo by Leila Kheiry)

Ketchikan’s school board is looking to codify its commitment to work closer with local tribes. It’s part of a broader effort by the school district to consult with Ketchikan’s Indigenous communities.

The board policy and a related proposed administrative regulation would require the school board to meet with Ketchikan tribes’ governing bodies at least once a year.

The revised policy changes just one sentence. It removes a condition that the school district “take every opportunity” to consult with tribal governments. Some board members worried that would be excessive and could burden teachers. The measure went back to the board’s policy committee for tweaks.

The revised sentence in the new draft says simply that board members and school staff must “consult” local tribes and “seek to work cooperatively” to improve students’ lives. School board members will consider the policy at a regular meeting scheduled for Wednesday.

Board members are also set to accept $1.4 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds provided by the most recent aid package. In a memo, the district’s business manager asks the board to approve putting some of this final tranche of pandemic funding towards COVID-19-related health insurance costs. The money has to be spent by September 2025.

District officials are also asking the board’s permission to apply for a $10,000 federal school lunch grant for a refrigerator, freezer and milk cooler. They’d be placed at Ketchikan Charter School’s preschool and lower grade level annex at Holy Name Catholic Church and School.

Board members are also set to discuss the 2022-2023 school year calendar. A proposed calendar would start students on Thursday, August 25 and run through June 1. Winter break would start and end midweek, running Wednesday, December 21 through Tuesday, January 3.

Ketchikan’s school board meets at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the borough’s White Cliff Building on First Avenue. Members of the public can weigh in at the beginning of the meeting. The full agenda is available online, and the meeting is broadcast on the borough’s website and local cable channels.