April Family & Community Letter (4/2/21)

April 2, 2021

Dear CCSD Families and Community Members:

Spring has arrived bringing longer days and more activities outside.  Spring also focuses CCSD’s attention on a few important issues as we prepare for the end of the school year and our transition into the 2021-2022 school year: statewide testing, facilities planning, and our PACE 2021-2022 enrollment advertising campaign. 

CCSD is preparing for the upcoming statewide PEAKs (Performance Evaluation for Alaska’s Schools) assessments.  The testing schedule for our schools are outlined below:

  • Craig Elementary School – April 13–15, 2021
  • Craig High School – April 13-16, 2021
  • Craig Middle School – May 4–6,

This the fourth year the state has utilized this format of assessments; PEAKs assessments were cancelled last spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic.   When CCSD receives our results on the PEAKs assessments later this spring we will have four years of data points that will provide information about potential student learning trends.  It is also important to remember that the PEAKs assessment is only one data point that needs to be utilized in combination with other student learning data resources the district uses: MAPs, DIBELS, and individual student work from our students’ current courses and content areas.  It is the district’s responsibility to employ as wide a breadth of student learning data to develop the clearest picture for each of our students, our grade levels, our schools, and the district as a whole to support the efforts targeting specific learning needs and trends that our student learning data reflects. As soon as we receive PEAKs student assessment reports we will share immediately with our parents.    

Spring also provides an opportunity for the district to focus on major maintenance needs of the district to help improve the educational context within each of our buildings.  Recently, CCSD has been addressing three significant capital improvement projects.

  • First, the Craig Middle School ADA and Security Improvement Project is currently ranked #2 on the Department of Education and Early Development’s Major Maintenance Priority List. This list has been provided to the Alaska Legislature for their deliberations as they develop the state’s FY 22 budget.  If the project is ultimately funded, the funds would become available on July 1, 2021 and CCSD would then move forward with 100% design development and estimations. If the project is not funded, the district will prioritize this project and resubmit this grant application to the Department of Education and Early Development by the September 1, 2021 deadline.
  • Second, the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSA), was signed into law on December 27, 2020.  CCSD submitted a grant application to the Department of Education and Early Development (DEED) for $260,807 of CRRSA funding for condition surveys, design development documents, and construction monies for improvements to the CES and CHS ventilation systems to increase ventilation and air quality.  One significant aspect of the CRRSA funding is providing school districts additional monies for Capital improvement Projects that address improving indoor air quality within schools buildings. CCSD received the condition surveys for the CES and CHS ventilation systems and these documents will be reviewed by the CCSD Board during the April 28, 2021 Board meeting as an informational item and to begin determining the district’s potential next steps with these two projects.
  • Lastly, Craig City School District had anticipated moving forward with our Craig High School Biomass project this summer. CCSD had funding for $845,233 and received one bid for the project for a total project cost of $1,531,078.  Unfortunately, due to this discrepancy in funding, CCSD will be unable to move forward with this project at this time.  CCSD will continue looking for potential funding sources to support the district’s efforts to develop a secondary heat system that utilizes a sustainable, renewable, locally grown heat source for the CHS building.

Lastly, CCSD’s statewide homeschool/correspondence program, PACE, is busy with our student enrollment processes for the 2021-2022 school year.  PACE has prioritized SE Alaska, Anchorage, and the Mat-Su Valley with a targeted Facebook and YouTube advertising campaign.  It is the district’s intent to solidify our foothold in the homeschool/correspondence market statewide by highlighting the curricula options we provide families coupled with our strong customer service model.  Our customer service model is centered on fostering exceptional educational relationships between our teachers and instructional support personnel with the families we are privileged to serve.  PACE has done a fantastic job improving our processes and systems of support for our families, helping the district develop the best homeschool/correspondence model within the state.    

In closing, thank you for sharing your child(ren) with CCSD.  It is truly our pleasure to partner with our families to collaboratively develop the best educational opportunity for each student we serve. If there is additional information I could provide about any of the topics noted in this letter, or any other district program or initiative, please contact me at the phone number above or the email address below.

Sincerely, 

Chris Reitan, CCSD Superintendent                                                                  

Email: creitan@craigschools.com

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