April Family & Community Letter (4/4/2022)

April 4, 2022 

Dear CCSD Families and Community Members: 

Spring has arrived which is evident from the longer days and daffodils around town beginning to bloom. The warmer weather and longer days are a welcome change to our winter months as we each find more time to enjoy the outdoor activities available to all of us on POW. Spring is also a traditional time where school districts begin developing plans for the upcoming school year and beyond. Included within this letter is information about CCSD's strategic plan, the district's budget preparations for next school year, and statewide testing. 

On March 9 and 10, 2022 the CCSD School Board engaged in a work session/training with the Association of Alaska School Boards (AASB). One aspect of the work session/training was a review of CCSD's Strategic Plan 2019-2022. The Board determined that CCSD will partner with AASB to develop a survey for our stakeholders to provide specific feedback about CCSD's current strategic plan and to seek input on areas that should be modified, updated, deleted, or added moving forward. Attached with this letter is the current CCSD Strategic Plan 2019-2022 for your review. In the coming months please be on the lookout for the survey. It is critical that the Board and district hear from our stakeholders so that the district can develop a plan that meets the needs of our community. Strategic plans are vital to any organization because they establish the priorities for the district, establish specific goal areas, and develops a plan to achieve them. Thank you in advance for your help with this critical district endeavor. 

The spring season is the time of year school districts across the state develop their budgets for the upcoming school year. CCSD will hold two meetings to address the development of our FY 23 budget. On Wednesday, April 6 at 7:00pm the CCSD School Board and Craig City Council will hold a joint FY 23 budget work session. The work session is an opportunity for Council members to ask specific questions related to CCSD's budget. It also provides an opportunity for the district to discuss the City's local contribution. On Wednesday, April 27 at 7:00pm the CCSD School Board will again address the district's FY 23 budget. One aspect of the April 27 meeting will be a budget hearing. The budget hearing agenda item provides a specific place where community members can address the CCSD Board and share what educational priorities they would like to see addressed within the district's budget. All community members are invited to attend both meetings. 

Lastly, CCSD is preparing for the upcoming statewide AK STAR assessments. Students in grades 3-9 will be assessed on math and English/language arts utilizing the AK STAR assessment platform. Our 5th, 8th, and 10th grade students will also be assessed in science utilizing the PEAKs science assessment. The testing schedule for our schools are outlined below: 

•    Craig Elementary School - Tuesday, April 5 and Wednesday, April 6 grades 3-5 will be assessed in
English/language arts and math. On Thursday, April 7, 5th grade students will be assessed on the PEAKs science assessment.

•    Craig Middle School - Tuesday, April 12 and Wednesday, April 13 grades 6-8 will be assessed in
English/language arts and math. On Thursday, April 14, 8th grade students will be assessed on the PEAKs science assessment.

•    Craig High School - Tuesday, April 12 grade 9 students will be assessed in English/language arts and 10th grade students will be assessed on the PEAKs science assessment. On Thursday, April 14, 9th grade students will be assessed in math.

•    PACE - Our homeschool students are working with our learning centers in Craig, Ketchikan, Anchorage, and Wasilla and are scheduling assessment times with their contact teacher.

This is the first year the state has utilized the AK STAR assessment format; the AK STAR assessments are aligned with the NWEA MAP assessments and will provide school districts consistent student learning data that will be aligned with our fall and winter NWEA MAP results. This year's test will provide baseline data for CCSD that we will be able to compare to our fall and winter NWEA MAP assessments providing a more holistic assessment of how we are performing as a district and help us identify areas that we can address within our schools to improve the educational context we provide all students. 

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