March Family & Community Letter (3/17/23)

March 17, 2023

Dear CCSD Families and Community Members:

Happy St. Patrick’s Day. St. Patrick’s Day this year falls on the eve of CCSD’s annual spring break. CCSD wishes our families a safe, family-focused spring break that provides all our students and staff members a well- deserved break for the good work everyone has performed. The spring semester is always a busy time of year as CCSD is making plans to finish our school year on a positive note with the strongest educational opportunities for our students, while also preparing for next school year. This spring has been busier than typical as CCSD is preparing for the potentiality of three major construction projects that will improve the educational context we can provide our students and ultimately improving our energy efficiencies providing more monies to be directed to student programs.

First, CCSD’s Craig High School Biomass Project is currently out for bid. On Wednesday, March 15, 2023, CCSD conducted a pre-bid conference with prospective general contractors and sub-contractors. CCSD has secured funding for the project from the Denali Commission, USDA, and CCSD’s Capital Project fund. The purpose of the project is to install a wood chip fired boiler system at the high school. This project, when complete, will provide the following benefits to CCSD and POW.

  • Reduce CCSD’s heat costs at CHS allowing more monies to be directed towards student programs.

  • Develop a redundant heat system between the biomass boiler and our high school fuel oil boilers

    ensuring duplicity and ultimately ensuring stronger protection for the building.

  • Capture most of the district’s heat costs on POW to support local businesses and improve our local


  • Transition the majority of CCSD’s fuel usage to a locally harvested, sustainable fuel source.

    Bids for the project are due on Friday, March 24, 2023. Our goal is that CCSD will receive at least one bid that falls within the amount of funding secured for this project providing for a summer and fall 2023 construction schedule. As soon as CCSD has more specific information about our ability to move forward with this project we will share this information immediately with our parents and community stakeholders.

    Second, Craig Middle School and Craig Elementary School construction projects are currently out for bid. On Tuesday, March 28, 2023, CCSD will hold an on-site pre-bid conference with prospective general contractors and sub-contractors. CCSD has secured funding for these two projects through an Alaska Department of Education and Early Development Major Maintenance Grant and some required funding from CCSD’s Capital Project fund. The Craig Middle School Rehabilitation Project provides for renovation and reconfiguration of the Craig Middle School to include the following aspects.

  • Reconfigure the layout of the building to improve America Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility.

  • Replace oil-fired boilers and hot water heater with propane-fired systems.

  • Upgrade mechanical ventilation.

  • Replace or upgrade existing roof, fire alarm, fire sprinkler, intercom, HVAC, electrical service, and

    security systems.

The Craig Elementary School Rehabilitation Project provides updates to architectural, mechanical, and special electrical systems to include the following aspects.

  • Reconfiguration of the main bathrooms to meet American Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility.

  • Upgrade fire suppression and safety systems.

  • Remove existing boilers and replace with back-up boilers.

  • Upgrade building controls.

  • Upgrade mechanical ventilation system.

  • Reconfigure administration offices to improve the space and better support educational programs.

    The Craig Middle School Project is a huge project and if we can move forward with this project, demolition would start immediately when school is completed this summer. This project would also require us to vacate the CMS building for the entire 2023-2024 school year due to the amount of demolition and construction. CCSD is in the process of making instructional plans for our middle school students that would utilize the two modular buildings located between the elementary and middle school and utilize some classroom and office space at Liberty Baptist Church. The Craig Elementary School project is not as extreme but would require approximately four months of work. The projects have been tentatively scheduled with a Craig Middle School start date of June 2023 and project completion June 2024, and a Craig Elementary School start date of May 2024 with project completion September 2024. There are a lot of variables to juggle and consider for these two projects. CCSD wants to thank Liberty Baptist Church for their generosity and willingness to work with CCSD. CCSD also wants to thank our staff members for the input and ideas they have shared to date to help plan for these two important construction upgrades to our CMS and CES buildings. As always, as more information is available about these two projects, CCSD will share immediately with our parents and community stakeholders.

    Lastly, CCSD is heavily involved in our advertising and enrollment campaign for the 2023-2024 school year for our PACE Homeschool program. CCSD is currently advertising on Facebook in the Anchorage, Mat-Su, and Southeast regions. We have received a lot of positive response from our advertising campaign with 72 pending enrollment applications for next school year. CCSD is very fortunate to be able to offer families across the state access to our PACE Homeschool program to provide families curricula options that might better meet their student’s learning needs. It also is a great resource for our island-based families who might want to develop a hybrid learning experience for their student that incorporates the solid courses offerings in our Craig schools with the options PACE also provides.

    There is a lot happening at CCSD. Please don’t hesitate to contact me at or my direct office line (826-3274 ext. 4003) if there are any questions that would be helpful for me to address about the items noted in this letter or any other district initiative or program. CCSD truly appreciates the support and guidance our families provide. Have a great spring break.


    Chris Reitan, CCSD Superintendent