Measles Outbreak – What Alaskans Need to Know- From Our Nurse

According to the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services and CDC Measles (Rubeola) is a highly contagious viral respiratory illness.  Symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose, and red watery eyes followed by a rash over most of the body.

Measles can be serious.

  • ​About 1 in 4 people in the U.S. who get measles will be hospitalized​
  • 1 out of every 1,000 people with measles will develop brain swelling, which could lead to brain damage
  • 1 or 2 out of 1,000 people with measles will die, even with the best care

Measles is very contagious.

Measles spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It is so contagious that if one person has it, 9 out of 10 people around him or her will also become infected if they are not protected. Your child can get measles just by being in a room where a person with measles has been, even up to two hours after that person has left. An infected person can spread measles to others even before knowing he/she has the disease—from four days before developing the measles rash through four days afterward.

Some people think of measles as just a little rash and fever that clears up in a few days, but measles can cause serious health complications, especially in children younger than 5 years of age. There is no way to tell in advance the severity of the symptoms your child will experience.

A highly effective vaccine has resulted in a dramatic reduction in measles cases and deaths worldwide. However, outbreaks and deaths continue to occur, primarily related to overseas travel and unvaccinated individuals.


For more information:



Alaska Public Health Advisory January 29, 2019 

Measles Outbreak in Washington State — What Alaskans Should Know


Steller Band Students Fare Very Well in Solo/Ensemble Festival

Steller 7th and 8th Grade Band Students Fare Very Well in Solo/Ensemble Festival
The 7th and 8th graders in the Steller Band participated in the ASD Middle School Solo/Ensemble Festival last Friday.  The 8th grade band students were: Ry Allwright on alto saxophone; Avery Bashford-Blumer on tenor saxophone; Sarah Duot-Kelley on flute; and Reagan Miller on alto saxophone.  The 7th graders were: Elliot Beck on clarinet; Kaila Gibson on flute; Kamryn Lyons on flute; Abbey Markel on clarinet; Kiera Markel on flute; Wyatt Mohs on baritone; Alan Nunn on alto saxophone; Anthony Schofield on trumpet; Milo Scott on trombone; Maddox Tomassoni on alto saxophone; Bjorn Van Der Goore on bass clarinet; and Hasan Wilkerson on percussion.  All of the 7th and 8th grade students formed one ensemble and received the superior rating.  Alan, Bjorn, Kamryn, Milo, Reagan, Ry, and Sarah each performed solos, too.  Bjorn, Kamryn, Reagan, and Sarah achieved the superior ratings, and Ry and Milo earned the excellent ratings.  “We have a strong group of middle school-level musicians in band”, said Mr. Toba, the band director.  “The Middle School Solo/Ensemble Festival is the gateway to a successful future in music.  I am delighted that the students took the extra time to prepare these songs for the festival.” The soloists would like to
thank Marcia Stratman for the piano accompaniment.
Nobuo Toba
Band Teacher
ASD Fine Arts Department

Parnall Law Scholarship Opportunity- Due May 1, 2019

Distracted Driving Family Plan Scholarship

The Parnall Law Office is proud to offer the 2019 Scholarship Program that is designed to help interested high school (upon graduation from high school) or college students in the United States to attend an institution of higher education, while also bringing to attention to the dangers of distracted driving. $5000 in prizes will be awarded to the top 3 applicants.

Essay Topic

Create a “Distracted Driving Family Plan” within which you address the safety of your family by proactively committing to a plan that avoids the occurrence(s) of distracted driving by you and the members of your family.

Distracted Driving Quick Facts

  • Talking and texting while driving cause over 300,000 injuries every year.
  • Drunk and distracted driving cause nearly half of all deaths on the road.
  • Cell phone distractions cause 2,600 deaths every year.

Important Dates

Start of Submission of Application: January 1st, 2019
Deadline of Submission of Application: May 1st, 2019


  • First Place Prize: $2,500
  • Second Place Prize: $1,500
  • Third Place Prize: $1,000

For more information, visit

News from our Counselor- February, 2019



I am looking out my office window at the pink sunrise over the mountains and it tells me that the days are indeed getting longer and spring is right around the corner. Last night I was walking my dogs up in the hills by the mountains just as dusk turned into a clear and crisp night. It was beautiful and relaxing and my mind was wandering in its own directions. Children and young people are increasingly dealing with ADHD and anxiety, making it hard to function well at school and among friends. I sometimes talk with students and parents about mindfulness. It has become sort of a buzzword these days, and many people think that it needs to involve meditation and a spiritual path that is not for them or for young people. Some people do practice meditation to obtain mindfulness; however, anyone can develop mindfulness through simple activities that may help with relaxation, stress release and focus. Beach combing, picking berries, watching birds, a walk in the woods, watching the sunset, arts and crafts activities, etc. are among things you can do to relax your mind. Ideally, you will do these activities in solitude but company is OK if you agree to not having conversations. Did you know that there has been a lot of research on knitting and its healing effects on a variety of physical and mental health conditions? Stress, anxiety, eating disorders, cancer, heart disease…They have found that knitting heightens the brain’s alpha-wave output, which is also takes place during yoga and meditation. They key to mindfulness and allow the brain to relax is to set aside time on a daily basis and making it a routine.


Testing is a part of the annual routine for ASD. We just finished NAEP (National Assessment for Educational Progress). This assessment takes place every other year and at Steller we only need to assess 8th graders. I coordinated and organized the test at Steller but a “NAEP team” comes in to proctor the test. They were very impressed with how well our students behaved. Please let your child know if they were participating in NAEP.


Next up is YRBS (Youth Risk Behavioral Survey). The survey will take place Monday February 25th. High school students with a survey release on file will be sampled for the survey. I don’t know yet which students are selected.


Steller starts PEAKS Monday March 25th and we will test students every day through April 1st. Students in grades 7 and 9 will be tested in English Language Arts and Math. Students in grades 8 will be tested in English Language Arts, Math and Science, and 10 will test in Science only.


Seniors should have filled out their FAFSA and either completed or started their college applications. If you haven’t filled out the FAFSA, please do so asap. Students applying to colleges in Alaska should apply as soon as possible. Students are often of the impression that they don’t have to submit FAFSA and application until later if they are staying in AK. Applying early (now) will potentially make them eligible for additional scholarships. Also, please check the websites of local colleges for institutional or private scholarships and the deadlines for applying.


I have talked with many juniors about taking the SAT or ACT in the spring. The spring dates are posted in the hallway and sign up needs to happen as soon as possible. Seats fill up. I plan to host a college night in March or April depending on my schedule.


It is also time for our current sophomores and juniors to think about next year. Our school district offers selected students a great opportunity through the Gifted Mentorship Program. There is an application process involved so interested students may want to check out the requirements early to make sure they meet eligibility and make the deadline. Here is a link:


It is now noon and the day is beautiful, just as promised by the morning sunrise. A walk or run in the woods with my dogs is on my afternoon schedule before I head back to Steller to the Ice Cream Social.


Have a wonderful weekend. I hope you find time to relax your mind and enjoy the present.





Steller Parent Group Meeting is Tuesday, February 12 at 6 pm

This week, Tuesday February 12th 6:00-7:30– Join Parent Group to hear updates from Principal Reed Whitmore, as well as student reports from Op Group, news from teachers, and upcoming opportunities for families and students.

Parent group is a great way to learn more about making the most of Steller, navigating middle school and high school, and helping to support student travel opportunities and other non-traditional learning at Steller. Newcomers and new ideas are always welcome!

Parent Group meets the first Tuesday of every month at 6:00 pm in Ken’s room. If you have any items for the agenda, please email them to:

Thank you!


Student Volunteers Needed Immediately to Assist with Fundraiser Dinner

Seeking a student to take the lead on the Steller Fundraiser Dinner to be held at Don Jose’s February 21

The student will coordinate the selling of tickets at school  during lunch hour in advance to assure that the event is well attended. At the event the night of the dinner, the lead will help with check in.

Interested students should contact Reagan or Shanone, The parent co-lead for this event is Kari Hall.

The key to a successful event is getting sales made in advance and having plenty of volunteers to share the work. Hopefully one or more students will step up to take advantage of the opportunity!