An Important Message from Maria (sent out via email September 12);
As you are aware, the Anchorage School District has been making many changes to support students’ needs and provide new opportunities for growth. These changes include moving all 6th graders into Middle Schools, changes to school start times, and the College/Career/Life Ready (CCL) academic model. With all these changes come many shifts for us in the Steller community. Our three pillars of Steller: Students, Staff and Parents will be an integral part in guiding the future of our community.
To ensure that everyone is aware of what all these changes mean, we are going to be holding some forums and meetings in the coming months.
Our first initial Fact Sharing Parent Forum will be held Thursday, September 21, 6:00-7:30pm at Steller. We will have an ASD representative from Teaching & Learning to discuss College/Career/Life Ready academy model, and we will present facts around 6th graders moving to middle school and school start times.
To get familiar with these district initiatives, please check out ASD’s link to Q&As and lots of great information: https://www.asdk12.org/HotTopics . For Steller specific questions, concerns, and suggestions we will have a survey coming soon, where you will be able to provide your input. This survey will be opened from September 21 – 28.
All three pillars will have an opportunity to discuss these topics and the impacts to Steller. We will utilize the information gathered from the original survey to guide our discussions. So, take the time to provide your input. Students will have a chance to have discussions within their Advisory groups starting Monday, September 25. Staff has been discussing and will have a more in-depth meeting held on Tuesday, October 3.
The Steller Parent Group (SPG) will be holding various discussion meetings for parents and community members. During the SPG Tuesday, October 10 meeting SPG will provide an overview of the topics and have data from the original survey to share, along with a short discussion. In addition, SPG will hold 2 meetings where they will share key facts and break into smaller groups to further discuss concerns. Meetings will be held Monday, October 16, 7:00-8:30pm via Zoom and Thursday, October 19, 6:00-7:30pm in person at Steller.
After these meetings and discussions our goal as a community is to present the district with what we would like Steller’s future to be. All of you are encouraged to vote on what the future will hold through an online survey that will be open October 11th through October 31st. We will then hold an All-Community Meeting where the results of the vote will be shared along with a proposal to move forward within ASD.
Our philosophy reads, “Steller is a school devoted to the creation of independent, courageous people capable of dealing with the shifting complexities of the modern world.” As an educational leader, I am committed to our Steller philosophy and as part of that commitment, I encourage all of you to be a part of this process. It is time for Steller’s three pillars to come together and help guide what Steller’s next 50 years will look like. Thank you in advance for taking the time to be involved, see you all at our upcoming meetings.
Read more about this in the SPG Meeting Minutes and Slides from September 12.
FROM ASD WEBSITE on the Move to Academy Learning Model:
The primary strategy for achieving transformation will be the creation of career-themed academies in our local high schools. The academies will provide students with planned elective pathways within each high school beginning with an orientation experience or Freshman Academy during their 9th-grade year.
Students will choose an academy pathway within one of the available career-themed academies at the end of their freshman year. The academy pathway is made up of a sequence of at least three elective courses aligned to a viable college, trade school and / or career pathway that are completed during the 10th, 11th, and 12th grades.
The progression of courses will be coupled with learning experiences that bring businesses and college / trade school partners into the school setting and send students out to college / trade school campuses and into the workplace to explore and apply what they are learning in high school at a deeper level.
THIS WILL DIRECTLY AFFECT STELLER in 2024 and the future.
From ASD Website on Moving 6th Grade to Middle School:
On 2/21/23, the Board voted 6-1 for this year (2023) to be a planning year, and for all (comprehensive) 6th grade students to move to middle school in the 2024/25 school year.
Steller is the only 7 to 12 school in the district, and this change will directly impact us in 2024.
From ASD Website on School Start Times:
THIS CHANGE WILL DIRECTLY IMPACT STELLER in 2024.
September and October DATES:
- Thursday, September 21 6:00 to 7:30 Listen and Learn about BIG CHANGES to ASD and Steller
- September 21 to 30 Ask your questions on the online survey
- October 2 to 4 Cups for Kids Fundraiser. Join SPG for Coffee in the foyer in the morning. Donate via QR code, online, cash or cheque.
- Tuesday, October 10 6:00 to 7:30 SPG meeting – hear answers to the Q & A, vote on Intensive Request for Funding
- Monday, October 16 7:00 to 8:30 Zoom Meeting for parental input on changes OR
- Thursday, October 19 6:00 to 7:30 In person meeting for parental input on changes.
- Thursday, November 2 (TBC) All Community Meeting to vote on Steller Recommendations for 2024 school year and beyond.