A letter from the executive director
In my first year as Executive Director, I was reminded again and again why I’ve dedicated my career to this agency. I was inspired by the hard work and adaptability of staff as we continue to work through the challenges and impacts of the pandemic and pleased to support the further growth of the agency, adding new programs and staff to provide Alaska's learners with excellent educational opportunities every day.
In the last year we piloted a new program offering school counseling services in two rural communities. This remote model of service delivery is now offered statewide. We partnered with Sealaska Heritage Institute’s Raven Writes program, developing K-5 summer camps focused on cultural traditions for food harvesting and preparation that inspired and generated the writing of personal stories around experiences with food and family. We expanded our adult education programming geographically to serve the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands, building from our experience serving Southeast Alaska.
As we strive to meet our mission to advance high quality educational services and solutions, the Professional Learning team and Region 16 Comprehensive Center continue to support schools and their staff through professional book studies, the Science of Reading, and empowering schools identified as Comprehensive Support sites to engage in a model for successful school improvement.
SERRC has made a promise to you to support Alaska's learners, leaders and educators so that we are ready to meet the future. As our learning environment is reshaped, SERRC programs continue to serve with the same dedication and individual care our clients and students across the state have come to expect over the years. I’ll never tire of seeing each and every success, from the joy of a new graduate to the sense of accomplishment of educators continuing their own education. It’s always gratifying to hear how we have supported you, from time saved, problems solved, supports for children, to re-imagining the future. I invite you to join us in the support of your learners by working with SERRC’s myriad programs.
21st Century Community Learning Center
The 21st Century Community Learning Center after school program at June Nelson Elementary School in Kotzebue offers academic and enrichment activities, inviting students to “come play and learn.”
Although there were some COVID related shutdowns, the 2021-2022 school year marked the return to mostly regular programming. The students’ eagerness to learn and be together with friends and teachers was keenly felt.
60 K-2 students came to learn and play.
130 people on average saw 21CCLC’s more than 35 Facebook posts, which augmented the weekly parent letters and monthly newsletters.
3 “Super Saturday” sessions offered interactive STEAM workshops designed by the Franklin Institute on Light and Shadows, Balance, and Wind. One “Fun Friday” virtual field trip allowed students to visit the Museum of the North in Fairbanks and another took them to the Alaska Zoo in Anchorage.
STEAM and literacy were further supported by a focus on physical skills, social emotional learning and culture. Examples of the enrichment activities students enjoyed this year were a day of Nordic skiing with the Nordic Ski Club, creating walrus masks, constructing balloon rockets and making “blubber gloves” to understand how seals stay warm in Kotzebue’s icy waters.
The program culminated in the End of Program Gathering with parents, students, teachers and administrators celebrating a successful and fun year of after school programming. Each student received a backpack filled with summer learning activities to prevent summer learning slide.
SERRC’s adult education program supports anyone 16 and older to attain their educational goals, with services like English language learning, education and testing for an alternative high school equivalency diploma, college prep, tutoring and general education classes, supporting digital literacy and offering workforce development classes that are accessible to the community.
131 students engaged with SERRC’s adult education services in Southeast Alaska.
11 students participated in community ESL classes.
22 students passed all four GED exams and 19 more had begun their testing journey.
91% GED passage rate in Southeast Alaska compared to 75% nationally.
16 students utilized NorthStar Digital Literacy training, with 37 certificates earned by students achieving 85% or higher on proctored certification tests.
80 HOURS TO SUCCESS
Paul went to high school in Petersburg, but wasn't able to graduate with his diploma. He was connected with a community tutor in Petersburg, who he worked with on a weekly basis starting in January. Within 80 hours of studying, he passed all four of his GED tests and is now a graduate.
TLC's Trades and Health Care Training Program provides tuition, books, and support for participants to take classes in construction, welding, mechanics, health care, and behavioral health care with the goal of obtaining or maintaining employment.
62 students successfully completed 96 trainings.
13 students earned Occupational Endorsements, including:
- 7 in welding,
- 2 in diesel mechanics,
- 1 nurse aid training and
- 1 behavioral health.
Paying it forward
Misty, who earned her GED last year, took three college classes to earn her Occupational Endorsement in Behavioral Health. When Misty and staff looked up her grades and saw she had met her goal and earned an A in her last needed class. She had tears in her eyes.
"I never thought I could do something like this. This is awesome!"
She closed out FY22 looking for a job as a behavioral health aide with plans to earn her Peer Support Certification in the next year and possibly return to school to study addiction counseling.
"I want to go on to use my past mistakes, including my past addiction, to help people overcome theirs and help them build a better future for themselves."
Youth workforce development
The JobX program serves out-of-school youth ages 16-24, assisting them to overcome barriers to find and keep a job. This program assists with education, training and job search and skills, with paid work experience. Participants receive individualized guidance for their unique circumstances and barriers.
14 participants logged 3,366 hours of workforce training and experience, earning $44,448 in wages.
NORTH TO THE FUTURE
Absatu moved to Juneau at 17 from Sierra Leone in September of 2021. Her father reached out to SERRC’s JobX program initially for Absatu but she held the reins since that initial meeting. With help from JobX, in just one and a half months, Absatu completed a three-week PATH Healthcare Pre-Apprenticeship. She was connected to tutoring in English with the adult education program, including a focus on medical terminology.
Absatu was successfully assisted to prepare for her driver’s permit and completed a driver’s training course. Since she had never worked, the program found her a work experience placement in childcare where she learned about child development. Ultimately, she plans to get her nursing degree. JobX helped her research programs and learn about enrolling in post-secondary education and just five months after her arrival she started at UAS part-time with plans to attend college full-time.
mature adults seeking skills training (mASST)
Mature Alaskans Seeking Skills Training is a community service-based training program. The goal of MASST is to provide training opportunities for unemployed low-income persons who are age 55 or older, particularly persons who have challenging employment prospects. This opportunity to re-enter or advance in the workplace fosters economic self-sufficiency for the senior members of our community. Participants are provided with education, training, community-service work experience, and the supportive services needed to move toward economic stability and self-sufficiency.
93 seniors across Alaska participated in MASST in FY22, throughout Southeast Alaska, Northern Alaska, the Kenai Peninsula and MatSu.
HOPE TO HOUSING
When Earl, 87 and a veteran of the United States Navy, came to MASST, he was living at the Fairbanks Rescue Mission and had all but run out of hope that his life situation could change. Working with Earl’s veteran counselor at the Rescue Mission, MASST staff placed Earl at the Senior Center doing yard work and facility maintenance. He quickly adjusted to being back in the workforce, and became known around the building for his smile. He was also able to move out of the Rescue Mission and into stable housing.
AK Drive provides driver education via online instruction and a one-time Zoom class held by the driving instructor. Behind the wheel instruction is provided once the education requirements are met. The goal in participating in the program is to take and pass the DMV road test, ultimately resulting in obtaining an Alaska Driver's License.
24 students completed the AK Drive program.
Alaska Academic Decathlon
The United States Academic Decathlon is a national scholastic competition designed to stimulate intellectual growth, develop critical thinkers and create lifelong learners. Designed for students with varying GPAs and abilities, this program encourages academic rigor and small group engagement.
In Alaska, the Academic Decathlon program provides opportunities for students to excel as individuals and as an integral part of a team. Each student is challenged to be their personal best along with gaining productive cooperation and collaboration skills.
200+ students competed from more than 20 communities.
25+ educators coached and supported students.
30+ students earned scholarships totaling $45,000.
Partnering with the University of Alaska Anchorage SERRC offered professional development credits to coaches, and the University of Alaska Southeast offered college credit to high school students.
Academic Decathlon can change lives, offering opportunities to participants like one student from the Lower Yukon School District who will be the first in his family to attend UAF this fall after receiving a $3,000 scholarship from UAF.
Alaska Transition Outcome Project
Secondary transition services are provided to districts through the Alaska Transition Outcome Project. Successful secondary transition means administrators and parents see their youth happily and productively shift from school to work, and move from home to independent living.
325 students from 19 school districts across the state participated in Transition Camps.
With the recent addition of Virtual Transition Camps, an additional 192 students were able to participate.
"I am glad this information is being presented to students. It is important for them to know there IS life after high school."
SERRC’s Business Services department offers clients ways to operate more efficiently and save money with cost-efficient, customized accounting services that include annual budget development, accounts payable/receivable, financial reporting, grant management and payroll processing.
3 districts and 1 nonprofit organization used SERRC’s business services during FY22.
Contracted business services provided by SERRC are performed from the office in Juneau with assistance from local on-site staff at the district. SERRC is the business manager of record for grants, payroll, accounts payable and all other financial duties of the district. Annual budgets are prepared with input and information from the district superintendent and board of education. Annual budgets range from $1.4M to $6.7M
Shared business services create substantial savings to districts who choose this option.
“SERRC's finance/accounting team has been phenomenal during my three years as superintendent of Tanana City Schools. Teri and her team have been accommodating, professional, and helpful. Their hard work and dedication show in our clean audits, update to date reports, and swift responses. I appreciate the knowledge and resources that the team has provided to help advise me along the way.”
SERRC’s facilities department offers a wide-array of services to assist districts with obtaining funding for and implementing capital improvement projects, project and construction administration, computerized maintenance management systems, and AHERA asbestos re-inspections to help districts keep their buildings safe and in compliance with state and federal regulations.
35 Districts representing 113 communities and 16,000+ students were served.
58% of all state CIP applications in FY22 representing $127 million for 13 districts were submitted by SERRC.
25 districts use the computerized maintenance managements system.
SERRC supports districts in writing their federal program applications, budgets, and annual performance reports. SERRC works to ensure formula grant funding was applied for and received to support a district’s educational goals.
9 districts were supported in determining how to effectively use funding across programs to best support student learning in the classroom, career and technical education programs, school wide planning, and professional development.
27 grants worth $3,098,467 were secured.
6,598 students were impacted by this funding.
“As a small school district it is hard for us to maintain the experience and expertise to successfully navigate the multiple requirements and timelines of the various Federal Programs. Partnering with SERRC gives us access to this expertise and frees our time and other resources to focus on our strength, serving the needs of our students."
Dedicated to supporting the critical work Alaskan educators perform every day, the professional learning team focused on personalized professional learning for schools and districts, including Paraeducator Training, Co-Teaching, 504 Plan Development and Implementation, and Restorative Practices. SERRC also continued its work with culturally responsive teaching through grants like Opening Doors for Alaska Native Students, developing Cultural Standards for Leaders, and Raven Writes, a traditional Native foods camp, both in partnership with Sealaska Heritage Institute.
SERRC’s professional learning and adult education programs partnered to develop and implement a paraeducator training program, training pre-service paraeducators and preparing them to secure work in schools and succeed.
7 aspiring paraeducators completed the inaugural training, with 2 finding immediate employment in schools.
40 active paraeducators across the state received training to continue growth in data collection, accommodations and modifications, behavioral supports, professionalism and more.
“I'm a better para-educator because of this training!"
Region 16 Comprehensive Center
The Region 16 Comprehensive Center, a consortium of three statewide organizations representing 29 education service agencies across Alaska, Oregon and Washington, works to engage state, regional, tribal, school, and communities as partners to improve the quality and equity of education for each student by providing evidence-based services and support. R16CC works closely with each state’s Chief State School Officer to develop and update a state service plan.
16 regional events were offered in the third year of the grant.
These events included nearly 200 participants region-wide.
R16CC continued to help build capacity within the Alaska Department of Education & Early Development to meet Alaska's Education Challenge. The R16CC team supported evidence-based reading training and resources, school improvement through rural empowerment, and assessment and data literacy development. In early 2022, R16CC and DEED published Alaska's Reading Playbook. In late April, they co-hosted the Alaska Science of Reading Symposium.
1,000+ educators and educational leaders attended the symposium. Participants were able to select between a free, in-person conference and virtual livestreams of keynote presentations from national leaders in reading instruction.
Throughout the summer, R16CC and DEED continued to expand offerings that support educators across Alaska.
"My biggest take away from the Science
of Reading Symposium and Alaska’s Reading
Playbook is that teacher knowledge and
skills are our number one tool in improving
our reading instruction and reading
outcomes for our students.”
In partnership with Sealaska Heritage Institute and the Juneau School District, SERRC planned for a K-5 Alaska Native summer camp, Raven Writes, to be held in July. The camp focuses on the harvesting and preparation of traditional Native foods with students writing and sharing their personal stories about their cultural connection to food and the land. Sneak peek for next year’s report: The July camps were a huge success.
Special Education Related Services
SERRC provides special education services to districts across the state, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech and language therapy, as well as psychologists and education specialists who work with students, districts, and families to help develop meaningful special education programs. SERRC's goal is to make learning accessible for all students.
17 itinerants served 23 school districts.
1,750+ reports were submitted to districts this year to help with individualized student programming.
Southeast Alaska Area Health Education Center
The Southeast Alaska Area Health Education Center (AHEC) is tasked with creating and supporting health care workers from Metlakatla to Yakutat. One of six regional offices in Alaska, the Southeast AK AHEC offers programs and partnerships to create future health care workers, along with providing continuing education opportunities for the region's healthcare workforce.
26 high school students earned a certificate in CPR/First Aid.
47 adults earned a recognized certification via an in-person class with a skills test for Mental Health First Aid, CPR, or First Aid.
14 high school students participated in multi-day health career programs.
100% of students participating in the UAS camp said the activity made them more interested or much more interested in a healthcare career.
"I loved this experience. I learned so much about health care and all of the different careers involved with it."
Stopping School Violence
Through SERRC's federal "STOP school violence" grant 23 school districts representing over 35,000 students are receiving three-years of free access to the STOPit anonymous reporting platform. This 24/7 human-monitored platform gives students a way to seek assistance or share information, and provides teachers and staff with training and a social-emotion-learning library designed to help reduce violence and the threat of violence in schools.
SERRC’s Technology Operations team is a statewide leader in supporting learning through educational and infrastructure technology. From networks to servers to Google and Powerschool and everything in between, the team manages infrastructure, student devices, supports teachers and staff, and crafts collaborative school and district plans that make short-term sense and address long term goals.
4,500 students across 15 school districts were impacted by TechOps’ work.
4 nonprofits and 1 municipality also contracted with TechOps.
720 email requests for support are processed by TechOps staff daily on average.
"The IT load even for our small district is more substantial than one person can carry. TechOps empowers our onsite tech person by allowing them to transfer certain responsibilities like network administration and backend systems management. This has freed their time to focus on our students and teachers in the schools. The whole TechOps team is professional, responsive, and their experience around the state has been a great value and invaluable resource for our district."
SERRC's E-Rate management program supports school districts to gain funding from the USF E-Rate program for critically needed internet access and infrastructure equipment. This program also assists districts to apply for the state BAG grant, as well as assists in applying for eligible funding from the Emergency Connectivity Funds (ECF) program.
86 funding requests were filed by SERRC’s E-Rate program.
$36,297,096.50 was awarded to districts working with SERRC.
"Kela, SERRC's E-Rate staffer provides services so our E-Rate process is streamlined. She reduces the anxiety of following continually changing requirements that our small district cannot keep up with. She has gotten to know our unique needs and how funding can help our students succeed."
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