SCHOOLS

Josh Good (TOP LEFT) AND HOPE MCKENNEY/KUCB (TOP RIGHT AND BOTTOM)

The threat of declining state and local funding dominated last week's Candidates Forum focused on the school board.

In the race for seat D, first-time candidate Josh Good and incumbent Denise Rankin agreed on many issues facing the Unalaska City School District, while touting their different credentials to voters.

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

The Yakov E. Netsvetov School in Atka has struggled with low enrollment in recent years. But this month, 10 students showed up for the first day of classes.

As KUCB's Laura Kraegel reports, the increase is helping the school to avoid a shutdown — and hinting at greater stability for the small Unangax̂ community in the western Aleutian Islands.

"First day of school!" announced teacher Sonja Mills as the school bell rang. "We did it!"

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

Unalaska's teachers have negotiated a new contract for the next three years.

Superintendent John Conwell said the teachers union and school district negotiated the contract in only a day and a half.

"Teams representing the Unalaska Education Association and the Unalaska City School District met on Aug. 28 and 29 to negotiate the terms and conditions of the teachers collective bargaining agreement," said Conwell at the Sept. 12 school board meeting. "The UEA met and ratified the new negotiated agreement on Sept. 5, 2019."

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

Enrollment at the Unalaska City School District is off to a strong start with 408 students. 

That's according to Superintendent John Conwell, who made the announcement last week at the school board's first session of the new school year.

"The count period is in October," said Conwell. "I'm really happy with where we're at with our enrollment."

The number of students during the annual count determines how much state funding the district receives.

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

With one week until classes start, Unalaska's teachers are back at school Monday, training and preparing their classrooms.

Superintendent John Conwell said the Unalaska City School District has filled all eight of its teacher vacancies. That includes the high school science position, which David Gibson resigned over the summer to accept a job with Unalaska's Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services.

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