Laura Kraegel/KUCB

This year, the Unalaska City School District has offered teacher and principal contracts weeks earlier than usual.

Superintendent John Conwell made the announcement at last week's school board meeting.

He said the district moved its offer date from Feb. 1 to Jan. 15, because Alaska's teacher job fair is scheduled earlier this year. He also cited a shortage of candidates around the state.

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

Unalaska's public schools will once again receive the city's full financial support — even as other municipal grants are stretched thin.

Last week, the City Council unanimously approved a $4.35 million funding request by the Unalaska City School District (UCSD).

Superintendent John Conwell thanked councilors for continuing the city's long tradition of making the maximum contribution allowed by state law.

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

Unalaska's teachers union is reporting a sense of anxiety as instructors prepare to negotiate their next contract.

President David Gibson addressed the school board last week on behalf of the Unalaska Education Association.

"Due to things that have happened in past negotiations, the association is approaching this round of negotiations with a bit of trepidation," said Gibson. "We're preparing for the worst, but hoping for the best."