ASD Expect the Best 2016 Report to the community

Message from the Anchorage School Board

The Board and Superintendent have committed to a renewed focus on the success of our students’ academic proficiency and growth in order to meet our District’s mission to prepare all students for success in life.

We know student success involves the three Rs – not reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmatic – but relationships, relevance, and rigor.

We need to establish respectful, trusting, and caring relationships with students. Students who have strong relationships are much more likely to come to school, engage academically, and be resilient in the challenges they face both in and out of school.

Today’s students have the capacity to make split-second judgments on the relevance of digital information they receive. Whatever the information or skills we wish to impart to students, if we want to remain relevant in their minds, we need to help them make the connections with “real life.”

This District has addressed previously low educational standards with rigorous common core implementation and academic plans. But we still have some work to do. Students are capable, given the proper instruction and guidance.

As a Board, we will check for relevance in the work we do to determine if it addresses the mission of this District. We will apply the rigor necessary to support administrators and educators who have high expectations for students and who are committed to meeting their individual learning needs. I am confident this will be a great academic year.

Tam Agosti-Gisler, Anchorage School Board President

Message from the Superintendent

Our District has a culture of collaboration, transparency, safety, and success. We work hard every day, not to meet our own needs, but to meet our students’ needs. Our actions each day should come back to the experiences we are providing students and how we are helping them succeed.

The Anchorage School Board, District leaders, and I are having great conversations on how we can best support teachers as they engage students to be college and career ready upon graduation.

Our staff and students are doing great things to make us the best school district in the state and the nation. With the help and support of our parents and community, we’ll be first in the 21st century!

Dr. Deena Paramo, Anchorage School District Superintendent


Data Dashboard

At the request of the Anchorage School Board, the District built a system to bring current student performance data to one easy-to-use location, called the Data Dashboard.

“The dashboard should be seen as a flashlight, not a hammer. It will illuminate areas in which we can improve,” said Tam Agosti-Gisler, Anchorage School Board President.

These data afford us the opportunity to ask questions and create a plan to move us to where we want to be. It gives school staff the ability to talk about student groups and outcomes with data that haven’t been easily accessible before now. These conversations will help improve academic outcomes for all students.

Annual student achievement data is not available for 2015 –16; the State of Alaska did not conduct a summative assessment of students.

ASD iSchool

ASD’s iSchool was awarded the national Districts of Distinction award sponsored by District Administration magazine to honor districts which demonstrate excellence in education. ASD iSchool expands disadvantaged students’ access to advanced coursework and gives all learners more flexibility to sign up for electives, career and technical education classes, after-school activities, and provides them the ability to learn at their own pace.

Blue Ribbon Schools

Bayshore and Orion elementary schools were named national Blue Ribbon Schools for academic success.

Countdown to Kindergarten

ASD is partnering with community groups such as the 90% by 2020 collaborative and ARISE (Anchorage Realizing Indigenous Student Excellence) to prepare our future students for success once they begin school. See how we can help our youngest learners be prepared for when they start school.

Our graduation rate is 20 points higher than it was a decade ago. Further success in our five-year graduation rate shows we’re providing the right kind of support to students who need just a little bit more help and time to achieve their diploma.

Multilingual Graduates

147 students earned a Seal of Biliteracy on their high school diplomas in 2016. The seal recognizes students who attained proficiency in two or more languages, honors the skills our students attain, and is evidence of skills that are attractive to future employers and college admissions offices.

More than 1 in 5 students miss more than 17 school days each year. Showing up to school each day on time matters, not only in schools but to future employers.

Parents can track their child’s attendance through Zangle ParentConnection.

Subscribe to receive daily student attendance and assignments. Log in to ParentConnection and select email notifications in the upper right corner.

See how many absences your child has accumulated and if your student is meeting the 90% attendance mark. Select the “attendance” link on the left side once you log in to ParentConnection.

“Our job is to create exceptional learning experiences so that when a child misses school, they’ll want to come back,” said Dr. Paramo. “They won’t want to miss school.”

School lunches typically get a bad rap across the country and here in Anchorage. But we’re working to change that. We’ve overhauled 75% of the menu, created more recipes from scratch, and added more flavor and spices based on students’ requests.

Click here to watch how Student Nutrition makes its pumpkin muffins from scratch.

Additional Charter School and Programs

This year, ASD welcomed STrEaM Academy Charter School, Chinese immersion at Scenic Park Elementary School, and Montessori at Tudor Elementary School to increase options for students.

All ASD schools have a comprehensive crisis plan to follow if there is a safety concern in the school’s immediate neighborhood. Emergency drills are practiced regularly at every school. This year, the District expanded its current emergency procedures to include the ALICE training method in an active emergency.

Safety also involves creating a positive climate and culture for learning. The District has a multi-tiered system of support for students. This year, all ASD elementary schools are implementing schoolwide positive behavior intervention supports and teaching social and emotional learning skills. The district is developing a similar plan for middle and high schools to implement next school year, along with improvements in discipline policies and procedures. The work will include Capturing Kids’ Hearts, a process to build school climate, strengthen relationships, and connect students to school.

Thank You, Voters

  • In August, Airport Heights Elementary School dedicated its newly renovated building. Voters approved the project in 2014. It was completed on schedule and $500,000 under budget.
  • In October, Rabbit Creek Elementary School celebrated its newly renovated building. In 2015, voters approved the construction project. It was completed on time and $1 million under budget.
  • Mountain View Elementary School’s building renovation, approved by voters in 2015, is nearing completion with a target end date of December 2016.
  • Gladys Wood and Turnagain elementary schools’ renovation projects are underway this school year. Approved by voters in 2015, work is expected to be complete by August.

Energy Efficiencies

The District is working to reduce energy consumption 20% by the year 2020. By upgrading buildings with LED lighting, high-efficiency heating systems, and retro-commissioning, the District can reduce its dependence on natural gas and electricity in its 100 schools and facilities, which cost approximately $15 million annually.

The Anchorage School District…


languages spoken at home. The top languages, other than English are: Spanish, Hmong, Filipino, Samoan, and Korean


ASD students who do not complete the year at the same school in which they started


students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch

Stay connected with ASD

Facebook: AnchorageSchoolDistrict

Twitter: @ASD_info @Dr_Paramo

Instagram: AnchorageSchoolDistrict

YouTube: AnchorageSD

5530 E. Northern Lights Blvd. | Anchorage, AK 99504-3135 | (907) 742-4000

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