• Assisting adolesecents transitioning from residential treatment to public school

      Church, Sylvia; Cook, Christine; Morotti, Allan; Simpson, Joni (2017-05)
      This research project aims to aid residential treatment facilities and school personnel in recognizing the importance of transition planning, developing strategies to assist a successful transition from inpatient residential treatment centers to the students next school, while also taking into account adolescent perspectives on their needs during this transition. This paper introduces the importance of addressing education while in treatment and explores barriers to aftercare and current aftercare models using an ecological model to recognize how multiple systems interact in shaping the experiences of students. Included in this paper is a small pilot study of three students that attended a residential treatment program at the Boys and Girls Home of Alaska. It is important to note that since interviews were conducted, the Boys and Girls Home of Alaska no longer operates in the State of Alaska and is now under new ownership. The application resulting from this project is a presentation for both treatment and school staff.
    • Assisting school personnel with youth transitioning from residential treatment to a school environment

      Smith, Kristi; Cook, Christine; McMorrow, Samantha; Gifford, Valerie (2015-12)
      The following research project examines the data and literature regarding youth who reside in residential treatment centers for behavior and mental health purposes. The paper introduces common risk factors that youth are experiencing which contribute to their placement in the facilities, as well as the difficulties they face upon exiting the treatment program. This project explores how schools can assist students in the transition from residential treatment to a school setting using a bio-ecological model that supports the students on an individual level up to a systemic level. School counselors serve as a key point of contact for transitioning students and can help teachers to understand this population and introduce supports both in the classroom and schoolwide. Teachers will also learn how to identify and modify potential negative stigmas, frustrations, and thought processes by practicing cognitive behavior techniques. The application resulting from the project is a counselor lead in-service for elementary through high school teachers, administrators, and student support services personnel.
    • Elim's cultural values: reaffirming and implementing indigenous values in education

      Marchant, Samantha C. (2017-12)
      The curriculum project Elim's Cultural Values: Reaffirming and Implementing Indigenous Values in Education was brought to light through community-based participatory action research. Through informal interviews, survey analysis and discussions with local residents of Elim, Alaska; Elim's Cultural Values were identified and implemented into local curriculum. The Indigenous values of the community of Elim are a combination of both Yup'ik and Inupiaq heritage. These values have been carefully laid out into a set of forty separate lessons, (ten cultural value units) in which educators in the local school can implement culturally relevant lessons that connect with the Bering Strait School District curriculum. This project is a living curriculum, currently being piloted in Elim's Kindergarten classroom. It seeks to utilize the many resources we have in our school and community in hopes of reaffirming Elim's cultural values within both school and community.
    • Improving postsecondary transitions for students in rural Alaska: applying solution focused brief therapy in the school setting

      Elliott, Jill M.; Cook, Christine; Gifford, Valerie; Simpson, Joni (2015)
      Successful postsecondary transitions present several challenges for adolescents, and statistics show that Alaska Native youth experience additional adverse conditions and risks compared to their peers in the dominant culture. An effective intervention plan may assist rural Alaskan students in obtaining desirable education and increase opportunities for achieving personal and professional goals. This project is focused on answering the following research questions: What research has been done to show that SFBT groups could be effective in rural school settings to aid in postsecondary transitions? What components are necessary to include in an effective transition support plan for rural Alaskan students? A literature review was conducted to gain insight as to the aspects of Alaska Native culture that influence counseling outcomes, information regarding current postsecondary transition programs that are available, and the key facets of career development interventions for adolescents. This research guided the creation of a small group counseling curriculum that is grounded in the tenets of Solution Focused Brief Therapy and Family Systems Theory. The activities and discussion that are incorporated into the project target high schools in rural Alaska, and are designed to increase awareness, enhance self-efficacy, and embrace family, community and culture as vital supports in the career development process of adolescents.
    • Lesson plans for the seventh grade Alaska State standards in language arts

      Gieser, Kenneth E. (2014-04)
      The SBE (standards-based education) reform movement calls for clear, measurable standards for all school students. Rather than norm-referenced rankings, a standards-based system measures each student against the concrete standard. Curriculum, assessments, and professional development are aligned to the standards. However, many teachers find standards burdening and restrictive, and it has been challenging for teachers to infuse them with her, or his personal passions. The purpose of this project is to demonstrate that not only can these new standards be taught effectively, but that teachers can find them accommodating enough for their passions. This project's outcome will include lesson plans, activities, and assessments, along with my personal reflection as to the efficacy of using these new standards without losing the passion for teaching with them.
    • School Connectedness: the benefits of a school-based peer-mentoring program for transitioning students in secondary education

      Murdock, Lucy Marie Rabold; Cook, Christine; Gifford, Valerie; Harrison, Lynn (2015)
      The transition to a new high school can disrupt social networks, cause anxiety, and hinder academic success for secondary students. School-based comprehensive peer-mentoring programs that focus on transitioning secondary students have the potential to alleviate the anxiety of a changing school climate by promoting school connectedness, building peer relationships, and being sensitive to the social, academic, and procedural concerns of transitioning secondary students (Cauley & Jovanovich, 2006). Students who feel connected to school feel personally accepted, respected, included, and supported by others in the school social environment, all of which may guard against student alienation, poor self-esteem, and other deviant behaviors for adolescent youth. The following research paper discusses how focused school-based peer-mentoring programs for adolescents may help to build school and peer connectedness; promote academic achievement, healthy development, and psychological health; increase protective factors; and decrease risky behaviors. A presentation and program guide for secondary administration and staff were developed based on the information found in the literature review.
    • Sense of place in military children's new community and school environment

      Imhoff, Myriam C.; Green, Carie; Vinlove, Amy; Kardash, Diane (2017-12)
      Relocation, or permanent change of station (PCS) is one of the constants of the military lifestyle. Thus, every two to three years, dependent children of enlisted military are uprooted from a place and forced to call a new place home. The goal of this research project is to provide a resource for teachers who have transient military children in their classroom and help them develop a sense of place in their new community and school environment. Scholarly literature on geographic mobility, stress and coping, education, sense of place, and place attachment as well as existing educational resources for military families inform the scope of this curriculum project. Research reports that having deployed parents as well as relocating have a negative impact on military adolescents' education and social life. However, the resources given for military parents or for teachers getting new military students are limited or difficult to find. This written project, accompanied by a web-based resource, conglomerates ideas from several sources as well as new ideas to help teachers ease military children's transition. Lessons focus on reading, writing, social studies, and art. Key classroom components are also suggested; these include Google annotated map, bulletin board or map in the classroom, bulletin board with photos of the environment/community, guest book for the classroom, and getting to know each other activity. Additionally, curriculum is aligned with Alaska State standards for third through fifth grade.
    • Teacher-led professional development in arts and culture: promoting teacher ability to engage students using their place

      King, Sandra J. (2017)
      This project is a piece of the SILKAT (Sustaining Indigenous and Local Knowledge, Arts, and Teaching) Grant that is funded by Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies. It describes the development of one of the professional developments modules as well as two of the cultural art units that make up the Professional Development Course and Cultural K-12 Art Curriculum that are being created for the Bering Strait School District as (BSSD) a part of this grant. The professional development module described leads teachers through learning the core practice of "engaging students with their place." This is extremely valuable in all areas, but especially the BSSD, as the schools are very remote, located in Alaska Native villages off of the road system. The art units will address the cultural values of "understanding others" and "hard-work/self-sufficiency." These values will be reinforced using appropriate studio habits of mind that are transferable skills to any content or situation.