• Computer mediated communities of practice: the state of teacher collaboration in one rural Alaskan school district

      Montague Winebarger, Caitlin (2010-05)
      "The Yukon-Koyukuk School District spans an area the size of Washington State, while serving just over 300 students. Administratively based in Fairbanks, Alaska, the district is comprised of nine rural schools along the Yukon, Koyukuk, and Tanana Rivers which are geographically isolated, and in some cases only accessible by plane or boat. This mixed-methods inquiry, which contains both survey and focus group components, investigates the current use of internet- and technology-based methods and practices for collaborative use by district teachers. Concepts about teacher isolation, and communities of practice provide the framework for this situated study. Both the self-reported skill-set elucidated by the survey and the actual picture of the technological situation at the various sites gathered from the focus group participants suggest that teachers would value an increase in collaboration, but need more training before that can effectively take place. The data help to inform a list of six specific recommendations to the district to address these needs"--Leaf iii
    • The effect of freshman teams on ninth graders' academic success in high school

      Kahoe, Gregory C.; Morotti, Allan; Doran, Kathleen; Roehl, Roy F. II; Kaden, Ute (2010-12)
      "Education reform and the passage of No Child Left Behind legislation are responsible for many innovative educational programs. The purpose of this study was to determine whether grouping ninth graders who share core teachers, known as freshman teams, affects students' academic success in high school. The study population consisted of 301 incoming freshmen at West Valley High School in Fairbanks, AK during the 2009-2010 school year. Student grades in both English and science were examined. Results of a school-sponsored, Likert-style survey were used to supplement the conclusions. A t-Test for Independent Groups was used to determine whether freshman teams affect ninth graders' academic success in high school. The results were inconclusive with respect to grades. Further, team membership had an effect in only one category: knowing classmates' names. Other factors associated with long-term academic success such as graduation rates should also be examined before widespread school reforms are implemented"--Leaf iii.
    • The impact of parent and student access of student information management systems on student achievement

      Kershner, Catherine Marie; Jacobsen, Gary; Gatto, Mario; Roehl, Roy (2010-12)
      "The introduction of online student information systems (SISs) has provided parents and students the opportunity to more closely monitor student academic performance. Two years after the implementation of an SIS, PowerSchool, in the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District, data indicates no significant increase in grade point average (GPA) despite significant increases in SIS utilization. System contacts increased during academic years 2008/'09 and 2009/' 10 among populations of middle school and high school students while average GPAs remained essentially unchanged. However, comparisons between SIS contacts and GPAs revealed statistically significant correlations between the two variables, indicating some degree of connection between student/parent monitoring and academic performance. In addition, analysis of student records indicates a positive correlation between average GPAs and contacts recorded during an academic year: records with low GPAs reported fewer contacts with the SIS, with contacts increasing with GPA values. Thus, while families of higher-achieving students are more likely to utilize PowerSchool than lower-achieving students' families, the introduction of PowerSchool has had essentially no impact on promoting academic achievement"--Leaf iii.
    • The life of my grandmother: Olinka Arrsamquq Michael

      Skinner, Olga J.; Hogan, Maureen; Schneider, William; Leonard, Beth (2009-11)
      "Investigations into texts on the history of Kwethluk, Alaska reveal little, with one published account describing my maternal grandmother. Fueled by my own curiosity, I interviewed four women who knew her before she passed away, to learn of her life, her influence on others, and village history. Critical theory underlies my research and is evident in the documentation of the life of a Yup'ik woman through the voices of female informants. Analysis of the interviews revealed primary process codes that include important periods of life, and roles my grandmother held became subcodes. Her roles are tied together by her desire and acts of caring for others, especially women and children. With the increasing presence of Western influence in a Yup'ik village, several of her roles also establish her as a cultural broker. Life history research, through interviews and supporting historical documents and texts, generated a picture of life in Kwethluk in the 1900s"--Leaf iii
    • Mentoring novice elementary teachers in rural Alaska

      McBrayer, Natalie Ann; Rickey, Melissa; Webster, Joan Parker; Scoles, Lorrie (2010-08)
      "This study investigates the impact of a literacy coach on novice teachers' reading instructional practices. Coaches are used to support teachers in their classrooms in districts across the country to improve student achievement. At this time, the tie between coaches, teachers and student achievement in research is limited. This qualitative study explores the impact of a literacy coach on three novice teachers' and their reading instructional practices. Data was collected using field notes, interviews, collaborative logs and observations. Analysis indicates that teachers relied on the coach to support them in five main areas. Those areas were; teacher request for support in ordering supplies, organizing the classroom, etc.; classroom practice that included working with classroom aides, on going assessment, etc.; teacher learning that had to do with teaching specific skills, professional reading, etc. The last two areas were student improvement and impact of the coach. The results of this study indicate that a literacy coach does have an impact on novice teachers reading practices, which in turn raises student achievement. Test scores, students' daily work and passing levels, indicate evidence of the achievement. More research is needed in the area of teacher mentoring and how it affects student achievement"--Leaf iii
    • Standards-based learning under the Bering Strait instructional model: can levels be used as valid indicators for proficiency on the Alaska High School Graduation qualifying exam?

      Jones, Carrie A.; Hogan, Maureen; Barnhardt, Ray; Strange, Anthony (2009-08)
      "The Bering Strait School District is an Alaskan school district that took on standards-based education under the umbrella of a larger systemic change encompassed by what has been called the Quality Schools Model. In this model students are engaged in standards-based curriculum that is organized in a manner allowing for time to be a variable in student learning and where groupings (levels) are based upon student readiness in the non-graded system. In this study, the effectiveness of standards-based levels was quantitatively studied by comparing sophomore reading, writing and math levels in the model to their high school exit exam scores in an attempt to determine if an association between the two assessments exists. The application of the chi-squared statistic lead to the conclusion that the level a student is working at in reading or math, within the model, is in fact associated to their proficiency on the high school exit exam"--Leaf iii