Kodiak Island Borough School District - Background




The Kodiak Island Borough School District, established in 1948, is a rural, public school district located on the second largest island in the United States, in the Gulf of Alaska. The island has one city, Kodiak, where the majority of the population is concentrated. There are 4 elementary schools, one middle school, one high school and one homeschool/distance education program in the City of Kodiak.  There are seven outlying Alaska Native rural villages on the island, accessible only by boat or small plane. One rural community is accessible via the road system. Our village populations range from 40 to 260 persons and our village schools have enrollments of 10 to 34 students. The road system in Kodiak is located near the City of Kodiak and extends approximately 40 miles one way and 15 miles the other way from the city proper. The remainder of the island, with the exception of the villages, is virtually uninhabited wilderness.


Eighty percent of our students in our village schools are Alutiiq (Russian-Aleut) or "People of the Sea." Our remote village communities are each represented by a federally recognized tribe. Though westernization has dramatically altered Alutiiq lifestyles, our indigenous people have combined western traditions and technologies with their own worldviews to continue a distinct subsistence lifestyle that is uniquely Native.

Kodiak is the hub for the "Munartet Project: Teaching In and Through Arts and Culture" - a partnership with the Alaska State Arts Council (ASCA), Kodiak Island Borough School District, Kodiak College, the Alutiiq Museum and Repository and Kodiak Arts Council, to increase the number and tenure of confident, competent K-12 generalist and specialist teachers of the arts in Alaska. 


Incoming teachers need support to connect their classrooms to place-based and culturally sensitive, appropriate materials that reflect the great diversity of the student population.  Through the Munartet Project, the partners will address the issue of developing a solid, sustainable pipeline for teacher preparation and in-service training. The core of this partnership is the partners’ belief in the importance of creating access for students to opportunities for creative thinking and expression in order to understand their own cultures and place in the world.

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